The Environmental Law Institute &
DC Bar’s Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section
Each summer the ELI Summer School convenes a complimentary seminar series that serves as an introduction to the legal and policy foundations of environmental protection in the United States. The weekly brown-bag lunch seminars are taught by experts in their fields, and introduce 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. The series began with an afternoon careers seminar followed by a networking reception.
Who should attend: This series is designed for summer associates, law clerks and interns. The series is also appropriate for attorneys or working professionals seeking an introduction to environmental law and policy.
This seminar focused on the Clean Water Act, the events that led to its enactment, and legal disputes that have influenced its enforcement. The speakers 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 the question of what types of water bodies are 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 clean water in the context of energy needs and climate change.
Faculty: Alex Dunn, Executive Director and General Counsel, Association of Clean Water Administrators Erin Flannery, Federal government water attorney