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 seminars taught by experts in their fields, introducing the audience to important areas of environmental law, including the Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), climate change law, energy law, 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:
- 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 the Fundamentals of Environmental Law
The oldest major environmental statutes in the United States have existed for approximately five decades. This session serves as an introduction to the framework of environmental law and also highlights two of its major statutes: the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The National Environmental Policy Act was enacted to establish a national policy and means for carrying out protective environmental principles. It also established the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to ensure federal agencies meet their obligations under NEPA. After decades of relatively little change in how the federal government implemented NEPA, the Trump and Biden administrations have taken very different paths in revising NEPA regulations. This year, the Biden administration is expected to release Phase 2 of its rulemaking revisions to NEPA, which are likely to address the consideration of environmental justice and climate change.
The Endangered Species Act is the principal law for the protection of endangered species. Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) of the Department of the Interior and the Commerce Department's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the statute protects and recovers imperiled species deemed either “endangered” or “threatened” and the ecosystems on which they depend.
Michelle-Ann C. Williams, Senior Attorney, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, Moderator
Lawrence R. Liebesman, Of Counsel, Smouse & Mason LLC
Manisha Patel, Deputy Executive Director, Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council
A recording of this session will be posted to this page, usually within three business days of the live event.