Archive for the ‘Natural Disaster Response’ category

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 […]

Justin Gundlach Climate Law Fellow Over the past decade, as the scientific consensus about the fact and nature of anthropogenic climate change has solidified, extreme weather events have destroyed enormous sums of assets, infrastructure investments, and large numbers of human lives. Set against the backdrop of climate change, these events have prompted charged arguments over […]

Justin Gundlach Climate Law Fellow The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 calls for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to incorporate sea level rise into the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) that inform how FEMA and other agencies implement programs related to flood insurance and flood-related disaster mitigation and recovery. The 2013 charter […]

Since the first draft negotiating text was released last spring, the inclusion of a “climate change displacement coordination facility” in the anticipated Paris agreement has been on the table. Recently, in the wake of the migrant crisis in the Middle East and Europe, the prospect has gained some momentum. Yet, there has been very little […]

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