NEPA, ESA and Fundamentals of Environmental Law (ELI Summer School, 2019)

June 11, 2019 12:00 pm — 2:00 pm
Washington, DC (and via webinar)

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 the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)), land use law, and environmental justice. Faculty will also incorporate major regulatory and judicial updates to the laws.

Who will benefit: All are welcome. Students and emerging professionals will have unique opportunities to learn, hear updates, ask questions, and network. The series is intended for:

  • undergraduates,
  • law students and graduate students, and
  • working professionals new to or looking for a refresher course in environmental law (such as interns, summer clerks, and associates, or second-career professionals).

NEPA, ESA and Fundamentals of Environmental Law

The oldest major environmental statutes that we know today have existed for more than 40 years. This session served as an introduction to the framework of environmental law and also highlights two major statutes.

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was enacted to establish a national policy and means for carrying out protective environmental principles. NEPA also established the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to ensure federal agencies meet their obligations under NEPA. Recent proposals to amend and update NEPA have focused on the environmental review process in order to reduce the long wait times from five years to two.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is the principal law for the protection of endangered species. Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Commerce Department's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), ESA protects and recovers imperiled species deemed either “endangered” or “threatened” and the ecosystems which they depend on. Recent proposals have been presented to amend regulations regarding the factors for listing species as “threatened” under ESA.

This session served both as an introduction to the fundamentals of environmental law and highlight these two major statutes:

  • the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), known as the "Magna Carta" of environmental law, and
  • the Endangered Species Act (ESA), known as the “pit bull” of environmental law.

Jake Li, Director of Biodiversity, Environmental Policy Innovation Center
Ann D. Navaro, Partner, Bracewell LLP

Jake Li presentation
Ann Navaro presentation

**See the entire Summer School 2019 schedule HERE.**