Hawai'i

Attorney General Clare Connors

Total Actions: 21


May 2019

May 10, 2019
Nineteen AGs Urged Congress to Reject Administration’s Proposed Cuts to EPA Budget
New York Attorney General Letitia James led a coalition of 19 state attorneys general in sending a letter urging congressional leaders to reject the administration’s proposed cuts to the EPA’s budget for fiscal year 2020. The proposed 31 percent overall budget cut would sharply reduce funding for state environmental agencies, as well as tribal and local government programs that play an essential role in water quality monitoring, beach protection, radon detection, hazardous waste release prevention and detection, and more. In their letter, the attorneys general warned that the administration’s proposed cuts and workforce reductions “promise to undermine the EPA’s ability to do its job, and reflect a fundamental lack of appreciation for the essential role” that the agency plays in protecting the environment and public health.
[ Letter | Release | 19 AGs: New York; California; Connecticut; Delaware; Hawai‘i; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New Jersey; New Mexico; North Carolina; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington, D.C. ]


March 2019

March 19, 2019
Amicus Brief Filed in Defense of States’ Clean Water Act Permitting Authority
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum led a coalition of 14 state attorneys general in filing an amicus brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to grant rehearing of a January 2019 decision that restricts the exercise of state water quality objections under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act in the context of federal permitting of infrastructure projects. In the brief, the attorneys general warn that the January ruling in Hoopa Valley Tribe v. FERC threatens state authority over water quality permitting and "undercuts the coequal management of the nation's waters."
[ Amicus Brief 14 AGs: Oregon; Alaska; Hawai’i; Idaho; Maine; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; New Jersey; Rhode Island; South Dakota; Vermont; Washington; Wyoming ]


February 2019

February 18, 2019
Filed Lawsuit Challenging President Trump’s Declaration of a National Emergency to Divert Funding for Border Wall Construction
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a coalition of 20 attorneys general in filing a lawsuit challenging President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency for the purpose of diverting funding toward construction of a wall along the southern border. In their lawsuit, the AGs noted that wall construction “will cause irreparable environmental damage” to California and New Mexico’s natural resources, including dozens of plant and animal species protected under the Endangered Species Act.
[ Complaint | Release20 AGs: California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Hawai'i; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Nevada; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Wisconsin  ]


January 2019

January 31, 2019
Petitioned EPA to Improve Data Collection on Asbestos
A coalition of 15 attorneys general co-led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to close a data-reporting loophole for importers of asbestos, a dangerous mineral with no safe level of exposure for humans. Asbestos is a regulated substance under the Toxic Substances Control Act, which requires the EPA to collect comprehensive data on the mineral and assess its potential harm to human health and the environment. Importers are currently exempt from reporting asbestos under the agency’s Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule. In their petition, the attorneys general asked the EPA to close its “naturally occurring substance” exemption for asbestos reporting, and to subject all imported products or materials containing asbestos to the CDR rule’s reporting requirements.
[ PetitionMA Release | 15 AGs: Massachusetts; California; Connecticut; Hawai’i; Maryland; Maine; Minnesota; New Jersey; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C. ]


January 10, 2019
Reached a Multi-state Settlement with Fiat Chrysler Over Diesel Emissions Scheme
The attorneys general of 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam announced a settlement with automaker Fiat Chrysler over the use of a “defeat device” software system designed to obscure emissions data from its fleet of diesel vehicles. The scheme resulted in vehicles that released far more hazardous air pollutants into the atmosphere than what is legally permissible under the Clean Air Act. The $171 million settlement covers more than 100,000 vehicles sold under the scheme in the 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.
[ NY Release | 52 AGs: New York; Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Guam; Hawai'i; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Puerto Rico; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C.; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming ]


December 2018

December 21, 2018
Added Fourth National Climate Assessment to Official Rulemaking Records for EPA’s Proposed Rollbacks of Clean Car Standards, Clean Power Plan
New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a coalition of 21 state attorneys general in adding the Fourth National Climate Assessment to the rulemaking record for the EPA’s proposed rules to roll back the national Clean Car Standards and the Clean Power Plan. Earlier in December, AG Underwood and AG Becerra led a coalition of 20 state AGs in sending a letter to EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler calling on the agency to withdraw its proposed rollbacks in light of the National Climate Assessment’s findings.
[ NY Release | CA Release | 21 AGs: New York; California; Connecticut; Delaware; Hawai'i; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; North Carolina; New Jersey; New Mexico; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington; D.C. ]


December 14, 2018
Filed Amicus Brief in Support of Vermont’s Challenge to EPA’s Mercury Reporting Rule
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum led a coalition of ten state attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in support of Vermont’s challenge to the EPA’s changes to mercury inventory reporting requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The EPA’s June 2018 final rule exempted persons who use mercury-added products as a component of a larger product from submitting periodic reports to the EPA, and also reduced the frequency requirements of reporting. The AGs’ brief argued the rule’s exemptions are inconsistent with the text of TSCA and that the rule would constrain states’ ability to effectively regulate mercury by denying states the opportunity to access a comprehensive and accurate federal inventory of mercury supply, use and trade.
[ Amicus Brief | Release | 11 AGs: Oregon; Connecticut; Hawai'i; Massachusetts; Maine; Maryland; Minnesota; New Jersey; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Washington ]   


December 11, 2018
Submitted Letter Calling on EPA to Withdraw Proposed Rollbacks of Clean Car Standards and the Clean Power Plan in Light of Fourth National Climate Assessment
New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a coalition of 20 state attorneys general in submitting a letter to EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler calling on the agency to withdraw its proposed rollbacks of the Clean Power Plan and Clean Car Standards. In their letter, the AGs warned the EPA not to ignore the findings of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which made clear that climate change is already negatively impacting the economy, environment, public health and national security, and that the effects will only intensify in the coming years. The AGs urged the EPA to withdraw its proposed rollbacks, or at a minimum to reopen the proposed replacement rules for further public comment.
[ Letter | 20 AGs: New York; California; Connecticut; Delaware; Hawai'i; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New Jersey; New Mexico; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C. ]


November 2018

November 19, 2018
Filed an Amicus Brief Opposing the Trump Administration’s Plan to Strip Protections from National Monuments
A multi-state coalition of 11 state attorneys general led by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in opposition to the Trump administration’s plan to revoke national monument protections for large portions of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah. The amicus brief supports ongoing litigation brought by national environmental groups and Native American tribes against the Trump administration’s actions.

The AGs noted that Executive Order 13792, which opened up the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments to mining, oil and gas extraction violates the Antiquities Act, which does not authorize Presidents to undue National Monument protections extended by previous administrations. In their brief, the AGs note that Executive Order 13792 also authorizes an open-ended review of protections for other national monument across the country by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke – a review that is also unlawful under the Antiquities Act.
Release | Amicus Brief | 11 AGs: Washington; California; Hawai'i; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont ]


October 2018

October 26, 2018
Submitted comments opposing rollback of Clean Car Standards
A coalition of 21 AGs submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opposing the agencies’ proposed “SAFE” (“Safer, Affordable, Fuel Efficient”) Vehicles rule. If finalized, the “SAFE” Vehicles rule would freeze national Clean Car Standards for passenger vehicles and light trucks. The current Clean Car Standards are expected to prevent up to 2,000 premature deaths, 50,000 cases of respiratory ailments and reduce asthma symptoms for 24 million Americans, including 6.3 million children.
Release | Comments | 21 AGs: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Hawai'i; Iowa; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C. ]


October 12, 2018
Filed an Amicus Brief in Support of MA and NY Exxon Mobil Investigations
A coalition of 20 state attorneys general filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit calling for the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by Exxon Mobil Corp. that seeks to halt the climate change-related investigations brought by New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on First Amendment grounds. On the same day, a coalition of four former Massachusetts attorneys general filed an amicus brief supporting AG Healey’s right to complete her ongoing investigation based on the office's longstanding authority and responsibility to investigate potential cases of misrepresentation or fraud.
Multi-State Amicus Brief | Former AG Amicus Brief20 AGs: Delaware; Oregon; California; Connecticut; Hawai'i; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Minnesota; Mississippi; New Jersey; New Mexico; North Carolina; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C. ]


August 2018

August 3, 2018
Submitted Comments to EPA on Risk Evaluations for Toxic Substances
A coalition of 11 Attorneys General submitted comments to the EPA strongly critical of the Agency’s proposed framework for the evaluation of the risk posed by toxic chemicals like asbestos to public health and the environment. The AGs argue in their comments that the EPA’s new proposal is counter to the intended purpose of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which was signed into law just two years ago on June 22, 2016. The Lautenberg Act was passed as an amendment to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

The AGs contend that Congress amended TSCA in a clear attempt to remove obstacles that had prevented the EPA from playing “a more robust role in protecting public health and the environment,” and that the Agency’s attempt to ignore known uses of toxic chemicals represents an “unlawfully restrictive application of TSCA.” The AGs argue that this can only result in “deeply flawed risk evaluations” that “make it impossible for EPA to fulfill its statutory mandate.” 
Comments | 11 AGs: Massachusetts; California; Hawai’i; Maine; Maryland; New Jersey; New York; Oregon; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C. ]


August 2, 2018
Announced intention to file suit against the EPA, DOT over Car Emissions Standards
A coalition of 20 Attorneys General announced that they were prepared to fight the Trump Administration’s proposal to revoke California’s waiver under the Clean Air Act, which allows the State to set its own emissions standard for greenhouse gas emissions. The AGs announced that they are also prepared for a legal battle over the Administration’s proposal to weaken emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks for model years 2021 through 2026.

12 States and the District of Columbia have adopted the emissions standards set by California, which is the only State that is able to set its own standard under federal law. AGs from all 12 States and the District of Columbia joined the coalition.
Statement | 20 AGs: Massachusetts; Connecticut; Delaware; Hawai’i; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Minnesota; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C.]


July 2018

July 26, 2018
Filed Amicus Brief Challenging Appellate Court Ruling on HFC Prohibition
A coalition of 18 Attorneys General filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn a divided U.S. District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Mexichem Flour vs. EPA (2017). Relying on a strained reading of the Clean Air Act, a divided lower court ruled that EPA does not have the authority to phase out the use of hydroflourocarbons (HFCs) in air conditioning and refrigerants, even though HFCs are potent greenhouse gases (“air pollutants” under the Clean Air Act) that contribute significantly to climate change.

In their brief, the AGs advanced a compelling argument that the lower court erred in its reading of Section 612 of the Clean Air Act. They joined with environmental and industry petitioners in requesting Supreme Court review.
Amicus Brief | 18 AGs: Massachusetts; Connecticut; Delaware; Hawai’i; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Minnesota; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C. ]


April 2018

April 26, 2018
Filed Comments to Defend the Clean Power Plan
Nineteen attorneys general filed comments with the EPA to defend the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and oppose the "unlawful and unsupported" repeal proposed by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "EPA's proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan is contrary to the Clean Air Act and arbitrary and capricious. To propose to repeal the Plan-without having first put in place a replacement rule that requires equivalent or greater pollution reductions-is nothing less than an abdication of EPA's duty to protect public health and welfare from what it has recognized to be the nation's most urgent environmental threat," wrote the attorneys general.
ReleaseComments | 19 AGs: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Hawai'i; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; North Carolina; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C. ]


February 2018

February 27, 2018
Responded To EPA's “Advance Notice” Of Rule To Possibly Replace Clean Power Plan
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman led 18 attorneys general in filing comments opposing the "Environmental Protection Agency’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ('Advance Notice') on a 'potential' replacement to the Clean Power Plan."
Release | Comments18 AGs: California; Connecticut; Hawai'i; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C. ]


January 2018

January 9, 2018
Called on Scott Pruitt to be Recused from Clean Power Plan Repeal Process
EPA's "failure to disqualify" Administrator Scott Pruitt from the Clean Power Plan repeal process has "irreparably tainted" the rulemaking because he "prejudged" the outcome prior to and during his tenure leading the Agency, resulting in a "lack of due process and fairness," argued California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with 12 other attorneys general and six municipalities, in comments filed today. Therefore, EPA "must withdraw the proposed repeal," or "any resulting rule will be invalid."
Release Comments | 13 AGs: California; Delaware; Hawai'i; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C. ]


June 2017

June 9, 2017
Promised Legal Fight If EPA Moves To Roll Back Key Vehicle Emission Standards
Attorneys general "warned the Trump Administration that any effort to roll back key vehicle emission standards would be met by a 'vigorous' court challenge. In a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the coalition makes clear that it will take legal action if the EPA attempts to weaken air pollution standards set for passenger cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2022 to 2025."
Release | Letter | 14 AGs: Connecticut; Delaware; Hawai'i; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington; Washington, D.C.

June 6, 2017
Joined National "We Are Still In" Pledge To Maintain Commitments To Paris Climate Agreement 
Attorneys general declared they are still committed to the goals outlined in the Paris Climate Accord after President Trump announced the United States would pull out of the agreement.
Release | Pledge | 19 AGs: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Hawai'i; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington, D.C. ]

April 2017

April 5, 2017
Opposed EPA's Efforts To Stall Clean Power Plan Case 
In the D.C. Court of Appeals, attorneys general "filed opposition to the Trump administration’s request to delay court proceedings regarding the Clean Power Plan...after President Trump signed an executive order directing the EPA to review the Clean Power Plan and decide whether to 'suspend, rescind, or revise' it...EPA filed a motion asking the court to hold the litigation in abeyance while the Agency reconsiders the rule."
Release | Opposition | 18 AGs: California; Connecticut; Deleware; Hawai'i; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; Washington, D.C. ]


March 2017

March 30, 2017
Urged Congress to Reject Proposals Gutting the EPA 
Attorney generals opposed "the proposed federal budget cuts to the EPA and its critical programs...the attorneys general point to the President’s recent proposal to cut 31 percent from the EPA’s budget, which is the biggest cut of any federal agency in the White House 2018 budget, as well as a bill introduced by Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz that would eliminate the EPA entirely on December 31, 2018."
Release | Letter | 13 AGs: Connecticut; Hawai'i; Illinois; Iowa; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New York; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Washington, D.C. ]