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Category Archives: Environmental Law

Southwest sliding into a drier climate

News release: “The weather patterns that typically bring moisture to the southwestern United States are becoming more rare, an indication that the region is sliding into the drier climate state predicted by global models, according to a new study. “A normal year in the Southwest is now drier than it once was,” said Andreas Prein, a postdoctoral researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) who led the study. “If you have a drought nowadays, it will be more severe because our base state is drier. Climate models generally agree that human-caused climate change will push the southwestern United States to become drier. And in recent years, the region has been stricken by drought. But linking model predictions to changes on the ground is challenging. In the new study–published online today in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, a publication of the American Geophysical Union–NCAR researchers grapple with the root cause of current drying in the Southwest to better understand how it might be connected to a warming climate.”

EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track

EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track? James E. McCarthy, Specialist in Environmental Policy; Claudia Copeland, Specialist in Resources and Environmental Policy. February 9, 2016. “Since Barack Obama was sworn in as President in 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed and promulgated numerous regulations to implement the pollution control statutes enactedContinue Reading

USGS Increases Public Access to Scientific Research

News release:  “The U.S. Geological Survey is implementing new measures that will improve public access to USGS-funded science as detailed in its new public access plan. The plan enables the USGS to expand  its current on-line gateways to provide free public access to scholarly research and supporting data produced in full or in part withContinue Reading

Dive Against Debris: Employing 25,600 scuba divers to collect data

Via Data Driven Journalism – “To date, Dive Against Debris surveys have been conducted in over 50 countries, with the top reporting countries being the United States, Thailand and Greece. As more divers get involved with Dive Against Debris, Project AWARE continues to bring visibility to the problem of marine debris and helps to identifyContinue Reading

Lawsuit Prompts Offshore Fracking Moratorium Off California Coast

Center for Biological Diversity, January 29, 2016 – “The federal government must stop approving offshore fracking from oil platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel under a legal settlement filed today in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The agreement resolves a Center for Biological Diversity lawsuit that challenged the U.S. Department of the Interior’s practiceContinue Reading

Linking ‘toxic outliers’ to environmental justice communities

Environ. Res. Lett. 11 (2016) 015004 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/1/015004. Linking ‘ toxic outliers ’ to environmental justice communities, Mary B Collins, Ian Munoz and Joseph JaJa “Several key studies have found that a small minority of producers, polluting at levels far exceeding group averages, generate the majority of overall exposure to industrial toxics. Frequently, such patterns goContinue Reading

Natural gas leak at CA storage site raises environmental concerns

EIA report, February 1, 2016 – “On October 23, 2015, Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) detected a major leak at Aliso Canyon, an underground natural gas storage facility located 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The Aliso Canyon storage facility, which has 115 wells, is the second-largest natural gas storage field in the western UnitedContinue Reading

International Law and Domestic Legislation in Sustainable Management of Transboundary Watercourses

Kofele-Kale, Ndiva and Gonzaga, Fausto Mendanha, International Law and Domestic Legislation in the Sustainable Management of Transboundary Watercourses: The Case of the Amazon River Basin (2011). Journal of Environmental Law & Litigation, Vol. 26, No. 1, 2011; SMU Dedman School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 235. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2724127 “TheContinue Reading

Rolling Stone – Who Poisoned Flint, Michigan?

Stephen Rodrick – A writer returns home to find a toxic disaster, giant government failure and countless children exposed to lead “Recently, Michigan was forced to declare a state of emergency in Flint. Some of the public servants involved have resigned. Now, the feds and the state are investigating what one water expert calls oneContinue Reading

Paper – Linking ‘toxic outliers’ to environmental justice communities

Linking ‘toxic outliers’ to environmental justice communities. Mary B Collins, Ian Munoz and Joseph JaJa. Published 26 January 2016 © 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd • Environmental Research Letters, Volume 11, Number 1 “Several key studies have found that a small minority of producers, polluting at levels far exceeding group averages, generate the majority of overallContinue Reading

GAO Reports – Banking Compliance, Defense Infrastructure, Small Business Investment Companies, Water Infrastructure

Banking: Federal Agencies’ Compliance with Section 302 of the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act, GAO-16-213R: Published: Jan 27, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 27, 2016. Defense Infrastructure: Improvement Needed in Energy Reporting and Security Funding at Installations with Limited Connectivity, GAO-16-164: Published: Jan 27, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 27, 2016. Small Business Investment Companies:Continue Reading

NOAA, CIRES study: Wind, sun could eclipse fossil fuels for electric power by 2030

NOAA – “The United States could slash greenhouse gas emissions from power production by up to 78 percent below 1990 levels within 15 years while meeting increased demand, according to a new study by NOAA and University of Colorado Boulder researchers. The study used a sophisticated mathematical model to evaluate future cost, demand, generation andContinue Reading