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Not Every Hazardous Substance is a “Hazardous Substance”: Addressing an Emerging Containment without a CERCLA Designation

Adam Mittermaier

            Consider the hazards of perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. One, PFOA is toxic to humans and animals.[1] The chemical contributes to liver and thyroid damage, low infant birthweight, decreased immune function, and cancer.[2] Two, PFOA is elemental in the American home.[3] Due to its convenient water and stain-resistant properties, PFOA was once used in cookware, food packaging, clothing, and carpet.[4] Three, PFOA is ubiquitous in the environment.[5] The blood of ninety-nine percent of the U.S. population now contains PFOA and Antarctic soils bear its traces.[6] Four, PFOA is resistant to decomposition, bioaccumulative, and mobile through air and water.[7] In an adult human, PFOA has a half-life of 8 years.[8]

Good Intentions: How EPA Laid New Legal Land Mines Beneath the Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Defense

Ryan Mitchell

            No other law has adversely affected the real estate market like the Conservation Environmental Recovery, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).[1] Upon Congress’s adoption of CERCLA in 1980, CERCLA liability tied up every contaminated parcel of land.[2] Estimates of the total cost of remediating every Brownfield reach $650 billion.[3] The overwhelming fear of CERCLA liability stifled the real estate market.[4] From rural communities to inner cities, CERCLA has financially frustrated the nation as a whole.[5]

Keep Clam and Carry On? Protecting North Atlantic Right Whales from the Surfclam Industry in the Great South Channel Habitat Management Area

Kimberly E. Johnson

           Will the New England Fishery Management Council’s recent Clam Dredge Framework harm critically endangered North Atlantic right whale habitat by permitting hydraulic clam dredging in three excepted areas of the Great South Channel Habitat Management Area? On April 9, 2018, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Department of Commerce approved the final rule to implement the New England Fisheries Council Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2 (OHA2).[1] The OHA2 made several changes to fishery management practices: (1) it revised essential fish habitat and areas of particular concern, (2) it revised or created new habitat management areas, (3) it established habitat research areas, and (4) it implemented several other administrative measures.[2] The OHA2 established the Great South Channel Habitat Management Area (HMA), a protected area off the coast of Massachusetts.[3] The HMA is closed to bottom-tending mobile gear, and it is closed to hydraulic clam dredge gear in the northeast corner.[4] The New England Fishery Management Council (the Council) finalized its Clam Dredge Framework, a trailing action to the OHA2, on December 5, 2018.[5] The Framework closed the HMA to hydraulic clam dredging but granted three exceptions for areas within the HMA where hydraulic clam dredging will be permitted.[6] Next, the Council will submit its recommendations to NMFS/NOAA Fisheries for approval.[7] If NMFS/NOAA approves the Council’s recommendations, right whale critical habitat in the HMA may be adversely affected by the surfclam industry’s fishing gear.[8]

Great Harm, Meager Remedy? Assessing the Risk of Racially Disparate Restorative Remedies in the Wake of Cannabis Legalization

David Kahn

            At its peak in 2009, the incarceration rate in the United States was the highest in the world, as was the total number of people incarcerated: 2.3 million Americans were incarcerated, 720 out of every 100,000 people.[1] This explosion in the rate of incarceration was enabled by the politics of white reaction.[2] African-Americans are incarcerated for drug convictions far beyond the proportion of the overall, or the drug-using, population that they represent.[3] African-Americans face a 3.73 times greater likelihood of arrest for possession of marijuana than white people,[4] despite similar rates of marijuana use.[5] Among the most insidious harms done by the War on Drugs are the “collateral consequences” that result from criminal convictions, which include critical components of the social safety net, access to economic opportunities, and even parental rights and resources.[6] These consequences have broadened in scope and deepened in reach concurrent with the “tough on crime” reactionary politics as exemplified by the War on Drugs.[7]

High Heels Hurt and So Does Data Theft, Maybe: Will Zappos Give Plaintiffs a Leg to “Stand” On?

Laura Lee

            Have thieves stolen your personal information? The answer is probably yes because data theft is on the rise.[1] Furthermore, the problem will only get worse because online interactions are commonplace.[2] Once thieves steal a consumer’s data, the consumer is left to unravel the wicked web of what a data breach means to their financial health.[3] Of significance here, consumers have turned to the courts in an attempt to hold companies who housed the stolen data accountable for their data theft.[4] However, most consumers have not been able to access the judicial system for relief because many courts have found plaintiffs do not have standing—a threshold legal requirement before the court can turn to the substantive issue.[5] In fact, the federal circuit courts are inconsistent in their approach as to when a plaintiff establishes standing, in particular when a plaintiff has satisfied the injury-in-fact (injury) element of standing.[6] That said, the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) now has the opportunity to clarify what establishes the injury element of standing when thieves steal data in Zappos, Inc. v. Stevens. Zappos petitioned for Writ of Certiorari onAugust 20, 2018.[7]

A Mine of Our Own: Establishing Uniform African Mining Laws in a Post-Colonization World

Mahmoudy Kemal

           In a cyclical industry such as Africa’s mining sector, robust mining laws are required to discourage pollution by mining companies and deter them from plundering with relative impunity. These concerns arise because many of the world’s richest natural resource reserves are located in Africa.[1] The continent’s importance as a source of energy is widely recognized.[2] Indeed, to this day, Africa generally remains the world’s premier producer of mineral commodities.[3] A traditional role as supplier of natural resources, however, has come at a price.[4]International exploitation of these natural resources, coupled with a dearth of strong local institutions and legal frameworks, have given way to unrestrained excavation at the expense of local interests.[5]

Prison Pot and Opiate Overdose–A Radical Approach to Prisoner Healthcare

Ronald Hammond

            The United States is suffering from an opioid epidemic of catastrophic proportions[1]and a huge federal and state prison population.[2] This Note proposes to bring some relief to this juncture of American suffering. The American prison system focuses heavily on the punitive nature of punishment.[3] Prisoners affected by opiate addiction make this stance more distinct; a large number are forced to experience the effects of opiate withdrawal without being able to seek the medical help that would be available to non-incarcerated citizens.[4] Prisoners are also likely to overdose when they are released from prison; a North Carolina study established that prisoners were 74 times more likely to overdose within 2 weeks or release when compared to the general population.[5] These problems can be fixed by providing Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) to the prison population.[6]

Protecting Free Willy’s Legacy: The Puget Sound Needs a Seaside Sanctuary to Rescue and Rehabilitate the Southern Resident Orca Population

Gordanna Clevenger

            Will the death of J50 (Scarlett), an orca in the southern resident population, be in vain or will efforts to save the southern resident orca population succeed? The Puget Sound’s southern resident population has reached an alarming all-time low.[1]Three pods make up the population: J, K, and L.[2]The southern resident’s range is wide with pods travelling to the San Juan Islands during the summer months and the inland waterways of the Puget Sound in the fall.[3]The use of ferries and tourism took off on the Puget Sound.[4]This increased human activity on the Puget Sound has drastically depleted the southern resident population and their food source.[5]

Lease Renewal in the Land of 10,000 Lakes: Mining in the Boundary Waters

Kelsey Godin

Carved out by glaciers, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) houses 1,500 miles of canoe routes, 2,200 designated campsites, and more than 1,000 lakes and streams.[1]The glaciers left behind cliffs, canyons, rolling hills, souring rock formations, sandy beaches, and rocky shores.[2]In the Superior National Forest, more than 1 million acres of Minnesota is protected under the Wilderness Act of 1964,[3]and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act of 1978.[4]Signing the Wilderness Act, Lyndon B. Johnson preserved the BWCAW as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.[5]The BWCAW is one of the most visited public land areas in the United States.[6]More than 200,000 people visit this pristine wild area annually.[7]

Saltwater Intrusion: Planning for Sustainable Cooperative Policy in the Face of Climate Change and Overconsumption

Jessica Doughty

The United States’ population consumes over 305 billion gallons of water daily.[1] This amount of water would fill 461,944 Olympic swimming pools.[2]  At this rate of consumption, 40 out of 50 states will face water shortages within the next decade.[3]With the growth of the United States population, particularly growth focused in coastal cities, comes increased pressure on aquifers.[4]  In addition, climate change is degrading aquifers.[5] Increased pressure on aquifers coupled with the effects of climate change causes a number of issues for groundwater aquifers, one of them being saltwater intrusion.[6]

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