June 30, 2020

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 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).

Basics of the Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act (CAA) has major impacts on the environment, human health, and the economy. In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Clean Power Plan under the CAA, establishing the first-ever national limits to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. EPA has repealed this plan for nationwide emissions reductions, sparking court hearings around the country. Additional rollbacks in CAA regulation and compliance are taking place in response to COVID-19.

As the regulations under the CAA continue to be at the center of developments in environmental law, this session explored both the foundations and real-world examples of the CAA. Our faculty discussed:

  • permitting programs,
  • air quality planning regulations,
  • standards for major sources, area sources, mobile sources, and
  • major developments, including in regulation of greenhouse gases.

Natasha DeJarnett, Ph.D.
, Interim Associate Director, National Environmental Health Association
Stacie B. Fletcher, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Larry Weinstock, Program Innovation Coordinator, Office of Air and Radiation (OAR), U.S. EPA

Natasha DeJarnett presentation
Stacie Fletcher presentation
Larry Weinstock presentation

**See the entire Summer School 2020 schedule HERE.**

June 30, 2020

Presented by the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice and co-sponsored by ELI

Everyone has now heard of "flattening the curve," a call for collective action to limit the worst effects of COVID-19. Advocates of climate action have begun to note the uncanny similarities between unchecked climate change and the pandemic, including the challenges brought by exponential growth, increased public awareness of the problem, and the imperative of a unified public response. Both pandemics and climate change know no boundaries and have the most impact on vulnerable communities; but ultimately they affect us all. Both jeopardize the safety, well-being and inherent dignity of those affected. And both trigger legal and ethical obligations of governments and the private sector to protect and safeguard the civil, political, economic, social and cultural human rights that pandemics and climate change threaten equally. Because climate change, like COVID-19, is a global problem with local consequences, addressing it will require a collaborative and coordinated set of solutions implemented locally, nationally, regionally and internationally. Attorneys have a major role to play by writing and advocating for meaningful change. Speakers described the lessons COVID-19 has taught us about the need for an effective global response; and they will identify a variety of legal actions governments and the private sector must take to "flatten the curve" and keep the worst effects of climate change at bay.

Lisa Benjamin
(Moderator)– Assistant Professor of Law, Lewis & Clark Law School
Sara Bronin – Faculty Director, Center for Energy & Environmental Law, University of Connecticut School of Law
Michael Gerrard – Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia Law School; Faculty Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School
Tracey M. Roberts – Associate Professor of Law, Cumberland School of Law, Samford University
Adam Zipkin – Legislative Counsel, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker