Category Archives: EPA

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Interior’s Latest Endangered Species Act Guidance: Crucial Information for Developers (and AP Government Students)

One of my happiest marital duties is being a guest speaker for my wife’s AP Government classes.  As part of her students’ preparation for the annual AP exam, she asks me to give a presentation focused on the role of the executive branch in relation to the other two main branches of government.  “The kids … Continue Reading

The True Culprit Behind “Sue and Settle”

EPA’s recently announced directive ending “regulation through litigation,” otherwise known in many circles as “sue and settle,” aimed most of its ire at actions allegedly taken outside the typical administrative process “through backroom deals.”  Indeed, the “sue and settle” phenomenon has long been the bugaboo of many national advocacy groups.  The thought has been that … Continue Reading

Cost-Benefit Analyses: Focus of the Next Wave of APA Litigation

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. An engineer, a mathematician, and an economist find themselves stuck in a 30-foot-deep ditch.  Two of them start working away furiously—the engineer is scratching out plans to alter the slope of the ditch to allow them to climb to safety, and the mathematician is calculating the items of … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Decide Whether District or Circuit Courts Have the First Crack at WOTUS

Since the WOTUS rule was promulgated in 2015, there has been much debate over its validity, promises by the current administration to repeal and replace the rule, and, on July 27, 2017, a notice of proposed rulemaking that would alter the current definition of “waters of the United States.”  But before the merits of the … Continue Reading

DC Circuit Vacates Stay of Clean Air Act Methane Rule – a Canary in EPA’s Regulatory Reform Coal Mine?

Immediate reaction to the D.C. Circuit’s July 3 ruling in Clean Air Council v. Pruitt spanned the predictable political divide.  The decision was either a major rebuke of the administration’s efforts to rethink a number of environmental regulations, or it merely represented a case-specific blip on the policy radar screen.  A close reading of the … Continue Reading

Waters of the United States: The Struggle to “Repeal and Replace” Isn’t Limited to Healthcare

The USEPA and Army Corps of Engineers finally announced what has been expected since Inauguration Day – the repeal of the 2015 “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule.  Not unlike the more prominent political battle raging over the Affordable Care Act, the administration now faces the stern challenge of replacing the controversial rule.  Many … Continue Reading

Hidden Behind the President’s Proposed EPA Cuts, an Infrastructure Silver Lining

As expected, President Trump’s recently released “skinny budget” proposes deep cuts to EPA’s 2018 fiscal year funding. The outline calls for Congress to slash $2.4 billion from EPA’s existing budget, reducing the agency’s funding from $8.1 billion to $5.7 billion.  This 31 percent budget reduction would force the agency to axe over 50 programs and … Continue Reading