The Environmental Protection Agency announced it would repeal a Trump-era rule that weakened pollution controls for wetlands and streams.
In recent years, states have used the Clean Water Act to block pipelines and other fossil fuel projects. The Trump administration tried to curb that power.
The series of executive orders signed by Joe Biden on his first evening in office included a heavy focus on environmental regulations. Some of the high-profile actions had been signaled in advance—we’re back in the Paris Agreement! The Keystone pipeline’s been put on indefinite hold!
But the suite of executive orders includes a long list that targets plenty of the changes Trump made in energy and environmental policies, many of which will have more subtle but significant effects of how the United States does business. Many of those make major changes, in some cases by eliminating policies adopted during the Trump years, a number of which we covered at the time. So, we’ve attempted to take a comprehensive look at Biden’s actions and their potential impacts.
Laws, rules, and policies
Environmental and energy regulations are set through three main mechanisms. The first is by specific laws, which would require the cooperation of both houses of Congress to change. Next are also more general laws, like the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. These enable regulations to be put in place via a formal rule-making process run by the agencies of the executive branch. This process involves soliciting public feedback, incorporating economic considerations, and so on, a process that typically takes anywhere from eight months to over a year. Finally, the executive branch can set policies to cover details not spelled out by the law or the rule, such as how to handle things like deadlines and enforcement details.
Two former workers claim New York Waterway fouled the river with unfiltered waste from boats’ toilets. The firm denies the allegations.
A new report finds an “alarming” drop in prosecutions over violations of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, fundamental environmental laws.
New York City nonprofits are using a cloud-based service from the start-up Temboo that helps monitor storm-water runoff and other environmental factors.
In a 6-to-3 ruling, the court rejected arguments by a county in Hawaii and the Trump administration that only pollution discharged directly into navigable waters requires permits.
Three organizers from the first event in 1970 remind us that we still have a lot of work to do.