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Vibrant Environment

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.

COVID-19’s Breath of Fresh Air: Pandemic Gives China and California Blue-Sky Glimpse of a Low-Emission Future

By Zhuoshi Liu, Staff Attorney; Director, China Program, Cynthia R. Harris, Staff Attorney; Director of Tribal Programs; Deputy Director of the Center for State, Tribal, and Local Environmental Programs, and Akielly Hu, Research Associate
Monday, April 20, 2020

Nearly four billion people worldwide are under government mandates to socially distance themselves from one another in order to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19. Non-essential workers are hunkering down at home, bringing the daily commute and air travel to a virtual halt. The resulting decline in air pollution is stunning, visible even in satellite images.

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.

Citizen Science & Environmental Agency Programs in the United States

NPS photo
By George Wyeth , Visiting Scholar
Monday, March 9, 2020

Citizen science—the gathering of environmental data by non-professionals—has taken root across the United States and internationally. However, much of this activity has focused on public awareness and education; the connection to government agencies is less publicized.

At the request of EPA, ELI is investigating how state, tribal, and local environmental agencies are using citizen science in their work. We have found a tremendous diversity of approaches, from programs organized and led by government to cases in which agencies are the end-users of information gathered by others such as community groups. We have also found some areas in which contributions by members of the public could be of great value to state or local environmental programs.

Business Intelligence Within the U.S. Coal Combustion Residuals Market, Part 2

By Mark Rokoff, AECOM Senior Vice President of Environment, John Priebe, AECOM Co-Leader of CCR Management Practice, and Dave Cox, FirmoGraphs Founder
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

 

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”—William Bruce Cameron

“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”—William Shakespeare

Addressing the Hazards of Particle Pollution Where Most Exposures Take Place—Indoors

By Tobie Bernstein, Senior Attorney; Director, Indoor Environments and Green Buildings Program
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Last month, new regulations took effect in California to address one of the most serious public health risks in the United States and around the world—particle pollution. The new regulations do not address vehicles, power plants, or other sources of pollution. Instead, they aim to reduce exposure to particle pollution where it occurs most—inside buildings. Particles in outdoor air enter buildings through cracks and gaps in the building and through natural or mechanical ventilation.

Solving the Plastic Packaging Problem

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The packaging industry faces mounting shareholder and public pressure to reduce the environmental impact of plastic. The recycled plastics market in the United States is positioned for growth, but developing a reliable supply of post-consumer plastics will be costly. Reliance on export markets has limited investment in domestic recycling capacity, local collection programs vary considerably, and many consumers are ignorant about what can and cannot be recycled. The low cost of manufacturing virgin plastics compounds these challenges.

E-commerce and the Environment

By Dave Rejeski, Visiting Scholar
Monday, January 6, 2020

After almost getting hit by an Amazon Prime truck as I wandered around Greenwich Village, I started to look around at what was piling up in the foyers of posh condos and on the steps of the venerable brownstones. Maybe lying under these mountains of cardboard was a first edition of The Call of the Wild off eBay, but I doubted it.

Business Intelligence Within the U.S. Coal Combustion Residuals Market, Part 1

By Mark Rokoff, AECOM Senior Vice President of Environment, John Priebe, AECOM Co-Leader of CCR Management Practice, and Dave Cox, FirmoGraphs Founder
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Although it may not be a trending cocktail party topic, coal ash compliance activities are certainly well-known in the legal and environmental risk management community. Billions of dollars are at stake for the owners and operators of coal power plants impacted by the 2015 Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) rule.

Remembering ELI's Early Years Abroad

Friday, November 1, 2019

My initial thought about this blog was to address a technical chemical regulatory topic, something like “why did it take 40 years for environmental regulators to figure out that perfluorinated compounds contaminate groundwater and don’t degrade over time?” However, this is ELI’s 50th anniversary year, and so I shall talk instead about the work I did over the course of about 15 years with ELI to address chemical regulatory and hazardous waste strategies both in the United States and abroad.

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