Monday, August 26, 2013
Friday, August 16, 2013
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
"Our great system of checks and balances will ensure the law is carried out, and we will soon know once and for all whether Yucca Mountain is safe. Ultimately, our goal continues to be the safe permanent storage of spent nuclear fuel, giving states and communities the certainty they need. This decision will help re-start the important work toward a resolution. We will continue our oversight of the Commission to ensure the license review is swiftly resumed and the NRC's independent, technical conclusions about the safety of Yucca Mountain are made available to the public. Let the science be the deciding factor on Yucca Mountain, not politics."
Monday, August 12, 2013
After Moechnig chose the seed mixture for the pasture in Section 11, Greg Herden said he complained to Moechnig about the high amount of Alsike Clover in the mixture because the clover can create toxic hay for cattle. Moechnig does not recall Herden complaining about Alsike Clover toxicity, but does remember Herden asking for permission to plant a mix containing alfalfa. Moechnig denied permission to plant an alfalfa mix, explaining that alfalfa is hard to establish on wet soils and therefore would neither meet NRCS's environmental goals nor be a good investment for the government. The Herdens chose to comply with Moechnig's seed mixture decision because failure to do so would have resulted in losing the federal funding under EQIP.
The Majority reasoned that, "On one hand, the Herdens believed a seed mixture containing alfalfa would have better advanced the statutory goal of agricultural production, as well as one of Code 512's stated purposes of improving or maintaining livestock nutrition and/or health. On the other hand, Moechnig believed a seed mixture containing Alsike Clover would better advance the statutory goal of environmental quality, and at least one of Code 512's stated purposes of reducing soil erosion by wind and/or water. The fact that Moechnig was required to balance those competing interests in order 'to optimize environmental benefits,' 16 U.S.C. § 3839aa, clearly demonstrates the decision he ultimately made was susceptible to policy analysis and thus the type of decision Congress meant to shield from judicial second-guessing. A federal employee implementing EQIP at the local, operational level must have the discretion to balance environmental protection and cattle production in order for the program to be worth the government's significant investment. . . Moechnig's job required him to balance protecting the environment with providing nutritious cattle forage, while at the same time being cognizant of the cost to the Herdens and the federal government. We therefore conclude this case involves the type of discretionary decision Congress meant to shield from judicial second-guessing."
Friday, August 9, 2013
Liz Crosson, executive director of Los Angeles Waterkeeper said, "This opinion is a turning point for all of Los Angeles. Stormwater runoff is the number one source of pollution in Los Angeles' rivers and beaches and LA County is the largest discharger of stormwater. Holding LA County responsible for its pollution and working with them to find region-wide solutions is the biggest victory we could imagine."
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
In a lengthy dissenting opinion the Justice concluded, "The majority opinion reaches its conclusion notwithstanding the fact that there is nothing in the text, intent, history, or purpose of RCRA indicating that Congress affirmatively prohibited the states from hearing and deciding cases brought pursuant to RCRA. The majority in its opinion has accordingly defied enduring Supreme Court precedents that go as far back as 1876. . . federal authority cannot excessively intrude on local regulation of land and water, it is essential (absent an express Congressional declaration otherwise) that the states should, through their own courts, be able to enforce the laws governing pollution of their land, even when the source of the law is federal. I am compelled to part company with my colleagues in the majority because they have failed to adhere to Supreme Court precedent interpreting Congress' legislation. As I have pointed out, since at least 1867 the Supreme Court has required federal courts to recognize dual jurisdiction in matters such as RCRA. The majority here has not. "