The ELPC Blog

In Honor and Memory of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is one of my heroes – for her path-breaking public interest legal advocacy, for her leadership as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, and for her values. Justice Ginsburg’s litigation for women’s rights effectively broke new legal ground in analogous ways to Justice Thurgood Marshall’s and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s litigation

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Defending Public Participation: Zoom Alone Shouldn’t Become New Normal

Public participation is a vital part of the NEPA environmental review and decision-making process and for many environmental permitting and siting processes involving the Army Corps of Engineers, BLM, DOT, EPA, Forest Service, and other federal and state agencies. Public engagement can truly make a difference in both the courts of law and the courts

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Smoke and Mirrors on Clean Air Cost-Benefit Analysis

“Consistency and Transparency” sound like good things, but a new rule from the Trump EPA would be bad on many levels. The proposed rule, Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process is unnecessary and duplicative, and it is downright harmful. By limiting EPA’s ability to consider important

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Toxic one-year anniversary for ArcelorMittal

In August 2019, the ArcelorMittal steel mill in Burns Harbor, Indiana suffered a failure at its blast furnace. The facility discharged cyanide and ammonia in excess of its Clean Water Act’s permit limits, which led to the death of an estimated 3,000 fish and closure of beaches along the southern coast of Lake Michigan, including

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Test fuel fallacy: EPA considers another handout to automakers

The Trump EPA’s environmental rollbacks continue at a rapid clip, putting clean water, clean air, and our climate at risk. Even when EPA has a chance to do something procedural and get it right, the agency seems intent on getting it wrong. A case in point is EPA’s proposal to finally update the gasoline it

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How to Farm Beyond the Rent Check: The Value of Soil Health

Soil is the basis of our food system and rural economy. Everyone benefits when this foundation is strong and healthy. Smart conservation practices can reduce soil erosion, nutrient loss, water pollution, and even carbon emissions, making soil health a critical factor in the future of the Midwest. Conservation farm tillage is not new. Henry Wallace

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When It Comes to Solar, Its A Tale of Two FERCs

Last Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) made two important, but vastly different rulings on the future of renewable energy. One of those decisions could be a matter of life or death for solar, wind and other renewable energy jobs across the nation. While FERC rightly and unanimously rejected an attack on net metering

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Adieu Review: NEPA Rollback Undercuts Sensible Environmental Protections

On July 16, 2020, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) published its final rule rewriting the requirements for how federal agencies comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, known as “NEPA.” I identified our concerns about the draft rule in a blog entry back in January, and my colleague Ann Mesnikoff testified in front of

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Rolling in the REAP: Rural Energy Funding Renewed

The House of Representatives is quickly working its way through bills to fund the federal government for next year. These are BIG bills, but in these BIG bills are individual programs that bring important resources to people and places. One such program is the Rural Energy for America Program – REAP – which helps farmers

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Surviving the Smog Days of Summer: ELPC Fights for Clean Air

While many of Chicago’s usual summer activities have been canceled this year, one has not: the fight against ozone pollution. Also known as smog, ozone is dangerous to people of all ages, especially in the summer months. Victories in Ozone Designation Lawsuit On July 10, 2020, the D.C. Circuit issued its opinion in ELPC and Respiratory

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