Environmental Law Center Features Distinguished Speaker Series

The Environmental Law Center was pleased to feature three speakers in AY 2011-12.

On November 8, 2011, Professor Amy Sinden from Temple Law spoke on, Formality and Informality in Cost-Benefit Analysis: Lessons from Entergy v. Riverkeeper. She discussed how the Supreme Court’s decision in Entergy v. Riverkeeper and the EPA’s subsequent reaction to it reveal important lessons for the larger academic debate over the use of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) in environmental decisionmaking. “In particular, the opinion and its aftermath highlight the distinctions between formal and informal CBA and the importance of distinguishing between the two,” she said. Sinden is a Professor at Temple University Beasley School of Law and a member scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform.

On April 19, 2012, the Center hosted Professor Lisa Heinzerling, who spoke on “Climate Change at EPA”

In Massachusetts v. EPA, the Supreme Court held that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the federal Clean Air Act. “Since that ruling, EPA has taken several important steps toward developing a regulatory program for greenhouse gases,” Heinzerling said.

Heinzerling is Professor of Law at Georgetown University. From January 2009 to July 2009, Heinzerling served as Senior Climate Policy Counsel to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and then, from July 2009 to December 2010, she served as Associate Administrator of EPA’s Office of Policy. In 2008, she served as a member of President Obama’s EPA transition team. While at Georgetown, Professor Heinzerling has continued to litigate cases in environmental law. Most prominently, she served as lead author of the winning briefs in Massachusetts v. EPA, in which the Supreme Court held that the Clean Air Act gives EPA the authority to regulate greenhouse gases.
As part of our Earth Day Celebration, on April 24, 2012 the Center hosted a talk by Dean and Professor Patricia Salkin of Albany Law. Salkin spoke about “”Beyond Environmental Review: Integrating Health Impact Assessment into Local Land Use Decision Making.”

Health impact assessments (HIAs) outside of the United States have long been used to hone in on the public health impacts of certain government decision making. “While health impacts have been considered to a lesser degree through environmental impact review in the United States, recent findings suggest that HIAs can be very helpful in analyzing proposed development and redevelopment projects,” she said. Salkin’s talk reviewed the history of the HIA movement internationally and then examined the differences between HIA and EIR to explore whether or not HIAs and EIRs should be combined in the land development process.

Salkin is Associate Dean and Director of the Government Law Center of Albany Law School where she is also the Raymond & Ella Smith Distinguished Professor of Law.

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