E&W Blog

November 3, 2017

Water Sector Unites to Urge Congress to Act on Water Infrastructure

Despite the seeming dysfunction of DC politics these days, there is growing bipartisan support for fixing our nation’s failing water infrastructure. This week, the Earth & Water Law Group and McWane Inc., convened a Congressional roundtable to facilitate a discussion among the members of the Ad Hoc Water Infrastructure Group and members of Congress and […]
November 1, 2017

Clean Air Act Settlement Indicates Enforcement Remains a Significant Tool in in this EPA's Tool Box

The civil settlement between EPA, DOJ, Colorado and the PDC Energy should let those in the oil and gas sector know that the civil cop remains on the beat at the EPA.  And although this settlement may have more of a compliance focus than some in the past, it is reasonable to assume that enforcement in this sector, including […]
October 22, 2017

According to New GAO Report, Market-Based Solutions to Address Water Pollution Need More Support

This week the Government Accountability Office issued a new report titled “Water Pollution:  Some States have Trading Programs to Help Address Nutrient Pollution, but Use Has Been Limited.” What GAO Found In 2014, 11 states had 19 nutrient credit trading programs, and trading provided flexibility for some point sources, such as wastewater treatment plants, to […]
October 16, 2017

EPA Administrator Pruitt Moves to Curtail Sue-and-Settle

EPA’s Administrator, Scott Pruitt, today took additional measures to reduce the number of “sue and settle” types of litigation filed by third parties against the Agency.  The practice of sue and settle has been criticized by such groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce which has characterized the practice as  [W]hen a federal agency agrees […]
October 13, 2017

Maryland Announces New Market-Based Approach to Accelerate Restoration of Chesapeake Bay

The Hogan Administration this week, under the leadership of Benjamin Grumbles, Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Environment, released draft regulations encouraging market-based solutions to accelerate the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.  Significantly, the proposal would allow states to work together under an interstate trading provision to leverage greater opportunities to address interstate water pollution.  If […]
September 30, 2017

States Champion Cooperative Federalism as New Environmental Paradigm

Many believe that the best way to maximize the protection of human health and the environment in a time of constrained resources is to elevate State and local agencies to full partners with their federal overseers. Taking full advantage of the expertise developed by such agencies over the forty-plus years since major air, water and […]
September 27, 2017

Congress Thoughtfully Considers Improvements to Nation's Water Infrastructure

This week, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment held a hearing to discuss solutions to our nation’s aging water infrastructure, with a focus on wastewater and Clean Water Act provisions.   It was a productive and bipartisan hearing with deliberations on the need for more public and private investment, encouraging greater […]
September 24, 2017

Rural Communities Contemplate the Costs and Benefits of Consolidating Water Systems

For CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division October 2017 When Rural Water Systems Combine Report (pdf version) When Rural Water Systems Combine Consolidation may offer benefits for the nation’s rural water industry, but it’s also triggered debate on its rationale, approaches and community impact Is consolidation in your water system’s future? Who should determine whether it’s the […]
September 6, 2017

Improvements in Attribution Science may Inform Retrospective Analysis of Harvey

Oxford scientists are proceeding with a retrospective analysis of human influence on the severity of the extreme weather event in Texas and Louisiana. The last annual report issued as the Bulletin of Atmospheric and Meteorologic Society indicated that attribution science had improved – being able to attribute portions of, or intensity increases to, heat waves, wildfire and […]
August 31, 2017

EPA Watchdog to Investigate Compliance by Drinking Water Systems for Notifying Public of Unsafe Water

Further evidence that EPA remains serious about the safety and quality of the Nation’s drinking water systems, the Agency’s independent watchdog, the Office of Inspector General, has initiated a research project to assess the level of compliance by drinking water systems with the Safe Drinking Water Act’s requirement that such systems notify the public as required […]