Citizen Petition Presses EPA To Call Chemicals in Environmental Docudrama “Hazardous Waste”
This holiday season, A-list actors drew moviegoers to a film with a distinctly un-Hollywood plot line: A company dumps thousands of pounds of toxic, long-lived chemicals (PFAS, or per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) into unlined pits that drain into a farming community’s drinking water. Local residents fall ill, some terminally. A heroic attorney (Mark Ruffalo) represents them …CONTINUE READING
Conditions in Australia keep getting worse. The government offers platitudes.
Australia is remarkably exposed to climate change and remarkably unwilling to do much about it. Conditions keep getting worse. Yet climate policy in Australia has been treading water or backpedalling for years, as I discussed in an earlier post. Let’s start with the temperature. The Guardian reports that in the year up to July 2019, …CONTINUE READING
Trump’s Scientific Advisory Board Slams Proposed EPA Rules
Trump has appointed most of the members of EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), many of them selected from industry. That effort to stack SAB in favor of deregulation apparently wasn’t a complete success. In draft reports issued this week, the SAB scathingly criticized those efforts and even went so far as to give a nod …CONTINUE READING
As a wet winter approaches, Los Angeles County focuses on initiatives to capture rainwater and reduce ocean runoff
(Note: I previously wrote a law review article published in 2016 in the Villanova Environmental Law Journal, accessible here, about related policy suggestions for improving rainwater capture in reference to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.) If you live in California, or have been in the state over the last couple weeks, you’ll know that we …CONTINUE READING
Some issues are perennial, like property rights v. public rights in water.
I suppose most of you, like me, have never heard of the Watuppa Ponds. But in 1888, a battle broke out over the legality of their use to supply drinking water for a nearby city. The issue closely divided Massachusetts’s highest court, and led to a heated debate in the recently launched Harvard Law Review …CONTINUE READING
It’s not just on the coasts where law schools works on sustainability.
This is part of an occasional series on the work of environmental law centers. My goal in this series is to highlight one of the ways that law schools work for the public interest, not just on the coasts but throughout the country. Here, I’ll focus on the Interior West — the plains, mountains, and …CONTINUE READING
A new primer that makes the law accessible and teachable
I have been writing about drinking water issues for the past fifteen years and often been struck at how little attention the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) receives in our field. Passed just two years after the Clean Water Act, it gets scant or no coverage in environmental law casebooks and is rarely taught in …CONTINUE READING
Comparing the Governor’s statements with the text of the bill
The California legislature recently passed SB 1, which would translate into state law a range of federal environmental and worker safety standards that were in place before the inauguration of President Trump to protect against federal roll backs in those areas. However, Governor Newsom has indicated he will veto SB 1, on the grounds that …CONTINUE READING
CLEE comments on Governor Newsom’s water portfolio executive order
Governor Gavin Newsom has directed state agencies to prepare a water resilience portfolio. Executive Order N-10-19 describes a set of broad principles to inform the development of the portfolio, as well as extensive outreach that should accompany the process, which is being conducted on an aggressive timeline. The EO states, correctly, that California needs a …CONTINUE READING
India’s legal moves on water put Pakistan on edge
A month after India’s move to exert more direct control over Jammu & Kashmir, the Indian state that occupies part of the larger Kashmir region, the country is also now in a position to exert control – in both illegal and legal ways – over important river waters that Pakistan relies upon to sustain people …CONTINUE READING