Santa Clara Environmental Law Society Annual Spring Symposium on “Technology and the Environment”

We had a terrific ELS symposium at Santa Clara with faculty and outside experts on “Technology and the Environment.”  Expertly organized by ELS Co-President Cynthia Yuan, the panel of faculty and experts included SCU Law Professors Dorothy Glancy and Catherine Sandoval, Professor and children’s rights advocate Tom Nazario of USF Law School, Patent Attorney and Monterey Bay Air Resources District Hearing Board Chair Michael Guth, and SCU Alum and Cal Public Utilities Commission staffer Jamie Ormond.  [Unfortunately, we did not get a group picture, and I only caught Professor Sandoval and part of the audience in these images.  Apologies to all others present.]

Presentations focused on the value of enhanced wireless communications infrastructure for under-served populations, especially as a means for enhancing environmental disaster response (Sandoval), the serious environmental harms to local populations (especially children) and the environment caused by electronic waste exports to the developing world, especially Africa and Asia (Nazario), questions as to the potential environmental benefits and costs of new technologies such as autonomous vehicles (Glancy), ongoing challenges and needs to address the environmental risks of “old” technologies (such traditional power plants), and opportunities for use of technology in reducing the carbon footprint of energy use (Ormond).  Overall, a really interesting set of discussions and questions and hopefully also inspirational for the students who attended.

Environmental Film Festival at Santa Clara Law School, Wednesday, April 24, 12-1 pm, Charney Hall 104

If you are in the Santa Clara area, please join us at a April 24 Film Festival of environmental short films made by Santa Clara Law Students.  (Location is Charney Hall 104, 12-1 pm, April 24, 2019.)  Topics include “Lebanon’s Waste Problem,” “Sustainable Transportation Policy in the US and Europe,” and other films.  A blue-ribbon jury of SCU Law faculty (including Professor Ellen Kreitzberg, Cookie Ridolfi, and others) will judge the film entries, and the audience will be able to vote for an audience film award.

Come to this fun event!

FilmFestivalPoster2

Environmental Justice and the Common Good: A Conference on Community-University Partnerships for Research, Learning and Social Change, Santa Clara University, May 2-3, 2019

EJ_Logo_3-360x360On May 2-3, 2019, Santa Clara University is holding an environmental justice conference entitled on “Community-University Partnerships for Research, Learning and Social Change.” The substantive focus of the focus will be on how universities can partner with communities on research, learning and other activities advancing social change related to environmental justice.  There will be opportunities to engage in dialogue among conference participants and presenters.  (Unfortunately, the deadline for poster presentation slots has already passed.)  Conference speakers include environmental justice activists, academics and officials.  If you have an interest in this topic,  please join us.  Conference agenda, speaker information, and a registration link can be found here:  Conference Link.

Here is an excerpt from the conference website:

Mounting scientific evidence shows that low-income communities and communities of color face severe and unequal threats to their environments and health. Pope Francis issued a call to action for people and the environment in his groundbreaking encyclical ‘Laudato Si’. In response, this conference will focus on strengthening university-community partnerships for environmental justice and the common good.

Learning from successful collaborations and networks, we aim to develop diverse and mutually respectful partnerships between communities and universities to produce research, inform policy, and foster social change for environmental justice. The conference organizers — a faculty collaborative formed by the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education at Santa Clara University — are especially inspired by the collective potential within the network of over 190 Jesuit institutions of higher learning worldwide.

Conference panels will include community-based organizers from secular and faith-based institutions reflecting on opportunities to work together for environmental justice. Breakout sessions will focus on envisioning potential research partnerships among conference participants, providing opportunities to make new connections and explore collaborations. Participants are also invited to present relevant research at a concluding poster session.

The day after the conference, there will be a workshop focused on building networks for environmental justice and integral ecology, with two tracks. Track 1 will focus on building a regional environmental justice network of leaders from community-based organizations, and faculty and staff from Santa Clara University and other California universities. We will consolidate takeaways from the conference, identify needs for sustained engagement in partnerships, and plan a process to develop collaborative research and action agendas. In track 2, faculty, staff, and administrators in Jesuit higher education will make plans to coordinate our scholarship, service, and education to foster environmental justice and the common good. This will focus on expanding the work of the AJCU Integral Ecology Affinity Group nationally and internationally.

Positions: EPA Office of General Counsel, Washington, DC (Deadline: April 23, 2019)

This is a great job opportunity.  From the job ad:

“EPA’s, Office of General Counsel (OGC) is hiring three Attorney-Advisers. Two will be assigned to the Water Law Office and the third will be assigned to the Pesticides and Toxic Substances Law Office. OGC serves as the chief legal advisor to the Agency’s senior management and program offices on Agency rules, permits, response actions, and legislation. OGC lawyers also work with attorneys in the Department of Justice to represent the Agency in defensive litigation in the federal courts.”

Job Title:  Attorney-Adviser, GS-0905-12

Job Announcement Number: OGC-2019-0005

Open Period:  Tuesday, April 9, 2019 to Tuesday, April 23, 2019

 

For contact info and additional details on the positions, see the announcement in USAJobs

https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.usajobs.gov_GetJob_ViewDetails_530122500&d=DwMGaQ&c=iVyFbx9TtkoGWXYs40w9MA&r=IpxfwWSdQ_5a5YEGWJgySQ&m=2qGg2i_pkHmBLFpQr4aJ614DoxTN5zikNiYilWvtzpY&s=5Lmo1CNQyyMftLjLSMC3rCyJbSONB8MESIcCak1JOCg&e=

 

 

The Environmental Impact Assessment Principle as a Global Environmental Legal Norm

firstpageMy most recent law review article, “The Emergence of the Environmental Impact Assessment Duty as a Global Legal Norm and General Principle of Law,” finally came out last month in the Hasting Law Journal (70 Hastings L. J. 525 (2019)).  Here is a link  http://www.hastingslawjournal.org/the-emergence-of-the-environmental-impact-assessment-duty-as-a-global-legal-norm-and-general-principle-of-law/.

In the article, I argue that globalization and other trends have made the EIA duty, that is the duty to perform environmental impact assessments for projects that are likely to have a significant impact on the environment, a globally accepted norm. A survey of 197 jurisdictions finds that the duty has been nearly universally adopted. The Article also suggests that the EIA duty may now be seen as a “general principle of law recognized by civilized nations,” and in that sense has joined the body of public international law.

What is the significance of this?:  1) Environmental Impact Assessment is now legally required in almost all jurisdictions across the world.  Even though many jurisdictions had adopted the EIA process over the years, EIAs were oftentimes not legally required and applied only on a discretionary basis.  It was not until recently that EIA has become almost universally required.  Thus, governments have recognized that EIA processes are not just a “good idea,” but that they must be performed when a project is likely to have a significant impact on the environment.

2) Nearly universal adoption of the EIA duty also indicates that EIA has become a general principle of law – because it is so widely recognized in national legal systems across the world.  This is an expansion of environmental legal norms in public international law, which generally has had few binding legal principles related to the environment.

3)  Finally, the finding of the article suggests that international lawyers need to pay much closer attention to developments in national legal systems with respect to environmental law, since those developments are relevant to and affect the development of international environmental law.  It also radically changes the paradigm of how international environmental law is evolving – instead of only top-down process (like treaty-making), bottom-up processes such as developments at the national level have become increasingly important (and are arguably more democratic).

Teaching Fellowship – Stanford Law School’s Environmental Law LLM Program (Deadline: March 15, 2019)

A really interesting opportunity for anybody interested in law teaching, especially environmental law.

From the email that shared the announcement:  “The position involves running, and teaching in, the law school’s LLM Program in Environmental Law & Policy and is probably best suited to someone thinking about an academic career, but any qualified applicant is encouraged to apply.”

https://careersearch.stanford.edu/jobs/teaching-fellow-for-the-stanford-law-school-llm-program-in-environmental-law-policy-5564?et=AgCq1Myr

 

 

Community Water Law Center/California ChangeLawyers Year-Long Legal Fellow, Visalia, CA (Deadline: rolling)

Somebody pointed out this interesting water environmental justice-related legal fellowship with the Community Water Law Center.  Here’s URL:

https://www.communitywatercenter.org/legal_fellow