Showing 29 results
Allison Stevens, Dave Owen, Michael C. Duff, Noah Sachs | November 18, 2022
We asked several of our Member Scholars how the election outcomes will affect policy going forward in our three priority policy areas. Today’s post covers the implications for public protections such as environmental health, clean air and water, and workers’ rights.
Dave Owen | November 10, 2022
In one of Tuesday’s least surprising outcomes, California voters reelected Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. It wasn’t close. This might seem interesting only if you’re predicting the 2024 presidential primaries. But Newsom’s reelection has broad significance for climate policy and law, both in California and beyond. Think for a moment about traditional arguments against responding to […]
Dave Owen, Katlyn Schmitt | May 28, 2020
Sometime soon, EPA is expected to release its final rule limiting state and tribal authority to conduct water quality certifications under section 401 of the Clean Water Act. A water quality certification is the most important tool states have to ensure that any federally permitted project complies with state water quality protections.
Dave Owen | January 23, 2020
On Thursday morning, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and EPA released a final rule determining which aquatic features are covered by the Clean Water Act. Already, the press coverage is following a familiar pattern: farming lobbyists praise the rule as a major victory, and environmentalists condemn it as an abdication of clean water protection and water quality science. The former part of that pattern has always been interesting to me. It's true that the farm lobby has been a prominent and effective participant in debates about this rule and its predecessors. But I think much of its participation, and the resulting press coverage, has been misleading. This new rule does offer benefits to farmers (at a likely cost to water quality), but the benefits aren't likely to be nearly as great as the rhetoric would lead you to believe. The goal of this post is to explain the changes the new rule actually makes for farmers and the reason those changes are more modest than you might expect.
Dave Owen | December 18, 2019
This morning E&E News reported that researchers from the Netherlands and Environmental Defense had quantified a massive natural gas leak at an Exxon-subsidiary-owned well in Ohio. According to the study, the well leaked around 60,000 tons of methane. That made me wonder: what might the carbon tax bill for a leak like that be? The answer, of course, is $0.
Dave Owen | October 23, 2019
Originally published on Environmental Law Prof Blog. Last Thursday, the Government Accountability Office released a new study on federal agencies and environmental justice. The narrow purpose of the report is to assess the extent to which federal agencies are implementing Executive Order 12898, which was issued by President Clinton in 1994 and theoretically remains in […]
Dave Owen | December 11, 2018
Originally published on Environmental Law Prof Blog. This morning, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and EPA released a proposed new rule that would change the agencies' shared definition of "waters of the United States." That phrase defines the geographic scope of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The proposed rule would narrow the […]
Dave Owen | August 10, 2018
Originally published on Environmental Law Prof Blog. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross just released a statement directing NOAA to "facilitate" water use to respond to California's wildfires (the statement follows several tweets in which President Trump implied that the cause of California's wildfires was the state's ill-advised decision to let some of its rivers flow […]
Dave Owen | February 15, 2018
Originally published on Environmental Law Prof Blog. Last week, the Ninth Circuit decided Hawai’i Wildlife Fund v. County of Maui, a case involving Maui County’s practice of pumping wastewater into wells, from which the wastewater flowed through a subsurface aquifer and into the Pacific Ocean. The county, according to the court, needed a National Pollutant […]