Environment, Land & Resources

Tag Archives: pollution

New JRC Report Reviews Progress in Tackling Soil Contamination

The report supports the efforts of the EU’s Seventh Environment Action Programme. By Alexander Wilhelm According to a report prepared by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) — the European Commission’s science and knowledge service — countries across Europe are making progress on tackling soil contamination. The report[i] states that the management of contaminated sites in … Continue Reading

Courts Block Coal Ash Suits, Setting Up US Supreme Court Showdown

Fourth and Sixth Circuit decisions give power plant operators additional defenses to citizen suits pending potential Supreme Court review of “groundwater conduit” theory. By Joel C. Beauvais and Stacey L. VanBelleghem Over the past month, two US Courts of Appeals have rejected Clean Water Act (CWA) citizen suits seeking to hold power companies liable for … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Strikes Down EPA Coal Ash Rule Provisions

Decision may significantly impact active and inactive unlined and clay-lined coal ash impoundments, likely requiring closure or retrofit. By Claudia M. O’Brien and Stijn van Osch The D.C. Circuit this week struck down parts of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) rule for not being sufficiently protective of the environment. The decision … Continue Reading

China’s “War Against Pollution” Intensifies in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region

Approximately 1,000 manufacturing firms in Beijing will close by 2020. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China’s anti-pollution efforts have intensified in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, which is known for its problems with smog. In fact, Premier Li Keqiang has identified Beijing and Hebei as key areas in the “war against pollution.” The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei … Continue Reading

China Targets Company Polluters and Officials Who Fall Short of Their Duties

The Chinese government and legislature are increasing pressure on local government officials and companies to reduce pollution in China. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China’s legislature is targeting companies responsible for pollution, and has ordered local judiciaries and lawmakers to implement revised rules and enforce penalties against those who break them. Air … Continue Reading

Chinese Authorities Crack Down on Yangtze River Environmental Offenders

Polluters of one of China’s most polluted waterways are increasingly facing prosecution through coordinated local and national efforts. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate Chinese authorities have been increasing their efforts to prosecute environmental offenders along the Yangtze River, the third-longest river in the world and the longest in Asia. The crackdown reflects … Continue Reading

China Releases 2020 Air Pollution Action Plan

The plan’s stricter and more targeted requirements will impact a broader range of provinces, including the Fen-Wei Plains. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China has released a new three-year action plan for 2018 to 2020 to combat air pollution. The previous air pollution action plan, published in 2013, has played a significant … Continue Reading

Can China Meet Its Paris Agreement Targets?

Increased manufacturing offshoring and industrial activity may prevent China from reaching its commitments, despite a booming renewable energy sector. By Paul A. Davies, Kimberly Leefatt, and R. Andrew Westgate China’s carbon emissions increased by 4% in the first quarter of 2018 — marking the biggest hike in carbon emissions in the last seven years, according … Continue Reading

China’s Action Against Plastic Pollution

The government’s plan to tackle internal and imported plastic waste is the latest phase in China’s clean energy commitment. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate Although China’s ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions and air pollution have received global attention and coverage, the country’s significant steps to reduce solid waste pollution have been … Continue Reading

The Success of China’s Efforts to Decrease Harmful Pollution Levels

China cuts fossil fuel consumption to achieve clean energy goal, but must carefully balance the consequences for Chinese citizens. By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate In tandem with China’s significant economic growth over the past three decades, coal emissions have soared, increasing from 446 million tonnes in 1990 to 2.6 billion tonnes in 2017. Coal … Continue Reading

China to Expand Environmental Regulatory Authority

China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection’s increased authority over climate change and pollution control issues indicates a greater enforcement role for central government. By Paul A. Davies and Andrew Westgate The Chinese government has announced a major reorganization of China’s ministries that comprise the Chinese central government at a session of the 13th National People’s Congress in … Continue Reading

German Court Will Take Evidence in Groundbreaking Climate Change Case

By Joern Kassow and Patrick Braasch Latham has previously written about the Lliuya v. RWE AG case, in which a Peruvian farmer has sought damages from German energy giant RWE for climate change effects in his home country. The Higher Regional Court of Hamm indicated during oral hearings that it would likely proceed to take … Continue Reading

EU Urged to Tighten Regulation of Pharmaceutical Pollution

By Michael Green and Paul Davies A coalition of medical and environmental groups has called upon the European Commission (EC) to propose specific legislation that will address pollution, in particular, by active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). This political development highlights the complex debate currently taking place over how to identify and address the effects of APIs. … Continue Reading

German Energy Giant May Be Directly Liable for Climate Change Impact

By Jörn Kassow and Patrick Braasch A German appeals court has indicated in a groundbreaking civil action that major CO2 producers may be directly liable for global environmental damage caused by climate change. Mr Saúl Luciano Lliuya, a Peruvian farmer, has alleged that RWE AG, Germany’s second-largest electricity producer, is responsible for the impact of … Continue Reading

China’s War on Pollution: Measuring the Economic Impact

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate China’s State Council released an “Opinion Concerning Establishment of a Long-Term Mechanism for Early-Warning and Monitoring of Environmental and Natural Resources Carrying Capacity,” which will halt major projects in heavily polluted areas, according to a report from the official Xinhua news agency. The opinion also calls for authorities to … Continue Reading

Proposed Draft Legislation Clamps Down on Soil Pollution in China

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate On 22 June 2017, Chinese legislators released draft proposals to combat soil pollution in China at a bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. The legislation complements the State Council’s ambitious plan to address soil pollution – an area not specifically covered by Chinese environmental law … Continue Reading

Will Tougher Environmental Laws Mean Measurable Change for Pollution in China?

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate In reforming and updating its environmental laws, China has until recently been focusing on air pollution. Attention is now turning to addressing water and soil pollution as well. For example, the Chinese government is now considering more robust penalties for those responsible for water pollution, indicating that the government … Continue Reading
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