U.S. courts will be a key venue of environmental conflict in 2019, as the Trump administration pushes back against an extensive array of long-standing environmental law. This special edition Issue Backgrounder looks at seven key legal disputes, including cases involving climate change liability, intergenerational equity and policy, as well as conflicts over maintaining national monuments, defining which waters are subject to anti-pollution rules, disposing of coal ash and extending offshore drilling.
Anything related to air quality, air pollution, or the atmosphere
Expect the fight to worsen over the Trump Administration’s attempted rollback of auto mileage standards. Not only is California resisting a loss of its waiver to set tighter rules, joining at least 16 other states in a preemptive lawsuit. But carmakers themselves are deviating from the Trump line, worried over a fracturing of the nationwide auto market or seeking an edge in the field for more efficient vehicles. This special edition TipSheet looks at prospects for conflict in the year ahead.
"Fiat Chrysler Automobiles agreed Thursday to a settlement with U.S. regulators and other plaintiffs that could cost the automaker roughly $800 million to resolve allegations that it cheated on emissions tests."
SEJournal looks ahead to key issues in the coming year with this "2019 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment" special report. Stay tuned as we continue to add elements to the report up through and beyond its formal launch Jan. 25 at an annual roundtable, organized by the Society of Environmental Journalists with the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.
The new year will likely mean subpoenas on EPA’s FOIA response policies, as a Democrat takes the chair in the House Oversight Committee amid charges the agency is choking off politically sensitive record requests. And are new laws in a dozen states making coverage of pipeline protests a felony? That, plus air emission exemptions for animal feedlot operators and data on illegal fishing. All in the latest issue of the WatchDog.
"The Trump administration proposed on Friday major changes to the way the federal government calculates the benefits, in human health and safety, of restricting mercury emissions from coal-burning power plants."
" State environmental officials say air sampling shows there’s been a drop in the chemical benzene since the closure of the Tonawanda Coke plant in western New York."
"EPA offered a steady defense today [Tuesday] of Obama-era ozone standards the agency previously considered scrapping.
During long-awaited oral arguments at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, government lawyers defended the agency's 2015 thresholds for the air pollutant as "forward progress" aimed at protecting vulnerable people.
"The revised ozone standards here represent notable forward progress in protecting the health of all Americans across this country," Justice Department attorney Justin Heminger told a three-judge panel this morning."
"The parking lot at the Settlers Ridge Wave Pool just outside of Pittsburgh is dotted with camping chairs. The people sitting in them are looking up at the sky, as if they’re waiting for a fireworks show to begin. But it’s 8:00 a.m., and this group is here for the ‘visible emissions observer certification and training program.’"
"Two of acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler's appointees to a prominent advisory committee are pushing back against his recent decision to disband an auxiliary panel involved in a closely watched review of airborne particulate standards."