Browsed by
Tag: environmental law

Subcontractor Coverage Under the Christian Doctrine

Subcontractor Coverage Under the Christian Doctrine

By: John Kashuba, Associate   Problem: Recent litigation has produced ambiguity as to whether subcontractors are covered under the Christian doctrine. If this is indeed the case, practitioners advising clients bidding or negotiating for procurement work containing clauses espousing requirements as to the kinds of materials that must be used, or other clauses containing compliance mandates with environmental laws and regulations are strongly encouraged to be hyper-vigilant as to the wording, text, form, and structure of the contract. Any omissions…

Read More Read More

Closing Thoughts from the 2013 Shapiro Conference: The Way Forward to a Sustainable Energy Future

Closing Thoughts from the 2013 Shapiro Conference: The Way Forward to a Sustainable Energy Future

This year’s J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Conference finished strong at GW Law on Thursday with a lively concluding dialogue.[1] Centered on a big picture discussion of where we are headed in the realm of sustainable energy development, this event was a culmination of the conference’s eight previous panels. Over the course of two days, attendees were exposed to an impressive breadth of speakers and diversity of topics. Panelists included environmental and energy law practitioners, professors, policy experts from NGOs…

Read More Read More

Protecting the Environment: It’s Not Just about Saving the Whales

Protecting the Environment: It’s Not Just about Saving the Whales

Environmental issues are not just environmental issues anymore.[1] Increasingly, the human population has come to recognize that working to protect the world from global climate change is not important merely because we think that that two-degree-Celsius change might make it a little more necessary to don a pair of shorts and show off legs we think are less than ideal.[2] Or because we think that protecting the rain forest from rampant deforestation is only important because we need to go…

Read More Read More

Repealing Renewable Portfolio Standards: A Raw Deal for North Carolina

Repealing Renewable Portfolio Standards: A Raw Deal for North Carolina

North Carolina has become the central front in a national offensive aimed at rolling back renewable portfolio standards (RPSs), the state laws that require utilities to obtain a certain percentage of the electricity they distribute from technologies that use renewable fuel sources like our rivers, woods, and wind.[1]  While RPS adversaries argue that these standards hurt the economy by increasing consumer costs, they ignore the many jobs created by the renewable energy industry as well as the benefits conferred by…

Read More Read More

The 2012 WTO’s Appellate Body Tuna-Dolphin Decision: The End of a Saga, the Beginning of a Stronger Dolphin-Safe Label Regime?

The 2012 WTO’s Appellate Body Tuna-Dolphin Decision: The End of a Saga, the Beginning of a Stronger Dolphin-Safe Label Regime?

On May 16, 2012, a twenty-year old tuna-dolphin dispute culminated with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body (AB) ruling that the U.S’s dolphin safe labeling program discriminates against Mexican tuna imports, violating the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT).[1] As a threshold matter, Mexico claimed that the labeling regime was a mandatory technical regulation of a process or production method (PPM).[2]  There was no question that the labeling requirements applied to a PPM rather than a product,…

Read More Read More

Frackademia? Does Industry Have a Role to Play in University Studies of Hydraulic Fracturing?

Frackademia? Does Industry Have a Role to Play in University Studies of Hydraulic Fracturing?

The University of Texas (“UT”) Energy Institute (“Energy Institute”) released a report in February 2012 purporting to have found no definitive link between hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and groundwater contamination.[1]  Instead, the report blamed supposed instances of contamination on faulty well construction or potential surface spills of wastewater produced during shale gas drilling.[2]  Such a report from a research institute at a major university garnered significant attention as industry groups seized upon this supposed good news.[3]  However, in July 2012, an…

Read More Read More

The Second Circuit Upholds Public Process in Nuclear Plant Safety

The Second Circuit Upholds Public Process in Nuclear Plant Safety

Nuclear power has been a controversial topic that has both fascinated and scared us at the same time. While nuclear energy is a significant source of power in this country and it is more efficient and “clean” than fossil fuels,[1] it also poses substantial drawbacks.  In addition to issues surrounding nuclear waste,[2] the potentially devastating effects of a major release of radiation into the air and water are frightening. Radiation has been known to cause cancer, genetic mutations, psychological problems,…

Read More Read More

Indian Tribes Sue Department of Interior For Lack of Proper Consultation for Wind Farm Project

Indian Tribes Sue Department of Interior For Lack of Proper Consultation for Wind Farm Project

In May 2012, the Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation filed a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior (DOI) to stop the development of a large wind farm on public land in California.[1]  The tribe expressed their concerns to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the months leading up to the lawsuit, stating that the project site “contains geoglyphs, petroglyphs, sleeping circles, milling features, agave roasting pits, ceramics and rare artifacts,” and that “construction of the…

Read More Read More

Forever Unclean? Wastewater is a Viable Solution to Water Quality and Quantity Issues in the US

Forever Unclean? Wastewater is a Viable Solution to Water Quality and Quantity Issues in the US

Unlike other natural resources, such as fossil fuels or crops, there is no substitute for water.[1] Despite this crucial fact, the world’s water supply remains under assault from overuse and pollution.[2] Even as environmental topics such as climate change remain mired in political struggle, water scarcity issues are absent from American political dialogue in many areas of the country.[3] This fact is particularly troubling when one considers that at least 36 U.S. States will have severe water shortages within the…

Read More Read More

D.C. Circuit Vacates Cross State Air Pollution Rule: Will En Banc Review Restore Judicial Restraint as Well as Life-Saving Rule?

D.C. Circuit Vacates Cross State Air Pollution Rule: Will En Banc Review Restore Judicial Restraint as Well as Life-Saving Rule?

On Aug. 21, 2012, a D.C. Circuit panel decided EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA, which vacated the EPA’s 2011 Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (“CSAPR”).[1]  The rule, formulated after a 2008 D.C. Circuit decision remanded a prior incarnation of the rule,[2] sought to reduce pollution emitted from upwind states that impairs air quality in downwind states.[3]  It was promulgated under the authority of the “good neighbor” provision of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”), section 110(a)(2)(D), which requires states to…

Read More Read More

%d bloggers like this: