Toxic Substances

The Emergence of the Environmental Justice Movement

The environmental justice movement is now 40 years old. Its influence is only growing.

Dr. King died in 1968, and the Civil Rights Movement had already been a powerful national presence for well over a decade.  Yet it was fourteen more years until environmental justice entered the national spotlight. Environmental justice issues first received widespread attention in 1982 when protests erupted over the construction of a new waste disposal …

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The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ 10 Most Important Environmental Law Decisions of 2022

Climate Change, Water Rights, Environmental Justice & Federalism Issues Highlighted the Ninth Circuit’s Prodigious Environmental Docket This Year

I’ve shared in previous posts my view that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is–after the U.S. Supreme Court–the most influential court in the nation when it comes to environmental and natural resources law.  That’s true for two related reasons: first, the sprawling Ninth Circuit encompasses nine different states (including California) and …

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UCLA Environmental Law Clinic Students’ Work Used in Litigation for Improved Refinery Monitoring

East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, represented by Earthjustice, filed a petition drafted by UCLA ELC students

On Monday, environmental-justice advocates filed a petition drafted by two of our amazing UCLA Environmental Law Clinic students, Sarah Repko and Monica Heger, opening litigation to improve monitoring of petroleum refineries in Southern California. This spring, Sarah and Monica had the exciting opportunity to work with Earthjustice’s Community Partnerships program to prepare litigation enforcing state …

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What Does the Future Hold for the American Gas Station?

The end of the gas car will eventually leave 100,000 stations behind.

Gas stations have been fixtures in our world for a century or more. There are even books of photos of picturesque gas stations, some futuristic, others quaint. We’re transitioning into a world dominated by electric vehicles. What does the future hold for these icons of the fossil fuel era? There are now about a hundred …

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Getting the Lead Out

The Ninth Circuit tells EPA to determine safe levels for lead based solely on science.

Lead can cause neurological damage to young children and developing fetuses. The only really safe level is zero. Because poor children are the most likely to be exposed to this hazard, this is also a major environmental justice issue. The Trump EPA took the position that it could set a hazard level higher than zero …

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The Ninth Circuit Makes EPA an Offer It Can’t Refuse

Regulate chlorpyrifos or else!

Chlorpyrifos is one of the most widely used pesticides in America, although it has been banned in the EU.  Last week, the Ninth Circuit took the extraordinary step of ordering EPA pointblank to ban or reduce traces of chlorpyrifos in food. A dissenter accused the majority of misreading the statute in question and abusing its …

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Guest Contributors Kelsey Manes & Ashley Sykora: State Should Clean Up Los Angeles Parkways Impacted by Exide Pollution

Parkway garden in Los Angeles

Communities for a Better Environment and UCLA Environmental Law Clinic Urge State Agency to Reevaluate Inequitable Cleanup Proposal

We are UCLA Law students enrolled in the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic, a class in which students work on behalf of community and environmental groups to help advance client goals through legal advocacy. This semester, we worked with Communities for a Better Environment, a community-based environmental justice organization that works in heavily polluted …

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Guest Contributor Aimee Barnes: How the Biden Administration’s Environmental Justice Mapping Tool Can Identify and Target Benefits to Disadvantaged Communities

Lessons Learned From CalEnviroScreen

Just one week after his inauguration, President Joe Biden designated January 27 “Climate Day” at the White House and signed a number of executive orders, including one aimed to “secure environmental justice (EJ) and spur economic opportunity.” Under this executive order, President Biden took the first steps to make good on his campaign’s EJ commitments. …

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EV Battery Supply Chain Sustainability & Mining

Register for forthcoming report launch webinar on Thursday, July 23rd, from 9-10am PT

The adoption of millions of electric vehicles needed to combat climate change will mark a major shift in mining activities across the world. To get the needed lithium, cobalt and other minerals for the batteries, countries and companies are turning to deep-sea mining, lithium deposits in Nevada and California’s Salton Sea, and further exploiting resources …

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How Sustainable is the Electric Vehicle Battery Supply Chain?

New CLEE and NRGI “FAQ” released today addresses common misconceptions

Co-authored with Ted Lamm and Patrick Heller (advisor at the Natural Resource Governance Institute and a senior visiting fellow at CLEE) The global transition from fossil fuel-powered vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs) will require the production of hundreds of millions of batteries. The need for such a massive deployment raises questions from the general public …

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