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Full-Text Articles in Law

When Does Legal Flexibility Work In Environmental Law, Eric Biber, Josh Eagle Nov 2105

When Does Legal Flexibility Work In Environmental Law, Eric Biber, Josh Eagle

Josh Eagle

Environmental law scholars, practitioners, and policymakers have wrestled for some time with the implications of climate change for environmental law. There is widespread, although not universal, agreement that climate change requires greater flexibility in environmental legal systems. Flexibility—reduced procedural requirements for administrative agency decision making and less rigid substantive standards—would allow the agencies that implement environmental law to adapt to a future world characterized by dynamic, uncertain changes in natural resource systems. According to its proponents, flexibility would make it easier for agencies to more frequently update their management or regulatory decisions to respond to changed conditions, and also to …


When Does Legal Flexibility Work In Environmental Law, Eric Biber, Josh Eagle Nov 2105

When Does Legal Flexibility Work In Environmental Law, Eric Biber, Josh Eagle

Eric Biber

Environmental law scholars, practitioners, and policymakers have wrestled for some time with the implications of climate change for environmental law. There is widespread, although not universal, agreement that climate change requires greater flexibility in environmental legal systems. Flexibility—reduced procedural requirements for administrative agency decision making and less rigid substantive standards—would allow the agencies that implement environmental law to adapt to a future world characterized by dynamic, uncertain changes in natural resource systems. According to its proponents, flexibility would make it easier for agencies to more frequently update their management or regulatory decisions to respond to changed conditions, and also to …


U'Wa Indigenous People Vs. Columbia: Potential Applications Of The Escazu Agreement, Ariana Lippi Mar 2024

U'Wa Indigenous People Vs. Columbia: Potential Applications Of The Escazu Agreement, Ariana Lippi

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

Though the case is ongoing, and results are still to be seen, it in many ways sets a precedent for indigenous communities in Latin America seeking redress for environmental and cultural injustices. With Colombia’s recent ratification of The Escazú Regional Agreement (the Agreement herein) in 2022, this case presents a unique opportunity for implementation of the Agreement and greater accountability within existing domestic legislation.


Natural Resources In The Arctic: The Equal Distribution Of Uneven Resrouces, Ganeswar Matcha, Sudarsanan Sivakumar Mar 2024

Natural Resources In The Arctic: The Equal Distribution Of Uneven Resrouces, Ganeswar Matcha, Sudarsanan Sivakumar

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

This paper analyses the governance machine in place at the Arctic and examines the application of the principles of “common heritage of mankind” at the Arctic. This paper also offers some tentative propositions aimed at protecting Out Bound investment rights and how the World Trade Organization or other countries, like the U.S., can intercede in the Arctic investment sphere and attempt to regulate along with the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea.


Incentivizing Sustainability In American Enterprise: Lessons From Finnish Model, Vasa T. Dunham Mar 2024

Incentivizing Sustainability In American Enterprise: Lessons From Finnish Model, Vasa T. Dunham

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

The disparate climate performances of Finland and the United States, two of the wealthiest countries in the world, bring to light the question of how corporate responsibility has been inspired in each jurisdiction. Having established the urgency of the climate crisis and the importance of corporate behavior in optimizing a given country’s approach to protection of the global environment, an examination of each nation’s legal frameworks may shed light on features of the corporate regime that are effective in advancing sustainability goals and those that are not.22 Part I of this paper establishes a comparative framework by providing background on …


Editor's Note, Shade Streeter, Reagan Ferris Mar 2024

Editor's Note, Shade Streeter, Reagan Ferris

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

The Sustainable Development Law & Policy Brief (ISSN 1552-3721) is a student-run initiative at American University Washington College of Law that is published twice each academic year. The Brief embraces an interdisciplinary focus to provide a broad view of current legal, political, and social developments. It was founded to provide a forum for those interested in promoting sustainable economic development, conservation, environmental justice, and biodiversity throughout the world.


Soil Governance And Private Property, Sarah J. Fox Jan 2024

Soil Governance And Private Property, Sarah J. Fox

Utah Law Review

This is an Article about soil. In consequence, it is also an Article about our relationship to land, and about how that relationship can and must change to confront the many environmental crises facing the United States. Questions about our relationship with the physical environment around us necessarily come to the fore in conversations about soil because of its several identities. It is one of Earth’s most precious resources—the substance responsible for allowing plants to grow, filtering pollutants out of water, providing habitat to countless organisms, sequestering carbon, and providing many other valuable functions. Soil also, however, makes up the …


Soaps And Shampoos: Proposals To Reform Regulation In The United States Personal Care Market To Decrease Deforestation From Palm Oil Imports, Kelsey Weston Sep 2023

Soaps And Shampoos: Proposals To Reform Regulation In The United States Personal Care Market To Decrease Deforestation From Palm Oil Imports, Kelsey Weston

Environmental and Earth Law Journal (EELJ)

Palm oil is the world's most highly sought-after vegetable oil due to its multifaceted uses and cheap cost of production. However, producing this versatile oil comes at a high cost to one of the largest biodiversity on the planet. Over the last two centuries, Indonesia and Malaysia have become the main producers and exporters of palm oil but they are also home to the largest number of mammal species in the world that have seen a staggering decline in populations. Furthermore, palm oil production has caused excessive release of greenhouse gases, increased disruption of forestland, and economic poverty for smallholders …


Prioritizing Regional Wildlife Conservation By Rejuvenating The Western Hemisphere Convention On Nature Protection, Shade Streeter, David Hunter, William Snape Iii Jul 2023

Prioritizing Regional Wildlife Conservation By Rejuvenating The Western Hemisphere Convention On Nature Protection, Shade Streeter, David Hunter, William Snape Iii

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

Last year, parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (“CBD”), representing nearly every nation, signed a milestone agreement committing, among other things, to conserve thirty percent of Earth’s lands and oceans to stave off the rapid diminution of the planet’s biodiversity. Implementing these global commitments will require not only strong domestic measures, but also enhanced regional cooperation targeting the conservation of the region’s migratory wildlife and shared resources. Although the United States is the sole major holdout from the CBD, it can still reassert its leadership in regional wildlife conservation by rejuvenating the Convention on Nature Protection and Wildlife Preservation …


Unclos, Undrip & Tartupaluk: The Grim Tale Of Hans Isle And Graense, Christopher Mark Macneill Jul 2023

Unclos, Undrip & Tartupaluk: The Grim Tale Of Hans Isle And Graense, Christopher Mark Macneill

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

“Inuit have lived in the Arctic from time immemorial.” The Arctic, in the face of climate change, has become a hot spot for exploration, resource extraction, and increased shipping and scientific activity. “[The] Inuit . . . have had a common and shared use of the sea area and the adjacent coasts” among their own communities, and contemporaneously with the world. This vast circumpolar Inuit Arctic region includes land, sea, and ice stretching from eastern Russia (Chukotka region) across the Berring Strait, to Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, and Greenland, representing an Inuit homeland known as Nunaat. Hans Isle, a small …


The Great Climate Migration: A Critique Of Global Legal Standards Of Climate-Change Caused Harm, Mariah Stephens Jul 2023

The Great Climate Migration: A Critique Of Global Legal Standards Of Climate-Change Caused Harm, Mariah Stephens

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

Approximately 2.4 billion people, or about forty percent of the global population, live within sixty miles (one hundred kilometers) of a coastline. The United Nations (“U.N.”) determined that “a sea level rise of half a meter could displace 1.2 million people from low-lying islands in the Caribbean Sea and the Indian and Pacific Oceans, with that number almost doubling if the sea level rises by two metres.” The U.N. also reports that “sudden weather-related hazards” have internally displaced an annual average of 21.5 million people since 2008. Within the next few decades, this number is likely to continue to increase. …


The Future Of Crypto-Asset Mining: The Inflation Reduction Act And The Need For Uniform Federal Regulation, Liz Guinan Jul 2023

The Future Of Crypto-Asset Mining: The Inflation Reduction Act And The Need For Uniform Federal Regulation, Liz Guinan

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

Crypto-asset mining is energy-intensive and environmentally harmful, presenting challenges and opportunities for federal, state and local governments, regulators, and society as a whole. As of December 2021, the United States has thirty-eight percent of the global crypto network hash rate, which is the total amount of computational power used to mine and process crypto transactions, making the United States the world’s largest crypto-asset mining industry. The total electricity consumption of crypto-asset mining in the United States is estimated to be around 121.36 terawatt-hours (“TWh”) per year, which is equivalent to the electricity consumption of approximately 10.9 million households in the …


Editors' Note, Rachel Keylon, Meghen Sullivan Jul 2023

Editors' Note, Rachel Keylon, Meghen Sullivan

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

For more than two decades, the Sustainable Development Law and Policy Brief (“SDLP”) has published works analyzing emerging legal and policy issues within the fields of environmental, energy, sustainable development, and natural resources law. SDLP has also prioritized making space for law students in the conversation. We are honored to continue this tradition in Volume XXIII.


Pedal Into The Future, Elliot Wiley Mar 2023

Pedal Into The Future, Elliot Wiley

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

Congress severely weakened the Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment Act (E-Bike Act) when the bill was absorbed into the Build Back Better Bill. Electricity is the future, yet Congress has defanged a bill that could create significant progress in making bicycling a more accessible option for commuters.


Toward A Utah Intentionally Created Surplus Program, Devin Stelter Mar 2023

Toward A Utah Intentionally Created Surplus Program, Devin Stelter

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

The Colorado River Basin continues to face a now two decade-long drought sparked by the drastic effects of climate change on the region. Climate forecasting predicts that the adverse effects of climate change will only increase in severity in years to come. These effects have led federal, state, tribal, and private actors operating in the basin to search for innovative and effective solutions to the significant water scarcity problems that will persist into the future. A closely linked threat stemming from Colorado River water scarcity is the prospect of a “Compact call” on Upper Basin water by the Lower Basin …


About Sdlp, Sdlp Mar 2023

About Sdlp, Sdlp

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

The Sustainable Development Law & Policy Brief (ISSN 1552-3721) is a student-run initiative at American University Washington College of Law that is published twice each academic year. The Brief embraces an interdisciplinary focus to provide a broad view of current legal, political, and social developments. It was founded to provide a forum for those interested in promoting sustainable economic development, conservation, environmental justice, and biodiversity throughout the world.


Editor's Note, Juliette Jackson, Bailey Nickoloff Mar 2023

Editor's Note, Juliette Jackson, Bailey Nickoloff

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

The Sustainable Development Law and Policy Brief (“SDLP”) is celebrating twenty-two years of legal scholarship on issues related to environmental, energy, natural resources, and international development law. SDLP continues to provide cutting-edge solutions to these legal issues in the face of the global COVID-19 Pandemic, while also transitioning back into a “new normal.” This issue is no different, as we published articles challenging our lawmakers and policy heads to address the impending needs of our communities to develop more sustainable infrastructure—needs that are only exacerbated by man-made climate change. We are proud of the work published, and we are forever …


It's Time To Trash Consumer Responsibility For Plastics: An Analysis Of Extended Producer Responsibility Laws' Sucess In Maine, Marina Mozak Mar 2023

It's Time To Trash Consumer Responsibility For Plastics: An Analysis Of Extended Producer Responsibility Laws' Sucess In Maine, Marina Mozak

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

Consumer responsibility for waste is a historic relic, dating back to a time when nearly all of a consumer’s waste was compostable, reusable, or marketable. Today, with the rise of plastics and complex goods like electronics, consumers lack the expertise, time, and ability to personally break down the products they consume for reuse. Much of our household waste goes to the curb and into a single stream of municipal solid waste (“MSW”). This includes a variety of wastes which each require specialized processing. Recycling this complex waste falls to municipalities which are woefully underfunded and underqualified to process such complex …


Ohio House Bills 168 And 110: Just Another Drop In The Bucket For Brownfield Redevelopment?, Mia Petrucci Mar 2023

Ohio House Bills 168 And 110: Just Another Drop In The Bucket For Brownfield Redevelopment?, Mia Petrucci

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

This article examines Ohio House Bills 168 and 110. These House Bills provide liability protection to purchasers of brownfield sites, allocate $500 million dollars to brownfield funding—with $350 million allotted for investigation, cleanup, and revitalization of brownfield sites and $150 million for demolition of vacant/abandoned buildings—and create a new Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program, for the revitalization of properties surrounding brownfield sites. In the first three Sections of this article, the concept of brownfield redevelopment is introduced, the associated challenges with brownfield projects are discussed, and attempts by federal and state governments to address brownfield remediation challenges in the …


About Sdlp, Sdlp Mar 2023

About Sdlp, Sdlp

Sustainable Development Law & Policy

The Sustainable Development Law & Policy Brief (ISSN 1552-3721) is a student-run initiative at American University Washington College of Law that is published twice each academic year. The Brief embraces an interdisciplinary focus to provide a broad view of current legal, political, and social developments. It was founded to provide a forum for those interested in promoting sustainable economic development, conservation, environmental justice, and biodiversity throughout the world.


New York Environmental Legislation In 2022, Michael B. Gerrard, Edward Mctiernan Jan 2023

New York Environmental Legislation In 2022, Michael B. Gerrard, Edward Mctiernan

Faculty Scholarship

Several significant environmental bills were enacted by the New York legislature and signed by Gov.Kathy Hochul in 2022, and several others were vetoed. As a result of measures enacted last year, New York will see $4.2 billion invested in environmental protection, restoration, climate resiliency and clean energy projects; potential disproportionate and inequitable impacts on disadvantaged communities will become a key factor in determining whether environmental permits are issued; and apparel containing intentionally added per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) will no longer be sold in the state. In addition, important changes were made to New York’s brownfield and wetlands laws. These …


Emerging Best Practices In International Atmospheric Trust Case Law, Rachel M. Pemberton, Michael Blumm Nov 2022

Emerging Best Practices In International Atmospheric Trust Case Law, Rachel M. Pemberton, Michael Blumm

Utah Law Review

With climate change litigation proliferating throughout the world, a substantial body of case law is emerging. As part of a project of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law's Climate Change Specialist Group, this Article, a version of which will be included in a “Judicial Handbook on Climate Litigation,” explains the public trust doctrine’s influence on climate change litigation internationally. We select what we view as judicial “best practices” as a kind of restatement of international atmospheric trust law in 2022. International atmospheric trust law is at the forefront of many best practices, as state and federal courts in the …


Municipalities Could Provide Valuable Second-Life Uses Of Electric Vehicle Li-Ion Batteries While Legislators And Manufacturers Refine Safe Recycling And Disposal Practices, Heather D. Stewart Sep 2022

Municipalities Could Provide Valuable Second-Life Uses Of Electric Vehicle Li-Ion Batteries While Legislators And Manufacturers Refine Safe Recycling And Disposal Practices, Heather D. Stewart

Environmental and Earth Law Journal (EELJ)

As consumers are embracing emerging electric vehicles (EVs) as an important step to take in combating climate change, the reality is that the EV solution has some serious short-term issues to address, especially when evaluating the lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) that power most EVs. This comment first discusses the potential problems associated with the lack of recycling and disposal technology as well as regulations that are available for EV LIBs. Even though consumers and regulators alike are supportive that fossil fuel-burning internal combustion engines need to be replaced with cleaner transportation options such as EVs, policies, and proclamations are still subject …


Addressing The Disproportionate Adverse Health Effects Among Bipoc Communities As A Result Of Environmental Racism, Lindsay M. Farbent Sep 2022

Addressing The Disproportionate Adverse Health Effects Among Bipoc Communities As A Result Of Environmental Racism, Lindsay M. Farbent

Environmental and Earth Law Journal (EELJ)

This article examines factors that contribute to the negative health impacts on Black Americans, other minorities, and low-income communities that are living in areas with high levels of air pollution, toxic waste, and environmental hazards. First, this article assesses the role of historical residential redlining on the segregation of BIPOC neighborhoods. Furthermore, the article addresses gaps in both federal and state environmental laws that allow facilities to keep obtaining permits and polluting in BIPOC and primarily low-income neighborhoods. Moreover, the article explains the higher rates of trauma, stress, and stress-related illnesses among BIPOC communities exposed to high levels of environmental …


Is Bitcoin The New Gold? The Two May Be More Similar Than You Think, Including Their Value, Uses, And Deleterious Effects On The Environment, Justin Allen Sep 2022

Is Bitcoin The New Gold? The Two May Be More Similar Than You Think, Including Their Value, Uses, And Deleterious Effects On The Environment, Justin Allen

Environmental and Earth Law Journal (EELJ)

In the 1850s, the Gold Rush started in the United States, and in 2010, an analogous phenomenon, the Cryptoboom, began. Similar to the Gold Rush, Bitcoin’s initial boom was marred by the deleterious effects that mining for valuable coins had on the environment, but there are steps that can be taken to mitigate the negative effect cryptocurrencies have on the environment. Cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and the blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrencies, have been widely embraced by many people, corporations, and even entire governments for a multitude of reasons. Some have embraced the fruits of blockchain to use as a decentralized …


Miami Is Setting The Expectation On How Coastal Communities In Florida Should Respond To Protect Homeowners From The Sinking State, Dayana B. Blanco Sep 2022

Miami Is Setting The Expectation On How Coastal Communities In Florida Should Respond To Protect Homeowners From The Sinking State, Dayana B. Blanco

Environmental and Earth Law Journal (EELJ)

This note begins by explaining what environmental factors are causing the sea level rise to increase at just a rapid pace and how coastal communities are ultimately affected. Because Florida is a slice of paradise within the states, it causes the population to increase vastly. Thus, millions of homeowners could face tragic consequences, such as total inundation of residential homes, flooding within the community, and a drastic decrease in home value. In response to this natural disaster, in 2021, Governor Ron DeSantis passed Senate Bill 1954 into law, which requires the Department of Environmental Protection to complete a statewide flood …


Congress Invests In A New Generation: The Future Of Commercial Fishing Is Supported By The Implementation Of The Young Fishermen’S Development Act, Shayla Alltop Sep 2022

Congress Invests In A New Generation: The Future Of Commercial Fishing Is Supported By The Implementation Of The Young Fishermen’S Development Act, Shayla Alltop

Environmental and Earth Law Journal (EELJ)

This note speaks to the importance and potential impact of the Young Fishermen’s Development Act. This ongoing, historical legislation, ultimately signed into law on January 5, 2021, will establish funds over several fiscal years to support the future of commercial fishing. The Alaska and New England regions are discussed briefly to show the significance of the commercial fishing industry to those areas. An overview of the Act is provided, and the context for its need is explained as it relates to the industry’s entrants. Further, the phenomenon known as “graying of the fleet” is examined, as well as some of …


Patents And Plants: Rethinking The Role Of International Law In Relation To The Appropriation Of Traditional Knowledge Of The Uses Of Plants (Tkup), Ikechi Mgbeoji May 2022

Patents And Plants: Rethinking The Role Of International Law In Relation To The Appropriation Of Traditional Knowledge Of The Uses Of Plants (Tkup), Ikechi Mgbeoji

PhD Dissertations

Legal control and ownership of plants and traditional knowledge of the uses of plants (TKUP) is often a vexed issue, particularly at the international level because of the conflicting interests of states or groups of states in the matter. The most widely used form of juridical control of plants and TKUP is the patent system which originated in Europe. This thesis rethinks the role of international law and legal concepts, the major patent systems of the world and international agricultural research institutions as they affect legal ownership and control of plants and TKUP. The analysis is cast in various contexts …


Pacific Salmon Law And The Environment: Treaties, Endangered Species, Dam Removal, Climate Change, And Beyond (Tables And Preface), Michael Blumm Jan 2022

Pacific Salmon Law And The Environment: Treaties, Endangered Species, Dam Removal, Climate Change, And Beyond (Tables And Preface), Michael Blumm

Books & Contributions to Books

The law and policy of salmon protection and restoration are complex, and matters surrounding salmon implicate topics as varied as Indian treaty fishing rights, dam management and removal, international treaties, predator con­trol, and climate change. Pacific Salmon Law and the Environment chronicles the diverse issues concerning salmon allocation, management, and restoration in the 21st century, providing the historical understanding necessary for an accurate perspective of the present-day problems salmon face. The book is a must-read for ecologists, biologists, attorneys, educators, activists, students, and others concerned about the fate of salmon in the Pacific Northwest in the climate-challenged 21st century. More …


Sacrificing The Salmon: A Legal History Of The Decline Of Columbia Basin Salmon (Full Text Part 2 Of 2), Michael Blumm Jan 2022

Sacrificing The Salmon: A Legal History Of The Decline Of Columbia Basin Salmon (Full Text Part 2 Of 2), Michael Blumm

Books & Contributions to Books

Salmon remain the cultural and economic soul of the Pacific Northwest, a species whose very life cycle largely defines the region. At the center of the salmon region lies the Columbia River, which once supported the world's largest salmon runs and which now is home to the world's largest interconnected hydroelectric system. These massive federal and non-federal dams have devastated Columbia Basin salmon runs, some of which are now extinct, others are on life-support.

This book tells the story of the decline of the Columbia Basin salmon in the 20th century. But it begins earlier, with the signing of mid-19th …