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Vibrant Environment

Why Are Bike Equity Initiatives Needed and How Should Cities Incorporate Them?

By Zoe Bertol-Foell, Research and Publications Intern, ELI
Wednesday, May 20, 2020

If you have walked across downtown Manhattan recently, you may have been blinded by the new colorful green pavement marking protected bike lanes. NYC is one of many cities flaunting their new bike safety initiatives in political speeches, tourist brochures, and subway ads. Given the multiple economic, health, and environmental benefits of replacing car trips with bike trips, their pride is well-deserved. But in order for such initiatives to serve all New Yorkers, they must go a step further.

How Environmental Racism Translates to COVID-19 Vulnerability in D.C.

By Avital Li, INECE Program Manager
Monday, May 4, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing to light many intersectional divides in the United States that mainstream society can no longer ignore. Lovinia Reynold’s blog last week looked at how environmental racism is linked to higher COVID-19 mortality rates among Black communities.

COVID-19 and Black Communities

By Lovinia Reynolds , Policy Analyst and Environmental Justice Coordinator
Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Black people are bearing the brunt of COVID-19’s impact. Cities such as the District of Columbia, Milwaukee, and St. Louis and states such as Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, and Mississippi have released data demonstrating that Black people make up a disproportionate number of COVID-19-related deaths. These deaths are due in no small part to centuries of structural inequality that limit access to what public health experts call the social determinants of health.

Clear Corona Skies: Air Quality in the United States During a Global Pandemic

By Caitlin F. McCarthy, Director, Education, Associates and Corporate Partnerships
Monday, April 27, 2020

With the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day still on our minds, air quality is thriving throughout the United States’ most populous areas. It is a goal long fought for by leaders in environmental law and policy, but it has only been achieved with the cost of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.

Public Nuisance Lawsuits May Mitigate Meat Industry’s Environmental Impact

By Micah Bradley, Vanderbilt Law School 3L, Member of Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review Class, and Linda Breggin, Senior Attorney; Director of the Center for State, Tribal, and Local Environmental Programs
Wednesday, April 15, 2020

In “Animal Agriculture Liability for Climatic Nuisance: A Path Forward for Climate Change Litigation?,” Prof. Daniel E. Walters lays out a new path for climate litigation: environmental litigators should bring federal public nuisance suits to remedy environmental harms caused by animal agriculture.

Turning A Blind Eye to Drinking Water Risks

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Drinking water contamination in Flint, Michigan, has garnered nationwide attention, but it is neither isolated, nor a primarily urban problem. As Madeline Kane explains in the April issue of ELR—The Environmental Law Reporter, a hidden water crisis is straining thousands of smaller communities that share Flint’s risk factors—shrinking populations, social marginalization, and deficient funds.

Earth Day 1970: A Look Back at Student Activism and Freedom of the Press

1970s
By Stephen R. Dujack, Editor, The Environmental Forum®
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

It is now half a century since the first Earth Day. Not only did I help run our school’s “teach in” in 1970, it is also 50 years since my entrance into environmental journalism. A first-person history may help to affirm the importance of the environmental protections that soon followed, as well as of a robust student press to push today’s issues.

Charles Lee: Charting a Path Forward for Environmental Justice

smokestack sunset
Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Over the past few years, considerable energy has been devoted toward advancing environmental justice (EJ) at the state level. State agencies can be robust laboratories for experimenting with ways to advance EJ, as they’re often tasked with making decisions under state and federal environmental law. As EJ pioneer Charles Lee explains in the March issue of ELR—The Environmental Law Reporter, state lessons can cross-fertilize and inform work at other levels of government, and the role of nongovernmental players is also critical to driving transformative change. Lee believes it is essential that those working to advance EJ systemically expand their discourse.

Federal Court Applies Environmental Justice

Photo by Caitlin Morris.
By James M. McElfish, Jr., Senior Attorney; Director, Sustainable Use of Land Program
Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, explicitly relied on environmental justice (EJ) concepts to vacate and remand a Virginia state air pollution permit for a compressor facility associated with an interstate natural gas pipeline. This is one of only a very few federal court decisions to address EJ expressly, and is noteworthy because of its explicit application of EJ elements.

Sinking Politics and Climate Migrants: Legal Opportunities for the United States (Part 2)

By Jessica Oo, Research & Publications Intern
Wednesday, December 18, 2019

In the past, some domestic and international attempts to alleviate the burdens of migrant populations and establish legal protections for them have been implemented, but many of these protections are not specific enough and lack legally binding measures adequate to ensure that peoples displaced by weather-related disasters are protected on a global scale. International norms are important, as they can at least symbolically set a standard that national governments can follow.

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