Saturday, September 17, 2005
The International Institute for Sustainable Development has outstanding resources available in preparation for the Montreal Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto accord -- on technology, economic growth, carbon markets, and adaptation. The Montreal meeting will begin November 28th. IISD Line of Inquiry Papers
Friday, September 16, 2005
The Clarion-Ledger reported on the DOJ e-mail seeking information to prove that environmental lawsuits have interfered with levees protecting New Orleans -- and suggests that the source of the idea was the September 8 National Review story on Sierra Club litigation against the Corps 1996 levee plans. E-mail suggests government seeking to blame groups - The Clarion-Ledger. (Belated HT Quicksilver).
A federal district court has dismissed Connecticut's public nuisance suit against utilities regarding greenhouse gas emissions. The court ruled that it lacked jurisdiction because global warming is a "high" political question consigned to the legislative and executive branches. Connecticut decision. [hat tip to Eleanor Stein of Albany Law School]
Science has an article reviewing the Dutch experience. Link: HURRICANE KATRINA: Questioning the 'Dutch Solution' -- Enserink and Bohannon 309 (5742): 1809 -- Science.
Wetlands restoration, improved levees, living with the water and/or diverting Mississippi sediment -- the experts are considering long-term solutions for the combination of subsidence and global warming that will sink NO a meter deeper by the end of the century. Link: HURRICANE KATRINA: Scientists Weigh Options for Rebuilding New Orleans -- Bohannon and Enserink 309 (5742): 1808 -- Science.
But the NYTimes thinks it's a good idea. NYTimes editorial (9/16/05)
Original post (9/10/05):
NRC has licensed a temporary nuclear dump in Sen. Orrin Hatch's backyard. Utah will sue and Sen. Hatch will be working to block BIA and BLM permits necessary for the site. NY Times on Utah temporary nuclear storage facility Given the federal tendency to dump stuff in the high plateau states [eastern washington and oregon, idaho, nevada, utah, new mexico], it's no wonder that folks don't like the feds. But, I'll bet their lawsuits will include a NEPA claim.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
The Endangered Species Act has actually helped response to Hurricane Katrina. Some might think that the ESA would get in the way because section 7 requires consultation with FWS/NMFS prior to federal actions affecting endangered or threatened species. But, the FWS consultation regulations provide for formal consultation only after an emergency situation is stabilized. 50 CFR 402.05. The FWS law enforcement personnel have been involved in search and rescue operations and FWS Ecological Services personnel have been involved in identifying hazardous releases.>
CEQ's September 8 memo discusses how to achieve NEPA compliance during the federal response effort to Hurricane Katrina. CEQ September 8 memo FEMA can rely on Section 316 of the Stafford Act, Stafford Act the CEQ NEPA regulations, 40 CFR 1506.11, and the FEMA NEPA implementing regulations, FEMA categorical exclusions to act nimbly (assuming it has the operational capacity) during emergency responses. FEMA NEPA site
The Carbon Disclosure Project, a $21 trillion group of institutional investors, released its report on corporate awareness and response to climate change challenges. CDP Report The report indicates that US corporations are growing increasingly aware of and active in managing risks and opportunities from climate change. CDP3 Summary
The Canadian Environmental Markets Association has issued a call for papers for its Annual Conference on Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in Montreal, Canada. Obviously, topics of interest include all aspects of the Canadian Offset Policy, NOx/SOx trading in Canada, lessons learned from prior greenhouse gas markets, and incorporating early and voluntary offsets into markets. Abstracts are due September 30th. Contact Shai Spetgang, Executive Director. EMA-Canadian chapter
The Hamberg Institute for International Economics (HWWA) hosts a program on October 28-29, 2005 on how climate change cooperation, e.g. Clean Development Mechanism, are bolstering bilateral development. Programme 28-29 October
If you haven't seen it, the Newsletter of the International Environmental Law Committee of the ABA International Law Section has several good brief climate change articles. Offerings include articles on the European Emissions Trading Scheme by Charlotte Streck, on addressing climate change beyond Kyoto by Lakshman Guruswamy and Kevin Doran, and by Wil Burns on climate change damage actions under the Law of the Sea Convention. ABA SIL Intl Envtl Law Com Newsletter You can also visit the Committee's library page ABA SIL Intl Envtl Law Com library page and its links ABA SIL Intl Envtl Law Com links, which provide excellent international environmental law resources.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
I am accumulating resources that help us understand the environmental impacts of Hurricane Katrina
- Close-up aerial photos of key pollution sites SEEN photos
National Institute of Environmental Health Services map Geographic Information System
NIEHS environmental health resources NIEHS Envt Health Res
NIEHS responder training materials. Training
CDC links to previously published articles and response guidance CDC - articles and guidance <>>
- CDC prior mortality and morbidity reports on prior hurricanes CDC hurricane reports
Sunday, September 11, 2005
The UN Chernobyl Forum issued a consensus report on the effects of Chernobyl, which estimates the long term death toll at 4000 (-- up to 8000 beyond immediate area). This significantly narrows the vast range previously estimated from 50 known deaths to tens of thousands.IAEA Chernobyl health report The interesting policy question is how energy policy makers are now estimating risks of catastrophic events at nuclear plants -- and are their estimates informed by the report. Another report of interest is the Chernobyl Forum Environmental report
This is an interesting article on connecting Northern science and Southern agricultures. Agriculture in the developing world- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (open access).
Given the interest in disaster planning/preparedness/recovery right now, you might want to review the summary of the 2004 Disaster Roundtable at the National Academies. Also, I hope environmental folks are at that Roundtable this year and can let us know what is said. Nat' Academies Press, Creating a Disaster Resilient America: Grand Challenges in Science and Technology: Summary of a Workshop (2005).
International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters
Abramowitz, Unnatural Disasters (2001)
Development Patterns Cause More Meta-Disasters