A review of the environmental cases decided by the Pennsylvania appellate courts last year follows. Please forgive any omissions of cases or detail in this catalogue. Many of these cases are not officially reported, so not formally precedential.

COVID-19. Last year I observed: “the governmental response to the viral pandemic is either a response to an environmental problem or, perhaps, a dress rehearsal for economywide measures to mitigate and perhaps to adapt to climate change.” The pandemic has caused the substantive and procedural limits on executive power established by the legislature potentially to frustrate the public health measures that the expert executive agencies may deem appropriate. That is a familiar problem in the environmental area as we continue to confront climate change without statutory tools specifically crafted for the task. Our Supreme Court, no conservative bastion by any means, recently ruled that the statutes and properly adopted regulations limit the authority of the Secretary of Health to impose a mask mandate in schools, and she could not order mask-wearing without a new regulation. See Corman v. Acting Secretary Pennslyvania Department of Health, No. 83 MAP 2021 (Pa. Dec. 23, 2021). Along parallel lines, as I write this on Jan. 7, the Supreme Court is hearing argument on two sets of consolidated cases testing whether the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act authorizes imposition of a nationwide vaccination or testing mandate for large employers. See National Federation Independence Business v. Department of Labor, No. 21A244 (U.S. arg. Jan. 7, 2022); Biden v. Missouri, No. 21A240 (U.S. arg. Jan. 7, 2022).