Archive for the ‘Natural Disaster Response’ category

by Justin Gundlach As a spate of disasters in the past few months has made painfully clear to people in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, and northern California, designing the electric grid to be reliable at all times requires anticipating and preparing for destructive hazards that can interrupt its operation. That is, reliability requires resilience, […]

By Romany Webb Nearly three weeks after being hit by Hurricane Maria, 90 percent of Puerto Rico remains without electricity. While the island’s nine key generating facilities were not seriously damaged by Maria, they cannot be used, as the infrastructure required to transfer electricity to customers no longer exists. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority […]

By Richmund Sta. Lucia In a span of just three weeks, two hurricanes hit the U.S. mainland causing severe impacts on human life and property. On August 25, Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas with unprecedented flooding and claimed a current total of 82 lives. The death toll from Hurricane Irma, which ravaged Florida last week, has […]

By Dena Adler It has been widely reported that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma inundated industrial plants, wastewater treatment plants, and Superfund sites, causing a stew of toxic chemicals and sewage to leak into floodwaters and releasing almost 1 million pounds of seven deadly pollutants into the air. The Union of Concerned Scientists, for instance, has […]

by Justin Gundlach Due to damage from Hurricane Irma, the lights are out in much of southern Florida—an inconvenience to many and fatal to some. Meanwhile, in Texas, power still has not been restored everywhere in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. As the Wall Street Journal headline says of both states, “Power Outage Pushes Limits.” […]

by Justin Gundlach Hurricanes like Harvey and Irma do not wipe clean the slate of prior plans, designs, and construction choices in the communities they afflict, but they do require officials, planners, and home and business owners to decide whether and how to alter those plans as they rebuild. As Governor Abbott of Texas said […]

The Sabin Center has introduced a new item to our collection of legal resources – a compilation of Legal Resources for Climate Change Adaptation. The new page includes information about specific legal provisions that could be interpreted as requiring consideration of climate change-related risks, articles discussing the nature of legal obligations to adapt, and resources […]

Jessica Wentz, Staff Attorney and Associate Research Scholar Last week, I attended the Advisory Committee Workshop of the Platform on Disaster Displacement in Geneva. The Platform is the successor to the Nansen Initiative – a state-led global consultative process aimed at identifying effective practices and building consensus on normative standards for the protection of persons […]

Justin Gundlach Climate Law Fellow In an opinion issued on May 11, 2016, a two-judge panel of India’s Supreme Court chastised that country’s federal and regional governments for their recent responses to severe droughts, which the Court said contravene key provisions of the National Disaster Mitigation Act of 2005 (DM Act). The case was brought in […]

by Michael Burger and Justin Gundlach This morning the Sabin Center filed an amicus brief in support of EPA’s Clean Power Plan on behalf of a coalition of local government representatives including the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and 54 U.S. cities, counties, and mayors. (Check the end of the post […]

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