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Category Archives: Environmental Law

GAO – Combating Wildlife Trafficking

Combating Wildlife Trafficking: Agencies Are Taking a Range of Actions, but the Task Force Lacks Performance Targets for Assessing Progress, GAO-16-717: Published: Sep 22, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 2016.
Africa’s iconic elephants and rhinos face extinction The illegal trade in wildlife is worth an estimated $7 billion to $23 billion annually—and is pushing some animals to the brink of extinction. To help combat wildlife trafficking and the transnational and other criminal groups profiting from it, President Obama established a federal task force in 2013. While the task force has helped address trafficking by assisting local law enforcement and supporting conservation efforts, it is difficult to gauge its progress. We recommend that the task force develop specific performance targets to assess progress and identify areas for improvement.”

Paper – A Brief History of Marine Litter Research

Marine Anthropogenic Litter pp 1-25. 02 June 2015. A Brief History of Marine Litter Research. Peter G. Ryan. 10.1007/978-3-319-16510-3_1 “This chapter traces the history of marine litter research from anecdotal reports of entanglement and plastic ingestion in the 1960s to the current focus on microplastics and their role in the transfer of persistent organic pollutants to marine… Continue Reading

Medications in public wastewater focuses need for better safeguards

Mental Floss – “A new study reveals that most of the high concentrations of pharmaceuticals in wastewater don’t come from people flushing their meds willy-nilly down the toilet, as New Scientist reports. Rather, we are flushing meds through our bodies into the sewers.  In a new study in Science of the Total Environment, scientists collected wastewater… Continue Reading

Sea-Level Rise and U.S. Coasts: Science and Policy Considerations

CRS report via FAS – Sea-Level Rise and U.S. Coasts: Science and Policy Considerations, Peter Folger – Specialist in Energy and Natural Resources Policy; Nicole T. Carter, Specialist in Natural Resources Policy. September 12, 2016. “Some states, such as Florida and Louisiana, and U.S. territories have a considerable share of their assets, people, economies, and… Continue Reading

Study – How Much Do You Pollute? Individuals Can Calculate Their Bay Footprint

Chesapeake Bay Foundation: “If everyone in the Chesapeake Bay drainage area consumed only the recommended amount of protein, the associated reductions in nitrogen pollution would be equivalent to what is needed to save the Chesapeake Bay. That is one of the findings of an exercise by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and the University of… Continue Reading

Oceana report – Deceptive Dishes: Seafood Swaps Found Worldwide

Oceana – “Seafood fraud is a serious global problem that undermines honest businesses and fishermen that play by the rules. It also threatens consumer health and puts our oceans at risk. As global fishing becomes more expansive and further industrialized, seafood fraud and its related impacts could get even worse. This update of Oceana’s 2014 review of seafood fraud studies demonstrates the global scope of the problem,… Continue Reading

Volkswagen Engineer Pleads Guilty for His Role in Conspiracy to Cheat U.S. Emissions Tests

DOJ news release: “James Robert Liang, a Volkswagen engineer, pleaded guilty today for his role in a nearly 10-year conspiracy to defraud U.S. regulators and U.S. Volkswagen customers by implementing software specifically designed to cheat U.S. emissions tests in hundreds of thousands of Volkswagen “clean diesel” vehicles, the Justice Department announced today.  Liang’s plea agreement… Continue Reading

Climate Change: Frequently Asked Questions about the 2015 Paris Agreement

CRS report via FAS  – Climate Change: Frequently Asked Questions about the 2015 Paris Agreement, Jane A. Leggett, Specialist in Energy and Environmental Policy; Richard K. Lattanzio, Specialist in Environmental Policy. September 1, 2016. “Experts broadly agree that stabilizing greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere to avoid dangerous GHG-induced climate change could be accomplished… Continue Reading

Will NYC become a gradual Atlantis?

New York Magazine – Even locals who believe climate change is real have a hard time grasping that their city will almost certainly be flooded beyond recognition, by Andrew Rice “Klaus Jacob, a German professor affiliated with Columbia’s University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, is a geophysicist by profession and a doomsayer by disposition. I’ve gotten to… Continue Reading

Google – The Hidden World of National Parks

Via Google – Follow rangers on a [visual] journey to places most people never go. Discover America’s national parks in a new way – Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico, Utah, Florida. Continue Reading

Volkswagen Agrees to Record Settlement in Emissions Case

FTC Charges Volkswagen Deceived Consumers with Its “Clean Diesel” Campaign: In two related settlements, one with the United States and the State of California, and one with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), German automaker Volkswagen AG and related entities have agreed to spend up to $14.7 billion to settle allegations of cheating emissions tests… Continue Reading

Largest protected federal land area designated in Hawaii

Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin: “President Obama will create the largest protected area on the planet by expanding a national marine monument off the coast of his native Hawaii to encompass 582,578 square miles of land and sea. Obama has now used his executive authority under the 1906 Antiquities Act to protect more than 548 million acres… Continue Reading