Organizations Involved: Sabin Center
Source: Oil & Gas, Natural Resources, & Energy Journal
A new wave of “failure to adapt” lawsuits has sought to clarify how a changing climate may change what reasonable preparations governments and private actors must take, including increasing the resilience of their infrastructure. These suits span constitutional, tort, and statutory law more broadly, but unprepared owners of energy infrastructure may risk additional violations under environmental law due to unpermitted releases of air and water pollution during extreme weather events for which they are not adequately prepared. This article considers recent legal and administrative suits that may indicate shifting legal responsibilities for coastal and riverine energy infrastructure owners under the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA), state air and water codes, and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).