Saturday, January 14, 2012

In Case You Missed It - Week of January 8-14

  • The White House proposed moving the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration into the Department of the Interior.

  • A new study has offered a possible explanation of why the oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon disaster dissipated so quickly.   

  • President Obama announced a National Ocean Policy action plan.  

  • The Supreme Court heard oral argument in the wetlands / property rights case, Sackett v. EPA. 

  • The NRC argued to the D.C. Circuit that Congressional funding cuts forced it to halt review of the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste storage facility.  

  • Representatives of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the nuclear industry’s trade organization, proposed voluntary safeguards for U.S. plants to address some of the hazards exposed by last year’s explosion at Fukushima Daiichi.  

  • Interior announced a ban on new mining near the Grand Canyon for the next 20 years. 

January 14, 2012 in Current Affairs | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 13, 2012

ABA's 41st Annual Conference on Environmental Law

The ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) will host its 41st Annual Conference on Environmental Law this March 22-24 in Salt Lake City.  If you have not been before, this is one of, if not the, premier environmental law conferences in the nation.  (If the weather turns right, there could also be really great skiing.)  The conference used to be known as the "Keystone Conference."

As usual, there is a fantastic line-up.  Just a few samples include:

  • Environmental Protection on the Chopping Block? How Environmental Law and Enforcement Will Respond to Funding Cuts and Other Restrictions

  • Hydraulic Fracturing on Trial: Possibilities, Pollution, and Preemption

  • Federal Air Regulation of the Energy Sector: What to Expect for Oil, Natural Gas, and Coal

  • Time and Scale: Emerging Challenges to NEPA and the ESA Getting Real About “Growing Communities”—How New Laws and Regulations Are Changing the Game of Urban Expansion

Of particular note, this year's conference has a number of opportunities for students, including panels designed to help acclimate students to emerging issues in the field and scholarships for students to attend (deadline: February 14, 2012).

To register, go to the conference website.

-Lincoln Davies

January 13, 2012 in Current Affairs, Energy, Land Use, Law, North America, Sustainability, Travel, US, Water Quality, Water Resources | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

These Are the Emitters in Your Neighborhood

EPA just released a new interactive web-based map showing the locations of major greenhouse gas emitters across the country.  It's well worth checking out.  You could easily fritter away half an hour playing with it.

- Dave Owen

January 12, 2012 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Gearing Up for Spring Environmentally-Oriented Conferences--Calls for Papers

One of the things I found daunting at first in the academy was figuring out to get to speak at conferences.  I at first assumed that I just had to wait for invitations, and was a little sad when few were forthcoming.  It took me a couple years to realize that for most major conferences, there are calls for presenters and that you get on the program by submitting.  (Yes, I realize that I'm one of the most naturally naive folks around.) 

To that end, I'd like to highlight calls for papers for conferences with some connection to environmental topics.  As the two conferences I'm highlighting in order of their due dates below indicate, I'm thinking broadly about what that means and encourage readers to do so as well.  Please send others my way and I'll make sure to get them up. 

1. Association for Law, Property, and Society, Georgetown University Law Center

Deadline to Submit January 20, 2012

Conference Date: March 2-3, 2012

As the President-Elect of this group, I particularly want to encourage environmental and junior/pre-market folks to feel welcome.  This is an exciting, interdiscplinary group that will provide opportunities for feedback on work, organizational involvement, mentoring, and publication.  There are always a number of environmental law and land use panels.  You can register with or without a paper to present (early stage ideas are welcome), and we'll try to find moderating opportunities for those who don't feel ready to present.  A full description of the conference and submission/registration procedures can be found through the link above.  Feel free to email me at for more information.

2. Beyond Jurisdiction: Wetlands Policy for the Next Generation, SUNY Buffalo Law School

Deadline to Submit: February 13, 2012

Conference Date: April 26-27, 2012

This conference will bring together academics from law and other fields to join advocates in an exploration of the future of wetlands law and policy from a variety of perspectives (normative, empirical, instrumental, etc.). They welcome many voices to this discussion, and invite submissions on any related topic of legal, policy, or additional matters related to wetlands and other jurisdictional waters, including: mitigation, tulloch/discharge issues, ecosystem services, state and local government, enforcement, permit processes (nationwide and regional), Clean Air Act administration, and international and transnational protections. Accepted papers will be published either in a special journal issue or as a chapter in an academic press book. You are invited to submit a paper abstract or presentation proposal of no more than 400 words at the link above.  For more information, contact Kim Diana Connolly at or 716-645-2092

Hari Osofsky

January 12, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sabbatical in Spain!

Greetings from Spain!  I am here as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Granada Law School through June.  Do you have a sabbatical coming up?  Would you like to spend it abroad?  The U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program sends about 1,000 faculty and professionals from the US to over 150 countries each year.  Applications are due each year in early August; you find out if you are a finalist by November or so; and you find out if you will receive a grant by February or March.  The grant can then be used the following school year.  In other words, you have to apply about a year ahead.  The availability and terms of grants vary country-by-country, and in the application process you choose the country you want to apply to.  Complete information is here.  Especially check out the Catalog of Awards that gives specific information about the available grants.

- Lesley McAllister

January 10, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bottled Water Redux (Infographic)

Previously on the blog I posed the question of whether bottling water was such a bad thing after all (see "Environmental Freakonomics: Bottling Water Not So Bad After All?"). Fast Company recently highlighted an infographic presenting some interesting facts addressing that question:

Bottled Water Infographic
- Blake Hudson

January 9, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

In Case You Missed It - Week of January 1-7

- Chinese authorities agreed to release more detailed information on Beijing's air pollution.

- Voters in Kivalina, Alaska decided to move their community's school away from the eroding coast.

- An Ecuadorian court ratified an $18 billion judgment against Chevron, while Chevron described the judgment as unenforceable.

- A state-federal conflict is brewing in New Jersey, with EPA opining that a water quality/planning bill supported by developers may conflict with federal law.

- In Montana, sportsmen's groups are offering bounties to encourage hunters to kill more wolves.  So far, the total kill is well below the state's quota.

January 8, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)