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Categories: “Environmental Law”

  • Oh, Barnacles! Lawsuit Challenges Navy’s Ship Cleaning Activity in Puget Sound
  • July 25th, 2019 — by Amanda Nichols — Category: Environmental Law  Clean Water Act

  • In June 2017, the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, the Washington Environmental Council, and the Suquamish Native American tribe filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Navy in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington alleging that its ship cleaning activity violated the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).


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  • New Jersey Enacts Public Beach Access Law
  • May 22nd, 2019 — by Amanda Nichols — Category: Environmental Law

  • On May 3, New Jersey governor Phil Murphy signed into law a bill intended to protect the public’s access to state beaches. The legislation codifies the state’s public trust doctrine, which ensures that tidal waters and adjacent shorelines are available to the public for navigation, commerce, and recreation, including bathing, swimming, and fishing.


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  • Trump Administration Halts Plans for Offshore Drilling on Outer Continental Shelf
  • May 2nd, 2019 — by Amanda Nichols — Category: Environmental Law

  • On April 25, a new development in President Trump’s “energy dominance” agenda arose when the Department of the Interior confirmed that the current administration would not yet move forward with its plans to open virtually all federal waters to offshore drilling. This decision came in the wake of an Alaska District Court ruling issued in late March that denied President Trump’s attempt to overturn former President Obama’s Arctic and Atlantic drilling bans.


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  • Delta Flooding Revives Discussion of the Yazoo Backwater Pump Project
  • April 12th, 2019 — by Alex Dominguez — Category: Environmental Law  Flooding

  • Over the past several months, the state of Mississippi has been hit with severe rainfall, causing intense flooding, especially along the Mississippi Delta (Delta). Approximately 500,000 acres in the Delta are underwater, 200,000 of which is agricultural farmland. This rainfall has swelled the Mississippi River and its levees, including the Yazoo Backwater Levee, causing some to resurrect old discussions of the Yazoo Backwater Pumping Project.


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  • Key West Follows Hawaii’s Lead, Bans Sale of Certain Sunscreens to Protect Coral Reefs
  • February 8th, 2019 — by Catherine Janasie — Category: Environmental Law Water Quality

  • This week the City Commission of Key West voted 6-1 to ban the sale of sunscreens containing chemicals that could harm coral reefs. The banned chemicals are oxybenzone and octinoxate, which can damage reefs by contributing to coral bleaching and death. Key West’s action follows legislation passed by the state of Hawaii last year which prohibits the sale of the same chemicals.


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  • Federal Court Prohibits Offshore Seismic Testing During Government Shutdown
  • January 24th, 2019 — by Amanda Nichols — Category: Environmental Law

  • On January 21, the U.S. District Court in South Carolina blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to continue preparatory work for offshore drilling during the federal government’s partial shutdown. This ruling comes in response to a decision from the Trump administration issued earlier this month that called back Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) workers to continue processing offshore seismic testing permits in the Atlantic. The testing, which involves loud airgun blasts underwater, is a precursor to offshore drilling for oil and natural gas, and is opposed by many coastal communities in South Carolina due to its potential to cause environmental harm.


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  • No Remedy Yet for D.C. Residents with Sewage-Filled Basements
  • November 19th, 2018 — by Grace Sullivan — Category: Environmental Law

  • The twenty-one plaintiffs in the case of Miller v. D.C. Water and Sewer Authority are D.C. residents who had what a federal judge called “the distinct misfortune” of living on Delafield Place in November of 2016. At that time, the basements of each of the plaintiffs’ single-family homes were filled with more than two feet of raw sewage, including industrial and commercial waste. Plaintiffs described the eruption of sewage from their basement toilets as “overwhelming,” “nauseating,” and “terrifying.”


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