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  • Lawyers Say U.S. EPA’s GHG Threshold Rule on Shaky Legal Ground

    Eight days before President Donald Trump leaves office, the EPA published a rule on 13 January that sets 3% of total gross US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as the significant threshold at which the agency can regulate releases of these pollutants. Below that level, the EPA said no endangerment of public health would ensue. "The final rule violates the APA because it isn't a logical outgrowth of EPA's 2018 proposal and the public didn't get a meaningful opportunity to comment on the 3% threshold for significance," Jack Lienke, regulatory policy director at the Institute for Policy Integrity and an adjunct professor at NYU School of Law, said.

  • Senate Democrats Eye Quick Repeal of Trump Rules

    The impending power shift in the Senate means Congress will once again turn to the Congressional Review Act to scrap a bevy of regulations. Hill Republicans and President Trump used the CRA to kill 16 Obama-era rules in 2017. Democrats, in contrast, have never deployed the CRA. "It's the quickest way to get rid of policies that will cause significant harms to the health of Americans and to the quality of our environment," said Ricky Revesz, a New York University professor whose name has been mentioned as a possible Biden regulatory chief.

  • Conservationists Slam Lame-Duck Gut of Migratory Bird Protections

    New York University Law professor Richard Revesz said the new rule will likely be overturned by the courts, Congress or by the incoming Biden administration, but cautioned the damage in the near term is significant. “I would be very surprised if this rule is in effect in two years, but it will create burdens and difficulties in the meantime,” he said.

  • Trump Administration, in Parting Gift to Industry, Reverses Bird Protections

    The Trump administration gutted protections for migratory birds on Tuesday, delivering the second of two parting gifts to the oil and gas industry. “These are definitely midnight regulations,” said Richard Revesz, an environmental law professor at New York University. “They’re 11:59 and 59 seconds regulations.”

  • Coal Plants Seek More Time to Pollute Water Resources

    The Trump EPA estimated that enforcement delays would save utilities about $26.1 million a year. But the EPA didn’t look at the cost of environmental damage or health risks associated with delays in cleaning up the coal ash ponds. Isabel Carey and Jason Schwartz at the Institute for Policy Integrity said the EPA’s failure to consider those costs meant the rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act.

  • Trump EPA Finalizes Rollback Making It Harder to Enact New Public Health Rules

    Richard Revesz, who directs the New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity, noted that the administration’s approach is “inconsistent” with existing federal guidance, which states that “in performing a cost-benefit analysis all costs and benefits should be taken into account, whether they’re direct or indirect.” “They’re basically saying that the indirect consequences of regulation must be taken into account if they’re negative, and should be ignored if they are positive.”

  • The Drilldown: Industrial Soot Emissions

    Although president-elect Joe Biden is planning to reinstate many environmental laws rolled back by President Donald Trump, when asked if Biden’s administration will strengthen current standards for soot emissions, a spokesman declined to answer. “Given the deadly nature of this pollutant, my advice to the new administration would be to very quickly embark on the process to make the standard more stringent,” said Richard Revesz, an expert on environmental law at New York University.

  • New Trump Rule Would Downgrade Health Benefits in Air Pollution Decisions

    The cost-benefit rule, which changes the way the E.P.A. shifts economic analyses of Clean Air Act regulations to limit future air pollution controls, is not expected to survive the incoming Biden administration. “It’s like breaking all the calculators on the way out the door,” said Jack Lienke of New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity. “The people coming in can buy new calculators. It’s just a hurdle and takes some time. It’s just another annoyance for the incoming administration to deal with. ”

  • Who Joe Biden Is Picking to Fill His White House and Cabinet

    Over 100 environmental safeguards were removed across the past four years. Biden plans to impose stricter environmental standards on industry, a job that would be overseen by his next EPA administrator. Possible picks include Richard Revesz, an NYU Law professor who is considered one of the foremost legal minds in environmental law. Originally from Argentina, he has spent most of his career in academia. But he has managing experience, having served as dean of the NYU law school from 2002 to 2013.

  • Trump Re-Election Would Enable Defense, Expansion of EPA Rollbacks

    Environmentalists acknowledge a Trump re-election victory would mean new threats to regulation but might not guarantee success of poorly crafted deregulatory efforts. “The Trump administration’s record in defending these rollbacks has been really atrocious thus far,” Environmental Defense Fund attorney Tomás Carbonell said during the environmental law conference, citing a statistic from New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity that the administration has lost 83 percent of its legal fights to date with respect to deregulatory efforts across multiple federal agencies.