MARCH 2017

The Implementation Gap in  
Environmental Law

In a new article, Professor Dan Farber reflects on the gap between regulatory rules and reality.

As we all know, what statutes and rules say isn't necessarily what happens on the ground.  Often, the result is that environmental goals are frustrated. Deadlines are missed, standards are ignored or fudged, or enforcement efforts misfire. The result is incomplete implementation, falling short of the statutory mandate. 

We're all familiar with the results, including illegal conduct by firms that goes unchecked or deliberate political obstruction by agencies. But, more rarely, the gap between the rules on the book and the real world can be a positive thing when creative methods are found to achieve statutory goals. 
Today, with a new Administration taking over in Washington, the topic is timelier than ever. In this article, Professor Farber provides an in-depth analysis of the implementation gap and the problems it raises. 
See the complete article published in the Journal of Korean Law.
Faculty + Staff
In the News

W riting for the Sacramento Bee, Mike Kiparsky and Roger Bales suggest that in order to manage droughts, respond to floods, and protect groundwater we need better water data, in a system that is broadly accessible to a range of stakeholders.

Professor Claudia Polsky discuses the Environmental Law Clinic's recent win in Superior Court on CBS News. As a result of her work and that of the Berkeley Law students, the California Department of Public Health was required to release a previously secret document on the health risks of cell phone radiation and ways to limit exposure.

For better water resource management, we need improved data
Mike Kiparsky and Leigh Bernacchi at last month's workshop on water data for California 
We at CLEE believe that data and information are only as good as their usefulness for decisions. A strong water information system needs to be usable by numerous agencies and stakeholders, each for its own purposes.

In support of a new decision-driven data system, CLEE, along with DWR and CCST, hosted the first of a series of workshops on designing water information systems. The goal is to articulate who needs what data in what form for what decisions.

A new law, California's Open and Transparent Water Data Act (AB 1755), provides an opportunity to advance water and natural resource management in California from sticky notes and push pins to the smart data tools of the 21st century.  However, an effective data system that meets the needs of varied users will require the development of a clear vision up front. Our workshops are providing a forward-looking vision to guide the implementation of AB 1755.  
To read more about our work on water data in California, see our LA Times Letter to the Editor and our Op-Ed from last month in the Sacramento Bee

We would not be able to continue our research and education initiatives absent the generosity of our supporters.  Our heartfelt thanks to all of you who have already given. 
If you are interested in contributing to our work, please donate via the online link below or contact us to discuss other options and naming opportunities.  

The Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) channels the creativity and expertise of the Berkeley community into pragmatic policy solutions to critical environmental and energy issues.  


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