environmental protection agency Archives - State of the Planet

The Slow but Steady Progression Toward Environmental Sustainability

As 2017 ends and 2018 begins, many of us reflect on the year that has past and think about the year to come. In the United States we have had a year filled with disappointment but sparked by hope.

by |December 27, 2017

Responding to the Attack on Environmental Regulation

Last week, the new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt attacked his own agency in an address to the Conservative Political Action summit. The attack on environmental regulation by the head of EPA is a remarkable nightmare. Fortunately, in our federal system, state and local officials will be able to fill in if the federal government refuses to act.

by |February 27, 2017

Why Are Mines Still Polluting? The Money’s Not There

Across the nation, abandoned mine sites continue to pollute the environment for decades as acid mine drainage flows into rivers and streams. A 1980 law was supposed to fix that, but lack of funding and enforcement have left the public stuck with the bill.

by |December 20, 2016

Leon Billings, Tom Jorling and the Origins of U.S. Environmental Law

If you had the experience of hearing Leon Billings teach and tell stories, it is hard to believe his voice is no longer with us. He was a great American and an important figure in American environmental history.

by |November 21, 2016

New Rules to Hold Mining Industry Accountable for Cleanups

A federal court has ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that mining companies provide financial assurance that they can pay for any harm to the environment from their operations.

by |May 31, 2016

How Can Federal and City Governments Cooperate? The Case of Green Infrastructure

With support from the Earth Institute, writers Caswell Holloway, Carter Strickland, Michael Gerrard, and Daniel Firger recently published “Solving the CSO Conundrum: Green Infrastructure and the Unfulfilled Promise of Federal-Municipal Cooperation” in Harvard Environmental Law Review. The authors propose regulatory and policy reform to develop comprehensive, locally led infrastructure and sustainability initiatives that improve public health and the environment. They look specifically at the case of water management as an opportunity for federal and local governments to work cooperatively, specifically through the implementation of green infrastructure systems.

by |September 9, 2014

A Major Legal Victory for Climate Science

     Though most attention last week focused on the Supreme Court ruling upholding federal reform of the health-care system, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued the most important judicial decision on climate change in five years.  That decision upholds the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gases, and it… read more

by |July 2, 2012