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  • In West Virginia v. EPA, the Supreme Court Will Decide Whether We Act on Climate Change

    “Normally courts review actual regulations, and there is no regulation to review right now,” New York University law professor and environmental law expert Ricky Revesz told CNN. “Whatever the court does will involve speculation, and courts don’t normally—they stress this—give advisory opinions. That’s not what courts do.” The Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling on West Virginia v. EPA this week, potentially deciding the future of the federal government’s ability to limit the effects of climate change—or even to address the looming climate disaster at all. Here’s what you need to know. 

  • ‘Stomach-Churning Mornings’: Lawyers Await SCOTUS Climate Case

    “No decision today,” wrote Jack Lienke, regulatory policy director of New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity, on Twitter yesterday. “More stomach-churning mornings ahead.” Environmental lawyers this week are greeting each Supreme Court opinion day with a mix of anticipation and dread — hearts pounding, stomachs flipping — as the justices get ready to issue their ruling in the blockbuster EPA climate battle. The court, which is likely in its last week of opinion releases, issued three decisions in 10-minute intervals starting at 10 a.m. yesterday. None of them was West Virginia v. EPA, which could curb the federal government’s power to regulate climate and other key issues.

  • EPA, Reversing Trump, Will Restore States’ Power to Block Pipelines

    The Biden administration on Thursday will move to restore authority to states and tribes to veto gas pipelines, coal terminals and other energy projects if they would pollute local rivers and streams, reversing a Trump-era rule that had curtailed that power. Richard L. Revesz, a professor of environmental law at New York University, said he did not believe the actions by the Biden administration would affect prices at the pump, since the Trump administration’s limits would remain in place until the Biden rule is finalized, most likely next year. “Keeping the Trump rule in place is not going to keep gas prices low, and removing the Trump rule is not going to raise gas prices,” he said.

  • Professors See Risks In EPA Bid For Authority To Weigh Cumulative Effects

    Richard Revesz, director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University Law School, says EPA has authority to require cumulative impacts assessments under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and anywhere it is required to “look at the consequences of its policies,” such as when it conducts a regulatory impact assessment including costs and benefits.

  • How Can Community Campaigns Leverage Regulatory Comments & Complaints?

    Carefully orchestrated comment and complaint campaigns can be a powerful, low-risk tool at communities’ disposal, and the organizers and lawyers convened by the Critical Legal Empowerment conference provide important insight into how to get the most out of them.

  • Two Steps Toward Clean Transit Equity

    As the Federal Transit Administration and its partners roll out electric transit across the country, the agency should ensure that its Title VI guidelines for funding recipients explicitly require nondiscrimination in the distribution and routing of such clean vehicles. FTA should also implement the appropriate reporting requirements to effectively monitor the distribution of electric vehicles and their air quality benefits. These recommendations are discussed in more detail in our comments to the agency.

  • What the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Can Do to Address Environmental Justice

    Policy Integrity’s comments make two categories of recommendations: (1) improving public participation, and (2) improving analysis.

  • How EPA Can Take a Step Forward on Environmental Justice

    But what would serious distributional analysis look like? As we explained in our recent comments on EPA’s Draft Strategic Plan for 2022–2026, serious distributional analysis requires that an agency consider the distributional consequences of multiple regulatory alternatives.

  • Agencies Seek Early Mitigation For Disparate Impacts In NEPA Reviews

    In a report issued late last month, the Institute for Policy Integrity (IPI) at New York University urged agencies to prioritize equity consideration across federal regulations. The Sept. 30 report, “Making Regulations Fair: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Promote Equity and Advance [EJ],” recommends rigorous guidance on assessing and weighing the distributional impacts of regulations. “This insufficient analysis is an enormous obstacle in the effort to make policies, environmental and otherwise, fair for all communities,” IPI says in a release on the report.

  • In First, EPA Asks State To Weigh New Plant Site To Avoid Disparate Impacts

    EPA is urging Michigan regulators to consider asking an asphalt company to move its planned facility to a different location rather than building it in an already-overburdened community, a first-time request in an air permit review that underscores agency efforts to address civil rights and other environmental justice (EJ) concerns. Max Sarinsky of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University praises EPA for “wisely recommend[ing] consideration of alternatives that would avoid causing disparate impacts on environmental justice communities.”