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Natural Resources

Strategizing Against the Flame: What’s Next for California’s Wildfires?

The 2018 wildfire season was the deadliest and most destructive on record in California, destroying thousands of structures. Gov. Gavin Newsom created a strike force to develop a comprehensive strategy to address the destabilizing...

Proposed Revisions to Improve and Modernize CEQ’s NEPA Regulations

When the president’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) produced its Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (CEQ NEPA Regulations) in 1978, those regulations were sufficiently...

Environmental Gatekeepers: Natural Resource Trustee Assessments and Frivolous Daubert Challenges

Environmental disasters wreak havoc on ecosystems and public trust resources. The environmental statutory regime in place today aims to remedy these disasters and restore the public trust as efficiently as possible. In order to do so,...

Determining Climate Responsibility: Government Liability for Hurricane Katrina?

In St. Bernard Parish Government v. United States, Louisiana property owners argued that the U.S. government was liable under takings law for flood damage to their properties caused by Hurricane Katrina and other hurricanes....

Solid Ground: Using Mitigation to Achieve Greater Predictability, Faster Project Approval, and Better Conservation Outcomes

Mitigation—shorthand for avoiding impacts to important species and habitat, minimizing impacts, and then providing offsets for the remaining, residual impacts—is a valuable tool for developers and federal agencies to comply with the...

Developments in Standing for Public Lands and Natural Resources Litigation

This Article offers a framework for analysis of potential developments in the law of standing in cases involving public lands and natural resources. It is based on recent federal case law and academic literature addressing the law of...

Zeroing Out Climate Change: A “Hard Look” at Trump’s Social Cost of Carbon

President Donald Trump has referred to climate change as a “hoax,” and in March 2017 issued Executive Order No. 13783, Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth. Section 5 of this Order directs federal agencies to discontinue...

Superstorm Sandy at Five: Lessons on Law as Catalyst and Obstacle to Long-Term Recovery Following Catastrophic Disasters

Nine of the 10 costliest U.S. hurricanes on record have ravaged the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts in the first two decades of the 21st century, yet federal, state, and local governments continue to struggle with devising an efficient and...

Managing Property Buyouts at the Local Level: Seeking Benefits and Limiting Harms

Efforts to conduct buyouts of at-risk properties are an increasingly popular resilience tool, especially in response to massive flooding losses in recent years and the financial predicament of the National Flood Insurance Program. Calls...

Floodplain Buyouts: How Local Governments Can Maximize Community Benefits, Habitat Connectivity, and Resilience

Since 1993, FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program has funded the acquisition of over 37,000 flood-damaged properties. On these purchased properties, existing structures must be removed and the land dedicated to open space, recreational...

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