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Recent Projects

Viewing recent projects in Environmental Health
  • Comments to EPA on Proposal for Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Clean Air Act

    We submitted joint comments to EPA and the chartered Science Advisory Board noting that the proposal is unnecessary and explaining how it breaks from best practices for cost-benefit analysis of regulations in several significant ways.

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  • Comments to BLM on September 2020 Lease Sale in Utah

    A proposed oil and gas lease sale in Utah would offer over 100,000 acres located in areas valuable for recreation, wildlife, environmental conservation, cultural use, and tourism. We submitted comments detailing how the Bureau of Land Management’s environmental assessment neglects its duties to manage public lands for multiple use and consider more limited leasing scenarios. BLM also ignores the option value of delaying the leasing decision and, therefore, is unlikely to obtain fair market value for the nominated land parcels.

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  • Comments to EPA on Delay of Emissions Rule for Wood Heaters

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to amend the 2015 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for residential wood heating devices, purporting to respond to retailer needs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our comments detail how how the proposal contradicts the Clean Air Act’s mandate and longstanding agency guidance. The proposed rule will, even under the agencies’ own analysis, cause net harms to the public without providing any reasonable justification.

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  • Understanding EPA's Enforcement and Compliance Policy During the COVID-19 Pandemic Cover

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

    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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  • Beneath the Surface Cover

    Beneath the Surface

    The Concealed Costs of the Clean Water Rule Rollback

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

    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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  • Amicus Brief on EPA’s Clean Power Plan Replacement Rule

    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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  • Comments to EPA on Coal Combustion Residuals Rule

    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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  • Comments to EPA on Lead and Copper Regulation Revisions

    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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  • Comments to CEQ on the National Environmental Policy Act

    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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