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On June 29, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule on mercury from power plants. The decision, Michigan v. EPA, is less significant for its effect on mercury emissions than for what it says about the court's deference to EPA in cases of statutory ambiguity. This column discusses the background and context of the case; the majority and dissenting opinions; and the decision's implications for mercury emissions, for judicial review of administrative actions, and for the Clean Power Plan
The New York State Legislature on June 22, 2011, overwhelmingly passed the Power NY Act of 2011. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed it on Aug. 4. The new law revives Article X of the Public Service Law after a nearly nine-year hibernation. As before, the law creates a one-stop, state-led program for permitting electric generating facilities while preempting local requirements. But the new Article X differs from its predecessor in several important ways: It covers facilities as small as 25 megawatts, it has even more generous provisions for funding intervenors, and it requires important new rules on environmental justice and carbon dioxide emissions. In this article, the author provides some background and history into Article X. In addition to this, the author explains the workings of the new version of Article X, including its siting board, pre-application and application processes, hearing and decision processes, and lastly, its impact on environmental justice.
In recent months, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has started a campaign to pass legislation that would give voters the chance to approve a $3 billion environmental bond act. The 'Restore Mother Nature Bond Act' is designed to complement New York's ambitious Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act by providing funds for the Department of Environmental Conservation and others, to support nature-based projects that mitigate flood risks, restore natural habitats and improve storm resiliency. In this column, the authors examine the background to, and purposes of, the nascent Restore Mother Nature Bond Act. In addition to this, they also discuss constitutional challenges and funding issues associated with the act.
"Community benefit agreements, and policies, are a reaction to economic development practices that have left communities behind, workers impoverished, and the environment degraded. Too often public contracts have gone to employers paying low wages and doing poor quality work, with little thought to the environment and community impact. In the long run, we all pay for this low-road approach. The Cuyahoga County Community Benefit & Opportunity Initiative, introduced by Cuyahoga County Council in December 2014, is a comprehensive policy designed to maximize value of the county’s taxpayer dollars. The initiative will strengthen the local economy by: Creating more local jobs and ensuring workers in those jobs receive living wages. Ensuring our workforce reflects the great diversity of our community Creating opportunity for disadvantaged workers, targeting residents from the county’s poorest neighborhoods. Building career pathways out of poverty through on-the-job training opportunities and support for pre-apprenticeship programs. Ensuring high-quality, energy-efficient building, with cost-effective sustainable technology, which will reduce costs to taxpayers in the long run. It will also ensure the county considers health the impact of public projects over the long haul. The upshot is: More local jobs with higher wages Less poverty and stronger neighborhoods A more diverse and productive workforce Long-term economic and environmental sustainability"
Seattle Ordinance 126035 (“Clean Campaigns Acts”) related to campaign finance regulations. The ordinance limits contributions to independent expenditure committees (CB 119730); prohibits contributions by foreign-influenced corporations (CB 119731); and requires greater transparency in political advertising (CB 119732).
This is the full Minneapolis 2040 regional development plan. The 2040 Plan is a comprehensive master plan for development in the city. Critically, this plan rezoned the entire city of Minneapolis eliminating single-family zoning. They did this to address the affordable-housing crisis and confront a history of racist housing practices.
This is the executive summary of Minneapolis 2040 regional development plan. Critically, this plan rezoned the entire city of Minneapolis eliminating single-family zoning. They did this to address the affordable-housing crisis and confront a history of racist housing practices.
The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has issued a decision and order adopting a comprehensive framework of utility regulations to align Hawaii electric companies’ financial interests with Hawaii’s clean energy goals and customer needs. The performance-based framework adopted by the Commission will focus utilities on performance and alignment with public policy goals, as opposed to growth in capital investments or other traditional determinants of utility earnings. Utility revenues will be based on a combination of annual revenue adjustments, designed to implement cost control and savings for customers, with the opportunity to earn additional performance revenues for delivering performance towards achieving key regulatory objectives. Performance incentive mechanisms include rewarding the utility for supporting low-income customers, promoting grid investment efficiency, and accelerating renewable portfolio standards.
This state law requires developers to submit an impact report for retail stores that are 75,000 square feet or larger. The comprehensive impact study must identify the effects of the large-scale retail development on the community as a whole, including economic effects on existing retail operations, projected net job creation and loss, and potential environmental impacts.
This act creates an earned income tax credit program that allows a person who files a tax return for a full calendar and who is eligible for an earned income tax credit under section 32 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to be allowed a credit against the tax imposed by this chapter for the taxable year in an amount equal to 25% of the earned income tax credit allowed under section 32 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.