The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Court to EPA: You Overstepped Your Authority on Methane Rule
In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has overstepped its authority in attempting to suspend the rule's implementation for two years, and that the agency must follow a new rulemaking process to fully undo the regulations.
The decision may foreshadow upcoming legal challenges to environmental regulations the Trump administration is seeking to delay or roll back.
As Reuters reported:
"This is a big win for public health and a wake-up call for this administration," said Tim Ballo, a staff attorney for the group Earthjustice, one of the groups participating in the case.
David Doniger, director of the Natural Resource Defense Council's Climate and Clean Air Program, said other courts could follow suit on pending challenges to Pruitt's suspensions of a slew of EPA rules, including those governing methane leakage from landfills and protections from chemical accidents and pesticides.
"This is the first court to rule and the first to strike him down," he said.
For a deeper dive:
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Low-Fat Diets Rich in Fruits and Veggies May Reduce Women’s Risk of Breast Cancer Death, Study Finds
Colorado senator and 2020 hopeful Michael Bennet introduced his plan to combat climate change Monday, in the first major policy rollout of his campaign. Bennet's plan calls for the establishment of a "Climate Bank," using $1 trillion in federal spending to "catalyze" $10 trillion in private spending for the U.S. to transition entirely to net-zero emissions by 2050.
When Trump's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan in August 2018, its own estimates said the reduced regulations could lead to 1,400 early deaths a year from air pollution by 2030.
Now, the EPA wants to change the way it calculates the risks posed by particulate matter pollution, using a model that would lower the death toll from the new plan, The New York Times reported Monday. Five current or former EPA officials familiar with the plan told The Times that the new method would assume there is no significant health gain by lowering air pollution levels below the legal limit. However, many public health experts say that there is no safe level of particulate matter exposure, which has long been linked to heart and lung disease.
By Andrea Germanos
Animal welfare advocates are praising soon-to-be introduced legislation in the U.S. that would ban the use of wild animals in traveling circuses.