Posts Categorized: EcoPerspectives Blog

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 against the Department over… Read more »

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

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 afford greater legal protections and… Read 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, six states… Read 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 limelight. The Great Lakes are… Read 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 of our… Read 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, and cause persistent environmental damage…. Read 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 advisory and do not carry… Read 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 is now in the process… Read more »

All Dried Up: Tensions Rise over Water Shortage in California

Summary: California is currently in the midst of a severe drought that poses substantial risks to agriculture, endangered species, and human society. Water scarcity has caused tensions to ignite among various groups within California. With the drought ongoing, Californians must consider new ways to preserve their limited water resources. ________________________________________ By Laurie Ristino and Joseph… Read more »

China’s Emissions Trading Plan

Summary: In 2016, the Chinese government plans to launch a national market for carbon permit trading. In preparation for this national system, the government rolled out seven test markets, which saw varying degrees of compliance. Overall, there have been no reductions in carbon emissions. But, the system is not doomed. There are several reasons for… Read more »