In recent legal battles, the State of Utah has rarely sided with the environment. It is a significant moment, therefore, when Utah files a lawsuit aimed to force polluters to pay for contamination they have caused, as it did last week when it sued mine owners and contractors for the EPA related to the Gold […]
Justices to Hear Oral Arguments in Three Major Environmental Cases This Week
The California Supreme Court currently has approximately twenty pending environmental cases on its docket. This week, the Court’s justices will hear oral arguments in three of the most important of those cases. Taken together, these looming decisions raise important issues concerning the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), federal preemption, climate change mitigation and adaptation, private […]
The Order is Designed to Prevent Federal Agencies from Protecting Health, Safety, and the Environment
Dan Farber just posted an insightful, brief analysis of the executive order “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” that was issued this morning. As Dan notes, the order is absurd and arbitrary – but more than that, it’s extraordinary in its potential for doing harm to our country and its residents. It is meant to kneecap […]
An octopus in a parking garage? It’s a sign of the times.
Jim Cason, the GOP mayor of Coral Gables, Florida, wants us to talk about climate change: “‘We’re looking to a future where we’re going to be underwater, a great portion of South Florida,’” Cason said. ‘For all of us down here, this is really not a partisan issue. We see it. We see the octopus in […]
Drought, Bark Beetle Infestation, Climate Change Imperil Sierra Pine Forests
Like over 600 other environmental lawyers, professors, law students and regulators, I attended the 25th annual Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite last weekend. As always, the Conference–sponsored by the California State Bar’s Environmental Law Section–was a big success, filled with inspirational speakers and thought-provoking panels. But the major topic of conversation–during the Conference proceedings, in […]
Louisiana’s preparedness for a 1000-year flood, and implications of the slow media response for slow-onset climate impacts
The devastating floods in southern Louisiana a week ago left at least 13 people dead, tens of thousands in need of rescue, and 60,000 homes damaged. In one parish, nearly ninety percent of homes flooded. Cellular network failures, road closures, power outages, and sewage-contaminated floodwaters continue to threaten relief efforts. The American Red Cross is […]
The CPUC issued the fine after finding dozens of violations
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a citation for violations of a federal regulation on Southern California Gas Co. (SoCal Gas) totaling $2.25 million. The citation is based on forty-five violations of a federal regulation requiring that operators “take prompt remedial action to correct any deficiencies indicated by” external corrosion monitoring. According to the May […]
What Broader Environmental and Worker Safety Enforcement Lessons Can Be Learned Here?
A federal district judge on Wednesday sentenced Don Blankenship, the former Chief Executive of Massey Energy, to serve one year in federal prison–the maximum term allowed by law–and to personally pay a criminal penalty of $250,000 for Blankenship’s acts of omission and commission that led to the notorious 2010 coal mining disaster at Massey’s Upper […]
Staff from California Air Resources Board released the Draft Aliso Canyon Methane Leak Climate Impacts Mitigation Program last week. While the program has yet to gain approval by the Board, the final version will probably not change much. Overall, the Draft Program signals ARB’s desire to take full advantage of the political will and financial […]