Pollution & Health
The standards have gotten tougher. Compliance still lags.
The goal of the Clean Air Act is to achieve national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS), with the primary requirement being protection of public health. As our understanding of the health effects of air pollution has improved, there has been a general trend toward tightening the standards. However, it’s very hard to keep track of …CONTINUE READING
Fracking consumes enormous amounts of water, pollutes aquifers & is contrary to our climate goals
Recently, the New York Times published an important and disturbing expose’ titled, “‘Monster Fracks’ Are Getting Far Bigger. And Far Thirstier.” The Times article focuses on the alarming intersection of three current environmental crises–water supply shortages, groundwater contamination, and excessive greenhouse gas emission levels–that threaten California and other states across the nation. Fracking (the shorthand …CONTINUE READING
Voters who care about the climate should know the longtime environmental lawyer turned long-shot presidential candidate has turned away from environmentalism.
When an old acquaintance of mine recently shared a series of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. videos on Instagram, I couldn’t resist asking him what was appealing about the long-shot presidential candidate. He said that RFK Jr. would end corporate influence, including when it comes to industries that pollute the environment. RFK, he said, has done …CONTINUE READING
A leading environmental lawyer gives his perspective.
Transportation is now the source of 28% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, more than the electric power sector. The transportation sector is also a substantial source of nitrogen oxides and particulates, both of which are dangerous to human health. The Biden Administration has taken important regulatory actions bearing on these problems, with others in the …CONTINUE READING
Contrary to some, I think the answer is yes. And here’s how we can do it.
Inequality is a burning issue in our society but plays only a limited role in the design of regulations. In an article that came out a week ago, I try to work through questions about how economic and racial inequality can be integrated into rule-making. In terms of economic inequality, the current system already has …CONTINUE READING
SB 261 first proposed and drafted by CLEE Climate Risk Initiative
Breaking news! Governor Gavin Newsom just announced on stage at New York Climate Week that he will sign both of the landmark greenhouse gas emissions and climate risk disclosure bills, #SB253 (Wiener) and #SB261 (Stern), the later of which was first proposed and then drafted by our Climate Risk Initiative at the Center for Law, …CONTINUE READING
The Supreme Court declared open season on the nation’s streams and wetlands. New regs are the result.
On August 25, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (“the agencies”) issued a joint rule, which modifies their previous rule on federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act in order to conform with the Supreme Court’s Sackett decision. Sackett was a deeply misguided and harmful ruling — but it is nevertheless the law. The …CONTINUE READING
UCLA’s Mary Nichols weighs in on the groundbreaking youth climate decision in Montana and the “drumbeat of litigation” that could follow.
Eight simple words helped youth plaintiffs in Montana win their landmark climate lawsuit against the state: “the right to a clean and healthful environment.” The 103-page decision by a state court judge wades through loads of testimony and evidence, but it all comes back to that simple constitutional guarantee. A handful of other states have …CONTINUE READING
State and local regulators can and should work to reduce particulate matter, ozone, and NOx emissions even when national standards are met.
States and local air quality regulators have the legal authority to set particulate matter (PM), ozone, and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions standards and adopt regulations for these pollutants when they are already in attainment of the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the federal Clean Air …CONTINUE READING
Court rules Montana’s state constitutional guarantee of a clean & healthful environment for Montanans prevails over state officials’ fossil fuel-centric policies
A Montana state district court has issued its long-awaited decision in a major climate change case brought by Montana children against state officials. In Held v. State of Montana, a Montana trial court ruled that the state Constitution’s guarantee of a healthy and clean environment prevails over Montana’s longstanding fossil-fuel-based state energy policies. The “youth citizen” …CONTINUE READING