Regulation

How do we decide what is a “Water of the United States”? Rapanos revisited

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinions in Rapanos v. United States in 2006, it has been unclear exactly how the U.S. is to go about evaluating which wetlands and tributaries of navigable waters are subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.  Until recently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asserted federal …

CONTINUE READING

Can NEPA save the world?

New Scientist‘s blog, Short Sharp Science, reports that repairs on the proton-smashing Large Hadron Collider at Europe’s CERN may be complete by September. What’s the environmental law connection? You might recall that before the LHC was briefly fired up in September 2008 (it only worked for 9 days before crashing), a lawsuit was filed in …

CONTINUE READING

The Bush Legacy

The New York Times has a story this morning that tries to summarize Bush’s environmental legacy.  As the story points out, there are positive notes, like the diesel regulations and the last-minute designation of marine sanctuaries.  Yet, the overall message is negative.  The Bush Administration will largely be remembered as a time of environmental setbacks …

CONTINUE READING

Delay on marine engines upheld

In the latest round in a long-running battle, the D.C. Circuit has upheld EPA’s foot-dragging on regulation of emissions from large marine diesel engines against a challenge brought by the South Coast Air Quality Management District, Santa Barbara Air Pollution Control District, and Friends of the Earth.  Large ships are major sources of air pollution …

CONTINUE READING

More on OMB and Regulatory Policy

President Obama wants a new executive order on OMB oversight of regulation.  He has issued the following directive: I therefore direct the Director of OMB, in consultation with representatives of regulatory agencies, as appropriate, to produce within 100 days a set of recommendations for a new Executive Order on Federal regulatory review. Among other things, …

CONTINUE READING

How Smart Can You Get?

It is said that it cost $3 million to air a 30 second advertisement during last weekend’s Superbowl. If that is the case, then General Electric chose to spend that much (plus change for production cost) to run a cute little musical piece based on the Scarecrow’s song from the Wizard of Oz — “If …

CONTINUE READING

Are Law Professors Good Political Appointees?

I just got off the phone with a Bloomberg News reporter asking me about Harvard Law Professor Jody Freeman’s appointment as counselor to Carol Browner.  After singing Jody’s’ praises (of which there are a great many) he asked me a more general question that has me thinking.   Is it a good thing for Obama to …

CONTINUE READING

Irresponsible fisheries

WWF has a new report out on compliance with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization‘s voluntary Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing, which was issued in 1995. The report details the extent to which 53 countries, responsible for more than 95% of the world’s wild fish harvests, complied with the code between 2003 and 2005. …

CONTINUE READING

Obama Addresses Efficiency Standards

President Obama is pushing for the adoption of  better efficiency standards, the Times reports: Over the last three decades, Congress has demanded stricter efficiency standards on 30 categories of products, as varied as residential air-conditioners and industrial boilers. But successive administrations have failed to write regulations to enforce the laws, even when ordered to by …

CONTINUE READING

New Federal Nanotechnology Bill Takes Small Steps Towards Addressing the Environmental and Health Implications of Nanotechnology

The House Science and Technology Committee recently introduced H.R. 554, National Nanotechnology Initiative Amendments Act of 2009.  The Committee hailed the bill, which is virtually identical to last session’s H.R. 5750, as serving to “strengthen and provide transparency to the federal research effort to understand the potential environmental, health, and safety risks of nanotechnology.” It …

CONTINUE READING

TRENDING