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Natural Resources

NEPA's Uncertainty Principle in the Federal Legal Scheme Controlling Air Pollution From Motor Vehicles

The need to protect the public from the serious adverse health effects of motor vehicle emissions has been recognized as an important public health goal since the 1960s. Evidence of adverse health effects associated with vehicle...

Environmental Management Systems and NEPA: A Framework for Productive Harmony

An environmental management system (EMS) is a systematic approach to identifying and managing an organization's environmental obligations and issues that can complement many aspects of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review...

Federal Permitting Issues Relating to Offshore Wind Energy, Using the Cape Wind Project in Massachusetts as an Illustration

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, may soon become home to something other than quaint towns and peaceful beaches. If a Massachusetts-based company named Cape Wind Associates, LLC (Cape Wind) overcomes various administrative and political hurdles...

The "Action-Forcing" Requirements of NEPA and Ongoing Actions of the Federal Government

The U.S. Supreme Court most properly held in Marsh v. Oregon Natural Resources Council that it would be "incongruous" if "blinders to adverse environmental effects, once unequivocally removed, [were] restored prior to the...

Weakening NEPA: How the Bush Administration Uses the Judicial System to Weaken Environmental Protections

The Defenders of Wildlife Judicial Accountability Project—undertaken with the assistance of the Vermont Law School Clinic for Environmental Law and Policy—seeks to fill a data void on the environmental record of the current...

Judicial Review and Environmental Analysis Under NEPA: "Timing Is Everything"

The timing of environmental analysis and judicial review presents critical issues of interpretation under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).1 Courts must be able to review an agency's compliance with...

Mountaintop Mining and U.S. EPA's Proposed Rule Change: A Giant Step Backward for the Clean Water Act

Imagine that new neighbors move in next door and begin building an addition on their home that blocks the sun, crowds your property, and obstructs you view of the park down the street. Unpleasant? Now imagine that the rights to mine the...

Mitigation Banking as an Endangered Species Conservation Tool

A recent headline on the front page of the Wall Street Journal hailed the opening of the nation's first "butterfly bank."1 The "deposits" in this unusual bank are conservation credits earned by...

Tools for Regulating the Environmental Impact of Mining in the United States

Editors' Summary: Mining law in the United States is a complex patchwork of federal and state statutes and regulations. This Article provides a basic summary of that law. It begins with an overview of the mining industry. It examines...

The Salvage Timber Sales Law: A Serious Threat to Public Lands Management

Despite the recent furor over the environmental damage threatened by the Republican-dominated 104th Congress, the so-called salvage logging bill—a rider on a budget-rescissions bill1—so far is one...