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Category Archives: Environmental Law

New GAO Reports – DOD Joint Bases, Federal Real Property, Fish Stock Assessments

  • DOD JOINT BASES: Implementation Challenges Demonstrate Need to Reevaluate the Program, GAO-14-577: Published: Sep 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 2014: “Joint base officials reported varying progress in consolidating installation-support functions, and challenges resulting from consolidation efforts that created inefficiencies and inequities. Overall, the joint bases reported partially consolidating 80 percent of their installation-support functions, but the extent of consolidation varied across the bases and among the various functions. None of the joint bases have reported consolidating all functions. However, all 11 joint bases reported consolidating some portion of eight functions, such as custodial services and installation safety. The least consolidated functions were reported to be military service-specific or mission-specific, such as small-arms range management and port services. Also, joint base officials reported several challenges resulting from consolidation, such as multiple inspections and employees being potentially disadvantaged in competing for promotion opportunities due to military service-specific personnel policies. The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and military service officials have not evaluated which functions are still suitable for consolidation or taken policy actions to address any challenges resulting from consolidation. Without an evaluation of the suitability of installation-support functions for consolidation and without actions to address any negative consequences that emerged from consolidation, the Department of Defense (DOD) may continue to experience challenges in its efforts to consolidate these functions.”
  • FEDERAL REAL PROPERTY: DHS and GSA Need to Strengthen the Management of DHS Headquarters Consolidation, GAO-14-864T: Published: Sep 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 2014.
  • FEDERAL REAL PROPERTY: DHS and GSA Need to Strengthen the Management of DHS Headquarters Consolidation, GAO-14-648: Published: Sep 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 2014.
  • FISH STOCK ASSESSMENTS: Prioritization and Funding, GAO-14-794R: Published: Sep 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 19, 2014.

Assessment for Decision-Makers Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2014

Assessment for Decision-Makers: Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2014, World Meteorological  Organization, Global Ozone Research and Monitoring Project—Report No. 56, Geneva, Switzerland, 2014. • “The sum of the measured tropospheric abundances of substances controlled under the Montreal Protocol continues to decrease. Most of the major controlled ODSs are decreasing largely as projected, and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)Continue Reading

The Treasure of Diverted Trash – Report

“Landfills are a significant source of heat-trapping GHGs in the United States. They are the nation’s third-largest source of methane emissions, producing 18 percent of that pollutant. Since methane has 34 times more global warming potential than CO2, and since landfill size is only increasing, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, must take action on this issue. On September 15,Continue Reading

The Cost of Carbon – Interactive Database

“This is a living documentation of the price we are all paying for carbon pollution. Find out how you are paying, add your cost, and share with those who can help to end climate denial and put a price on carbon.” “The Cost of Carbon is the never-ending toll that carbon pollution is having onContinue Reading

Report – large US and global companies ready for a price on carbon

“A new report released today by CDP, an environmental organization that gathers information on behalf of investors, provides powerful evidence that: There is a global corporate consensus that carbon will be priced; Businesses are preparing for a robust, internationally-linked carbon market; and These companies would welcome regulatory certainty, nationally and internationally, with respect to climateContinue Reading

NOAA, UNC-Wilmington study finds warming Atlantic ocean temps could increase expansion of invasive native species

News release: “Warming water temperatures due to climate change could expand the range of many native species of tropical fish, including the invasive and poisonous lionfish, according to a study of 40 species along rocky and artificial reefs off North Carolina by researchers from NOAA and the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. The findings, reported forContinue Reading

Fugitive gases in eight clusters of domestic water wells overlying the Marcellus and Barnett Shales

Noble gases identify the mechanisms of fugitive gas contamination in drinking-water wells overlying the Marcellus and Barnett Shales. Published online before print September 15, 2014, doi:10.1073/pnas.1322107111 PNAS September 15, 2014: “Significance: Hydrocarbon production from unconventional sources is growing rapidly, accompanied by concerns about drinking-water contamination and other environmental risks. Using noble gas and hydrocarbon tracers, we distinguish natural sources of methaneContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Critical Infrastructure Protection, EPA Regs and Electricity

CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION: DHS Action Needed to Enhance Integration and Coordination of Vulnerability Assessment Efforts, GAO-14-507: Published: Sep 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 15, 2014: “DHS is not positioned to manage an integrated and coordinated government-wide approach for assessments as called for in the NIPP because it does not have sufficient information about the assessment tools andContinue Reading

An Energy and Sustainability Roadmap for West Virginia

Van Nostrand, James M, An Energy and Sustainability Roadmap for West Virginia (2013). West Virginia Law Review, Vol. 115, No. 3, 2013. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2495555 “This article explores the measures that West Virginia policymakers can take to position the state for a more sustainable energy future. Throughout its history, energy resources have beenContinue Reading

Rocky Mountain Forests at Risk – Report

Union of Concerned Scientists - Confronting climate-driven impacts from insects, wildfires, heat, and drought: “Tens of millions of trees have died in the Rocky Mountains over the past 15 years, victims of a triple assault of tree-killing insects, wildfires, and stress from heat and drought. Global warming is the driving force behind these impacts, bringing hotter andContinue Reading

40 Percent of Countries with Largest Shale Energy Resources Face Water Stress

Paul Reig and Andrew Maddocks, World Resources Institute: “…extracting natural gas and tight oil from shale poses environmental risks, especially when it comes to water. Hydraulic fracturing requires up to 25 million liters of fresh water per well, meaning shale resources can be hard to develop where fresh water is hard to find—including in some of the world’s fastest-growingContinue Reading

Draft of UN’s New Report on Global Warming Delivers Bleak Assessment

Justin Gillis, New York Times: “Runaway growth on the emission of greenhouse gases is swamping all political efforts to deal with the problem, raising the risk of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” over the coming decades, according to a draft of a major new United Nations report. Global warming is already cutting grain production by several percentageContinue Reading