In their article “Are We There Yet? The Challenges of Litigating Clean Air Act Rules,” Mack McGuffey and Melissa Horne discuss the difficulties of getting final answers from the courts in the increasingly polarized political environment of Clean Air Act rulemaking.

“In recent years, hot-button regulations proposed by one administration have remained tied up in the courts when the next presidential transition occurs, allowing the new administration to reverse a challenged policy before the courts have even had a chance to decide the legality of the previous administration’s policy. This pendulum swing from one administration to the next can leave states and regulated entities trying to decide whether to gear up to comply with a new rule or wait and see if it dies on the vine once a new administration changes course, starting the cycle anew.”

Read their full article here.

The second article, Andrea Wortzel and Viktoriia De Las Casas authored “State Laws Provide New Pathways for Environmental Justice Claims,” highlighting three recent cases as examples of plaintiffs using state law provisions to establish new pathways to challenging environmental permits on the grounds of environmental justice.

“Without an enforceable environmental justice standard under federal law, states have started enacting their own laws to address the issue. A few states, for instance, adopted explicit environmental justice laws, while others have read environmental justice into existing provisions relating to site suitability or public health protection. Another group of states passed comprehensive energy policies that strive to address disproportionate impacts of pollution and climate change on low-income and minority communities. But even before states started enacting targeted environmental justice legislation, plaintiffs began recognizing opportunities to address their concerns through state regulatory programs.”

Read their full article here.



Published in Natural Resources & Environment Volume 36, Number 1, Summer 2021. © 2021 by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.