This past January, I was one of two students who had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. with the Surfrider Foundation and UCLA’s Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic to brief Congress on harms caused by marine plastic pollution and steps the federal government can take to combat the problem by reducing waste from […]
A simple but powerful principle: courts and agencies should respect statutes.
Justice Stevens and the Rule of (Environmental) Law There’s already been a lot written in the aftermath of Justice Stevens’s death, including Ann Carlson’s excellent Legal Planet post last week. I’d like to add something about an aspect of his jurisprudence that had great relevance to environmental law: his belief in the rule of law, […]
The California Coastal Commission is a state agency whose mission is to preserve and manage the state’s coast. Its decisions regarding planning and development implement core state policies and determine individual legal rights. Both the perception and the reality of a fair, just, and accessible process is crucial to maintaining public confidence in the Commission’s decision-making. In February […]
As Some Nations Retreat From Internationalist Approaches to Transnational Environmental Challenges, Corporate Actions May Play a Larger Role
The withdrawal by Japan from the International Whaling Convention and its related Commission in December 2018 and the on-off threat by the new leader of Brazil to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change are the latest signals that International Environmental Law (“IEL”) is under siege. The move by Japan and the possible withdrawal […]
Florida’s GOP Governor proves unexpectedly pro-environmental.
There was little reason to expect much from Governor DeSantis. The GOP candidate for Governor was expected to be Adam Putnam, the Agriculture Commissioner. Instead, due to Trump’s personal intervention, Ron DeSantis snagged the nomination. DeSantis pledged to “reduce bureaucracy, eliminate unreasonable regulations and crack down on lawsuit abuse.” He called himself the #1 conservative […]
Written in Collaboration with Camila Gonzalez*
Coastal communities are bracing themselves. Thirty years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, and almost nine years after the BP Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, they are facing the threat of another catastrophic oil spill. The Trump Administration is paving the way. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will […]
Senate Bill 54 would phase out non-recyclable plastics and require more source reduction and recycling by 2030
California may soon pass new legislation that would tackle a major contributing factor to global plastic pollution – single-use plastic packaging and products. While experts continue to push for comprehensive federal legislation on plastic waste, California’s actions could have widespread benefits. State residents consume large quantities of plastics and California is often an early adopter […]
Despite state and local action, more effective reduction of single-use plastics must come from Congress.
Editor’s note: this article was originally published in The Regulatory Review on February 13, 2019. Plastic pollution appears to be arising ever more frequently in the news. Companies like Starbucks have announced voluntary steps to rid their stores of plastic straws. China is wielding its “National Sword” policy, which places restrictions on the amount and type of plastic waste it […]
1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill Sparked the Beginning of America’s Modern Environmental Era
This week marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most serious and consequential environmental disasters in American history–the Santa Barbara offshore oil spill of 1969. On January 28, 1969, an offshore oil rig (Platform A) owned and operated by the Union Oil Company and operating in federally-controlled waters in the Santa Barbara Channel off […]
The problem is big, but federal action could help.
Next week, I’ll be in Washington, D.C. with the Surfrider Foundation and two of our fabulous Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic students, Charoula Melliou and Divya Rao, to brief Congress on harms caused by marine plastic pollution and steps the federal government can take to combat the problem. Plastic pollution is a serious issue, […]