Laws & Regulations

"EPA Criminal Action Against Polluters Hits 30-Year Low"

"WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency hit a 30-year low in 2018 in the number of pollution cases it referred for criminal prosecution, Justice Department data show.

EPA said in a statement that it is directing “its resources to the most significant and impactful cases.”

Source: AP, 01/15/2019

Many Environmental Court Disputes Will Make News in 2019

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.

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Rollback on Auto Emission Standards Faces Rocky Road

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.

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"President Trump Can't Stop U.S. Coal Plants From Retiring

"More U.S. coal-fired power plants were shut in President Donald Trump’s first two years than were retired in the whole of Barack Obama’s first term, despite the Republican’s efforts to prop up the industry to keep a campaign promise to coal-mining states."

Source: Reuters, 01/14/2019

"Politics: Next President Could Declare Climate Emergency, GOP Fears"

"Republicans Are increasingly concerned that President Trump's threat to build a border wall by declaring a national emergency might be repeated by a future president who sees climate change as an existential danger to the United States."

Source: ClimateWire, 01/14/2019

"Interior: Bernhardt Must Renew 'Acting' Heads By Month's End"

"Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt must soon decide whether to maintain eight temporary agency directors, as the Trump administration presses into its third year without appointees for a slew of top posts at the department.

According to Secretarial Order 3345, eight temporary appointments — including the heads of the Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service — will expire on Jan. 31.

Source: Greenwire, 01/14/2019

Iowa ‘Ag-Gag’ Law Banning Undercover Farm Probes Ruled Unconstitutional

"A federal judge on Wednesday struck down an Iowa law that made it illegal to get a job at a livestock farm to conduct an animal cruelty undercover investigation, finding the law violated the constitutional right to free speech."

Source: AP, 01/11/2019

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