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Resilient Carbon

Carbon offsets allow polluters to pay someone else to reduce, avoid, or remove emissions to counterbalance their own emissions. For some, carbon accounting concerns render offsets a necessary evil to be tightly regulated on the path toward decarbonization. For others, moral and political concerns render offsets a dangerous mistake to be thrown out of the climate law toolbox.

This Permit Reform Already Works. Why Aren't More Mining Projects Using It?

In January 2021, the mining sector was made eligible for coverage under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41) program, a pilot project designed to expedite federal permitting. Although mining projects have been eligible for over two years, only recently was the first one posted on the Permitting Dashboard.

An Unlikely Climate Hero? Experimental Populations Outside Their Historical Range

Climate change is ravaging the flora and fauna of the United States and contributes to ecosystem damage, including the conversion of Alaskan forests to savannah grasslands, rising sea levels that have destroyed the Key deer’s habitat, and warming regional temperatures that have stifled the growth of crops in the Northeast. What if there were a way for species to thrive away from the sinking coasts and changing landscapes that they have historically inhabited?

Climate Compliance Versus Action 2023

The Inflation Reduction Act and Federal Buy Clean Initiative have each inspired states and municipalities to regulate embodied carbon (Scope 3) using “Buy Clean” policies and legislation. Reducing embodied carbon has become mainstream, and environmental product declarations (EPDs) have surfaced as the tool. Are EPDs alone enough? Is the compliance timeline sufficient? On February 1, 2023, the Environmental Law Institute hosted a panel of experts that provided an update on Buy Clean policy, green funding, the status of carbon emissions, and a primer on EPDs.

88 FR 35841

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office expanded the Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program to include innovations in any economic sector that are designed to make progress toward achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, increased the filing limitations for petitions under the program, and extended the duration of the program. 

88 FR 35929

United States v. Eastman Chemical Resins, Inc., No. 2:23-cv-00867-MJH (W.D. Pa. May 24, 2023). Settling CWA, CAA, and RCRA defendants must perform injunctive relief, including conducting a third-party environmental audit, implementing effluent limit violations response requirements, performing facility specific work and repairs, completing comprehensive stormwater and groundwater control plans, and implementing a RCRA-based training program and daily inspection requirements; as well as pay a $2.4 million civil penalty in connection with alleged violations at a hydrocarbon resins manufacturing facility in Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania.

88 FR 34853

EPA entered into a proposed consent decree under the CAA in California Communities Against Toxics v. Regan, No. 1:22-cv-03724 (D.D.C.), that would establish a deadline for the Agency to sign a final rule in connection with its alleged failure to perform its non-discretionary duty to “review, and revise as necessary” the NESHAPs: Ethylene Oxide Emissions Standards for Sterilization Facilities, at least every eight years.

88 FR 34800

FWS proposed to list the Sira curassow and southern helmeted curassow as endangered under the ESA.

88 FR 34852

EPA made available for comment the draft document Draft Policy Assessment for the Review of the Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Oxides of Nitrogen, Oxides of Sulfur and Particulate Matter – External Review Draft, prepared as part of the current review of the secondary NAAQS for nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and particulate matter.

88 FR 34448

SIP Approval: Illinois (second maintenance plan for the 1997 ozone NAAQS through 2032 in the St. Louis, MO-IL area).