A recent Executive Order by President Trump directs agencies to expedite reviews of infrastructure projects based on the emergency provisions of several key federal environmental laws. In “President’s Executive Order to Expedite Environmental Reviews of Infrastructure Pushes the Envelope on the Interpretation of Emergency Authorities,” colleagues Sheila McCafferty Harvey, Reza Zarghamee, Mona E. Dajani and Alex Peyton discuss how these emergency provisions have been seldom invoked in the past, and when they have, the purpose often has been to fast-track immediate response actions to address environmental concerns, as opposed to facilitating infrastructure projects years in the making.
On May 26, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided three significant environmental law cases. Two of these cases involved whether global warming tort cases could be brought in California state courts on, for example, a public nuisance claim, and whether the defendant energy companies had the right to have them removed to the federal courts. Continue reading
The coronavirus pandemic has been credited with improved air and water quality as America shelters in place, reducing its emission and discharge footprint. This unanticipated benefit, however, overlooks the numerous environmental problems that Californians were addressing prior to the advent of the pandemic. In “California’s Stay-at-Home Orders: Implications for Environmental Contractors,” colleagues Eric Moorman, Stephanie Amaru and Mark E. Elliott discuss that the exceptions outlined in state and local directives likely encompass the investigatory and remedial activities performed by environmental contractors.