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Atlantic Coast permit pileup: Where things stand

E&E EnergyWire (by Pamela King)
February 7, 2019

Though the Atlantic Coast pipeline's path winds through mountainous Appalachia, the contentious gas project may face its biggest uphill battle in court.

Over the last two months, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has instructed or allowed federal agencies to revisit a slate of critical approvals for the gas pipeline. The court's Dec. 7 delay of a key Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Act review, which the 4th Circuit has now twice rejected, led developers to halt construction.

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How the 2008 Mitigation Rule Helped Developers and Built a Restoration Economy

Ecosystem Marketplace (by Genevieve Bennett)
January 31, 2019

Legal scholar Zechariah Chafee, Jr, said it best: “Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man’s nose begins,” he wrote in 1919, attributing the quote to an unnamed judge – and reflecting the fundamental challenge of all regulation, including the rules and laws that protect the waters of the United States. The Clean Water Act (CWA), for example, evolved over decades, as

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Environmental Laws Won’t Fix Climate Change Unless We Enforce Them, New UN Report Says

Motherboard (by Kaleigh Rogers)
January 24, 2019

The number of environmental protection laws around the world has increased 38-fold since 1972, but a lack of sufficient enforcement has rendered many of them useless, a new United Nations report has found.

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Rare pangolins languish in China wildlife rescue system

Washington Post (by Christina Larson / AP)
January 24, 2019

When Chinese police found them in the trunk of a smuggler’s car, 33 of the trafficked pangolins — endangered scaly mammals from southern China — were still alive, wrapped in plastic bags soaked with their own urine.

But the fate of the creatures — whose scales are worth nearly their weight in silver on the black market — was not a happy one. Every last pangolin died in government captivity within a few months of the August 2017 seizure.

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UN: Poor Enforcement of Laws Worsens Environmental Threats

New York Times (by Associated Press)
January 24, 2019

A United Nations report says that a global failure to enforce environmental protection laws is exacerbating threats.

The report from the United Nations Environment Program released Thursday says there is a lack of monitoring agencies capable of effectively enforcing laws. It says poor implementation is one of the "greatest challenges to mitigating climate change, reducing pollution and preventing widespread species and habitat loss."

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EPA, Agriculture leaders rally farmers in Wilson County for clean water rule replacement

Nashville Tennessean (by Mike Reicher)
December 18, 2018

Top federal officials traveled to the Wilson County fairgrounds outside of Nashville Tuesday to promote the Trump Administration's proposal to weaken a federal clean water regulation. Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue called on Tennessee farmers to engage in the contentious debate. Trump officials want to limit which bodies of water are subject to the Clean Water Act, the 1972 landmark legislation that protects streams, rivers and other bodies of water from uncontrolled development and pollution. . .

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Movers and Shakers

Politico's Morning Energy (by Kelsey Tamborrino)
November 8, 2018

The Environmental Law Institute has added six new members to its leadership council: Jeanne Cohn-Connor, William J. Jackson, J. Scott Janoe, Shailesh Sahay, Fred Wagner and Peter H. Weiner. Read their bios here.

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Rights Groups Call for Greater Attention to Environmental Security in Armed Conflicts

Jurist (by Erik Slobe)
November 7, 2018

Amnesty International released two public statements on Tuesday regarding environmental security during war and armed conflicts. One statement addressed to the Chair of the UN General Assembly First Committee called upon the Chair to address environmental impacts of particular weapons and military practices and identify measures to minimize harm. The statement notes that in addition to the cost of human life, weapons destroy water, sanitation, and energy infrastructure and creates hazardous waste that has further impacts on human health.

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Trump’s plan to have Jim Mattis fast-track part of the border wall could backfire

Washington Examiner (by Travis J. Tritten)
November 5, 2018

President Trump's plan to have the Pentagon quickly build part of the wall on the U.S. border with Mexico is now facing years of potential delays because of environmental reviews.

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Obama team assembles again to toast Lisa Jackson

E&E Greenwire (by Robin Bravender)
October 24, 2018

Lisa Jackson's fan club had a reunion last night. The Obama-era EPA administrator returned to Washington, where she was surrounded by her former team and celebrated for her work at the agency, even as some of her efforts are being rolled back by the Trump administration. Trump EPA officials were at the swanky hotel dinner, too, where Jackson — now an executive at Apple Inc. — steered clear of criticizing the administration. Jackson, who led EPA from 2009 until early 2013, was given an environmental achievement award by the nonpartisan Environmental Law Institute.

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