EcoPerspectives Blog

The Dam(age) Stops Here: The Public Trust and Dam Removal

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 Summary: Unfortunately for many fish, dams are the end of the river. It doesn’t have to be that way: Dam removal is becoming more common across the country. However, the mechanisms for initiating dam removal are not always efficient. Current dam removal mechanisms are expensive, involve many parties, and can take... More...

Ski Resort Rivers find a Friend at the ENRLC

Summary: The Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic is constantly involved in cases that benefit our environment locally and beyond. Rachel Stewart was a student clinician on the Jay Peak Stormwater team and worked to protect polluted rivers around Jay Peak Resort. The work of student clinicians and the staff at... More...

Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management Releases Final Rule on Hydraulic Fracturing on Public and Tribal Lands

Summary: The Depart of the Interior recently released its final rule on hydraulic fracturing on public and tribal lands. Because many states have no comprehensive fracking regulation in place, the federal rule will become the only governing authority in many parts of the country. However, several groups recently filed suit... More...

A Tree is Uprooted in Brooklyn: No Land Security for New York City’s Community Gardeners

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Summary: New York City’s community gardens form an integral part of life in many of the City’s neighborhoods. However, many current community gardens are at risk of being “evicted” from the City land on which they are located. In order to promote the benefits of community gardening, the City should... More...

James Michener’s Chesapeake Bay Was A+

“And there is was, the Chesapeake — a magical place…where the fish wear precious shells!” -James Michener (1907-1997) — American Author & Pulitzer Prize Winner (1948)   Summary: The beauty and bounty of the Chesapeake Bay watershed has never been more at risk. After decades of ineffective, voluntary efforts, and despite powerful opponents,... More...

Fracking in Michigan: How Drilling for Natural Gas Could Impact the Great Lakes

Summary: A brief look at the fracking industry in Northern Michigan, the laws and regulations, and how fracking is impacting the Grand Traverse Bay Watershed and the Great Lakes. Fracking has been occurring in Northern Michigan for decades, but, compared to the Marcellus Shale, has been essentially overlooked by the national... More...

A Sea Full of Trash: Tackling the Plastic Problem

________________________________________ By Morgana Matus This post is cross-posted on FIX. Beyond the landfills and trash heaps moldering in almost every town and city across the globe, manmade garbage has found its way into the natural landscape on a mind-boggling scale. It seems as though there are virtually no places left on Earth free... More...

Tiny Beads, Big Problem: Vermont Seeks to Ban Microbeads

Summary: There may be tiny bits of plastic in your toothpaste. These small plastic pieces are part of many personal care products and are designed to wash down the drain. However, due to their non-biodegradable nature and miniscule size, the plastic pellets sail through wastewater treatment plants, enter water bodies,... More...

Blurred Lines: The Importance of Delineation Between Legislative and Non-legislative Rules Under the APA

Summary: Not all agency rules have the force of law. In March of 2014, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers issued an “interpretive rule” regarding section 404 of the Clean Water Act, circumventing a notice and comment period. Under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), “interpretive rules” are merely... More...

Zero Trash: Using the Clean Water Act to Control Marine Debris in California

Summary:  Trash that is lost, littered, blown, or washed into the ocean is an issue of growing environmental concern.  Los Angeles is a leader in using the federal Clean Water Act tool of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) to mitigate a major contributing source of marine trash: urban stormwater.  California... More...