SELC Responds to the Trump Administration

Facing aggressive actions in Washington, D.C., aimed at gutting environmental protections, the Southern Environmental Law Center is defending the fundamental laws and policies that have been put in place to safeguard the quality of our air, water, and natural treasures.

SELC has deep expertise in law and policy, local presence throughout our six states, and a 30-year track record of working successfully in both friendly and hostile times. This organization is uniquely positioned to be the vigilant, strong, and effective champion of the South's environment—and all the people and communities who depend on it for their health and wellbeing.

“What SELC stands for, and what we do on behalf of the people and places we protect, are needed now more than ever.”

Rick Middleton, Founder and Executive Director

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The Latest Updates

Federal clean water rollback makes the Georgia Water Coalition’s 2017 “Dirty Dozen”

The Georgia Water Coalition recently released its seventh annual Dirty Dozen report which highlights 12 of the worst offenses to Georgia’s waters and serves as a call to action to solve these problems. While previous years have l... Read More »

State: Georgia   Filed Under: Federal policy, Water quality

Forest Service decision on Atlantic Coast Pipeline puts National Forests at risk

SELC strongly opposes the U.S. Forest Service decision today to approve the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, a natural gas pipeline slated to cut through 600-miles of West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina, including lands in... Read More »

State: Virginia   Filed Under: Federal policy, Natural gas

Groups take legal action against FERC on Atlantic Coast Pipeline

SELC, in conjunction with a coalition of affected land owners and conservation groups, today filed a request for rehearing urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reconsider its approval of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline,... Read More »

State: Virginia   Filed Under: Federal policy, Natural gas

U.S. House passes bill proposing to treat Southeastern National Forests as crops

Late Wednesday, the House voted on and passed the so-called “Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017” (H.R. 2936). The legislation proposes to create massive categorical exclusions (CEs) to allow tens of thousands of acres—15 to 45... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Forest protection

Protecting Atlantic waters from seismic blasting’s “storm of noise”

Marine scientist Christopher Clark has been listening to the world’s oceans for more than forty years. Off the coast of Virginia, using simple underwater microphones, the Cornell University bioacoustics expert has heard the rumbli... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Offshore drilling

Additions proposed for two Virginia Wilderness Areas

Senator Tim Kaine introduced a bill last week, the Virginia Wilderness Additions Act of 2017, co-sponsored by Senator Mark Warner, that would protect an additional 5,600 acres of the George Washington National Forest in Virginia.... Read More »

State: Virginia   Filed Under: Federal policy, Forest protection

SELC op-ed: Memphis aquifer belongs to the public, not TVA

Amanda Garcia, attorney in SELC’s Nashville office, recently highlighted the issues with the Tennessee Valley Authority’s pursuit of procedure changes to reduce public input on the utility’s projects. This request comes even thoug... Read More »

State: Tennessee   Filed Under: Federal policy, Water quality

45 years of protection under the Clean Water Act

Today marks 45 years since the Clean Water Act began protecting our rivers and lakes, and making our waterways cleaner and our drinking water safer. Despite the obvious improvements made under the Clean Water Act to ensure all Am... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Water quality

Breaking: FERC approves contested pipeline permits

Late Friday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued its permits for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline projects. Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur offered a dissenting opinion. The pipeline is slated to ca... Read More »

State: Virginia   Filed Under: Federal policy, Natural gas

Repeal of Clean Power Plan puts coal profits ahead of health, communities

Trump-appointed EPA Chief Scott Pruitt announced plans to repeal the landmark Clean Power Plan designed to address carbon pollution and climate change, but did not offer a substitute or even an idea of what should fill the void.... Read More »

Filed Under: Air quality, Energy, Federal policy

Duke Energy coal ash pollution in N.C. piedmont prompts citizens’ step toward federal court

Today SELC sent a notice of intent to sue Duke Energy to stop its violations of the Clean Water Act at its Belews Creek facility in Stokes County, near the predominantly African-American community of Walnut Tree, North Carolina, a... Read More »

State: North Carolina   Filed Under: Coal ash, Federal policy, Water quality

TVA delays cleanup of unlined leaking coal ash pits with appeal of federal ruling

Tennessee Valley Authority filed an appeal today after a federal court ruled against the utility in August for allowing coal ash contamination of clean water at its Gallatin Fossil Plant. TVA wants the court order requiring it to... Read More »

State: Tennessee   Filed Under: Coal ash, Federal policy, Water quality

SELC: Trump attack on nation’s clean water protections illegal, dangerous

SELC, along with 63 organizations, today filed formal objections to the Trump administration’s proposed repeal of the Clean Water Rule, which safeguards streams, wetlands, and other waters that feed drinking water sources for near... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Water quality

After illegal administration moves, agency to reinstate rule to cut car and truck carbon pollution

SELC is celebrating a major victory after the Trump administration announced today that it will reinstate a federal provision designed to curb climate change pollution from cars and trucks. This welcome move comes after SELC and N... Read More »

Filed Under: Air quality, Federal policy, Transportation

Trump’s flood-rules rollback benefits construction interests at the expense of taxpayers

When President Donald Trump veered off script at a news conference about infrastructure, the details of his damaging Executive Order on federal flood risk management were understandably glossed over in the coverage of his comments... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Water planning

Duke Energy violates the law by hiding critical dam safety information

Update (10/09/17): After SELC and its clients took legal action, Duke Energy released critical dam safety information for coal ash sites across North Carolina. According to Duke Energy reports that were previously censored by the... Read More »

State: North Carolina   Filed Under: Coal ash, Federal policy

EPA grants coal ash-polluters’ request to rethink community protections

Just before a deadline to make utilities’ groundwater monitoring results public, the Environmental Protection Agency sided with utilities and granted their request to reconsider key provisions protecting people and the environment... Read More »

Filed Under: Coal ash, Federal policy

Explore the stories of people in the path of the pipeline

For the Harris family, it was when Dominion Energy told them they would be bulldozing just behind their kids’ swing set, despite the parents’ objections. For Hazel Palmer, it was when she realized Dominion Energy could sue her for... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Natural gas, Water quality

Utilities ask Congress to weaken longstanding energy competition law

The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee heard from a variety of energy industry stakeholders last week about whether to make changes to a longstanding energy law, which serves as the most important federal protection for indepe... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy

SELC pushes back against TVA effort to expand closed-door decision-making

SELC, Sierra Club, and more than a dozen conservation groups submitted comments yesterday on proposed alterations to Tennessee Valley Authority’s procedures under the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA. The federal utility... Read More »

State: Tennessee   Filed Under: Federal policy

EPA extends Clean Water Rule comment period

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added 30 days to the public comment period for the Trump administration’s proposal to repeal the Clean Water Rule. The rule, issued in 2015, clarifies which wetlands and streams are pro... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Water quality

DOE report pushes coal despite finding no grid issues with renewable energy

After months of anticipation, and following a leaked draft, today the Department of Energy released its report on the reliability of the nation’s electricity grid. Debunking Secretary Rick Perry’s controversial memo requesting th... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Solar power

SELC files public records lawsuit against EPA

SELC filed a federal lawsuit suit today against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act. EPA has failed to respond to SELC's request for documents related to the agenc... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy

Federal court rules FERC must consider greenhouse gas emissions from pipelines

Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated a 2016 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval of three natural gas pipeline segments in the Southeast. Similar to the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the vast m... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Natural gas

With Governors stacked against offshore drilling, the coast has spoken

Today Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe came out against the Trump administration’s plan to consider offshore drilling in the Atlantic, including off Virginia’s coast. Gov. McAuliffe joins North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and So... Read More »

State: Virginia   Filed Under: Federal policy, Offshore drilling

Offshore drilling plan threatens Southeast, ignores overwhelming opposition

Today on behalf of more than 70 organizations, representing thousands of businesses and citizens, SELC submitted comments asking the Trump administration to reject offshore drilling in the Atlantic. The comments said: “Opening t... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Offshore drilling

TVA filed 5 motions asking the court to throw out all or part of Gallatin case

With the recent court ruling, SELC won its federal Clean Water Act trial against the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation’s largest public utility, for its coal ash pollution of Tennessee’s Cumberland River. This is the first ru... Read More »

State: Tennessee   Filed Under: Coal ash, Federal policy, Water quality

FERC confirmations raise threat of fast-tracking pipelines

The U.S. Senate confirmed Neil Chatterjee, a Senate aide to majority leader Mitch McConnell, and Robert Powelson, a Pennsylvania utility executive, for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) before adjourning for August r... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Natural gas

SELC joins dozens questioning EPA delay in clean water protections

SELC Senior Attorney Frank Holleman testified this week at the only hearing scheduled by the Environmental Protection Agency on an indefinite delay of clean water protections. At issue are the federal Effluent Limitations Guidelin... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Water quality

SELC sues Trump administration over illegal climate change rollback

SELC filed a lawsuit today in federal court to challenge the Trump Administration’s abrupt and illegal suspension of federal provisions designed to curb climate change pollution from cars and trucks. SELC is representing Clean Air... Read More »

Filed Under: Air quality, Climate change, Federal policy, Transportation

Trump administration launches bid to strip protection from South’s rivers, lakes, and streams

Today the Trump administration moved to formally repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule as a first step in greatly reducing the nation’s water quality protections under the Clean Water Act. The Environmental Protection Agency’s announce... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Water planning, Water quality

“Dealing with water pollution after it becomes a problem is far less effective, far less efficient, and far less economical than keeping pollutants out of our water in the first place.”

Deborah, Murray, Senior Attorney

Read More »

#StickIt to offshore drilling

With summer here and many visitors heading to our treasured beaches, SELC is launching a campaign to #StickIt to offshore drilling. This campaign provides regular reminders of just how much is at stake if the Trump administration... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Offshore drilling

EPA head holds closed meeting to dirty S.C. water

The Environmental Protection Agency’s top official, Administrator Scott Pruitt, convened a meeting with corporate lobbyists and hand-chosen elected officials today in Orangeburg, S.C., to garner support for the agency’s misguided... Read More »

State: South Carolina   Filed Under: Federal policy, Water quality

SELC looks to stop seismic blasting in Atlantic, a precursor to drilling

Today SELC joined national and local organizations, Atlantic coast states, local communities, and leading scientists in calling on the Trump administration to deny five draft permits for seismic airgun blasting off the Atlantic co... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Offshore drilling

With ACP review, FERC shirks its responsibility to public interest

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is plowing forward by granting next steps to project developers of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline without considering whether a new natural gas pipeline in our region is necessary. FERC issue... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Natural gas

North Carolina Governor announces opposition to offshore drilling

Today North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said he had four words on offshore drilling: Not on our coast. His announcement brings him in line with South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who both r... Read More »

State: North Carolina   Filed Under: Federal policy, Offshore drilling

Leaked draft of DOE’s power report finds grid more reliable than ever

A leaked draft report from the Department of Energy on the reliability of the nation’s electricity grid began circulating recently. The report was requested by DOE Secretary Rick Perry in April in a memo that claimed regulatory bu... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Solar power

Federal rule key in coal ash cleanups

After decades without regulation, and following two major coal ash pollution disasters, in late 2015 the federal government finally established minimum standards for coal ash sites. With the Southeast being home to the largest num... Read More »

Filed Under: Coal ash, Federal policy

SELC, partners urge EPA not to delay federal protections against coal ash pollution

SELC and nearly 30 conservation organizations across the southeast are urging the Environmental Protection Agency to abandon its proposal to indefinitely delay important federal limits on harmful coal ash pollution. SELC submitte... Read More »

Filed Under: Coal ash, Federal policy, Water quality

“These actions aren’t slight reductions to a faceless agency or well-intentioned efforts to curb pointless regulations; they will have real effects on the ground in Georgia communities. ”

Gil Rogers, Director of SELC’s Georgia and Alabama offices, in a guest column for the Saporta Report

Read More »

Time to tell Trump administration, again, we don’t want offshore drilling

Today, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) at the Department of the Interior issued a formal Request for Information asking governors in the Southeast and the general public for input on whether their respective states sh... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Offshore drilling

What’s at Stake with the Clean Water Rule Repeal

Yesterday the Trump administration announced it was repealing the Clean Water Rule in an attempt to scale back the waterways and wetlands that are protected from pollution by federal law. Why is this important for water quality i... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Water quality

Update: House votes to delay clean-air protections, but opposition growing

The House of Representatives has voted to delay by eight years the enforcement of some air-pollution protections, but opposition to this industry-backed attack on clean air is mounting as the measure begins a move to the Senate.... Read More »

Filed Under: Air quality, Federal policy

Trump administration’s proposed repeal of Clean Water Rule threatens Southern states’ water quality

SELC released the following statement in response to the Trump administration’s proposal to repeal the Clean Water Rule as a first step in dismantling water quality protections under the Clean Water Act. “EPA’s proposal to resci... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Water quality

Charlottesville Amtrak passengers rally against Trump budget cuts to rail

A crowd gathered outside the Charlottesville Amtrak station Friday to oppose President Trump’s proposal to cut all federal funding for Amtrak’s national network of trains. The move would leave more than 220 communities and more th... Read More »

State: Virginia   Filed Under: Federal policy, Transit and rail

“We cannot sacrifice the benefits the Clean Water Act has given us for the last four decades so that big-time polluters can boost profits by eliminating pollution controls.”

Patrick Hunter, SELC attorney

Read More »

Virginia Beach votes to oppose offshore drilling

Virginia Beach, once a holdout among coastal cities publicly staking out no-drilling stances, this week voted to oppose oil and gas exploration and seismic testing in its offshore waters. The move is a remarkable turnaround for a... Read More »

State: Virginia   Filed Under: Federal policy, Offshore drilling

Fact-checking DOE Secretary Rick Perry’s renewable energy inquiry

At the request of Secretary Rick Perry, the Department of Energy is slated to release an analysis this month looking at the reliability of the nation’s electricity grid. But, rather than acknowledging changing market forces, the r... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Solar power, Wind power

Leaders across the region step up on climate action

A growing list of hundreds of localities, states, businesses, and universities across the country are responding to President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the Paris climate accord by recommitting to the international agreeme... Read More »

Filed Under: Air quality, Federal policy

Trump administration gets closer to Atlantic seismic blasting with exemptions for marine life harm

The Trump administration continued trying to clear the way for seismic blasting—a precursor to heavily opposed offshore oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic Coast—with five draft “Incidental Harassment Authorizations” issued toda... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Offshore drilling

Duke Energy’s plan to leave coal ash in groundwater, floodplain violates federal law, groups say

UPDATE, 8/2/17: Today SELC filed suit against Duke Energy for its plan to improperly store coal ash at its Roxboro plant in eastern North Carolina. Background on the suit is available below. SELC, on behalf of the Roanoke River... Read More »

State: North Carolina   Filed Under: Coal ash, Federal policy, Water quality

Debilitating federal budget cuts back on the table

In the proposed federal budget released today, the Trump administration recommends crippling cuts to essential federal protections in many areas, though few are as extreme as what is proposed for the Environmental Protection Agenc... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy

Groups go to court to stop Duke Energy’s coal ash pollution of Roanoke River Basin

Today SELC filed a citizen suit enforcement action under the Clean Water Act against Duke Energy for its ongoing illegal coal ash pollution at its Roxboro plant. The plant sits on the shores of Hyco Lake in Person County, N.C. Duk... Read More »

State: North Carolina   Filed Under: Coal ash, Federal policy, Water quality

SELC, partners intervene to defend Atlantic coast from seismic blasting

Update (5/12/17): President Trump filed his America First Offshore Energy Policy, initiating federal consideration of shelved permit applications for seismic testing in the Atlantic, the first step toward drilling. SELC awaits the... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Offshore drilling

Trump Executive Order aims to open Atlantic to dangers of offshore drilling

An Executive Order signed by President Donald Trump today looks to reopen the issue of offshore drilling in the Atlantic. The order instructs the Department of Interior to review the decision of the previous administration to excl... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Offshore drilling

Still not worth the risk

As the Trump administration reportedly prepares to restart consideration of offshore drilling in the Atlantic, coastal residents up and down the Eastern seaboard are reminding this president what they told the last: No drilling of... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Offshore drilling

Proposed NOAA budget cuts could be tough for Southerners to weather

Budget cuts that might strip hundreds of millions of dollars from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration could make it harder for the agency to track changes in the Earth’s climate and to help coastal communities brac... Read More »

State: South Carolina   Filed Under: Federal policy, Water planning

Trump agency attorneys signal attack on mercury rule

The Trump administration on Tuesday asked to delay a court hearing on the already-implemented federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, a signal that the administration's Environmental Protection Agency will soon have marching ord... Read More »

Filed Under: Air quality, Federal policy, Healthy environment

Administration tells power plants they can keep polluting water

Along Tennessee’s scenic Cumberland River, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Cumberland Fossil Plant dumps more mercury pollution into our waters than any other coal-fired power plant in the country. While Cumberland is one of the... Read More »

State: Tennessee   Filed Under: Federal policy, Water planning, Water quality

“Sacrificing our environment at the request of well-connected polluting industries risks irreparable harm to our abundance of environmental wealth, world-famous biodiversity, and the natural resources that make Alabama a special place to live, work, and protect. ”

Keith Johnston, Managing Attorney, SELC's Birmingham office

Read More »

Cuts to federal workforce open door for pollution

Politico is reporting President Donald Trump's administration will send a 14-page memorandum to federal agency leaders today ordering them to begin the process of making deep personnel cuts over the next year. The Environmental P... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy

Trump budget threatens key transportation investments

Recent White House budget proposals include major cuts to vital transportation programs that affect communities across the South. These cuts put key economy-boosting, clean transportation projects at risk, directly contrary to Pre... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Transit and rail, Transportation

Supreme Court decides to move forward with SELC Clean Water Rule case

Today the Supreme Court decided not to grant the Trump administration’s request for a delay in a crucial case that could eventually decide which of the nation’s streams and wetlands are protected from polluters. “We look forward... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Water quality

Trump Administration’s rash action guts climate protections

With a sweeping executive order aimed at dismantling climate protections, the Trump administration today directed the reversal of the Clean Power Plan and revoked a series of previous actions aimed at combating climate change, fro... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy

Federal support essential to regional Chesapeake Bay restoration

Up until now, the Environmental Protection Agency has played a critical role in restoring water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. Working with the six states in the bay watershed, the agency is a key player in the joint commitment to... Read More »

State: Virginia   Filed Under: Federal policy, Water quality

White House budget hurts economy and strips health, safety protections for Southeasterners

The White House released its budget outline last night, calling for deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of the Interior (DOI), and critical infrastructure investments, threatening thousands of jobs a... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy

SELC, partners file U.S. Supreme Court brief to defend Clean Water Rule

Today SELC filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court urging the nation’s highest court to follow through on its plans to hear the upcoming case on the Clean Water Rule, a landmark rule safeguarding streams, wetlands, and other water... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy

White House cuts to EPA budget strip health and safety protections for Southeasterners

Reports show that the White House budget calls for cutting the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) overall budget by 25 percent, threatening thousands of jobs and health and safety protections for millions of Southeastern fami... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy

SELC, partners join legal battle over protections for endangered wildlife

Several southern conservation groups moved to defend important federal protections for endangered species that were recently challenged by 18 states, including South Carolina and Alabama.  Representing Black Warrior Riverkeeper,... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy

President’s Executive Order, EPA cuts threaten communities’ clean drinking water, health, and safety

President Donald Trump signed an executive order attacking the Clean Water Rule today, and is expected to call for major budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency this evening, threatening thousands of jobs in the Southea... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy

President takes aim at federal protections

Surrounded by CEOs, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday aimed at rolling back federal protections. The order, signed by Trump in the Oval Office with chief executives of major U.S. corporations standing beh... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy

President dismantles stream protections, threatening drinking water for Southeasterners, nation

Today President Donald Trump signed into law a repeal of the Stream Protection Rule, dismantling key protections that help keep our drinking water safe from coal pollution. The President’s signature on this bill marks the first an... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Healthy environment, Water quality

Congressman’s bill: “Terminate” the EPA

In April, 2014, a broken rail sent a CSX train carrying crude oil tumbling off the tracks in Lynchburg, Va. Several cars plunged into the James River as a ruptured tanker gushed 30,000 gallons of the crude into the water, erupting... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy

Congressional vote pits coal company profits against clean water

UPDATE (2/2/17): Today Congress voted to throw out protections for our nation's waterways, opening the door for coal mining pollution in drinking water sources and other waters. Read more in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, where SEL... Read More »

Filed Under: Coal mining, Federal policy, Water quality

“ This executive order requiring repeal of two regulations for every new regulation adopted is governing by gimmick. An executive order that strips away environmental safeguards by counting regulations instead of considering substance shows a general disregard for health of citizens and the environment.”

—Nat Mund, SELC Legislative Director

Read More »

Freeze on EPA grants puts clean water, clean air at risk as agency goes silent

Memos circulated at the Environmental Protection Agency in the first days of the Trump administration put a freeze on the agency’s grants, as well as a gag order on EPA officials discussing the grant freeze. The length and depth... Read More »

Filed Under: Air quality, Federal policy, Water quality

New rule protecting streams targeted by a Congress seeking environmental rollbacks

It took more than 30 years to update a federal rule meant to protect streams from coal-mining waste, but Congress in just days is attempting to kill the rule as a part of rollback of environmental regulations under the incoming Tr... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Water quality

What does the incoming administration and new Congress mean for clean water in the South?

The South is lucky to have more miles of rivers-and more types of rivers-than any other region in the country. Unfortunately, under the new federal administration and a new Congress, these precious resources may be at risk for pol... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Water quality

TVA refuses to disclose water quality data from leaking Gallatin coal ash site

The Tennessee Valley Authority is refusing to turn over data showing that groundwater wells at the Gallatin Coal Ash plant on the banks of the Cumberland River—Nashville's drinking water supply—exceed maximum contamination levels... Read More »

State: Tennessee   Filed Under: Coal ash, Federal policy, Healthy environment

New protections announced for coal country streams

Today, the federal government authorized new rules holding polluters accountable for mining pollution in the nation’s waterways. In releasing the final Stream Protection Rule, the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcem... Read More »

Filed Under: Coal mining, Federal policy, Water quality

Judge urges Georgia, Florida to work out water dispute ahead of ruling

Closing out a month-long trial in the latest chapter of the water dispute between Georgia and Florida, special master Ralph Lancaster imparted some words of advice to both states: work it out.   Appointed by the U.S. Supreme Cour... Read More »

State: Georgia   Filed Under: Federal policy, Water planning

“Four years ago, DEQ changed its mission to 'customer service.' It quickly became apparent the customers it cares about are the polluters and not the people of North Carolina.”

Derb Carter, Director of North Carolina offices, in a Fayetteville Observer op-ed

Read More »

SELC challenges Atlantic Coast Pipeline route

Robbie Koontz pulls on a ballcap as she sits to talk. Her hair is falling out and she’s a little embarrassed. “My doctor says it is due to stress,” she said. “It is just constant. We can’t get away from it.” The stress is over D... Read More »

State: Virginia   Filed Under: Federal policy, Natural gas

Federal commission blasts EPA for adding to burdens of disadvantaged citizens

In a recent report, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights found that the Environmental Protection Agency repeatedly overlooks the undue burden coal ash storage and fracking places on minority and low-income neighborhoods. In analys... Read More »

State: North Carolina   Filed Under: Coal ash, Federal policy, Healthy environment

Clean Power Plan has its day in court

Tomorrow the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral argument on the Clean Power Plan, a landmark action to reduce harmful carbon pollution and speed the country’s transition to cleaner, more affordable energy choices. Despite s... Read More »

Filed Under: Air quality, Federal policy

Settlement to offset harm from Monroe Bypass through land conservation, water quality protections

Today SELC and the Yadkin Riverkeeper announced a million-dollar settlement with the North Carolina Departments of Transportation and Environmental Quality to conserve land and protect water quality in areas harmed by the Monroe B... Read More »

State: North Carolina   Filed Under: Federal policy, Transportation

Dismantled: New report details years of cuts to North Carolina’s environmental protections

Released today, the SELC report Dismantled chronicles the trend of state officials undermining the sensible environmental policies that make North Carolina a great place to visit, live, and do business. For six years, policies en... Read More »

State: North Carolina   Filed Under: Air quality, Coastal protection, Federal policy, Land use, Water quality

Transportation now the top source of U.S. global warming pollution

For the first time since the 1970s, transportation has surpassed electric power generation as the leading source of heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions nationwide, according to an analysis of the latest federal energy data. In... Read More »

Filed Under: Air quality, Federal policy, Transportation

National assessment of streams and rivers highlights need for protections in the South

The Environmental Protection Agency released its latest study on the state of rivers and streams in the U.S., showing that 46% of stream miles nationwide are in poor biological condition. The National Rivers and Streams Assessmen... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Water quality

U.S. Supreme Court upholds pollution limits for Chesapeake Bay

The U.S. Supreme Court today denied the request of the American Farm Bureau Federation and its allies to take up their case challenging the legality of pollution limits that EPA set for the Chesapeake Bay. This means that the Thir... Read More »

State: Virginia   Filed Under: Chesapeake Bay, Federal policy, Water quality

Clean energy transition should continue, despite Supreme Court stay of federal rule

The Supreme Court announced yesterday a temporary stay on the Clean Power Plan, the country's strongest action ever to reduce carbon pollution from power plants and pave the way for cleaner and more affordable energy choices. In... Read More »

Filed Under: Air quality, Clean Power Plan, Federal policy, Healthy environment

EPA urged to adopt stronger incentives for clean energy, energy efficiency in Clean Power Plan

As model carbon trading rules are finalized for the Clean Power Plan, SELC is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to let energy efficiency and renewable energy compete on a level playing field with traditional monopoly... Read More »

Filed Under: Air quality, Federal policy, Healthy environment, SELC news

President vetoes Congress’ attack on clean water

SELC applauds President Obama's veto yesterday of Congressional attempts to block the Clean Water Rule. Earlier this year, Congress pushed through a Congressional Review Act "Resolution of Disapproval" of the rule, despite the gu... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Healthy environment, Water quality

House looks to roll back clean water protections

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives is kicking off the New Year by voting on two bills attacking Clean Water Act protections for our nation’s waters. Both bills House leadership is bringing to the floor would stop agency... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Water quality

Southeast poised to gain from Paris talks on climate change

As world leaders meet in Paris to reach far-reaching agreements on how to halt greenhouse gas emissions and the resulting climate change, the impact of the global negotiations here in the Southeast is hard to ignore. Consider tha... Read More »

Filed Under: Air quality, Climate change, Federal policy

EPA sends warning to state enviro agency in N.C.

The efforts of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality to block citizen review of environmental permits have drawn the attention of the Environmental Protection Agency. In a recent letter to the DEQ, EPA noted that,... Read More »

State: North Carolina   Filed Under: Air quality, Federal policy, River and stream protection

Virginia joining states defending the Clean Power Plan

Today, Attorney General Mark Herring announced Virginia will be joining a coalition of 18 states supporting the new federal Clean Power Plan as it faces legal attacks. Released this summer, the Environmental Protection Agency’s C... Read More »

State: Virginia   Filed Under: Air quality, Federal policy, Healthy environment

Court’s decision hits pause on the Clean Water Rule nationwide

As litigation concerning the federal Clean Water Rule continues in multiple courts all over the country, one court’s decision to hit pause on the new rule earlier this month has created confusion about the current protections for... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Water quality

Though delayed, new ozone standard is a step forward in improving public health

The Environmental Protection Agency announced today it has tightened the new ozone pollution standard to 70 parts per billion (ppb), marking belated, incremental progress in the ongoing efforts to reduce air pollution and improve... Read More »

Filed Under: Air quality, Energy, Federal policy, Healthy environment, Power plants, Transportation

Agreement ends landmark lawsuit for clean air

SELC and our partners have reached the final milestone in a 15-year legal journey that, along the way, has led to a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision and agreements to keep millions of tons of pollution out of the nation’s air... Read More »

State: North Carolina   Filed Under: Air quality, Federal policy

Clean Water Rule goes into effect in the Southeast

EPA officials are pressing ahead with plans for the Clean Water Rule, the most significant piece of federal action on water protection in decades, which goes into effect today. While legal challenges angle to derail its implementa... Read More »

Filed Under: Clean Water Rule, Federal policy, Healthy environment, Water quality

Clean Power Plan provides path for safer climate, catalyst for clean energy jobs in the Southeast

This afternoon the Obama Administration will release the final version of the Clean Power Plan, the country’s strongest action ever to reduce carbon pollution and pave the way for cleaner and more affordable energy choices. Over... Read More »

Filed Under: Air quality, Federal policy, Healthy environment

Supreme Court returns EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards to lower court

In a narrow 5-4 decision—and on narrow legal grounds—the Supreme Court sent the Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rules back to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for reconsideration. The so-called... Read More »

Filed Under: Air quality, Federal policy, Power plants

Recap of the final Clean Water Rule and what’s included

The release of EPA’s final Clean Water Rule last week marks an important milestone after years of confusion left 60 percent of the nation’s stream miles and 20 million acres of wetlands at risk for pollution. SELC submitted comme... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Water quality

“This is not my state.”

Derb Carter, senior attorney and director, SELC North Carolina office

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Confusion in Congress underscores need for clarified Clean Water Act protections

A joint Congressional hearing earlier today on the Environmental Protection Agency’s and the Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed rule further highlights the need for clarification on what streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands are prot... Read More »

Filed Under: Federal policy, Water quality