Nuclear Terrorism Under NEPA: A Meta-Legal Analysis of the Split Between the Third and Ninth Circuits

16th February 2011 By: Sheldon L. Trubatch

The Third and Ninth Circuits are split as to whether the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is required to analyze the environmental impacts of a terrorist attack on a nuclear facility.  This Field Report explores possible reasons (beyond the rather obvious observation that the courts disagreed regarding the applicable law) why the Third Circuit believed it to be appropriate to split with the Ninth Circuit and exclude the public from participating in the NRC’s consideration of an issue vital to public security.

Friends-and Enemies-of the Everglades: Unitary Waters in the Federal Courts

16th February 2011 By: Michael Kettler

Splash of WaterThis past November, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case Friends of the Everglades v. South Florida Water Management District.  That case was the first in which a federal appeals court accepted the "unitary waters" theory, an interpretation of the Clean Water Act that treats all bodies of water in the United States as a single body.  This Field Report discusses the background and aftermath of the Bush administration's adoption of the unitary waters theory.  Although Friends of the Everglades was a troubling development, subsequent decisions have limited the damage.

From Therapeutic Drugs to Toxic Contaminants: Pharmaceutical Pollution in the Water and Strategies to Regulate Its Impact

8th February 2011 By: Guillermo Cuevas

Pollution from pharmaceutical end products is a widespread and under-regulated source of environmental contamination.  This Field Report examines the regulatory framework currently in place and its limitations and suggests that: (1) more detailed chemical analyses should be required on pharmaceutical pollutants, (2) infrastructure improvements on wastewater treatment should be made, and (3) short-term mitigation steps are possible through increased regulation of medical facilities.   

Field Reports Archive


Hot Air Rises Through the Courts

- Rees Alexander and Elizabeth Ewing


& Other Current Events

Hot Air Rises Through the Courts

This Field Report previews Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, a pending Supreme...

Full-Impact Regulations and the Dormant Commerce Clause

Effective environmental regulation of products requires knowledge of their entire...


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