In the nearly fifteen years after Hurricane Katrina, hurricane victims’ efforts to recover for the Army Corps of Engineers’ construction and maintenance of New Orleans’s faulty levee systems have slowly wended their way through the courts. After the Federal Circuit held in St. Bernard Parish Government v. United States that the Army Corps of Engineers’ construction and maintenance did not constitute a taking, hurricane victims’ efforts to recover in the courts hit a dead end.
Increasingly complex environmental challenges reveal the necessity of creative, decisive regulatory solutions. Effective public policy responses to the distributional effects of a changing climate require nuanced analysis and collaborative effort by each branch of government. The analysis supporting the D.C. Circuit’s recent endorsement of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new policy of intercircuit nonacquiescence falls short of the nuance required to address the issues implicated.
What can be done about the recent phenomenon of intense wildfire air pollution in the American West? Wildfire science emphasizes the importance of using fire as a natural, regenerative process to maintain forest health and reduce large wildfire air pollution events. But forestry management policy has long emphasized suppressing wildfires, loading forests with fuel and increasing the risk of catastrophic wildfires.
In 2017 and 2018 the California Legislature passed two packages of bills aiming to address the state’s massive housing shortage. The bills focus on the state’s housing element law and Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) system. These two mechanisms were created to require cities to plan for their long-term housing growth and to ensure cities built their fair share of housing.