NEPA, ESA and Fundamentals of Environmental Law (ELI Summer School, 2018)

NEPA, ESA & 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 highlighted 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.
The Trump Administration has proposed to potentially rewrite the Council on Environmental Quality guidance in order to cut the average permitting process from three to five years, to two years or less to aid in the President’s infrastructure plan. The legal community sees this as a challenge since shortening the time of permits could open a floodgate of lawsuits and legal challenges that could be prevented through the timeframe and planning.

The Department of Interior has proposed the removal of Blanket Section 4(d) Rule within the Endangered Species Act, which would take away the protection of over 300 animal and plant species that are not under their purview “endangered enough.” This move could foster increased potential activity for companies to operate on wildlife habitats.

This course highlighted how modern environmental law has evolved and discussed ways it is meeting today’s challenges.

Nikki Adame-Winningham, Corporate Counsel, Environmental Law Group – Legal Division, Pfizer Inc.
Jane Davenport, Senior Staff Attorney, Defenders of Wildlife
Margaret Hill, Partner & Co-Chair, Energy, Environment & Mass Torts Practice Group, Blank Rome LLP

Austin Heyman learns about tax credits for seniors, the Metropolitan Washington Ear organization for the blind, and the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau.
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legal aid bureau inc

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