People Places Planet Podcast

Welcome to ELI’s People Places Planet Podcast. Here, listeners can gain insight on some of the thinking behind ELI's work. Below you will find our most recent episodes. Be sure to tune into our special series on Environmental Disruptors.

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The United States has enacted hundreds of environmental laws and regulations to keep our communities and the people who live in them healthy and safe. But what should be done when these legal safety nets fail, as is too often the case with environmental justice concerns and racial environmental health inequalities? In this episode, ELI’s Caitlin McCarthy talks to Dr. Neha Pathak, a Medical Editor and writer with WebMD, about disproportionate exposure from toxic beauty products, environmental justice, and more.
EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division is tasked with investigating the most significant and egregious of those violations – one that are negligent, knowing, or willful. In this episode, Justin Savage, a Partner at Sidley Austin LLP, talks with Jessica Taylor, the Director of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division. Joining them is Doug Parker, who served as the Division’s Director from 2012-2016. The episode is part of The Enforcement Angle series, featuring conversations about state and federal enforcement of environmental laws and regulations with senior enforcement officials and thought leaders on environmental enforcement in the United States and globally. 
For more than a decade, ELI and Vanderbilt University Law School have featured some of the year’s best academic thinking on legal and policy solutions to pressing environmental problems via the Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review (ELPAR).  This episode gives listeners a preview to this year’s issue, which hits the streets in August and features articles and commentary on climate change litigation, corporate ESG, environmental justice, and energy regulation. 
After millennia of humankind exploiting terrestrial resources, national governments and private enterprises alike are eyeing the skies. There’s evidence of asteroids containing precious metals. Ice on the Moon can be extracted to generate drinking water, oxygen, hydrogen, and helium-3. And Mars has useful minerals, ice, and perhaps even liquid water. All of this requires mining—a pollution-heavy industry. But if activities impacting the environment are being carried out in outer space, what law applies? Or is it all just a . . . legal void? In this episode, ELI’s Cynthia Harris talks to Scot Anderson and Julia La Manna, attorneys with Hogan Lovells in Denver, Colorado, to help us navigate the uncertain terrain of space mining. 
Migration—the temporary or permanent movement of people from one place of residence to another, within a country or across an international border—occurs for myriad reasons. It also involves a host of dangers, complications, and risks. “Migration with Dignity” is a new concept increasingly being used to promote voluntary migration in the pursuit of life with dignity. In this episode, we hear from Carl Bruch, ELI’s Director of International Programs, and Dr. Shanna McClain, Visiting Scientist at ELI and Global Partnerships Manager for NASA’s Earth Sciences Division. The two speak with ELI Staff Attorney Kristine Perry about the legal and policy framework they have been developing to help people migrate with dignity. 
In the first few weeks of the Biden-Harris Administration, we’ve seen an unprecedented environmental justice (EJ) campaign platform develop into far-reaching executive actions. But even before the Biden-Harris campaign brought EJ to the federal spotlight, states were starting to implement ambitious, history-making EJ-focused legislation, a trend that appears to be continuing into 2021.  In this episode, Hilary Jacobs, an attorney at Beveridge & Diamond, speaks with Dr. Karla Drenner, a State Representative from Georgia, and Rebecca Saldaña, a State Senator from Washington State, about pending EJ legislation in their states. This episode is part of the Groundtruth series created in partnership with Beveridge & Diamond, one of the nation’s leading environmental law firms.
Since 1989, ELI has honored over 200 champions of wetlands protection through the National Wetlands Awards program, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional effort, innovation, and excellence in protecting these critical ecosystems. In this episode, hear from our five 2021 awardees, who share their perspectives and insight on a variety of wetlands-related matters. 
On May 18, 1971, Pennsylvania’s voters ratified an Environmental Rights Amendment to its state constitution. Fifty years later, with climate change now the overriding threat to the health of the planet, the architect of that amendment makes the case for an environmental amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In this episode, we talk to Franklin L. Kury, who served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1966 to 1972 and the Pennsylvania Senate from 1972 to 1980, about his new book, The Constitutional Question to Save the Planet: The Peoples' Right to a Healthy Environment
There are many benefits to offshore wind, but what about its impacts on birds, bats, and other wildlife? In this episode, we "engage the experts” and listen in on a conversation between two experts in the field of environmental law and policy, Brooke Marcus Wahlberg, a Partner at Nossaman LLP, and Ed Roggenkamp, an associate. The two offer background on offshore wind, discuss obstacles and opportunities, and share recent developments, including what we might expect under the Biden Administration. 
For over 60 years, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and its predecessor agencies have been a national and global leader on a wide range of environmental issues, from air quality to water quality to remediation. In this episode, Heather Palmer, a Partner at Sidley Austin LLP, talks with Toby Baker, Executive Director of the TCEQ. The two discuss a wide range of issues, including COVID-19, severe weather and power outages, and the Biden Administration.