Share this Post:

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

If You Build It, They Will Come - And That's The Problem


    SIGN-UP for our latest news and action alerts:
   Please leave this field empty

Facebook Fans

Related Blog Entries

by Ben Barron:
It Takes a Good Lawyer To Be a Good Steward

The idea that humans should come first when it comes to our relationship with the natural world traces back to the roots of western culture. For examp...

by Erika Rosenthal:
Cancun Conference Results In Critical Steps Forward

(Editor's Note: Earthjustice attorneys Martin Wagner and Erika Rosenthal are back from participating at the United Nations climate conference in ...

by Tom Turner:
Will Brown Be Green?

When Jerry Brown became governor of California in 1975, it was, for many of us, a relatively green nirvana. He created the Office of Appropriate Techn...

Earthjustice on Twitter

View Tom Turner's blog posts
10 December 2010, 12:57 PM
Court tells developers to account for air pollution from new housing

One of the vexing problems associated with urban sprawl is the associated, call them ancillary, maybe secondary, effects that no one takes responsibility for.

In this particular case, we speak of traffic.

It's a particularly severe problem out near Fresno and Bakersfield, where air quality is famously terrible. One expects smog in Los Angeles and other urban areas, but not in the agricultural heart of the nation. But pollution there is, serious pollution that has a shocking fraction of kids carrying inhalers to school.

As one way to tackle the problem, air pollution regulators, supported by environmental and public-health advocates, suggested that whenever a new housing development is proposed the developer be required to take responsibility for the pollution its development would cause, mostly in the form of increased traffic. This might involve siting the development near public transit, building bike lanes, or, failing all that, paying an extra fee that would be used to reduce pollution elsewhere as a mitigation measure.

The developers howled, as one would expect, but in the latest in a string of legal decisions, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has just ruled against the developers and in favor of people's lungs. Earthjustice represented the Environmental Defense Fund and the Sierra Club in defense of the new regulations, which are being touted as a model for the nation. It's described here in some detail.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <p> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.