Hastings Environmental Law Journal will publish two online issues in a digital format per yearly volume: Winter and Summer.
HELJ is exclusively available online to reduce its resource use, but its commitment to environmental law remains as vigilant as ever. To read the first issue of Hastings Environmental Law Journal, Volume 24 Number 1 Winter 2018, click here. Below is the inaugural Editor’s Foreword from Editor-in-Chief Jessica S. Durney ’18.
It is my great pleasure and honor to introduce the first issue of the newly christened Hastings Environmental Law Journal. In an homage to our predecessor West-Northwest, this Winter 2018 issue presents a variety of articles, essays, and notes on environmental law and policy issues in our home state of California. We found it fitting to highlight our state’s efforts to lead the vanguard of progressive environmental law and policy for our first issue. In an era of federal deregulation and ambivalence toward environment issues, California’s role in setting the bar has never been more important or timely.
As part of our transition to the Hastings Environmental Law Journal, we have decided to craft a tradition of emphasizing the practitioner viewpoint on environmental law and policy issues, in addition to the traditional scholarship attributed to law journals. Thus, our list of authors for this inaugural issue is packed with some of the best and brightest stars in the legal field marching to further California’s leadership role in environmental issues.
In a fitting close to over thirty years of cutting-edge scholarship, we are bridging the transition from West-Northwest to Hastings Environmental Law Journal with Paul Cort’s article A Zero-Emissions Future, which provides an update to his 2015 article in West-Northwest, Getting to Zero. Next, as a fitting start to our inaugural issue and new emphasis on practitioners, our second piece offers the perspective of California State Senator Bob Wieckowski, who writes a fascinating account of his efforts to craft a new path for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through his California Cap and Trade extension, Senate Bill 775.
Following that trend, we present three practitioner pieces touching upon several different aspects of environmental issues pivotal to California. Jennifer Hernandez presents California Environmental Quality Act Lawsuits and California’s Housing Crisis, an update to her study of CEQA lawsuits to argue a need for updating the Act’s litigation rules to better align with California’s environmental, equity, and economic priorities. Christopher Butcher and Johannah Kramer next provide a case review of Friends of Eel River v. North Coast Railroad Authority, outlining the split between California’s Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit and setting the stage for future litigation within the context of California’s High Speed Rail project. Finally, Darry Sragow and our own Monika Darwish provide us with California’s Clean Car Law: Fifteen Years Later, a Look in the Rearview Mirror to give us the lessons learned from the landmark legislation, and its future uses in tackling the causes of climate change, both in California and beyond.
Next, I am particularly excited to present a series of essays from distinguished practitioners and panelists at this year’s Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite. First in this series is Kimberly Bick presenting her piece, Contaminated Groundwater as a Resource in California, which evaluates plans to use treated groundwater as drinking water. Suma Peesapati follows with her essay California’s Next Environmental Frontier: Climate Justice Leadership, an overview of California’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and the failings of its Cap & Trade system to fully and adequately account for environmental justice issues. Next, Clark Morrison provides his essay California’s Response to the Trumpian Rollback of Wetland Protections Under the Clean Water Act, which accounts for the state’s new procedures that will bridge the regulatory gap presented by the Trump Administration’s Executive Order and subsequent proposed rule to revise federal jurisdiction over wetlands. Finally, Joshua Viers and Daniel Nover present their piece, Too Big to Fail: Limiting Public Risk in Hydropower Licensing, an essay arguing for reforms necessary to reduce future shocks to water management in California similar to regulations created after the 2008 financial crisis.
Concluding our inaugural issue are three stellar student notes. First, Claire Wilkens writes Using Drones to Fight Slavery in the Field: An Examination of the Practicality and Constitutionality of Applying 21st Century Technology to a 21st Century Problem, a fascinating work of scholarship presenting a novel idea for managing a crisis in our state’s agricultural sector. Next, Matthew Olhausen presents his note, Conservation Easements for Green Urban Spaces, on a creative solution to the quickly diminishing open areas in an era of increasing demand for new housing. Finally, Ross Middlemiss closes our issue with a critical piece, H.R. 23: An Assault on Water Resource Conservation and California’s State Sovereignty, analyzing the bill’s impact on our state’s ability to regulate and control water resources within our borders.
I am extremely proud of this issue, and could not possibly imagine a better group of authors or editorial staff with whom to work. Many thanks for all the late nights, last minute phone calls, countless emails, and endless support devoted to make this first issue happen.
Jessica S. Durney
Editor-in-Chief, Class of 2018
Vol. 24, Issue No. 1, Winter 2018