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Recent Projects

Viewing recent projects in Environmental Health
  • Court Filings

    Amicus Brief on Navigable Waters Protection Rule

    May 21, 2020

    In April, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers published the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which considerably restricts the waters and wetlands that are federally protected under the Clean Water Act. We filed a brief in the Northern District of California focusing on the agencies’ economic analysis, which the agencies use to obscure the rule’s anticipated harms.

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  • Issue Briefs

    Understanding EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Policy During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    May 21, 2020

    This issue brief summarizes EPA's enforcement and compliance policy in light of COVID-19, describing its significance and clarifying its contours. The policy opens the door to potentially problematic and harmful actions, especially on a short-term basis. 

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  • Reports

    Beneath the Surface

    April 27, 2020

    In restricting the scope of the Clean Water Act through two regulatory rollbacks, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers claim that the estimated compliance-cost savings exceed the environmental harms (in the form of forgone benefits). Yet these analyses suffer from severe methodological flaws. And correcting the analyses would very likely show that the rollbacks are net costly to society, depriving the public of potentially billions of dollars in annual forgone benefits. As detailed in this report, the agencies’ failure to meaningfully assess the substantial harms that will result from their rollbacks violates both regulatory precedent and the agencies’ legal obligations.

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  • News

    New Resource Tracking Reduced Enforcement of Environmental Laws in Response to COVID-19

    April 24, 2020

    The Institute for Policy Integrity is tracking altered enforcement of environmental laws by federal and state agencies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In connection with the crisis, several agencies have issued waivers or announced plans to stop enforcing key environmental laws and regulations. 

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  • Court Filings

    Amicus Brief on EPA’s Clean Power Plan Replacement Rule

    April 23, 2020

    Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) replaced the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan, which sought substantial cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, with the so-called Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, a far weaker policy that will, at best, yield modest reductions below business-as-usual emissions and, at worst, increase pollution from the electric sector. We filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit highlighting three key errors in EPA’s rationale for repealing the Clean Power Plan. Specifically, we explain, EPA misstates regulatory precedent and Clean Air Act legislative history supporting the Clean Power Plan and disregards the substantial harms that the ACE Rule will cause.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to EPA on Coal Combustion Residuals Rule

    April 17, 2020

    Coal combustion residuals, commonly known as coal ash, are the residual substances that remain after burning coal. They contain several chemicals that are toxic to human health, including arsenic, boron, lead, and mercury. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule that amends the regulatory framework for the disposal of coal ash. We submitted comments in January detailing how EPA fails to analyze the forgone benefits of the regulatory changes, which extend deadlines and eligibility for facilities that lack appropriate disposal capacity. We also submitted comments in April focusing on the second part of EPA's proposal, which fails to assess the forgone benefits of allowing facilities to seek approval for alternative basin liners. 

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to EPA on Lead and Copper Regulation Revisions

    March 23, 2020

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed revisions to the National Primary Drinking Water Regulation for lead and copper. Our comments ask EPA to more fully monetize the benefits and better assess the significance of non-monetized benefits of the proposal. We also submitted a letter to EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) summarizing our comments and encouraging the SAB to consider our points during its review of the proposed revisions.

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  • Public Comments

    Comments to CEQ on the National Environmental Policy Act

    March 10, 2020

    The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) proposed changes to the regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a decades-old statute that requires federal agencies to analyze the environmental impact of actions. We submitted comments explaining how the proposed rule runs afoul of the statute, drastically limiting agencies’ abilities to consider various effects and implement NEPA procedures. We also submitted joint comments detailing how the provisions would undermine analysis of climate effects, and encouraging CEQ to promote the use of the social cost of greenhouse gases.

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  • Court Filings

    Amicus Brief on New Jersey’s Zero-Emissions Credits Program

    January 27, 2020

    In 2018, New Jersey established a Zero-Emissions Credits (ZECs) program, which provides subsidies to the state’s nuclear power plants for reducing carbon emissions in the energy sector. Our amicus brief explains how the Social Cost of Carbon is the best available estimate for valuing harms caused by carbon dioxide emissions. We also argue that the ZECs program should account for the benefits of avoided emissions both inside and outside of New Jersey.

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  • Court Filings

    Amicus Brief on Dust-Lead Hazard Standards

    January 22, 2020

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule revising standards for lead found in dust on floors, window sills, and in soil. Our amicus brief critiques the rule, which forgoes net beneficial options in favor of weaker standards that will cause significant harms to public health.

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