Photo of Rena Steinzor

Rena Steinzor

Professor of Law

Phone: (410) 706-0564
Fax: (410) 706-2184
rsteinzor @ law.umaryland.edu

Office: 239

BA, 1971, University of Wisconsin
JD, 1976, Columbia University

Curriculum Vitae

Biography | Selected Publications | In the News

Rena Steinzor is a Professor at the University of Maryland School of Law and teaches an environmental survey course, as well as offerings in risk assessment, critical issues in law and science, legal methods, contracts, and an introduction to the administrative system. During the course of her academic career, Professor Steinzor has written extensively on efforts to reinvent environmental regulation in the United States, the use and misuse of science in environmental policy making, and the devolution of legal and administrative authority to the states.

Professor Steinzor edited the book A New Progressive Agenda for Public Health and the Environment (Carolina Academic Press 2005) with Professor Christopher Schroeder of the Duke Law School.  The book proposes an alternative set of values and principles that should guide efforts to reform environmental law.  She worked with Professor Wendy Wagner of the University of Texas School of Law, to edit a book of essays by prominent academics entitled Rescuing Science from Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2005) writing an introduction and conclusion summarizing the issues and recommendations suggested by the book.  Professor Steinzor’s book entitled Mother Earth and Uncle Sam: How Pollution and Hollow Government Hurt Our Kids was published by the University of Texas Press in the fall of 2007.

Professor Steinzor is the president of the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) (www.progressivereform.org), a think tank comprised of some 52 member scholars from universities across the United States. CPR is committed to developing and sharing knowledge and information, with the ultimate aim of preserving the fundamental value of the life and health of human beings and the natural environment. One component of CPR's mission is to circulate academic papers, studies, and other analyses that promote public policy based on the multiple social values that motivated the enactment of our nation's health, safety and environmental laws. CPR seeks to inform the public about scholarship that envisions government as an arena where members of society choose and preserve their collective values. CPR rejects the idea that government's only function is to increase the economic efficiency of private markets.

Before joining the law school faculty, Professor Steinzor was the partner in charge of the environmental practice at Spiegel & McDiarmid, a Washington D.C. Law firm specializing in the representation of state and local government entities in the energy and environmental areas. Prior to joining the firm, Professor Steinzor was counsel to the Subcommittee on Commerce, Transportation & Tourism of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, which was then chaired by James J. Florio (D-N.J.). She advised the Subcommittee during its consideration of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 and the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986. She also served as an attorney advisor to Commissioner Patricia P. Bailey of the Federal Trade Commission and worked as a consumer protection attorney at the FTC in various staff positions.

Professor Steinzor is a 1976 graduate of Columbia Law School and a 1971 graduate of the University of Wisconsin.


Too Big to Jail: Fatal Corporate Catastrophes, Corporate Scofflaws, and a Government Missing in Action (forthcoming).

The People’s Agents and the Battle to Protect the American Public: Special Interests and Threats to Health, Safety, and the Environment (2010) (with Sidney Shapiro). [Abstract]

Mother Earth and Uncle Sam: How Pollution and Hollow Government Hurt Our Kids (2008). [Abstract]

Editor, Rescuing Science from Politics: Regulation and the Distortion of Scientific Research (2006) (with Wendy Wagner). [Abstract]

Editor, A New Progressive Agenda for Public Health and the Environment (2005) (with Christopher Schroeder). [Abstract]

Book Chapters

The Constitution and Our Debt to the Future, in Beyond Environmental Law: Policy Proposals for a Better Environmental Future 145 (Alison Flournoy & David Driesen eds., 2010). [Full Text]


Collaborating to Nowhere: The Imperative of Government Accountability for Restoring the Chesapeake Bay, 4 Journal of Energy & Enviromental Law 51 (2013) (with Shana Jones). [Full Text]

Introduction: Connecting the Dots Between Two Parallel Worlds, 72 Maryland Law Review 1145 (2013).

Evaluating Rules and How We Measure Their Effects, 29 Environmental Forum 36 (2012) (with Michael Patoka). [Full Text]

The Age of Greed and the Sabotage of Regulation, 47 Wake Forest Law Review 503 (2012). [Full Text]

The End Game of Deregulation: Myopic Risk Management and the Next Catastrophe, 23 Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum 93 (2012) (with Thomas O. McGarity). [Full Text]

The Case for Abolishing Centralized White House Regulatory Review, 1 Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law 209 (2012). [Full Text]

Lessons from the North Sea: Should "Safety Cases" Come to America?, 38 Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review 417 (2011). [Full Text]

The Truth About Regulation in America, 5 Harvard Law & Policy Review 323 (2011). [Full Text]

Too Big to Obey: Why BP Should be Debarred, 36 William & Mary Environmental Law & Policy Review 81 (2011) (with Anne Havemann). [Full Text]

High Crimes, Not Misdemeanors: Deterring the Production of Unsafe Food, 19 Health Matrix 175 (2010). [Full Text]

Capture, Accountability, and Regulatory Metrics, 86 Texas Law Review 1741 (2008) (with Sidney A. Shapiro). [Full Text]

The Legacy of John Graham: Strait-Jacketing Risk Assessment, Risk Policy Alert, May 23, 2006.

Will Superfund Rise Again?, Environmental Forum, Nov./Dec. 2006, at 28.

The People's Agent: Executive Branch Secrecy and Accountability in an Age of Terrorism, Law & Contemporary Problems, Summer 2006, at 99 (with Sidney A. Shapiro). [Full Text]

A Perfect Storm: Mercury and the Bush Administration (pts. 1 & 2), 34 Environmental Law Reporter 10297, 10485 (2004) (with Lisa Heinzerling).

"Democracies Die Behind Closed Doors": The Homeland Security Act and Corporate Accountability, 12 Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy 641 (2003).

The Unplanned Obsolescence of American Legal Education, 75 Temple Law Review 447 (2002) (with Alan D. Hornstein).

Bad Science Environmental Forum, Jan./Feb., 2002, at 28.

“You Just Understand!”-- The Right and Left in Conversation, 32 Environmental law Reporter 11109 (2002).

Toward Better Bubbles and Future Lives: A Progressive Response to the Conservative Agenda for Reforming Environmental Law, 32 Environmental Law Reporter 11421 (2002).

EPA and Its Sisters at Thirty: Devolution, Revolution, or Reform?, 31 Environmental Law Reporter 11086 (2001).

Myths of the Reinvented State, 29 Capital University Law Review 223 (2001).

Devolution and the Public Health, 24 Harvard Environmental Law Review 351 (2000).

The Corruption of Civic Environmentalism, 30 Environmental Law Reporter 10,909 (2000).

Reinventing Environmental Regulation Through the Government Performance and Results Act: Are the States Ready for the Devolution?, 29 Environmental Law Reporter 10074 (1999).

Reinventing Environmental Regulation: Back to the Past by Way of the Future, 28 Environmental Law Reporter 10361 (1998).

Reinventing Environmental Regulation Via the Government Performance and Results Act: Where’s the Money?, 28 Environmental Law Reporter 10,563 (1998) (with William F. Piermattei)

Reinventing Environmental Regulation: The Dangerous Journey from Command to Self-Control, 22 Harvard Environmental Law Review 103 (1998).

The Legislation of Unintended Consequences, 9 Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum 95 (1998).

In Defense of the Superfund Liability System: Matching the Diagnosis and the Cure, 27 Environmental Law Reporter 10286 (1997) (with Linda Greer).

Regulatory Reinvention and Project XL: Does the Emperor Have Any Clothes?, 26 Environmental Law Reporter 10527 (1996).

Unfunded Environmental Mandates and the "New (New) Federalism": Devolution, Revolution, Or Reform?, 81 Minnesota Law Review 97 (1996).

The Reauthorization of Superfund: Can the Deal of the Century Be Saved?, 25 Environmental Law Reporter 10016 (1995).

The Reauthorization of Superfund: The Public Works Alternative, 25 Environmental Law Reporter 10078 (1995).

Recent News featuring Rena Steinzor

March 15, 2014

Rena Steinzor of the UM Carey School of Law was quoted in the article "EPA Caves Into Pressure, Resumes Contracts With BP" on mintpressnews.com.

February 7, 2014

Rena Steinzor of the School of Law was featured in the article, "Conference to explore intersection of public health and environmental law," on UGA Today at uga.edu, the web site of the University of Georgia.

February 6, 2014

Rena Steinzor of the UM Carey School of Law was mentioned in the article, "26th Annual Red Clay Conference" on athens.patch.com.

December 26, 2013

Rena Steinzor of the School of Law authored the commentary "Why are polluters getting discounts?" that appeared in the Baltimore Sun.

November 26, 2013

Rena Steinzor of the UM Carey School of Law was quoted in the article, "EPA Hires Scientific Integrity Advocate," in ScienceInsider.com

November 19, 2013

Rena Steinzor of the UM Carey School of Law was quoted in the Baltimore Sun article, "Md. farm animal regulation lags."

November 18, 2013

Rena Steinzor of the School of Law is quoted in the thinkprogress.com article "After Years Of White House Foot-Dragging, Toxic "Coal Ash" May Finally Get Federal Regulations."

November 17, 2013

Rena Steinzor of the School of Law was quoted in the National Journal article, "The Environmental Promise Obama Completely Abandoned."

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