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Viewing recent projects in Environmental Health
  • Court Strikes Down Rule Refusing to Limit Cross-State Air Pollution

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated EPA’s Close-Out Rule, which allowed upwind states to continue emitting ground-level ozone pollution that significantly contributes to downwind air quality problems. The agency justified the rule by falling back on its analysis from the Cross-State Update, a prior rule that had provided only a partial remedy to interstate emissions. We filed an amicus brief, which argued that EPA fundamentally misunderstood its job in analyzing and choosing between cost-effective options.

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  • Court Upholds 2015 Ozone Standards

    A federal appeals court recently rejected industry and state challenges to a set of Obama-era air quality standards, which the Institute for Policy Integrity had filed an amicus brief defending. In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) strengthened National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone, the primary ingredient in urban smog and the source of a variety of respiratory ills. The coal mining company Murray Energy Corporation, along with trade associations and several state attorneys general, brought suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, arguing that the new standards were unnecessarily stringent and impossible to achieve. We filed an amicus brief in support of the standards.

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  • Comments to EPA on New York’s Clean Air Act Petition

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to deny New York’s Clean Air Act Section 126 Petition seeking reductions in pollution from upwind sources that significantly impede the state’s attainment of ozone pollution standards. We submitted comments explaining how EPA’s justification for the decision is flawed.

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  • Expert Report on Colorado’s Zero Emission Vehicle Program

    Peter Howard and Jason Schwartz provided an expert report on Colorado’s Zero Emission Vehicle program, which will reduce millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually. They demonstrate how the program’s climate benefits can be monetized and how those estimates can provide useful context for decisionmakers and the public.

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  • Amicus Brief on Repeal of Fracking Rule

    In 2017, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) repealed an Obama-era rule that tightens environmental regulations for fracking on public lands. We filed an amicus brief detailing BLM’s irrational analysis of the repeal, which erases the rule’s significant net benefits and flouts longstanding standard practices.

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  • EPA Science Advisory Board Input

    As part of EPA’s June 5-6 meeting of the Chartered Science Advisory Board (SAB), we submitted both oral and written input on several issues, including the Clean Water Rule, power-sector emissions of air toxics, vehicle emissions standards, and the Science Transparency Rule.

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  • Additional Comments to EPA and NHTSA on Vehicle Emissions Standards Economic Analysis

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are proposing to weaken key fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards for future vehicle models. In October, we highlighted our concerns with some of the economic analysis supporting the proposal. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers submitted comments that included economic analysis supporting the proposed rule prepared by NERA Economic Consulting and Trinity Consultants. In December, we wrote supplemental comments rebutting NERA and Trinity’s analysis, identifying serious flaws and unexplained departures from longstanding practices. NERA recently responded.

    Our latest comments detail how NERA’s response does not address many of the problems we previously discussed. As our comments explain, the analysis relies on unreliable modeling and methodologies, for which NERA still has not provided critical details. NERA also misstates or fails to respond to our points on a number of topics, such as scrappage and fuel savings benefits. We point out the shortcomings in NERA’s response and provide more detail on each of the topics.

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  • Reply Comments to the FCC on Mitigating Space Debris

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) called for input on possible market-based approaches to regulating orbital debris, like small but dangerous fragments from the launch, operation, and disintegration of satellites. We previously submitted comments that included an initial discussion of what the FCC might consider in choosing a market-based regulation. Our reply comments expand on this discussion, outlining specific steps the FCC can take to assess implementing a market-based solution.

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  • Amicus Brief on Interstate Air Pollution

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently finalized the “Close-Out Rule,” a rule refusing to impose any additional reductions in interstate ozone air pollution under the Good Neighbor Provision of the Clean Air Act. We submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit explaining how EPA’s decision to not require pollution reductions is irrational and devoid of adequate analysis.

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  • Environmental Law and Policy, 4th Ed. Cover

    Environmental Law and Policy, 4th Ed.

    This casebook emphasizes environmental policy, as well as the structure and details of the federal environmental statutes. It focuses students’ attention on how tradeoffs between environmental goals and social goals are resolved in different and difficult contexts. The book has been updated to reflect new developments in the law of natural resource management, water pollution, and climate change.

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