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Barking Up the Wrong Tree: Financial Transparency and Accountability in the Forest Service’s NEPA Reviews

The United States Forest Service (USFS) is the federal agency responsible for overseeing all national forests and grasslands. The agency’s forest management duties rest on a careful balancing of interests. This Note argues for transferring the duty to conduct such NEPA reviews to another agency entirely, the Environmental Protection Agency. After describing the USFS’s relationship to logging and NEPA, this Note provides and evaluates a proposal for reassigning NEPA duties, with the goal of ensuring more objective and transparent environmental reviews.

Mar 10, 2023
Waen Vejjajiva

Drying Up: Texas v. New Mexico Shows That the Pecos River Compact is Not Equipped to Handle Climate Change

Climate events are only going to get worse. Water in the Pecos Basin is becoming more scarce. To apportion Pecos River water properly, Texas and New Mexico must work together to create a more comprehensive compact that delineates how to apportion losses from climate-related events. The Supreme Court need not be the arbitrator of all these disputes; rather, the Compact should be detailed enough to give the states clear direction on how to manage conflicts. This would prevent putting an entire region’s livelihood in the hands of nine justices and save the Court’s resources for truly novel legal questions instead of having to exercise their original jurisdiction to solve relatively simple and repetitive disputes.

Mar 10, 2023
Nick Scheuerman

Clean Air Council v. U.S. Steel: Cooperative Federalism or Regulating in the Dark?

Clean Air Council is a victory for both states chafing under federal regulatory oversight and polluters seeking to reduce their compliance burdens. However, the decision creates new hurdles for the federal government’s efforts to mitigate air pollution and climate change. Working with incomplete information about air pollution, federal regulators will have much harder jobs. Ultimately, Clean Air Council invites more questions than it answers, though EPA has tools at its disposal to ensure that it retains access to air pollution data. How will EPA and other circuits react to the Third Circuit’s reinterpretation of CERCLA exemptions? What does the case portend for the Clean Air Act’s “cooperative federalism”? What is certain is that if the federal government wants to effectively control air pollution across the United States, it cannot regulate in the dark without up-to-date knowledge of emissions events.

Mar 10, 2023
Grayson Peters

“Stranded Pesticides”: U.S. Agricultural Worker Vulnerability in the Wake of the 2021 Chlorpyrifos Food Ban

The 2021 chlorpyrifos tolerance revocation is undoubtedly a victory for public health. However, the rule has not eliminated the risks that chlorpyrifos poses to agricultural workers, their families, and their neighbors. Many workers will continue to experience the health risks that the chemical poses, even as policymakers and the public celebrate the 2021 victory and begin to move on. It will be enormously important, then, for all those invested in the notion of environmental justice to remain attentive to the expressed concerns and desires of workers impacted by chlorpyrifos’s stranded uses, among other harmful pesticides.

Mar 10, 2023
Christina Libre