Pollution & Health

Quick Thoughts on Scott Pruitt resignation as EPA Administrator

Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Former Coal Lobbyist, to Serve as Acting Administrator

As Dan Farber just pointed out, President Trump announced minutes ago via Twitter that Scott Pruitt is (finally) stepping down as Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency.  Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former lobbyist for the coal industry, will serve as Acting Administrator pending confirmation of a new Administrator.  I have a few quick […]

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Getting to Zero Fatalities

Eliminating traffic deaths and vehicle emissions by 2050? Not as crazy as you might think.

Could we have a transportation system with zero deaths from car crashed and zero emissions? That seems utopian but it’s not as crazy as it sounds. Even if we don’t get all the way to zero, we could get much closer than you might think. In The Road to Zero, RAND researchers provide a roadmap […]

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CARB Seeks to Maintain Stringency of California’s Vehicle Standards

Emmett Institute submits public comment in support of CARB’s efforts

Back in the halcyon days of 2012 when EPA, NHTSA, California, and the automakers crafted a grand bargain to adopt national vehicle emission standards, California agreed that compliance with vehicle emission standards adopted at the federal level would be “deemed to comply” with California’s standards. Now, as it becomes clear that the federal government intends […]

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Plastics and our Future

How to turn off the plastics spout?

Kudos to National Geographic for its stunner of an issue on plastics and the environmental harms they cause. As this latest report and many other recent stories make clear, we are drowning in plastics. Bits of plastic have been found in beer, in major brands of bottled water, in 75% of deep sea fish, in […]

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Automation Leads To Efficiency Gains But Job Losses At Southern California Port

Controversial issue to be discussed at upcoming UCLA conference on zero-emission freight at Southern California’s ports

Automation threatens to eliminate many manufacturing jobs around the world, as robots now perform factory line tasks that used to be done by humans. Now the technology is starting to be deployed through self-driving vehicles in places like ports, with similar results. It’s an issue we’ll discuss at the upcoming free UCLA/Berkeley Law conference on […]

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California Supreme Court Ruling Represents Big Win for State Water Board–& California’s Environment

Justices Uphold Water Board’s “User Pays” Fee System Against Constitutional Attack

The California Supreme Court has handed the State Water Resources Control Board a major legal win, rejecting an industry challenge to the “user pays”-based system of funding the Board’s water pollution control system.  In doing so, the Supreme Court has fended off yet another constitutional challenge to the manner in which environmental regulatory fees are […]

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Pruitt’s Utterly Opaque “Transparency” Proposal

Ironically, the proposal calling for greater transparency provides little clue into the agency’s thinking.

EPA recently issued a notice of proposed rulemaking entitled “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science.” The proposal would prohibit the agency from considering studies of health risks unless enough data is made publicly available to allow EPA or industry to validate the results. That sounds fine, but these studies often involve either confidential health records or […]

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Why California gets to write its own auto emissions standards: 5 questions answered

Authored by Nicholas Bryner and Meredith Hankins

Rush hour on the Hollywood Freeway, Los Angeles, September 9, 2016. AP Photo/Richard Vogel This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Editor’s note: On April 2, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the Trump administration plans to revise tailpipe emissions standards negotiated by the Obama administration for motor […]

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The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ Most Important Environmental Law Decisions of 2017

Constitutional Issues, Water Law, Native American Rights Dominate Court’s Environmental Docket

Happy New Year! As we move into 2018, let’s take a look back at the most significant environmental law decisions issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 2017. Conventional wisdom is that the second most important federal court in the nation (after the U.S. Supreme Court) is the D.C. Circuit […]

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Wetlands, WOTUS and California

California Regulators Can and Should Adopt Strong State Wetlands Protection Rules

For the past year, an overriding concern of many Californians has been whether and how state legislators and regulators can fill the environmental law and policy gap left by a Trump Administration that is in the process of reversing a host of Obama-era environmental rules and that has otherwise largely abandoned the field of environmental […]

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