When Will Governments Regulate Nonpoint Source Pollution? A Comparative Perspective

Abstract: Although the U.S. Clean Water Act does not directly regulate nonpoint source water pollution, it does provide mechanisms that prompt states to address nonpoint source water quality problems within their borders. This prompt, however, merely raises the next question: when, or under what political conditions, will states actually do so? Although individual states within […]

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Using HGM Analysis to Aggregate Wetlands as “Similarly Situated” Under the Rapanos “Significant Nexus” Test

Abstract: Wetlands are vital to the health of the nation’s waterways. Even small, geographically isolated wetlands can perform important functions that benefit their surrounding ecosystem. Despite the important role of smaller wetlands, the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) protection of these areas is limited to those wetlands that satisfy legal tests limited by the Commerce […]

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Communities in the Dark: The Use of State Sunshine Laws to Shed Light on the Fracking Industry

Abstract: Although oil and gas companies continue to maintain that fracking is safe and there is no risk of injury, personal accounts from residents of areas with a fracking industry presence suggest otherwise. Oil and gas companies utilize a variety of mechanisms to ensure secrecy within the industry. Through gaps in federal regulation, the classification […]

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FERC Net Metering Decisions Keep States in the Dark

Abstract: As the effects of climate change increasingly become a reality, policymakers have recognized the need for more renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, and the benefits of distributed generation. One important way that both renewable energy and distributed generation are being addressed is through the use of electrical net metering policies. Net […]

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Cleaning Up the Colonias: Municipal Annexation and the Texas Fracking Boom

Abstract: For the hundreds of thousands of Americans who reside in poor, unincorporated settlements along the Texas-Mexico border called Colonias, a new source of hope has arisen from the unlikeliest of sources: fracking. Until recently, many Colonias were just shantytowns riddled with costly infrastructure problems that caused various environmental health concerns. Through fracking in South […]

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Blowing the Whistle on Environmental Law: How Congress Can Help the EPA Enlist Private Resources in the Fight to Save the Planet

Abstract: Following the 2008 financial crisis, regulators faced the task of returning the country to financial stability and protecting consumers. Given the challenges involved, Congress empowered the SEC and the CFTC, through the Dodd-Frank Act, to encourage whistleblowers to come forward through programs that provide significant financial rewards and protection. These programs are part of […]

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Protecting Endangered Species Habitat on Private Property: The Public-Private Constitutional Balance Need Not Be a Zero-Sum Game

Abstract: In 2006, the thirty-six acre parcel of land in Hampden, Massachusetts on which William and Marlene Pepin planned to build their retirement home was designated as “priority habitat” for the eastern box turtle, a species of special concern in the Commonwealth. The designation triggered development restrictions intended to prevent harm to the turtle, prompting […]

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Segmentation of Environmental Review: Why Defenders of Wildlife v. U.S. Navy Threatens the Effectiveness of NEPA and the ESA

Abstract: In Defenders of Wildlife v. United States Department of the Navy, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that the environmental review conducted by the Navy and the National Marine and Fishery Service regarding the proposed construction and operation of a warfare training range was in compliance with federal law. In […]

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