Category Archives: Environmental Law

Is FEMA Ready For a Tumultuous Future?

We face a future of increasing peril from disasters. One reason is climate change; another is that more people live in coastal areas where risks are especially high.We’re currently seeing the results of climate change in the California fires, and we saw both factors at work in last year’s flooding in Houston after Hurricane Harvey. FEMA is on the front line for dealing with these risks.Unfortunately, it  isn’t ready for what it awaits it. FEMA’s most prominent mission is disaster response. But it also has other important roles in connection with disasters.  Society faces increasingly grave risks, with climate change amplifying extreme weather and more and more people crowding into high-risk zones. In short, FEMA’s role is only going to get larger. Here are some of its many roles and critical needs for improvement. Disaster Response. When people think of FEMA, they envision rescuers finding victims and taking them to safety. FEMA does….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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68 Law Professors Urge Withdrawal of EPA Proposal to Limit Use of Best Science in Agency Rulemakings

Today, on behalf of 68 environmental and administrative law professors affiliated with 47 universities around the country, Sean Hecht and I filed a comment letter urging EPA’s Acting Administrator Wheeler to withdraw the misleadingly-named “Strengthening Transparency in Science” proposed rule.  My Legal Planet colleague, Dan Farber, has written here and here about some of the proposed rule’s defects.   Many thanks go to Dan, Amanda Leiter, and Justin Pidot for their invaluable contributions to the comment letter! Under the auspices of promoting increased transparency, the proposed rule would make sweeping changes to the way that EPA uses science in regulatory decision-making processes.  More specifically, the rule, as written, would foreclose EPA’s ability to rely on important peer-reviewed scientific studies that inform key environmental protections, like safe drinking water standards and pesticide regulations, because the….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Registration Opens for NNI Webinar on NanoEHS and Nanomedicine

Registration has opened for an August 20, 2018, webinar on “NanoEHS and Nanomedicine:  Similarities and Synergisms.”  The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) notes that there are many synergies between nanomedicine research, which addresses (among other topics) issues of efficacy and safety, and studies on the environmental, health, and safety effects of nanomaterials (nanoEHS), which include the exploration of potential toxicity and exposures.  Research in these complementary fields continues to grow, and this webinar will explore ways that these disciplines can support and augment each other.  Panelists will provide a comparative overview of these two disciplines and discuss how each field’s tools and approaches have developed and how they can inform each other.  The panel will offer perspectives on the opportunities for practitioners and researchers in both areas to tackle common challenges.  Dr. Mark Hoover, Senior….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Arkema Indictment

On August, 3, 2018, Arkema (a French chemical company), Richard Rowe (Arkema CEO) and Leslie Comardelle (Arkema’s plant manager), were indicted by a Harris County grand jury for the reckless emission of an air contaminant in violation of the Texas Water Code. A few friends have already written about the indictment (Mark L. Farley and Paige Gallaspy at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP and Benjamin H. Patton and Mary M. Balaster at Reed Smith LLP). Here are links to the two blog posts: https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=d7dbcb23-7887-409d-8966-573a3a50f874&utm_source=lexology+daily+newsfeed&utm_medium=html+email+-+body+-+general+section&utm_campaign=lexology+subscriber+daily+feed&utm_content=lexology+daily+newsfeed+2018-08-13&utm_term and….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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A Bush Administration Cover-up or Prosecutorial Discretion?

In a copyrighted story, the Environment News Service reports as follows (and for more on the story, you can get the actual documents at http://www.oversight.house.gov/): Bush Administration Covered Up 500+ Blocked Water Pollution Cases Updated 2:36 AM CST, Wed, Dec….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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