ELI In the News

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.” . . .

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. . . .

InsideEPA (by David LaRoss)
August 6, 2019

Despite EPA's ongoing efforts to roll back environmental regulations, officials with the Trump administration say they are continuing longstanding efforts to encourage more stringent protections in China but warning that the work faces significant hurdles thanks to core differences in the countries’ legal systems. The ongoing work by EPA and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to export American-style environmental rules showcases an avenue for the White House to bolster protections on a worldwide scale even while cutting rules domestically. But it is unclear how any pollution reduction gains from that international work could potentially offset what critics say are the adverse environmental impacts of regulatory rollbacks in the United States. . . .

Thomson Reuters Foundation (by Carey L. Biron)
July 31, 2019

For some, human rights are not enough - it’s nature’s turn, now. In a growing global movement, environmentalists are trying a new legal route to protect the planet - vesting rivers, reefs and threatened habitats with “rights of nature” that override the long-held human right to harm. Supporters say they are starting to notch victories and see momentum growing, particularly as the rising effects of climate change spur an openness to untried strategies. Critics call the efforts unwieldy, ineffective - or illegal. . . .

E&E News Greenwire (by Jeremy P. Jacobs)
July 9, 2019

Outdoor gear maker Patagonia Inc. will receive the Environmental Law Institute's top award this year, the nonpartisan legal group said today. ELI will honor the Ventura, Calif.-based company's founder, Yvon Chouinard, and CEO Rose Marcario with its "Environmental Achievement Award" at its annual banquet in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 22. . . .

July 2, 2019

As Nigeria looks to deepen its gold industry, the government has stepped up its cooperation with Dubai following President Buhari’s visit to Dubai earlier this year. However, the Environmental Law Institute says Nigeria does not have a well-developed large-scale mining sector, and the majority of gold mining in the country is carried out by artisanal and small-scale miners unlike countries like Ghana and Burkina Faso. Nere Teriba, Vice Chairman of Kian Smith Trade & Co joined CNBC Africa’s Esther Awoniyi for this discussion....

Shale Gas Knowledge Hub (by Jim McElfish)
June 6, 2019

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld a borough’s denial of a conditional use permit for unconventional oil and gas development in an oil and gas overlay zone, ruling that the borough could rely on testimony from residents of an adjacent township about their adverse experiences with development by the same applicant. On May 31, 2019, in EQT Production Co. v. Borough of Jefferson Hills, the Court by 6-1 decision reversed the Commonwealth Court’s 2017 decision which had required the borough to issue the permit for a 30-acre 16-well site.

How Lawyers Can Help Save The Planet
Law 360 (by Michael Gerrard and John Dernbach)
May 21, 2019

Scientific reports, coming in a steady stream, are highlighting the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions so as to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Already, hurricanes, coastal and inland flooding, wildfires, heat waves and other extreme weather events are causing severe economic damage and loss of life, and their increasing severity has been attributed to climate change. The decades to come promise to be even worse. [Click here to read the full article.]

The Narragansett Times (by Philip Cozzolino)
May 20, 2019

Richard Grant has dedicated the last 47 years to helping protect and preserve Narrow River, a lifetime body of work that recently received national attention. As the president of the Narrow River Preservation Association (NRPA), Grant was honored last week by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), being presented with the organization’s 30th anniversary lifetime achievement award at the in Washington, D.C. 

The Nashville Scene (by Margaret Littman)
May 16, 2019

Your next visit to the Nashville Farmers’ Market on Rosa Parks Boulevard will include six new items. No, not necessarily farm-fresh peaches or asparagus, though those will likely be there too, depending on when you arrive. The market is introducing six custom-designed receptacles that allow customers to sort their trash. . . .