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Federal Civil and Criminal Penalties Possibly Applicable to Parties Responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Description: The Deepwater Horizon oil spill that began on April 20, 2010 lead Congress to give attention to the compensatory liability provisions of the Oil Pollution Act and, to a lesser extent, those of the Jones Act and the Death on the High Seas Act. However, federal laws possibly relevant to the oil spill also impose civil and criminal money penalties, which may reach dollar amounts in connection with the Gulf spill greater than those for compensatory liability. This report summarizes selected federal civil and criminal penalty provisions that may be found violated in connection with the Gulf spill and related worker fatalities.
Date: December 16, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court's Climate Change Decision: A Chronology

Description: On April 2, 2007, the Supreme Court rendered one of its most important environmental decisions of all time. In Massachusetts v. EPA, the Court held that greenhouse gases (GHGs), widely viewed as contributing to climate change, constitute "air pollutants" as that phrase is used in the Clean Air Act (CAA). As a result, said the Court, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had improperly denied a petition seeking CAA regulation of GHGs from new motor vehicles by saying the agency lacked authority over such emissions. This report presents a chronology of major federal agency actions, mainly by EPA, in the wake of Massachusetts v. EPA.
Date: December 23, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Description: This report discusses recent legislative initiatives seeking to establish climate change impacts as a common law nuisance. The report explains what private and public nuisances are, the issues faced by policymakers when litigating a climate-change/nuisance suit, and also discusses five climate-chance/nuisance suits that are now or formerly active, as a basis of comparison. The report also explores arguments of those both for and against addressing the complex issue of climate change through common law suits.
Date: December 10, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court's Climate Change Decision: A Chronology

Description: This report presents a chronology of major federal agency actions taken in the wake of Massachusetts v. EPA. In Massachusetts v. EPA, the Court held that greenhouse gases (GHGs), widely viewed as contributing to climate change, constitute "air pollutants" as that phrase is used in the Clean Air Act (CAA). As a result, said the Court, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had improperly denied a petition seeking CAA regulation of GHGs from new motor vehicles by saying the agency lacked authority over such emissions.
Date: December 3, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Civil and Criminal Penalties Possibly Applicable to Parties Responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Description: Since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill began on April 20, 2010, Congress has given much attention to the compensatory liability provisions of the Oil Pollution Act and, to a lesser extent, those of the Jones Act and the Death on the High Seas Act. However, federal laws possibly relevant to the oil spill also impose civil and criminal money penalties, which may reach dollar amounts in connection with the Gulf spill greater than those for compensatory liability. This report summarizes selected federal civil and criminal penalty provisions that may be found violated in connection with the Gulf spill and related worker fatalities.
Date: August 16, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Supreme Court Accepts Five Environmental Cases During Its 2008-2009 Term

Description: In the Supreme Court's 2008-2009 term, which likely will conclude in late June, 2009, the Court has accepted for argument five environmental cases--an unusually large number out of the roughly 85 cases accepted for argument. The reason for this interest in environmental cases at this particular time is speculative; the Court generally does not explain why it accepts cases. This report reviews the cases, decided and undecided, and then briefly comments.
Date: February 27, 2009
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court's Climate Change Decision in Massachusetts v. EPA: A Chronology

Description: This report presents a chronology of major federal agency actions related to environmental concerns following the decision of Massachusetts v. EPA; it particularly looks at actions of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In Massachusetts v. EPA, the Supreme Court held that greenhouse gases (GHGs), widely viewed as contributing to climate change, constitute "air pollutants" as that phrase is used in the Clean Air Act (CAA).
Date: August 29, 2013
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Insurance and Climate Change: Do Governments Have a Duty to Protect Property Owners?

Description: This legal sidebar discusses the climate change in context of federal and private insurers. One of the many insurance company concerns is whether the government can be held liable for not putting in place adequate infrastructure to protect against property damage from climate-change-related extreme weather.
Date: October 16, 2014
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

International Conflict and Property Rights: Fifth Amendment "Takings" Issues

Description: This report discusses the international conflict and property rights. After the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon has raised the possibility of responses by the United States that impinge on private property, and, in turn, the possibility of claims under the Fifth Amendment Takings Clause.
Date: December 5, 2001
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Liability Exemptions in the Senate Brownfields Bill (S. 350)

Description: This report deals solely with the liability provisions of S. 350, found in Title II of the bill. (The manager’s amendment does not concern these.) These provisions cover three types of innocent parties: (1) owners of properties contaminated from contiguous properties, (2) prospective purchasers, and (3) innocent landowners.
Date: June 15, 2001
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Responses to International Conflict and Terrorism: Property Rights Issues

Description: This report reveals that based on case law to date, Takings Clause limits on federal response to international threats appear to be few, but most certainly do exist – chiefly when private property is impressed into military service not in the theater of actual war.
Date: October 6, 2004
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Pollution: Legal Perspectives on the “Routine Maintenance” Exception to New Source Review

Description: The report surveys the original legal landscape surrounding this exemption – in the contexts of determining applicability of New Source Performance Standards, and New Source Review in Prevention of Significant Deterioration and nonattainment areas. It then summarizes the many significant developments during the current Bush Administration, both in the Federal Register and in the courts.
Date: February 20, 2004
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Commerce Clause as a Limit on Congressional Power to Protect the Environment

Description: Several times during the 1990s the Supreme Court struck down federal enactments as exceeding Congress' power under the Commerce Clause or Tenth Amendment. This report briefly reviews three of these decisions -- United States v. Lopez, New York v. United States, and Printz v. United States. Its focus, however, is how these cases have played out in subsequent lower-court challenges to federal environmental laws. The report shows that Supreme Court rulings in favor of these states notwithstanding, such laws have generally, though not always, been found within Commerce Clause and Tenth Amendment limits.
Date: March 12, 1999
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Courts Rulings During 1994 on Constitutional Taking Claims Against the United States

Description: In 1994, the second session of the 103rd Congress saw the political pressure exerted by property rights bills ascend new heights. Members supporting property rights legislation sought to add such provisions to nearly every major environmental bill. Opponents, including several committee chairmen, therefore declined to move the bills, and gridlock resulted.
Date: July 19, 1995
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Delegation of the Federal Power of Eminent Domain to Nonfederal Entities

Description: Congress has on several occasions delegated its power of eminent domain to entities outside the federal government -- public and private corporations, interstate compact agencies, state and local governments, and even individuals. The constitutionality of such delegation, and of the exercise of such power by even private delegates, is today beyond dispute. However, among delegates with both federal and private characteristics, there is some subjectivity to deciding which to list in a report limited to "nonfederal entities." For delegatees of federal eminent domain power listed here, delegations since 1920 have primarily been to Amtrak, hydroelectric facilities (for dams and reservoirs), and entities engaged in the movement of electricity, gas, and petroleum (the last one expired), and for interstate bridges.
Date: May 20, 2008
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department