Online Articles

Clarifying the Endangered Species Act’s “Distinct Population Segment” Policy Through the Lens of Grizzly Bears

April 5, 2019 by Max Chaffetz Endangered Species Environmental Law Review Syndicate Federal Rollbacks Litigation Regulations Wildlife

How does the Endangered Species Act’s “Distinct Population Segment” policy apply to the iconic grizzly bear? Read more in this analysis posted via the Environmental Law Review Syndicate.

By Max Chaffetz, Managing Editor, Virginia​ Environmental Law Journal

Is drilling “essential”?: Oil and gas leasing and permitting in the 2019 shutdown

March 1, 2019 by Sara Divett Energy Fossil Fuels Natural Resources Regulations

The Trump administration issued oil and gas drilling permits during the most recent shutdown without approval or appropriations by Congress and without following procedures for public participation. Can the administration really do this? If not, how do environmentalists prevent this from happening in future shutdowns?

Did You Get the Memo? Latest Guidance from Trump’s EPA Sparks Controversy

February 21, 2019 by Kathryn Priester Air Energy Federal Rollbacks Fossil Fuels Litigation Regulations

Environmental groups and the State of California are up in arms over an EPA memo scrapping a decades-old Clean Air Act policy. Will the DC Circuit weigh in on the EPA’s use of “guidance” to drastically shift US regulatory policy?

Leaving Investors in the Dark: the SEC’s Growing Silence on Guidance Related to the Business and Legal Developments on Climate Change

February 7, 2019 by Capriel Stevenson Climate change Federal Rollbacks Regulations

The physical impacts of climate change affect companies and their profitability drastically. The SEC released guidance in 2010 urging companies to disclose the risks from climate change but has not further urged companies in recent years. Instead, the SEC has shifted towards regulating other issues the current administration has prioritized, leaving investors in the dark about the financial impacts climate change has on businesses.

Ar-bear-trary and Capricious: The Trump Administration Gets Grizzly

October 18, 2018 by Gregory Harned Endangered Species Litigation Regulations Wildlife

This federal district court’s decision [to reverse the de-listing of the grizzly] has angered state officials and sparked a new debate about federalism and institutional competence

Cars in traffic on a highway near a body of water

Revisiting Criminal Culpability Under the Clean Air Act in the Wake of ‘Dieselgate’

October 9, 2018 by Spencer Shweky Air Fossil Fuels Litigation Regulations

It has now been just over 3 years since the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) first informed the public that Volkswagen, at the time the world's largest automaker, had installed ‘cheat devices’ designed to evade U.S. regulators in hundreds of thousands of their cars. Ultimately, the automaker paid a $2.8 billion criminal fine, and 9 executives and employees were charged with violating the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) and Title 18 of the United States code (the main criminal code of the federal government). Interestingly, though, no one was actually held criminally liable for the pollution itself.

Birmingham Bribery Trial Ends, but Who Should Pay for the 35th Avenue Superfund Site?

October 4, 2018 by Jie Yang Chemicals Litigation Regulations

Over the summer, a big firm lawyer and a coke company’s senior executive were both convicted of bribing a former state legislator in order to prevent the EPA from listing the 35th Avenue Superfund Site located in north Birmingham, Alabama on the National Priorities List. How did this corruption happen, and what were the underlying causes?