LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Ivory Smuggler Guilty – Narwhal Tusk Trafficking: $385,000 Penalty

The federal government is continuing its strategy of infrequent environmental prosecutions with large penalties. Last week, Gregory (Greg) Logan, of Woodmans Point, New Brunswick, was convicted of seven offences for the illegal export of 250 Narwhal ivory tusks to the United States over seven years....

State Net Environmental Law News: California, Washington and Oregon Sign Climate Pact

CA, WA AND OR SIGN CLIMATE PACT: The governors of California, Washington and Oregon signed a pact with the Canadian province of British Columbia last week that commits the four governments to coordinate their policies to battle global climate change. Although the agreement is non-binding, the quartet...

Rating State Hazard Mitigation Plans

The Columbia Center for Climate Change Law has released a report (and accompanying Excel database ) surveying and ranking all 50 State Hazard Mitigation Plans. The Survey considers to what extent and in what manner climate change related issues are incorporated into existing plans. In accordance with...

Battles over Stormwater: Maryland Counties Fight the 'Rain Tax'

It's not secession like Colorado but three Maryland counties are staging their own Fort Sumter. The Carroll County Council has received a notice from the State that the County did not appear to be meeting its obligations under the 2012 Stormwater Management – Watershed Protection and Restoration...

EPA Excludes Carbon Dioxide Waste Streams from RCRA - A (Very Small) Step Forward for CCS

By J. Wylie Donald The Congress may be dysfunctional but the administrative agencies are still moving the ball. A case in point is last month's Christmas present from EPA to the carbon capture and storage community. On December 17 EPA issued its final rule , Hazardous Waste Management System...

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Downplays Risk of Sea Level Rise in Waste Storage EIS

By Ethan I. Strell, Esq. Associate Director & Fellow The Columbia Center for Climate Change Law (CCCL) has submitted comments on the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s “Waste Confidence Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement” (DGEIS) , which concerns the storage...

New CCCL Paper: Federal “Green” Product Procurement Policy In The U.S.

By Shawna Ganley, CCCL Contributor and Former Visiting Scholar With the recent COP19 in Warsaw showing questionable progress towards a universal climate agreement in 2015 ( as reported previously by CCCL ), government procurement represents an uncontroversial way to achieve greenhouse gas reductions...

Sustainability vs. Competitiveness in the EU

By Teresa Parejo Navajas, Associate Professor of Law (Carlos III University, Spain) Visiting Scholar at the Center for Climate Change Law The EU Strategy 2020, adopted in 2010, is about delivering growth for a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy with more effective investments in education...

New CCCL Paper- Reverse Environmental Assessment Analysis For The Adaptation Of Projects, Plans And Programs To The Effects Of Climate Change In The EU

By Teresa Parejo Navajas, Associate Professor of Law. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain), Visiting Scholar at the Center for Climate Change Law (Columbia University) Columbia’s Center for Climate Change Law has published a new white paper analyzing the Reverse Environmental Assessment...

Banks Get Involved in Environmental Strategies

Why have some of the largest banks in the world invested large sums of money to environmental and sustainability causes? Why did both Citigroup and Bank of America pledge to invest $50 billion each in alternative energy and conservation projects and – more important – work hard to meet these...

Proposed Federal Strategies to Reduce Methane Emissions

While energy conservation, reducing fossil fuel combustion to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, is important to combat climate change, another GHG of importance is methane (CH 4 ), which is 21 times more potent than CO 2. CH 4 emissions do not derive from combustion, but instead from natural decomposition...

Reed Elsevier Provides Global Support for the United Nations World Environment Day

Reed Elsevier is excited to announce its global support for the United Nations World Environment Day which takes place today, Thursday, June 5. This is the most widely-celebrated global day for positive environmental action and this year’s focus on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) draws attention...

Climate Change and US Energy Infrastructure

According to a recent GAO report ( http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/660558.pdf ), US energy infrastructure is increasingly vulnerable to a number of different climate change impact effects, increasing the risk of disruptions of energy critical for US economic growth and operation, such as: • Resource...

Toronto Trees: $7B In Health and Environment

Toronto trees are worth an estimated $7 Billion, or about $700 per tree, according to a June 9, 2014, report from TD Economics . Toronto trees provide residents with over $80 million, or about $8 per tree, of environmental benefits and savings a year, as they are a critical factor in environmental conditions...

Alaska District Court Considers “Reverse Environmental Impact” in Issuance of Section 404 Permit

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1970 (NEPA) requires federal agencies to prepare environmental impact statements (EISs) for all “major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.”[1] This includes the issuance of federal permits. Even after an EIS...

Clean Power Plan Proposal Includes Incentives For States To Focus On Controversial Nuclear Energy

There has been a lot of discussion and press around the EPA’s new Clean Power Plan , which is intended to reduce CO2 emissions from existing power plants by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. The EPA proposed this plan on June 2nd under its Clean Air Act §111(d) authority, which “requires...

Judge Endorses Use of the Social Cost of Carbon in NEPA Analysis

In 2010, the U.S. government formed an interagency working group of scientific and economic experts to develop an estimate of the social cost of carbon (SCC). The SCC puts a dollar figure on the damages done or damages avoided for possible scenarios resulting in discrete amounts of carbon dioxide emission...

New Data on Open Burning of World’s Garbage

By E. Lynn Grayson Unregulated trash burning around the globe is pumping far more pollution into the atmosphere than shown by official records. A new study led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research estimates that more than 40 percent of the world's garbage is burned in such fires...

Council on Environmental Quality Declares That Climate Change is Already Covered in Environmental Impact Review, and No New Regulations Needed

By Michael B. Gerrard The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), signed into law by President Richard Nixon on January 1, 1970, was the first U.S. environmental statute of the modern era. It requires the preparation of environmental impact statements (EISs) for major federal actions that may...

SCCCL and Lamont-Doherty Release New Collaborative Working Paper on “Scientific and Legal Integrity in Advancing a Land-Degradation Neutral World”

It is no secret that the fight against desertification isn’t going well. In the two decades since the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification came into force, desertification has worsened considerably. Many within the desertification community and beyond are calling for a fresh approach...

California Appellate Court Holds that Regional Planning Agency Must Examine the Long-Term Impacts of Its Transportation Plan on Reduction of Greenhouse Gases

By: Daniel P. Selmi*, Visiting Scholar, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and Fritz B. Burns Professor of Law, Loyola Law School In an emphatic opinion, a state appellate court has invalidated the environmental impact report for the first “sustainable communities strategy” prepared...

CEQ’s Revised Draft Guidance on Addressing Climate Change under NEPA: Federal Agencies Should Analyze Both GHG Emissions and Impacts of Climate Change on Proposed Action

On December 24, 2014, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released Revised Draft Guidance on how federal agencies should evaluate GHG emissions and the impacts of climate change when conducting reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).[1] The revised guidance is significantly...

World Bank Sells Record $91M of Green Bonds Tied to “Ethical” Companies

By E. Lynn Grayson The World Bank sold $91 million in green bonds tied to an index of "ethical" companies – its largest offering of green bonds linked to an equity index and the first offered to individual investors. Green bonds were created to increase funding by accessing the...

The 2014 California Environmental Legislative Recap: An Election Year Drought

By Mr. Gary A. Lucks Get the latest expert analysis on California's new environmental and land use laws. This article summarizes legislation passed during the 2014-2015 California Legislative Session, including bills addressing water supply, hazardous waste, solid waste, cimate change, air...

New U.S. Treasury Paper Builds on Momentum for Public-Private Partnerships to Address Public Infrastructure Shortfalls

By Alexander J. Bandza , Associate, Jenner & Block The problem of aging public infrastructure in the U.S. and around the world is well recognized. For example, U.S. businesses pay $27 billion in additional freight costs because of the poor conditions of roads and other transportation infrastructure...