Professor Jody Freeman joined Peter Sagal of NPR’s Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me! on his journey across American to learn more about the United States Constitution, in a four-part series produced by PBS. In the first episode of Constitution USA, Professor Freeman told Sagal that “[federalism] is the most healthy dynamic that we have in the Constitution; and it produces a lot of good results.”
The entire episode can be viewed here (Professor Freeman begins around minute 47): http://video.pbs.org/video/2365006249/.
Professor Lazarus Discusses Environmental Lawlessness in Chair Lecture
Richard Lazarus, the Howard and Katherine Aibel Professor of Law, explained the current state of “environmental lawlessness” in his chair lecture April 10. A video recording of the event is available here.
Speaking before a crowd of family, students, colleagues, and friends—including Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts—Professor Lazarus described how environmental law has fallen “in arrears.” After a period of legal and policy innovation that resulted in landmark statutes like the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, Congress has not passed a major new environmental statute or amendment since 1990, he said. The result of this stagnation is a growing mismatch between contemporary technology and environmental issues and outdated, inflexible statutes.
Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow introduced Professor Lazarus, praising his experience litigating before the Supreme Court, his commitment to environmental law, and his devotion to students.
Howard Aibel ’51 has had a wide-ranging legal career, from developing the mediation practice at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae to serving as internal antitrust litigation counsel at General Electric . His wife, Katherine Aibel, was a social worker and volunteer court-appointed guardian. She passed away in 2006.
Bruce Babbitt Receives Horizon Award
The Environmental Law Society and ELP presented the second annual Horizon Award to former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt ’65 on March 14.
Before a packed room in Wasserstein Hall, Babbitt laid out his perspectives and proposals on U.S. environmental policy and reflected briefly on his career in Washington, D.C.
Professor Jody Freeman kicked off the event, detailing Babbitt’s contributions to environmental law, from his restoration of the Everglades to his reforms of the Endangered Species Act. Ed Norton ’71, a lawyer and environmental activist who worked with Babbitt on land conservation, followed with remarks before Babbitt took the floor.
Babbitt served as Secretary of the Interior for the entirety of President Clinton’s administration. But his career in public service began long before that, when he served as both Attorney General and Governor of Arizona and president of the League of Conservation Voters. He now serves on the Board of Directors of the Amazon Conservation Fund and is a fellow at the blue moon fund, where he researches infrastructure development in the Amazon Basin. He is the author of Cities in the Wilderness, a 2005 book that lays out a new framework and vision for American conservation.
HLS students established the Horizon Award in 2012 to recognize exceptional achievements in environmental law. Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens received the inaugural award.
Clinic Student Argues and Examines Witnesses in Solar Licensing Case
On February 19, 2013, Clinic student Zak Kearns (JD ’14) made the opening argument and examined two witnesses in an administrative sanctions hearing as part of the Environmental Law and Policy Clinic’s ongoing work to defend the right of renewable energy companies to conduct business and install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in Massachusetts. Clinical instructor Shaun Goho examined the other witnesses and made the closing argument. Casey Clausen (JD ’14) also helped with the preparations for the hearing.
Last summer, the Clinic won a major ruling in Superior Court, when the court rejected an effort by the state electricians’ board to block non-electrician solar contractors from advertising and contracting for PV installations. Click here for previous updates about the Clinic’s solar licensing work.
The Clean Water Act @40 Conference Notes Now Available
Comments and remarks from the October 2012 conference on the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act are now available here.
New Clinic White Paper on Offshore Aquaculture and the Clean Water Act
On December 5, 2012, the Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic, in collaboration with the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and the Ocean Foundation, released a white paper entitled “Offshore Aquaculture Regulation Under the Clean Water Act” in December 2012. The work of Clinic students Sara Bartel (JD ’13), Russell Feit (JD ’12), and Turner Smith (JD ’12) is featured in the paper.
The paper posits that while offshore aquaculture is still a nascent industry, EPA can—and should—develop appropriate tools to establish adequate oversight of these facilities in federal ocean waters. In particular, the paper recommends that (1) EPA ensure that all offshore facilities that discharge into the ocean are considered point sources and must obtain a discharge permit; (2) improve the standards for offshore aquaculture facility permits to set numeric limits for all types of discharges; and (3) identify data needs and develop requirements for monitoring and reporting for all facilities in the ocean.