Posts By: Marissa

Muddy Clarity for Farming: EPA’s Proposed “Waters of the United States” Definition

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Summary: This EcoPerspective discusses the EPA’s and Army Corps of Engineers’ attempt at redefining the meaning of  “waters of the United States.” Since the Supreme Court decision in Rapanos v. United States, the jurisdictional reach of those agencies over waters with a significant nexus to navigable waters has been somewhat unclear. However, the agencies’ new… Read more »

Of Plastic and Playgrounds: Re-Thinking the Relationship Between Work, Recreation, and the Environment

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Summary: This EcoPerspective takes a critical look at the indirect effects of outdoor recreation on the environment. Large numbers of people are inspired through recreation and related activities to protect the wild and untrammeled places left in the world. But recreation, in itself, has its own environmental consequences. The desire alone to protect these natural… Read more »

Climate Inaction Plan: Obama’s Methane Strategy and its Perilous Path

Summary:   The Obama Administration published an ambitious plan this spring to reduce the nation’s methane emissions. Despite its lofty goals, the Methane Strategy is on course for political pitfalls and delays with regulating the largest source of emissions: the oil and gas sector. For an administration that has already faced difficulties meeting its own regulatory… Read more »

Working Group II releases contribution to the Fifth IPCC Assessment Report

Summary: At the end of last month, the IPCC released the next component of the Fifth Assessment Report. Working Group II’s addition follows the updated scientific analysis of Working Group I and provides information of the impacts of climate change, vulnerability to climate change, and adaptation suggestions. While some argue that the report goes too far… Read more »

Indigenous Peoples Seek a Voice in Natural Resource Management

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Summary: Recently, at Vermont Law School’s annual Solutions Conference, a panel discussion highlighted the need for a stronger indigenous voice in natural resource management. The three speakers came from vastly different cultural and professional backgrounds, but all three agreed that local, state, and federal resource managers have repeatedly ignored indigenous concerns. Currently, indigenous peoples are… Read more »

Lawyers Create A Tribute to Abused Animals

  Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it. Mark Twain (1885-1910) ________________________________________ By Judith Needham, Esq. Lawyer jokes perk up dull parties. We have all heard this one . . . Q: Why won’t sharks attack lawyers? A: Professional courtesy. But,… Read more »

Campaign Finance: An Unsuitable and Unsustainable Vehicle for Environmental Change

Summary:  On the rise on the political front is an effort by some wealthy Americans to fund climate-change ads and invest in politicians willing to support climate-change initiatives. While this may seem like a feasible and much-needed effort in the current political climate, other means of advancing the environmental movement, such as continued advocacy, are… Read more »

Fighting Big Coal––Washington Judge Allows Novel Clean Water Act Citizens’ Suit to Proceed

Summary:  Recently, federal courts in Washington State ruled in favor of environmental organizations and allowed a novel citizens’ suit against the Railroad to proceed on the merits for coal dust emissions from trains into state waterways.  If proven, this would constitute violations of the federal Clean Water Act. ________________________________________ By Kelly Nokes A Washington Federal District… Read more »

Federal Courts Need to Allow the EPA to Clear the Air

Summary:  Smog kills over 200,000 Americans every year; that means that almost one out of every twelve deaths in the United States is from smog.  The EPA’s cap-and-trade program to control smog in the Central and Eastern United States is lawful and wise, and the Supreme Court should overturn the D.C. Circuit’s decision to vacate… Read more »

Tilting at Turbines: Implications of the First Wind Energy Prosecution under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

Summary:  The Department of Justice recently prosecuted the first ever wind energy firm under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Wildlife advocates hailed the prosecution as a step in the right direction, but the outcome has no substantial effect on protecting migratory bird species. It is clear that if bird advocates wish to see reforms in… Read more »