Vibrant Environment

All | Biodiversity | Climate Change and Sustainability | Environmental Justice | Governance and Rule of Law | Land Use and Natural Resources | Oceans and Coasts | Pollution Control

All blog posts are the opinion of its author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of ELI, the organization, or its members.

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Bell Peppers

A new Model Executive Order on Municipal Leadership on Food Waste Reduction developed by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) can help municipalities reduce the amount of food wasted throughout municipal operations, highlight the importance of reducing food waste, and demonstrate food waste reduction measures that businesses and o

A map of the United States depicting which states are reliant on WOTUS, and which are not.

On May 25 the Supreme Court, ruling in Sackett v. EPA, sharply limited the scope of the federal Clean Water Act’s protection for the nation’s waters. The Court redefined the Act’s coverage of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS), which has been hotly contested since the Court’s previous 2006 decision in Rapanos v. United States.

water and sky

In 1970, Pres. Richard Nixon issued Reorganization Plan No. 4, creating the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Reorganization Plan No. 3, establishing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Escalante National Monument

On April 3, 2023, the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposed regulations that would update how the agency approaches public land management “by prioritizing the health and resilience of ecosystems across those lands.” The updates are important, and have the potential for significant impact, because BLM manages nearly 10% of the United States, or almost 250 million acres.

nuclear energy

Renewed enthusiasm for nuclear energy is plastering the headlines. The United States’ current network of 92 reactors generates 50.4% of the national share of carbon-free electricity.

Changing Landscape - Joshua Tree Park

California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986—also known as Proposition 65—is widely considered to be a driver of chemical regulation through litigation. And because anyone who provides an alleged violator the requisite notice can bring suit to enforce the Act, including Proposition 65 “bounty hunters,” it also is viewed as a source of significant windfalls for private plaintiffs and their counsel.

Clipper Ship

On April 6, 2023, the Biden Administration launched a substantial effort to revise procedures that govern how federal rules are reviewed, revised, and approved within the federal administrative process. A new Executive Order entitled Modernizing Regulatory Review (E.O. No. 14094) makes revisions to longstanding E.O. No.

sea level rise

One of my roles as ELI’s International Envoy is serving on the Steering Committee of the new Climate Crisis Commission established by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). For those of you unfamiliar with the IUCN, it is a fairly unique international NGO with an extensive interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral membership base that includes governments, other NGOs, practitioners, academics, and the like.

strong women

The soft voice of the public radio host replaced the fading Ella Fitzgerald song as I drove up to the Silver Spring metro station. She announced that it was International Women’s Day. I smiled at the coincidence, as I was about to meet two Ugandan women, civil society leaders, on a recent, cold, overcast spring day. Who knew what a bright morning laid ahead.

heron on riverbank

Every two years, a bill known as the Water Resource Development Act (WRDA) influences how and where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) carries out its broad water management responsibilities throughout the United States.