Category Archives: Environmental Law

Admiralty Professor Haycraft Reports from the Courthouse Steps on the Dutra v. Batterton Supreme Court Argument

This morning I attended oral argument at the United States Supreme Court in the maritime case of Dutra Group v. Batterton.[1]  The question in the case is whether a Jones Act seaman may recover punitive damages on an unseaworthiness claim.  Former Solicitor General Seth Waxman argued for Petitioner Dutra Group and David Frederick argued for Respondent Christopher Batterton. Waxman began his argument by explaining that Miles v. Apex set boundaries constraining what common law admiralty courts can do when Congress has legislated as it has in the Jones Act.  He was quickly interrupted by Justice Sotomayor who noted that the Jones Act was enacted to supplement, not restrict, remedies available to a seaman.  Justices Ginsberg and Kagan also pressed Waxman, with Kagan questioning why unseaworthiness doctrine has evolved over the past few decades, becoming more favorable to the seaman, if the Jones Act in 1920 constrained the common law admiralty courts? But….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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LEED Credit is Designed to Eliminate Illegal Wood in Buildings

The U.S. Green Building Council is being applauded for the release last week of the new pilot credit intended “to reduce the risk that illegally sourced, harvested or traded wood products are used in building.” The LEED BD+C: New Construction v4 MRpc127 – Timber Traceability pilot credit “is designed to up efforts to eliminate the use of illegal wood in buildings.” There may be no single subject matter more discussed with over the more than 20 year history of LEED than forest product certification. That this new pilot credit continues the discussion of trees is positive. But make no mistake, this new alternative compliance path credit does not alter the existing LEED credit, NC-v4 MRc3: Building product disclosure and optimization – sourcing of raw material, that requires, Wood products must be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council or USGBC-approved equivalent. This new pilot credit also leaves in place the 2016 pilot credit MRpc102….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Court Holds Bureau of Land Management Failed to Consider Climate Change in Issuing Licenses

This week the Federal District Court for  the District of Columbia found that the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to adequately consider the potential impacts of oil and gas leases on climate change. In Wildearth Guardians v. Zinke, the Court noted: “Climate change, and humanity’s ability to combat it, are increasingly prominent topics of public discourse. This case concerns the attention the government must give climate change when taking action that may increase its effects.” At issue are a number of oil and gas leases on federal lands. The Plaintiffs’ claim that the BLM should have prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for these leases, claiming the BLM failed to take into account the impact of greenhouse gas emissions from the activities that would be performed under the leases. In granting summary judgment to the Plaintiffs and remanding the matter for further review by the BLM, the Court held: “Before the….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Fewer Cases Being Investigated and Prosecuted

Criminal prosecutions are down. http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/nation/story/5CE8C09824FE8F87862573670006FA06?OpenDocument This story ran yesterday in a lot of newspapers. Now, the USEPA and the DOJ claim that they are getting more “quality” prosecutions. But the questions remain. The old adage is true – actions speak….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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“Stories from the NNI” Discusses Nanotechnology and Workplace Safety with Dr. Chuck Geraci

The March 18, 2019, episode of the National Nanotechnology Initiative’s (NNI) podcast series, “Stories from the NNI,” is a conservation with Dr. Chuck Geraci, Associate Director for Emerging Technologies at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).  Dr. Lisa Friedersdorf, Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO), and Dr. Geraci discuss how NIOSH works with industry to ensure workplace safety, the progress that has been made in the environmental, health, and safety effects of nanomaterials (nanoEHS) over the last 15 years, and areas where nanotechnology can help solve problems in the future.  Other recent episodes include guests such as Dr. Marcie Black, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Co-Founder of Advanced Silicon Group, Martin Ben-Dayan, CEO and Founder of MetaShield LLC, and Professor Pedro Alvarez of Rice University... To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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