CPR Archive for Robert Adler

U.S. Climate Disaster in Global Perspective

by Robert Adler | November 16, 2012

For those who have not been following the news lately, a recent article reported the following: A large tropical storm attributed to “unseasonable rainfall” slammed into the coast and moved inland, leaving many dead or missing, tens of thousands of residents evacuated or homeless, and government disaster response agencies struggling to provide food, shelter, and other critical services.

According to the article, “[d]isaster response teams helped to move people to higher ground in rubber boats and nearly 100 shelters were opened … to accommodate people fleeing the flood zone.” Trains and other transit systems were closed; some communities were completely cut off from help; and to make matters worse, more intense rain was expected later in the same week.

News reports about Hurricane Sandy? Actually, no. This news came from an article by Agence France-Presse about Cyclone Nilam, which struck the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu just a week after Sandy unleashed similar catastrophe on the eastern United States. Nor was this an isolated incident in India. In September, the Agence France-Presse article continued, “two million people were forced to flee their homes in the north-eastern state of Assam after floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains.”

The point, of course, is not to minimize the horrible loss of lives, damage to homes and other property, and suffering that the residents of the northeastern U.S. have endured due to Hurricane Sandy. Relief efforts should continue if not expand. ...

The Clean Water Act at 40: Can We Renew the Vision?

by Robert Adler | October 15, 2012
Congress adopted the “modern” version of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, more commonly known as the “Clean Water Act,” forty years ago this week (Pub. L. No. 92-500, Oct. 18, 1972). As Congress faces persistent efforts to weaken this law, it is important to take stock of why the law was passed, how well we have met its goals and objectives, and how much is left to accomplish. In the current anti-regulatory climate, it is easy to fall prey ...

The Conundrum of Responding to Crippling Drought: Help Now or Reduce Future Vulnerability?

by Robert Adler | July 24, 2012
The relentless heat wave that has plagued much of the country this summer, along with an accompanying paucity of rain, have plunged vast swaths of the United States into the most crippling drought in decades. Corn crops and now soy crops are withering, and commodity prices have risen dramatically. That could signal a sharp rise in domestic food prices just as the elections approach this fall, shocks to world grain markets fueled in large part by U.S exports, and significant ...

Is State Ownership of Public Trust Waters At Risk When SCOTUS Hears PPL Montana v. Montana?

by Robert Adler | November 30, 2011
When the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral argument in PPL Montana, L.L.C v. State of Montana on December 7, it will consider issues of constitutional history dating to the early days of the American Republic and legal sources that some claim (and others dispute) trace to Magna Charta and the Institutes of Justinian in Roman law. The court will also consider a factual record that includes the journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Moreover, the case involves a challenge for ...

CAFOs, Circularity and Certainty in the CWA: Fifth Circuit's Decision in National Pork Producers Council v. EPA Raises Problems

by Robert Adler | March 18, 2011
A decision issued on March 15 by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit vacated portions of EPA’s Clean Water Act (CWA) regulations, issued most recently in 2008, governing water pollution from concentrated animal feeding operations, or “CAFOs”. In National Pork Producers Council, et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Fifth Circuit panel vacated those portions of EPA’s rule that required CAFOs to apply for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits based ...

Also from Robert Adler

Robert W.  Adler is the Jefferson B. and Rita E. Fordham Presidential Dean at the University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law, where he is affiliated with the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources, and the Environment.

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