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Recent Projects

Viewing recent projects in Environmental Health
  • Public Comments

    Comments on the Replacement of the Clean Water Rule

    April 15, 2019

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers are proposing to replace the 2015 Clean Water Rule with a new rule that would harm many waterways by removing critical federal protections. We submitted comments detailing how the agencies provide flawed analysis in support of the proposal. Dr. Peter Howard and Dr. Jeffrey Shrader also submitted an expert report detailing the flaws in the agencies’ new valuation of wetland benefits.

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  • Court Filings

    Amicus Brief on the Good Neighbor Provision of the Clean Air Act

    April 5, 2019

    The Clean Air Act includes a Good Neighbor Provision, which requires states to prohibit their own sources of pollution from emitting in quantities that “contribute significantly” to another state’s inability to achieve national ambient air quality standards. When upwind states fail to abide by this requirement, the Act authorizes downwind states to petition the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for relief.

    In 2018, EPA denied five such petitions filed by Maryland and Delaware, which sought tighter limits on ozone-forming emissions from power plants in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Maryland and Delaware, supported by other states and a coalition of environmental groups, have now challenged those denials in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In our amicus brief supporting the challenges, we focused on EPA’s erroneous claim that no further emission reductions at the specified plants would be cost-effective.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to the FCC on Regulation of Space Debris

    April 5, 2019

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comments on economic approaches that might be feasible and effective in reducing the negative impacts of orbital debris in space. We submitted comments offering initial suggestions for what the Commission might consider in choosing a market-based regulation. We also recommend that any impact assessment of the regulation takes into account the full range of direct and indirect benefits.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to EPA on Delay of Emissions Rule for Wood Heaters

    January 14, 2019

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to amend the 2015 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for residential wood heating devices. This change would allow retailers to sell non-compliant wood heaters for two years past the original 2020 compliance date. We submitted comments explaining that the proposed rule imposes net costs on society and is not justified by EPA’s faulty analysis.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to EPA on Delay of Landfill Emission Guidelines

    January 3, 2019

    In 2016, EPA finalized Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills. Once implemented, the regulation will deliver significant net benefits from reducing pollution that contributes to climate change and other harmful impacts to human health. EPA, however, is proposing to substantially delay the implementation of these protections. We submitted comments that point out how EPA fails to justify the proposed delay and assess its social costs.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments on EPA Rollback of Refrigerant Substitutes Regulation

    November 15, 2018

    EPA recently proposed rolling back regulatory provisions that curb emissions of refrigerant substitutes, which are highly potent greenhouse gases. The agency admits that the rescissions would significantly increase the release of refrigerator hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) but fails to monetize the climate damages caused by forgone emissions reductions. We submitted comments explaining how EPA should value the climate damages of these greenhouse gases.

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  • Reports

    Deregulation Run Amok

    November 13, 2018

    Our report provides a survey of the legality of Trump Administration’s regulatory suspensions. Looking at a number of cases, we discuss the administration’s disregard for notice-and-comment requirements, statutory restrictions, and the reasoned explanation requirement. We also lay out some of the challenges facing advocates, and the strategies by which agencies have evaded review.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments on California’s Proposed State-Specific Vehicle Emissions Regulations

    September 24, 2018

    We recently submitted comments to the California Air Resource Board (CARB) on its proposal to maintain existing statewide vehicle emission regulations. In coming years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Environmental Protection Agency plan to weaken federal environmental regulations. CARB is aiming to hold California vehicle emissions at current standards to avoid the effects of weakened regulations. Our comments support the feasibility of California’s current standards and encourage CARB to improve its economic impact assessment by accounting for new federal proposals and a broader range of effects.

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  • Court Filings

    Brief on the Clean Water Rule’s “Applicability Date”

    May 11, 2018

    The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corp of Engineers were sued for suspending implementation of the Clean Water Rule through the addition of an “applicability date” to the Clean Water Rule. Our brief to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in that case argues that the court should vacate the Suspension Rule because the agencies improperly ignored the forgone benefits of suspending the Clean Water Rule.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to EPA on Coal Combustion Residuals Rule

    April 30, 2018

    In 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established minimum criteria for the safe disposal of coal combustion residuals. At the time, EPA projected that the new rule would yield substantial health and environmental benefits. EPA now proposes to weaken the requirements of the 2015 rule but insists that doing so “will not change risks to human health and the environment” and thus will have no effect on the projected benefits of the 2015 rule. Our comments explain why EPA cannot reasonably assume that its proposed changes will have no effect on the 2015 rule’s projected benefits.

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