Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions - August 7, 2015

Upcoming Events

September 10-11

Jiangsu, China

China-U.S. Climate Change Action and Cooperation 


September 29-30

Ontario, Canada

Taking Action: Achieving Ontario and Canadian Climate Change Goals


October 22

Durham, NC

Leadership in a Time of Rapid Change: Envisioning Solutions to Environmental Challenges


For information on other upcoming events, visit the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions website


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Monast Outlines Key Issues to Watch in Clean Power Plan Rollout
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Our Impact: Initiative Supports the Sustainability of Federal Fisheries
In 2007, legislative reauthorization introduced substantial changes to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the primary federal law that governs conservation of fisheries in U.S. federal waters. These changes had members of the eight regional fishery management councils grappling with a complex framework for determining the "right" amount of fish to catch. Learn how the Fisheries Leadership & Sustainability Forum helped to make the law's new terminology and methodology clearer in the eighth installment of our 12-part series highlighting the environmental policy impacts of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions in its first decade.
Defining Clean Power Plan Success

On August 3, the United States crossed a major threshold in the effort to mitigate climate change. With the release of the final Clean Power Plan, the nation's fleet of existing power plants now face mandatory limits on how much carbon dioxide they can emit. Jonas Monast, director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Nicholas Institute, discusses three factors for assessing the long-term success of the Clean Power Plan in The Conversation.

Including Ecosystem Services in Decisions

Decisions made by U.S. federal agencies can significantly affect the nation's natural resources, from the air we breathe and the water we drink and recreate in to the wild animals and scenic places we love. Often there are difficult tradeoffs to be considered whereby one of these benefits is enhanced while another is reduced. A new report by the National Ecosystem Services Partnership provides recommendations on best practices for ecosystem services assessments in federal decision making. In a Q&A, lead author Lydia Olander discusses how these practices help ensure nature's benefits to people are fairly considered. 

Study Examines Hydraulic Fracturing Depths

In Environmental Science and Technology, Amy Pickle and her co-authors present the first comprehensive analysis of hydraulic fracturing depths in the United States. Their analysis, based on reports from 44,000 oil and natural gas wells between 2010 and 2013, suggests that some wells are shallow enough to warrant special safeguards against potential hazards, including drinking-water contamination and surface chemical spills. They recommend a mandatory registry of well locations, full chemical disclosure, and, where horizontal drilling is used, predrilling water testing to a radius 1,000 feet beyond the well's greatest lateral extent.   

Analysis: Financing Land Use Mitigation

A report co-authored by Brian Murray assists decision makers in accessing and leveraging financial mechanisms to support activities that reduce forest greenhouse gas emissions and increase forest carbon stocks. It features lessons from efforts to raise finance for low-emission, sustainable land use activities in Mexico and Ethiopia--two countries with ambitious REDD+ and LED goals but with widely differing natural environments, macroeconomic conditions, and institutional experience.

The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions helps decision makers create timely, effective, and economically practical solutions to the world's critical environmental challenges.

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University,
 P.O. Box 90335, Durham, NC 27708.