News Archive

Clinic Releases Report on How to Address Climate Change in the Farm Bill

December, 2017 – The Clinic has released its new report, “Opportunities to Address Climate Change in the Farm Bill”, which summarizes the Clinic’s proposals for how to address climate change in the Farm Bill, both during the current authorization process and in the future.

Clinic Releases Report on Sampling Household Tap Water for Lead Contamination

November, 2017 – The Clinic has released its new report, “Detecting Lead In Household Tap Water: Sampling Procedures for Water Utilities,” which makes recommendations for how water utilities should sample household tap water to monitor the level of lead in their customers’ drinking water. The paper primarily focuses on sampling carried out by utilities for purposes of Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) compliance.

Emmett Clinic Files Brief Urging Public Disclosure of Agency Science Documents

On November 20, 2017, the Clinic filed a brief in the Ninth Circuit supporting the release of important agency scientific documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The Clinic filed the amicus brief on behalf of the Union of Concerned Scientists in a case involving draft Endangered Species Act (ESA) documents prepared by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (the Services) to assess the impact of a proposed Clean Water Act regulation on endangered and threatened species.

Clinic Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of Former AGs in the Exxon Mobil challenge to an investigation by current AG Maura Healey

On June 7, 2017, the Clinic filed an amicus brief on behalf of five former Massachusetts attorneys general in defense of a critical investigative tool known as a civil investigative demand (“CID”).  The case involves a claim by Exxon Mobil that the current AG, Maura Healey, should not be allowed to use a CID to compel Exxon to release information regarding its historic climate change-related disclosures.

Clinic Files Amicus Brief in the D.C. Circuit in Support of Mercury and Air Toxics Rule

On January 25, 2017, the Clinic filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Murray Energy Corporation, et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al. on behalf of Elsie M. Sunderland and eight other scientists in the latest round of the Mercury and Air Toxics Rule litigation.

Climate Change Displacement Conference Featured In The Harvard Crimson

The conversation with Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland, and Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow from the “Climate Change Displacement: Finding Solutions to an Emerging Crisis” conference was featured in the October 21st edition of The Harvard Crimson.

Oct. 20-21 Events at the Climate Change Displacement: Finding Solutions to an Emerging Crisis Conference

There are two exciting events this week at the Climate Change Displacement: Finding Solutions to an Emerging Crisis Conference: 1) THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20: A Conversation Between Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland; President, The Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice; UN Special Envoy on El Niño and Climate and Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow; and 2) FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21: Panel Discussion – “Addressing Climate Change Displacement Globally and Locally”. Click here for more information.

SAVE THE DATE: “Climate Change Displacement: Finding Solutions to an Emerging Crisis”, October 20-21, 2016

The Clinic, along with the Immigration and Refugee Program and the International Human Rights Clinic, welcomes you to join us for a conversation with Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and current UN Special Envoy on El Nino and Climate, and Dean Minow on October 20th; as well as a panel examining the challenges at the intersection of climate change, human rights, and displacement on October 21. Click here for more information.

Clinic’s Shaun Goho Authors Paper on the Legal Implications of Report-Back in Household Exposure Studies

Staff Attorney Shaun Goho recently authored a paper that was accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives entitled The Legal Implications of Report-Back in Household Exposure Studies.

Environmental Law & Policy Clinic Hosts State Discussion of Legal Theories for Climate Change Responsibility

On Monday, April 25th, the Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic hosted a workshop attended by staff from state Attorneys General offices to discuss the latest climate science and to think critically about legal theories for potentially assigning responsibility for climate impacts.

Clinic and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Release Fisheries Co-Management Paper

The Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic, in collaboration with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), released a new report entitled Fisheries Co-Management in the United States: Incentives, Not Legal Changes, Key, which finds that legal or regulatory barriers to the co-management of fisheries are largely non-existent or easily navigated where stakeholder support exists.

Clinic’s Jacobs, Goho Co-Author Commentary on Health Benefits of Mercury Regulation

Clinic Director Wendy Jacobs and Staff Attorney Shaun Goho recently co-authored a perspective commentary with faculty from several universities and departments, including Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, on how the benefits associated with mercury emissions reductions outweigh the costs to industry.

Clinic Submits Comments on Proposed Regulations for Offshore Drilling in the Arctic

On May 27, 2015, the Clinic submitted comments on the Department of the Interior’s (“DOI”) proposed regulations for offshore exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic. The Clinic supported the agency’s proposals to require that operators maintain a secondary drill rig in the Arctic to respond to potential losses of well control and that operators have prompt access to, and immediately deploy, source control and containment equipment in the event of an oil spill.

Clinic Files Amicus Brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in State of Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency

On March 4, 2015, the Clinic filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Union of Concerned Scientists in State of Michigan, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al. (U.S. 14-46 and consolidated cases).

Clinic Releases Report on Access to Information in Offshore Drilling

The Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic released a new report, Offshore Drilling: Coordinating and Improving Access to Information, which recommends mechanisms for facilitating public access to, and intra- and inter-agency sharing of, information from companies engaged in offshore drilling.

Clinic Submits Comments on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) Draft Second Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSSEIS) for the Chukchi Sea Planning Area

The Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic submitted comments on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) Draft Second Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSSEIS) for the Chukchi Sea Planning Area. The Clinic’s comments focus on the DSSEIS’s discussion of the risks associated with a very large oil spill and with the potential use of dispersants to respond to such a spill.

Clinic and Environmental Law Institute Submit Comments on Proposed Regulations to Implement the Fishery Management Plan for Regulating Offshore Aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico

The Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic, in collaboration with the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), submitted comments on regulations proposed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to implement the Fishery Management Plan for Regulating Offshore Aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico (FMP).

Clinic Submits Comments on Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Oil Spill Response Planning by Railroads

The Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic, in collaboration with other organizations, submitted comments on an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

Clinic Releases Report on Microgrids in Massachusetts

The Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic released a new report, Massachusetts Microgrids: Overcoming Legal Obstacles, which summarizes the conclusions of the Clinic’s research into legal constraints on the ownership structure of microgrids in Massachusetts.

Barron Fellows Reflect on Their Work With the Emmett Environmental Clinic

Our Summer Barron Fellows were recently interviewed by the HLS Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs regarding their experiences working with the Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic.

Green Infrastructure Report Released

The Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic and the Environmental Policy Initiative released a new report, Certifications for Green Infrastructure Professionals – The Current State, Recommended Best Practices, and What Governments Can Do to Help.

Clinic Releases Revised Edition of Its Fracking Guide for Landowners

The Clinic released a newly revised edition of its fracking guide today, entitled A Landowner’s Guide to Hydraulic Fracturing: Addressing Environmental and Health Issues in Oil and Gas Leases (Revised Edition, July 2014).

New Report on Regional and Municipal Stormwater Management

The Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic and the Environmental Policy Initiative released a new report, Regional and Municipal Stormwater Management: A Comprehensive Approach.

The Clinic and Policy Initiative Release New Report on Responding to Landowner Complaints from Oil and Gas Activity

The Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic and the Environmental Policy Initiative released a new report today, Responding to Landowner Complaints of Water Contamination from Oil and Gas Activity: Best Practices.

Clinic Amicus Brief Referenced During Supreme Court Oral Argument

During oral argument in UARG v. EPA, the greenhouse gas permitting case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Solicitor General Don Verrilli, arguing on behalf of EPA, cited the Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic’s amicus brief.

Clinic Files Amicus Briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

On January 28, 2014, the Clinic filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case Utility Air Regulatory Group v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Clinic also filed two amicus briefs on February 14, 2014 in related cases before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court involving a proposed power plant in Brockton, Massachusetts.

Clinic Files Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court Case, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

On January 28, 2014, the Clinic filed an amicus brief in the case Utility Air Regulatory Group v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. Nos. 12-1146 and consolidated cases) on behalf of Calpine Corporation.

Clinic Report Identifies Environmental Performance Indicators for Companies Proposing to Drill in the U.S. Arctic

In December 2013, the Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic released a new report, Suggested Indicators of Environmentally Responsible Performance of Offshore Oil and Gas Companies Proposing to Drill in the U.S. Arctic.

New Clinic Report Reviews the Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan

The Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic released a new report, Beyond the 2020 Plan: A Review of the Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan, in August 2013.

Clinic Publishes White Paper on Offshore Aquaculture

As part of an ongoing collaboration with the Environmental Law Institute and the Ocean Foundation, the Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic issued a new white paper on offshore aquaculture on June 28, 2013: Offshore Aquaculture Regulation Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act

Clinic Submits Comments on Draft Safety Culture Policy Statement for Offshore Drilling

The Environmental Law and Policy Clinic submitted comments today on the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s Draft Safety Culture Policy Statement for Offshore Drilling.

Clinic Student Argues and Examines Witnesses in Solar Licensing Case

Clinic student Zak Kearns (JD ’14) today 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.

Clinic Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of Professors Freeman, Lazarus, and Other Environmental Law Scholars

The Clinic filed an amicus brief in the case White Stallion Energy Ctr., LLC v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (D.C. Cir. No. 12-1100), which involves challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark regulations governing emissions of hazardous air pollutants, including mercury, from coal-fired power plants.

New Clinic White Paper on Offshore Aquaculture and the Clean Water Act

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.

Clinic Releases White Paper on Oversight of Offshore Drilling in the Arctic

The Clinic today released a white paper on offshore drilling, Recommendations for Improved Oversight of Offshore Drilling Based on a Review of 40 Regulatory Regimes.

Goho Publishes Article on Local Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing

The American Planning Association’s journal Planning and Environmental Law today published an article by Clinical Instructor Shaun Goho on the ability of local governments to regulate hydraulic fracturing.

New Clinic Publication on Climate Adaptation and Insurance

In April 2012, the Environmental Law & Policy Clinic issued a white paper entitled Municipal Climate Change Adaptation and the Insurance Industry, which examines the ways in which coastal communities can work with the insurance industry to promote climate adaptation.

Clinic Files Amicus Brief in Case Challenging Unlimited Deregulation of Genetically Modified Alfalfa

On April 23, 2012, the Clinic filed an amicus brief on behalf of organic farmers, producers of organic foods, and organic advocacy organizations in a Ninth Circuit case, Center for Food Safety v. Vilsack, involving a challenge to the Department of Agriculture’s decision to allow the unrestricted use of Roundup-Ready alfalfa (RRA).

Clinic Students Present Work on Offshore Drilling to U.S. Department of Interior

On March 6, 2012, Clinic students Douglas Hastings (JD ’13), Chase Romney (JD ’12), and Sophie Tease (LLM ’12) traveled to Washington D.C. with Clinical Professor and Director Wendy Jacobs to present their work and recommendations on offshore drilling to the Directors of two bureaus within the U.S. Department of the Interior – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

Clinical Voices: Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic

Leah Cohen speaks about her experiences in the Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic.

ELPC Releases “Legal Options for Municipal Climate Adaptation in South Boston.”

On August 30, 2011, the Clinic issued a white paper, Legal Options for Municipal Climate Adaptation in South Boston. The paper was produced as part of the Clinic’s ongoing collaboration with the City of Boston in the City’s climate adaptation planning.

ELPC Releases “An Ohio Landowner’s Guide to Hydraulic Fracturing”

The Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic released “An Ohio Landowner’s Guide to Hydraulic Fracturing.” This guide is intended to help landowners who are approached by a natural gas company to negotiate a lease for the right to extract natural gas by hydraulic fracturing from their property.

ELPC Student Speaks at Hydraulic Fracturing Conference

Clinic student Rachel Heron (JD ’12) spoke today at the conference Hydrofracking: Exploring the Legal Issues in the Context of Politics, Science, and the Economy, hosted by the University of Buffalo Law School. Her talk, “Was Hydraulic Fracturing in the Contemplation of the Parties to Old Severance Deeds?” examined legal theories that might allow surface owners in West Virginia to protect themselves against some of the more harmful or intrusive practices associated with hydraulic fracturing.

Summary Report of Expert Workshop Addressing CCS Liability, Oversight, and Trust Fund Issues

The Clinic released the summary report from an expert workshop that it hosted in Washington, DC, on June 21, 2010. At that workshop, the Clinic brought over 35 leading experts from the U.S. and Canada to address CCS liability, oversight, and trust fund issues.

Expert Workshop Addressing CCS Liability, Oversight, and Trust Fund Issues

On June 21, 2010, an expert workshop on CCS liability, oversight, and trust fund issues was carried out as part of an ongoing collaboration among Harvard Law School’s Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, the Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Harvard University Center for the Environment. The collaboration has focused on developing a legal framework to govern carbon capture and sequestration in the U.S.

Environmental Law and Policy Clinic Hosts Workshop on Carbon Capture and Sequestration

The Environmental Law and Policy Clinic (ELPC) hosted an important workshop on March 30th in conjunction with the Harvard University Center on the Environment (HUC). The workshop was led by Clinical Professor Wendy Jacobs, Director of the ELPC and brought together over thirty leaders from academia, government, and business sector to focus on the legal and financial obstacles the deployment of Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) technology.