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Radical Climate Adaptation in Antarctica

This Article’s central claim is that the governance challenges posed by radical adaptation in Antarctica are surmountable. Geopolitical and security interests may make states more willing than is now evident to explore ice-sheet stabilization and amend the Antarctic Treaty System accordingly. Moreover, the legitimacy of the system relies on the perception that Antarctica is competently governed with adequate regard for global interests—a perception that would be greatly strengthened by vigorous and effective efforts to understand and, if appropriate, execute interventions to slow the continent’s contribution to sea level rise.

Oct 02, 2022
Charles R. Corbett & Edward A. Parson

Air Pollution and Environmental Justice

This Article is organized as follows. Part I details the increasingly broad domain of environmental justice concerns, from beginnings focused on the negative impacts of waste sites on disadvantaged communities to more attention over the last two years on the relationship between COVID-19 death rates and high particulate matter concentrations. Part II shows that disadvantaged communities are subject to higher particulate matter exposure, and finds that, as a result of both this higher exposure and higher susceptibility, they experience significantly worse health outcomes. Turning to the policy front, Part III details how environmental justice claims were cast aside by EPA in the revisions of the NAAQS for particulate matter. Finally, Part IV explains how, because of a lack of political will and some technical challenges, EPA has institutionalized a state of permanent nonattainment with the NAAQS despite the deleterious environmental justice consequences of this action. The Article concludes with a brief, more optimistic blueprint for future action.

Oct 02, 2022
Richard L. Revesz

Building to Burn? Permitting Exurban Housing Development in High Fire Hazard Zones

To understand how well CEQA is addressing wildland-urban interface development, we analyzed data on environmental review for housing projects in three large exurban counties and additional cities with substantial wildland-urban interface areas. Our results indicate that CEQA and local land-use regulation may not be adequately addressing wildland-urban interface development in California. However, any policy response must also recognize the dire housing shortage in the state. Balancing the goals of reducing fire risk and increasing housing production suggests that increased housing development in low fire hazard urban infill areas, and a regional-level planning structure to properly plan for fire hazards, may be appropriate policy responses.

Jun 29, 2022
Eric Biber & Moira O’Neill

Climate Liability for Wildfire Emissions from Federal Forests

This Symposium Article focuses on the issue of wildfire emissions from federal forests and the challenges that wildfire emissions, and forests generally, pose for climate policy.

Jun 29, 2022
William Boyd