Prof. Robert Percival, director of the Law School's Environmental Law Program, discussed the impact of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new Clean Air Act regulations during a July 9, 2010 interview with on the Living on Earth program, a syndicated program broadcast on public radio stations. Professor Percival noted that the new EPA regulations "will result in a 71% decrease in emissions of sulfur dioxide by the year 2014 and a 52% reduction in emissions of nitrogen oxides. And there will be a reduction in emissions of greenhouse gasses as well, which will be a nice side benefit of this regulation."
Percival notes that EPA estimated the costs of the new regulations to be about 2.8 billion dollars, but those costs "are completely dwarfed by the enormous health benefits they estimate as being worth between 120 and 290 billion dollars every year... EPA estimates that it will save between 14,000 and 16,000 lives every year. It will also prevent 23,000 heart attacks, 21,000 cases of acute bronchitis, and almost a quarter-million aggravated asthma cases every year."
Professor Percival is the Director of Maryland's Environmental Law Program, joining the Maryland faculty in 1987 after serving as senior attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund. Prof. Percival is internationally recognized as a leading scholar in environmental law and principal author of the country's most widely used casebook in environmental law, Environmental Regulation: Law, Science & Policy, now in its sixth edition.
Percival has taught as a visiting professor of law at Harvard Law School in 2000 and 2009 and at Georgetown University Law Center in 2005. During the spring semester 2008 Percival taught as a J. William Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing. He previously taught as a Fulbright scholar at Comenius University Law School in Slovakia. Percival has lectured and presented environmental law workshops on six continents in countries including Australia, Chile, India, Iran, Japan, Mongolia, Uganda, Ukraine, and the former Soviet Union. He also has lectured at 15 universities and before several professional associations and government agencies in China. In 2009 he served as a Citizen Ambassador to China for the U.S. Department of State. Percival has served as the Natural Resource Law Institute Distinguished Visitor at Lewis & Clark College of Law and as a visiting professor of law at the University of Chile where he helped establish South America's first environmental law clinic.