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Category Archives: Environmental Law

US Complaint Against Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche for Alleged Clean Air Act Violations

“The Department of Justice, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), [on January 4, 2016] filed a civil complaint in federal court in Detroit, Michigan, against Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, Volkswagen Group of America Inc., Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations LLC, Porsche AG and Porsche Cars North America Inc. (collectively referred to asContinue Reading

The Animal Welfare Act: Background and Selected Animal Welfare Legislation

CRS – The Animal Welfare Act: Background and Selected Animal Welfare Legislation, Tadlock Cowan, Analyst in Natural Resources and Rural Development. January 5, 2016. “In 1966, Congress passed the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act (P.L. 89-54) to prevent pets from being stolen for sale to research laboratories, and to regulate the humane care and handling ofContinue Reading

USGS Releases First Comprehensive Digitized Geologic Map of Alaska

Geologic map of Alaska Scientific Investigations Map 3340 Compiled by: Frederic H. Wilson, Chad P. Hults, Charles G. Mull, and Susan M. Karl. DOI: 10.3133/sim3340 “This map and associated digital databases are the result of compilation and interpretation of published and unpublished 1:250,000-scale and limited 1:500,000- to 1:63,360-scale maps. Covering the entire state of Alaska,Continue Reading

EPA Releases First of Four Preliminary Risk Assessments for Insecticides Potentially Harmful to Bees

EPA news release: “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a preliminary pollinator risk assessment for the neonicotinoid insecticide, imidacloprid, which shows a threat to some pollinators. EPA’s assessment, prepared in collaboration with California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation, indicates that imidacloprid potentially poses risk to hives when the pesticide comes in contact with certain cropsContinue Reading

Atlantic investigates federal government as majority landowner in some states

Via Andrew McGill, a senior associate editor at The Atlantic: “But out west, the government lays claim to huge, state-sized swaths of land—more than 630 million acres, greater than the landmass of Texas, California, Florida and New York combined. In some states, government agencies are the biggest landowner; in Nevada, 80 percent of land isContinue Reading

Monthly Energy Review – December 2015

US Energy Information Administration: “A publication of recent and historical energy statistics. This publication includes statistics on total energy production, consumption, and trade; energy prices; overviews of petroleum, natural gas, coal, electricity, nuclear energy, renewable energy, and international petroleum; carbon dioxide emissions; and data unit conversion values.”

Unabated LA area gas leak compared to BP oil spill

Los Angeles Daily News, Susan Abram – “Eight weeks after that call was made, the leak continues. It has caused massive disruption in the northwestern San Fernando Valley community of Porter Ranch, an affluent community of nearly 31,000 residents about 28 miles from downtown Los Angeles. More than 1,800 families have been relocated by theContinue Reading

Open Pit Mine in Extraordinarily High Peruvian City Poisoning Citizens With Lead

National Geographic: “Latin America over the past decade has seen its mining sector triple in value to $300 billion. Peru’s economy, among the fastest growing, derives one-sixth of its gross domestic product from minerals. At Cerro de Pasco, you can see the entire history of Peruvian mining —and the costs it sometimes imposes: The mineContinue Reading

NOAA Climate Data Online Search

“The demand for high-value environmental data and information has dramatically increased in recent years. To improve our ability to meet that demand, NOAA’s former three data centers—the National Climatic Data Center, the National Geophysical Data Center, and the National Oceanographic Data Center, which includes the National Coastal Data Development Center—have merged into the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).Continue Reading

Record breaking North Pole Storm Pushes Temps to 50 degrees

Washington Post: “A powerful winter cyclone — the same storm that lead to two tornado outbreaks in the United States and disastrous river flooding — has driven the North Pole to the freezing point this week, 50 degrees above average for this time of year. From Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning, a mind-boggling pressure drop was recordedContinue Reading

H.R. 1321, the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015

On Monday, December 28, 2015, the President signed into law H.R. 1321, the “Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015,” which prohibits the manufacture and introduction into interstate commerce of rinse-off cosmetics containing intentionally-added plastic microbeads.

Paper – 58 million trees in California may be victims of drought

Newsweek: “The past four years of punishing drought have badly hurt California’s forests. Rain was scarce, the days were too hot, and this year’s wildfire season was the worst anyone has seen in years, burning up nearly 10 million acres across the West. For the first time, a team of researchers has measured the severity ofContinue Reading