Julius Redd Quoted in E&E News EnergyWire Regarding Environmental Justice Ruling

E&E News EnergyWire

Principal Julius Redd (Washington, DC) was quoted in E&E News EnergyWire regarding a 2020 ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in “Landmark EJ ruling sparks legislative reckoning in Va.”

In the January 2020 court ruling, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, for its failure to adequately account for the environmental justice (EJ) risks of building a natural gas compressor station along the now-canceled Atlantic Coast pipeline in a community established by newly freed slaves in the aftermath of the Civil War. As a result of the ruling, the DEQ began a rulemaking process to determine the suitability of project sites requiring air permits.

Julius commented that concerns about the economic impact of codifying EJ standards may be overblown. He stated that those concerns could ignore the potential benefits of EJ standards for developers.

"Some of the irony of the opposition is that clear legislation can remove some of that uncertainty in standardized permitting and analysis processes," he stated. He added that industry input in proposing and implementing EJ legislation is important.

Additionally, he said that the court’s ruling last year prompted companies to examine and revise their own business practices in order to "mitigate their risk of being subject to similar types of challenges," he said.

"Anecdotally, it has had an effect," Redd said of the court’s decision.

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