Vibrant Environment

Environmental Justice

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.

For inquiries concerning ELI’s Vibrant Environment blog, please contact the Blog Editor at

Bird in fence
By Mathy Stanislaus

Communities living near chemical plants—on the “fenceline” in policy parlance—cannot continue to be exposed to cancer causing toxic emissions.

By Sarah Backer

The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, resulting in devastating climate and environmental disruption. According to the Third National Climate Assessment, the Artic is experiencing earlier spring snowmelt, reduced sea ice, widespread glacier retreat, warmer permafrost, drier landscapes, and more intense wildfires, rendering parts of the region uninhabitable. 

Mount Trashmore
By B. Suzi Ruhl, By Alex Alvarez

For decades, the East End neighborhood of Bridgeport, Connecticut, has faced the environmental, health and economic ordeal of Mount Trashmore, a three-story abandoned waste dump. In the 1990s, local community members’ advocacy helped clean up the site. Unfortunately, remediation was incomplete. The site became a magnet for illegal dumping, health hazards, disinvestment, and crime.

Lady Justice statue with blindfold and scales
By James M. McElfish, Jr.

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) published its proposed Phase II National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) rule on July 31, 2023.

Planet Earth held by two hands in a green tint
By Kristine Perry

By formally recognizing the Right to a Clean, Healthy, and Sustainable Environment through two separate resolutions in 2022, the United Nations has set the stage for a more just and inclusive world. Big headlines like this often overlook all the background work necessary to make it happen. That’s what makes the 2023 UN Human Rights Prize incredibly exciting.

Elevating Women's Leadership for Effective Transboundary Water Conference
By Ashley Dawn Anderson

Water is life. All living things depend on water; human society depends on water. We need water for drinking, sanitation, food security, biodiversity, sustainable development—truly everything. Even though water is necessary for life, so many of us lack access to water. Water scarcity and water pollution are worsening, all while water demand is increasing.

nuclear energy
By Courtney DeLoatch-Hill

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.

Lady Justice statue with blindfold and scales
By Kristine Perry, By Jessica Sugarman, By Ariel Silverman

Note: This article discusses sexual violence.

The end of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2021-22 session concluded with devastating, but not unexpected, blows to human rights. The end of January 2023 would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, but it was not. In light of this missed anniversary, we’d like to revisit two cases with far-reaching implications that undermine the safety and freedom of individuals under American law, as well as the reputation of the Court.

US Supreme court building
By Bethany A. Davis Noll

The Supreme Court heard two related cases this term that are not about pollution or natural resources but that nonetheless could undermine one of President Biden’s biggest environmental efforts, dubbed Justice40.

Nile River in Cairo Egypt
By Stephen R. Dujack

One of the first civilizations to arise after humankind left Africa was in a nearby region that is in present-day Iraq and parts of neighboring countries stretching to the Mediterranean Sea. It has been dubbed by chroniclers Mesopotamia, Greek for “the land between two rivers.” The Tigris and Euphrates valley was the setting for the biblical Garden of Eden and is aptly named the Fertile Crescent in history books today.