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China Needs Urgent Oversight of Investments

China Dialogue
December 1, 2017

With the advent of the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s ever-increasing overseas investments have been attracting more attention. In Latin America alone, China has direct investments worth over US$110 billion, and in countries such as Brazil, China’s investments rank alongside those of the US and Spain. Read more »

China Grants Environmental Law Institute Temporary Registration to Enhance the Environmental Law System in China

December 2017

(Washington, DC): The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) is pleased to announce that it received approvals from China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) and Beijing Bureau of Public Security to begin work on its project to build the capacity of Nongovernmental Organizations (NGO) to more fully engage in the environmental litigation process in China – a project supported by the Hewlett Foundation and the Tilia Fund. ELI will work together with its local partner China Environmental Protection Foundation (CEPF) on this project. Read more »

Report: Illegal Fishing Should be Major National Security Issue

USNI News
November 16, 2017

Illegal and unregulated fishing supports transnational crime, piracy, insurgency and terrorism and should be treated as a national security issue, a new report from the National Geographic Society and the Center for Strategic and International Studies says. Read more »

Hurricane Harvey: Texas' buyout plan to cope with floods may be unprecedented

E&E EnergyWire
November 8, 2017

Officials in the Houston area have asked Congress to pay for one of the largest home buyout programs ever, maybe even the biggest, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. If the money is approved in Washington, which is by no means certain, the Harris County Flood Control District would buy and demolish 5,000 homes and other buildings in the floodplain, using $800 million in federal money. Two other branches of Harris County's government have asked for $329 million to buy out 1,725 homes. . . .

Memo To EPA Chief Pruitt: Let’s End Subsidies For Fossil Fuels, Not Renewables

Huffington Post
October 24, 2017

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt recently proposed eliminating federal tax credits for wind and solar power, arguing that they should “stand on their own and compete against coal and natural gas and other sources” as opposed to “being propped up by tax incentives and other types of credits....”  Stand on their own?  Pruitt surely must be aware that fossil fuels have been feasting at the government trough for at least 100 years. Renewables, by comparison, have received support only since the mid-1990s and, until recently, have had to subsist on scraps. . Read more »

Alumni Profiles: Xiao Recio-Blanco LLM ’12, SJD ’15

Duke Law News
October 11, 2017

As the director of the Ocean Program at the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), Xiao Recio-Blanco oversees a range of projects directed at the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources. Recio-Blanco manages initiatives along a broad spectrum of legal frameworks involving domestic and international law. Read more »

WOTUS rollback seen as death blow for 'very unique habitat'

Greenwire (E&E)
October 2, 2017

POCOSIN LAKES NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, N.C. — Tea-colored water seeps from bogs here in eastern North Carolina's soggy, shrubby "blacklands," as local farmers call them. The Algonquin Indians called them pocosins. "They're not the most charismatic wetland," said Eric Soderholm, a wetland-restoration specialist for the Nature Conservancy. "But their impact on the ecosystem is invaluable." Pocosins serve as ecological sentries regulating freshwater quantity and quality in estuaries. But they are also coveted by farmers for their rich soil. Read more »

Lawsuit Seeks Legal Rights for the Colorado River

seeker.com
September 26, 2017

There’s an old saying in the arid American West: Whiskey’s for drinking — water’s for fighting. Now the perennial fights over the Colorado River, the biggest source of that water, may be taking on a new dimension. Environmental groups have asked a federal judge in Denver to declare the Colorado an entity with legal rights comparable to people. A win could require governments to consider the rights and interests of the already-overdrawn river before allowing new claims on its water, said attorney Jason Flores-Williams, who filed the suit Monday . . . .

WE&RF Awards Research Contract To Develop Alternative Sustainable Business Cases For Co-Digestion

Water Online
September 25, 2017

The Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) recently awarded a contract to the Environmental Law Institute to begin Food Waste Co-Digestion at Wastewater Resource Recovery Facilities: Business Case Analysis (ENER19C17). The project goal is to develop alternative sustainable business cases for wastewater resource recovery facilities to co-digest food waste, including fats, oil, and grease (FOG), food manufacturing residuals, and source separated organics. Read more »

Chemical Industry Eyes New Chance to Drive EPA Risk Analyses

Bloomberg BNA
July 18, 2017

Chemical makers convinced their products are safe can now ask the EPA for a risk assessment, which could be used to allay concerns raised by customers, states, or the public.