The Environmental Law Institute &
DC Bar’s Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section
Each summer, ELI convenes a complimentary seminar series that offers an introduction to the legal and policy foundations of environmental protection in the United States. ELI’s Summer School is a series of brown-bag lunch seminars taught by experts in their fields, introducing the audience to the major environmental statutes (including NEPA, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, TSCA, RCRA, and CERCLA) and land use law.
Who should attend:The series is designed for undergraduates, law students, and graduate students. The series is also appropriate for professionals seeking an introduction or reintroduction to environmental law and policy.
When first written in 1972, the Clean Water Act called for ending pollution by the 1980s. This course examined the progress made to date, and the progress yet to be made to achieve this goal. The faculty addressed the regulatory and permitting framework for limiting water pollution and the important distinction between point sources and nonpoint sources. Although "water" is a straightforward concept, two recent Supreme Court decisions have created enormous confusion surrounding what types of water is subject to federal regulation. The seminar also highlighted the distinctions between the regulation of water quality versus water quantity and the considerations that policymakers face in light of growing demands for water in the context of energy needs and climate change.