environmental justice

LA Metro’s Transit to Parks Strategic Plan

A beneficial but incomplete solution to address lack of access to open spaces for disadvantaged communities

I previously wrote about the potential to generate greater support for environmental initiatives, by improving community engagement with the natural environment. One mechanism to improve community engagement in this manner is quite simple: make it easier for people to access parks and open spaces by public transit. Access is a widespread issue in Los Angeles, …

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Trump Administration’s Quiet Policy Change Could More Than Double Hazardous Air Pollution in California

Change in MACT applicability could result in 935 additional tons of toxic pollution emitted by stationary sources in the state each year

Earlier this year, EPA made a major policy change in how the agency evaluates stationary sources of hazardous air pollutants in a memorandum quietly issued without any warning or opportunity for public comment. This policy change was promptly challenged by California and two different coalitions of environmental and community groups (one suit was filed by …

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UCLA’s Environmental Law Clinic Files Brief on Behalf of Amici League of California Cities and California State Association of Counties

Brief defends local government authority to regulate oil drilling in face of industry challenge

[Update: The Second District Court of Appeal, Division 5 has rejected all the amicus curiae brief applications filed in this case, including this brief. We will leave this post, and the link to the brief, up on this blog so that anyone interested may see our arguments, but the brief will not be considered in …

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Does the Clean Air Act Mask One of Our Worst Remaining Air Pollution Problems?

New Article Addresses Hot Spot Pollution and the Clean Air Act

Over the last fifty years, we have made huge progress in cleaning up the nation’s air.  Overall pollution levels have dropped by 70 percent since the 1970s, cars are 99 percent cleaner, and we’ve essentially eliminated lead from the atmosphere. The Clean Air Act is the main reason for this success, saving countless lives and …

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Responsibility for Historic Harm

Tort law embodies our society’s view of fairness. What does teach us about climate change?

Is it fair to hold companies responsible for past emissions, even if they didn’t know at the time the emissions were harmful? Shouldn’t it be a defense that they didn’t appreciate the risk at the time?Not if tort law is any guide. Tort law imposes liability for ongoing harm even though a company did not …

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House Subcommittee Considering Clean Air Act Amendments to Weaken Bedrock of Stationary Source Permitting

Proposed changes to NSR could have significant impact on EJ communities

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment is currently considering amendments designed to weaken the New Source Review permitting program. The GOP proposal has been floating around since a discussion draft was released in May based on a bill introduced last year by Rep.  Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), but seems to have flown under the radar until …

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Tribal Fishing/Environmental Justice Rights Prevail After Supreme Court Ruling

Justice Kennedy’s Recusal Proves Decisive in Preserving Tribes’ Legal Victory

Perhaps the most consequential environmental case of the rapidly-concluding U.S. Supreme Court Term ended this week with a whimper rather than a bang: in a curt one-sentence order, the Court ruled that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ earlier decision in Washington v. United States “is affirmed by an equally divided Court.” The justices split 4-to-4 on …

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California Doubles Down on Its Commitment to Reduce State Greenhouse Gas Emissions

California Air Resources Board Adopts New, Landmark Climate Change Scoping Plan

California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) has adopted a new 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan, which is designed to extend and expand upon the state’s longstanding commitment to reduce California’s aggregate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  This is a landmark achievement, one that moves California further down the road to a sustainable environment and economy. A bit …

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Thoughts on AB 398

New bill to extend state’s cap-and-trade program is a compromise worth making

The Governor and state legislative leaders announced a deal on a bill to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program to control greenhouse gas emissions through 2030, along with companion legislation to increase emissions reductions for conventional pollutants from major stationary industrial sources (a key point for environmental justice groups).  Some leading business groups have endorsed the …

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Guest Bloggers Michael Wara and Danny Cullenward: Understanding SB 775: A Realistic Path to Achieving California’s Climate Goals

SB 775 Provides a Strong Carbon Pricing Policy and Addresses Legal and Political Constraints

Two recent Legal Planet contributors have shared concerns about SB 775 over the last several days (Ann Carlson’s piece is here and Dallas Burtraw’s is here). We write here to provide context—economic, legal, and political—to help readers, and perhaps even these respected authors, better understand why the bill proposes to extend and evolve California’s approach …

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