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Vibrant Environment

Getting to the Meat of the Matter

confined cows
Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting a variety of industries, from travel to retail to restaurants. But perhaps the hardest-hit are meat and poultry processing plants, which have been experiencing outbreaks throughout the United States. In April, President Trump issued an Executive Order declaring these plants “critical infrastructure” to make sure they stay open, and the number of cases in these plants continued to rise in the days and weeks that followed. According to the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, as of June 15 there have been over 25,000 reported positive cases tied to meatpacking facilities in at least 235 plants in 33 states, and at least 90 reported worker deaths at 39 plants in 24 states.

New Executive Environmental Waiver—What Does It Do?

highway
By James M. McElfish, Jr., Senior Attorney; Director, Sustainable Use of Land Program, and Jay Austin, Senior Attorney; Editor-in-Chief, Environmental Law Reporter®
Monday, June 8, 2020

On June 4, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Accelerating the Nation’s Economic Recovery from the COVID-19 Emergency by Expediting Infrastructure Investments and Other Activities.” The Order notes that in his March 13 declaration of a national emergency related to the pandemic, the President had invoked “national security” under the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq., and “an emergency of nationwide scope” under the Stafford Act, 42 U.S.C. 5191(b).

A Three-Ring Balancing Act: Extinction, Conservation, and CRISPR

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
Monday, June 1, 2020

In his 2019 article, Governing Extinction in the Era of Gene Editing, Prof. Jonas J. Monast of the University of North Carolina School of Law recommends using the Endangered Species Act (ESA) framework to regulate the growing use of gene-editing technology.

The Proverbial Fork In The Road: NEPA’s Uncertain Future

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Heralded in 1970 as the nation’s “environmental Magna Carta,” the National Environmental Policy Act’s (NEPA’s) future seems uncertain. As Trump Administration initiatives threaten to diminish and perhaps even dismantle aspects of NEPA, an article in the May issue of ELR—The Environmental Law Reporter chronicles how this merely continues NEPA’s unfortunate trajectory, examining how the courts, the U.S.

Show Me! Laying the Foundation for the Next Generation of Environmental Peacebuilding

By Carl Bruch, Senior Attorney; Director, International Programs
Wednesday, May 6, 2020

As documented by the New Security Beat, environmental peacebuilding has grown dramatically as a field in recent years. Across the security, development, and diplomatic communities, there is increased recognition that disputes related to natural resources and the environment can escalate to violence, fund armed conflict, and provide an incentive for peace spoilers.

What Judges Are Saying About Climate Science

U.S. Supreme Court Building
By Scott Fulton, President, Environmental Law Institute
Wednesday, April 22, 2020

It’s amazing how quickly humanity’s concern can shift when circumstanc­es demand it, and the coronavirus pandemic has riveted our attention. Even today, Earth Day, talking about anything else risks seeming detached or indifferent to the enormous suffering, disruption, and dislocation that the COVID-19 vi­rus has unleashed on the world. But I need to alert you to a new ELI report analyzing the other major challenge that will be waiting for us on the other side of our current crisis, one that, like the pandemic, is deeply informed by science.

Turning A Blind Eye to Drinking Water Risks

bathroom sink dispensing brown colored water
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.

How Mandatory Are China’s Local Environmental Standards?

Chinese countryside
By Zhuoshi Liu, Staff Attorney; Director, China Program
Monday, March 23, 2020

Since China strengthened its environmental enforcement efforts in 2014, the quality of the country’s environment has been gradually improving. At the same time, however, many regulated businesses are finding it difficult to comply with the increasingly stringent local environmental standards imposed by local regulators.

Environmental Public Interest Litigation Could Be Instrumental in Protecting China’s National Parks

Panda
By Zhuoshi Liu, Staff Attorney; Director, China Program
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

With its vast land and sea territory spanning 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million square miles), China is one of 17 mega-biodiversity countries in the world. It is home to nearly 10% of all plant species and 14% of all animals on earth. Protecting China’s uniquely rich biodiversity is therefore paramount to the country itself and to the entire world.

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