Category Archives: Policy

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Environmental Policy as Part of Integrated Overall Policy

Environmental quality is important, but it is just one set of the objectives of public policy.  Is it possible to think about the incentives set by environmental regulatory decisions and the outcomes they induce as part of a more integrated policy? Perhaps not. Consider Michigan v. EPA, No. 14-46 (U.S. Nov. 25, 2014).  Last month, … Continue Reading

US-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change

from the GT Climate Change Group You may have read in the press that President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping jointly announced an agreement on greenhouse gas emission reduction goals and other climate change measures.  The U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change and an accompanying fact sheet have been released by the White House.  This perhaps breaks the rhetorical logjam of discomfort among … Continue Reading

2014 Voters Address State, Local Infrastructure Funding Proposals

Written by Robert S. Brams, Alais L. M. Griffin‡, Jennifer R. McEwan˘, Jamey L. Tesler and David Veator. On Nov. 4, 2014, voters across the country addressed a series of state and local infrastructure funding proposals that will have substantial ramifications for transportation and infrastructure finance in many major states. As these results will impact the … Continue Reading

Miami-Dade County Extends Period for Public Comment Regarding Proposed Amendments to the Wellfield Protection Ordinance

As we previously reported, on May 24, 2014, Miami-Dade County opened a period for receipt of public comments regarding its proposal to amend the County’s Potable Water Supply Wellfield Protection Ordinance and associated maps for the Northwest Wellfield and the West Interim Wellfield protection areas. The County has extended the comment period. The new deadline for … Continue Reading

Koontz-Inspired State Legislation Would Expand Supreme Court’s Ruling in Permitting Context

Companion bills (H.B. 1077 and S.B. 1310) have been filed in the Florida Senate and House  that would prohibit local governments from imposing permit conditions or “development exactions” on a project that extend “beyond the direct impact of a proposed development.”  This legislation builds upon the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water … Continue Reading

Power of connections

Written by Ashley C. Brown. As summer approaches, the demand for power will soar once again. India’s power sector has slowly been evolving out of the loosely linked series of electric fiefdoms. The commissioning of the 765 kV transmission link between the Southern Grid and the North-East-West Grid, coupled with the new cross-border link with … Continue Reading

GT Air Update – Part II

By Adam Silverman. In part II of our Air Update we address the following recent developments related to the regulation of greenhouse gases: Massachusetts became the ninth—and most recent—state to adopt stricter air standards under the RGGI.  We wrote about New York’s adaptation earlier this year. European Parliament froze the number of pollution allowances in … Continue Reading

GT Air Update – Part I

By Adam Silverman Several recent developments in air regulations are likely to impact regional, national and international air pollution policy.  In part I of our Air Update we address several Clean Air Act topics: The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issues two important Clean Air Act opinions, one clarifying a recent decision to uphold revisions … Continue Reading

New York Issues Its Final Environmental Audit Incentive Policy

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently issued its final environmental audit policy, Commissioner Policy 59.  DEC encourages policy participation by waiving or reducing penalties for environmental violations that regulated entities discover through an environmental audit, and expeditiously report and correct.  Other incentives include avoidance of inspection priority, public recognition by DEC, … Continue Reading

Climate Change Adaptation

A lot of the climate change news recently — and I note it below — has focused on climate change “mitigation.”  Mitigation is steps that might be taken to slow or to avoid changes in the climate.  Of course, that first requires an identification of causes of climate change.  That runs into an ideological dispute … Continue Reading

One Step Forward, One Step Back – NY Moves Forward on Its Environmental Self-Audit Policy as EPA Looks to Retreat

New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently proposed an environmental “audit incentive” policy, which is similar to the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) long standing self-audit policy. In its draft policy, DEC encourages participation by waiving or reducing penalties for environmental violations that regulated entities discover through an environmental audit, and expeditiously report … Continue Reading

Carbon Claustrophobia — Significant Changes Coming to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiatives Cap and Trade Program

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in conjunction with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), is currently accepting public comments on several proposed changes to the DEC’s regulations governing New York’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). DEC’s proposed changes, which are based on updates to … Continue Reading

EPA & Florida Reach Agreement on Disputed Nutrient Standards for Florida’s Waterways

On Friday, March 15, 2013, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced an Agreement in Principle with the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency on the new criteria for Florida’s waters that would limit nitrogen and phosphorus, two nutrients commonly blamed for algae blooms and other water quality problems.  The EPA Agreement in Principle is intended to resolve a lengthy and contentious dispute between EPA and environmental advocacy groups … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Accepts Certiorari in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District — Confiscatory Takings Case

On Friday, October 5, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, an appeal from the Florida Supreme Court.  The questions presented in Koontz are twofold : (1) whether the government can be held liable for a taking when it refuses to issue a land-use permit on … Continue Reading
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