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Reimagining Environmental Law

Workshop Report Cover

The year 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), and the environmental law program at George Washington University School of Law (GWU). In honor of these anniversaries, GWU and ELI set out to re‐imagine environmental and natural resources law for the next 50 years in collaboration with leading environmental legal thinkers. This collaboration has taken place at two in‐person meetings: the first at The Johnson Foundation’s Wingspread Conference Center in Racine, Wisconsin, in March 2019, and the second at Airlie House Conference Center in Warrenton, Virginia, in November 2019. Meridian Institute provided facilitation support for both events.

Both meetings included presentations, plenary discussions, and small group discussions focused on opportunities to address climate change, the circular economy, uncontrolled pollution, ecosystem degradation, and the distribution of environmental benefits and burdens. Though all discussions included recognition of the broad international context, the meeting focused primarily on environmental and natural resources law in the United States. The goal of the meetings was not to reach consensus on solutions, but rather to bring new ideas to the table, connect leaders in the field, and lay the foundation for future conversations and gatherings.

A report summarizing the context for, outcomes of, and next steps emerging from the 1.5‐day November meeting at Airlie House is available for download here.

A number of meeting-related materials from the March 2019 workshop are also available for download:

 For additional information, contact John Pendergrass, Vice President, Programs & Publications