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Mount Laurel and Climate Change

Harvard Magazine (by Cherone Duggan)
November 1, 2019

"The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying, ‘This is mine,’ and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society.” So argued Jean-Jacques Rousseau in 1754. And so bemoans anyone who wants to tackle the might of NIMBYism and local property rights in the global fight against climate change today. . . .

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Increasingly popular single-use bans pose hurdle for plastics industry

Waste Dive (by E.A. Crunden)
October 25, 2019

When it comes to plastics policy, recent momentum appears to be on the side of environmentalists. Bans and taxes on plastic bags are increasingly common across the United States and in other countries, while items like plastic straws are growing more controversial. Those worried about potential pollution and toxicity associated with plastics see the trend as critical to rectifying environmental issues. But during a recent afternoon panel in Washington, D.C., members of the industry pushed back on that narrative. . . .

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LSU Law Professor Nick Bryner receives Environmental Futures Award

LSU Law
October 23, 2019

At a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Oct. 22, the Environmental Law Institute honored LSU Law Professor Nick Bryner with an Environmental Futures Award, which the nonprofit presents to “the next generation of leaders striving to address the environmental challenges of tomorrow.” Bryner spent a year working for the Environmental Law Institute after graduating from George Washington University Law School in 2012, but his interest in environmental issues that affect public health was sparked long before then. . . .

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This Week in Logistics News (October 5 – 11)

Logistics Viewpoints (by Chris Cunnane)
October 11, 2019

During a lunchtime keynote at the GreenTech 2019 conference, hosted by the Environmental Law Institute in Seattle, Amazon Prime Air vice president Gur Kimchi laid out the company’s vision for drone deliveries. Amazon looks at drone deliveries in a few ways. First, especially with all the attention being paid to environmental protection, every drone delivery is “a package not delivered by a car.” . . .

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Greening the supply chain: more carrot, less stick

FreightWaves (by Linda Baker)
October 4, 2019

From blockchain to 3D printing, new technologies have the potential to green the supply chain across industry sectors, and government can accelerate the process with new performance-based regulations. That was one of the main takeaways of Green Tech 2019, a two-day green technology conference that took place in Seattle this week, hosted by the Environmental Law Institute, a non-profit policy group. . . .

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Amazon Prime Air VP touts environmental, safety benefits of drone delivery (with video)

FreightWaves (by Linda Baker)
October 3, 2019

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Prime Air vice president Gur Kimchi held an audience of clean technology and environmental policy experts spellbound as he laid out the company’s vision of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) darting around the sky delivering packages to consumers in 30 minutes or less. ”We are very comfortable that the economics of this business are great,” said Kimchi, in a reference to the Prime Air delivery drone, an electric aircraft that is capable of both a helicopter-like vertical takeoff and landing as well as forward flight.

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Big Environmental Term for Supreme Court? Too Soon to Tell

Bloomberg Law (by Ellen M. Gilmer)
October 2, 2019

The Supreme Court’s environmental docket is still in flux just days from the launch of its new term, which begins Oct. 7. One of two high-stakes pollution cases on the calendar might not happen at all, and the court hasn’t yet decided whether to add more. Debates over natural gas pipelines, climate change, and the Flint water crisis are vying for the justices’ attention. Challenges to the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks, meanwhile, are inching ahead in lower jurisdictions.

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Opponents fear case has already been built for Bay Bridge option

Bay Journal (by Jeremy Cox)
October 1, 2019

After three years of high-stakes analysis and sometimes-clamorous rhetoric over environmental and community impacts, four possible courses of action remain on the table for dealing with heavy traffic on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland. The Maryland Transportation Authority in August proposed three possible routes for a new span, which would be the third to cross the Bay in the state. The agency also included a so-called “no-build” option — managing the congestion without constructing a new bridge. . . .

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Repealing the Clean Water Rule will swamp the Trump administration in wetland litigation

The Conversation (by Patrick Parenteau)
September 24, 2019

The question of which streams, lakes, wetlands and other water bodies across the U.S. should receive federal protection under the Clean Water Act has been a major controversy in environmental law over the past 20 years. The latest twist came on Sept. 9, 2019, when U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Army Assistant Secretary R.D. James signed a final rule repealing the Obama administration’s “Clean Water Rule.” . . .

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Lawyers Expect EPA’s New CWA 401 Plan To Spur Lengthy Litigation ‘Mess’

InsideEPA (by Lara Beaven)
September 23, 2019

EPA’s proposal to scale back state authority under Clean Water Act (CWA) section 401 to review whether federally permitted projects will harm state water quality standards is likely to prompt “lots of litigation” from states and environmentalists, if finalized, that could last for years, according to a former EPA attorney and other lawyers. “It’s going to be a mess for a long time,” Mark Ryan, who spent 24 years as one of EPA's leading CWA experts and chief trial attorneys, said of expected litigation challenging any final CWA 401 rule. . . .

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