Edward M. Robertson Professor of LawPhone: (410) 706-0564
BA, 1971, University of Wisconsin
JD, 1976, Columbia University
Rena Steinzor is a Professor at the University of Maryland School of Law.
Professor Steinzor teaches administrative law, food safety law, and advanced courses on the regulatory system, as well as legal analysis and writing/contracts. She has written in the areas of (1) criminal culpability for recklessness that threatens public health, worker and consumer safety, and the environment; (2) regulatory dysfunction in agencies assigned to protect public health, worker and consumer safety, and the environment; (3) the role of centralized White House review on the protectiveness of regulation; (4) environmental federalism, including so-called "unfunded mandates" imposed on state and local governments by the federal government; (5) the implications of industry self-regulation on the protection of the environment and human health; (6) "market-based" alternatives to traditional regulation; and (7) political interference with regulatory science.
She is the author of Why Not Jail? Industrial Disasters, Corporate Malfeasance, and Government Inaction (Cambridge University Press 2014). She co-authored, with Sidney Shapiro, The People’s Agents and the Battle to Protect the American Public: Special Interests, Government, and Threats to Health, Safety, and the Environment (University of Chicago Press 2010). She wrote Mother Earth and Uncle Sam: How Pollution and Hollow Government Hurt Our Kids (University of Texas Press 2007). She was also the editor, with Wendy Wagner, of Rescuing Science from Politics (Cambridge University Press 2006). She was the editor, with Christopher Schroeder, of A New Progressive Agenda for Public Health and the Environment (Carolina Academic Press 2005).
Professor Steinzor is a founder, former president, and member scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) (www.progressivereform.org), a think tank comprised of some 60 member scholars from universities across the United States.
Professor Steinzor has testified before Congress on several occasions, most recently regarding the impact of health, safety, and environmental regulations on the economy.
Professor Steinzor began her legal career in 1976, and entered academia in January 1994.
From 1987 through 1993, she practiced law at Spiegel & McDiarmid, a Washington, D.C. firm representing cities, counties, states, and public agencies in the energy, environmental, communications, and transportation fields. The practice counseled federal, state, and municipal clients regarding compliance with federal and state laws and regulations.
Prior to joining Spiegel & McDiarmid, Professor Steinzor served as Staff Counsel, Subcommittee on Commerce, Transportation, and Tourism of the Energy and Commerce Committee, U.S. House of Representatives (James J. Florio, Chairman). She was the primary staff person responsible for legislation that became the "Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986" (Public Law 99-499) and the "Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act" (Public Law 99-519). She also prepared legislation to reauthorize the Toxic Substances Control Act during the 98th Congress.
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.
Why Not Jail?: Industrial Catastrophes, Corporate Malfeasance, and Government Inaction (2014). [Abstract]
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]
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]
White-Collar Reset: The DOJ's Yates Memo and Its Potential to Protect Health, Safety, and the Environment, 7 Wake Forest Journal of Law & Policy 39 (2017). [Full Text]
How Criminal Law Can Help Save the Environment, 46 Environmental Law 209 (2016). [Full Text]
(Still) "Unsafe at Any Speed": Why Not Jail for Auto Executives?, 9 Harvard Law & Policy Review 443 (2015). [Full Text]
Introduction: Connecting the Dots Between Two Parallel Worlds, 72 Maryland Law Review 1145 (2013). [Full Text]
Collaborating to Nowhere: The Imperative of Government Accountability for Restoring the Chesapeake Bay, 4 Journal of Energy & Environmental Law 51 (2013) (with Shana Jones). [Full Text]
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. [Full Text]
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). [Full Text]
The Unplanned Obsolescence of American Legal Education, 75 Temple Law Review 447 (2002) (with Alan D. Hornstein). [Full Text]
Bad Science, Environmental Forum, Jan./Feb., 2002, at 28. [Full Text]
“You Just Don't Understand!”-- The Right and Left in Conversation, 32 Environmental law Reporter 11,109 (2002). [Full Text]
Toward Better Bubbles and Future Lives: A Progressive Response to the Conservative Agenda for Reforming Environmental Law, 32 Environmental Law Reporter 11421 (2002). [Full Text]
EPA and Its Sisters at Thirty: Devolution, Revolution, or Reform?, 31 Environmental Law Reporter 11086 (2001). [Full Text]
Myths of the Reinvented State, 29 Capital University Law Review 223 (2001). [Full Text]
Devolution and the Public Health, 24 Harvard Environmental Law Review 351 (2000). [Full Text]
The Corruption of Civic Environmentalism, 30 Environmental Law Reporter 10,909 (2000). [Full Text]
Reinventing Environmental Regulation Through the Government Performance and Results Act: Are the States Ready for the Devolution?, 29 Environmental Law Reporter 10074 (1999). [Full Text]
Reinventing Environmental Regulation: Back to the Past by Way of the Future, 28 Environmental Law Reporter 10361 (1998). [Full Text]
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) [Full Text]
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). [Full Text]
In Defense of the Superfund Liability System: Matching the Diagnosis and the Cure, 27 Environmental Law Reporter 10286 (1997) (with Linda Greer). [Full Text]
Regulatory Reinvention and Project XL: Does the Emperor Have Any Clothes?, 26 Environmental Law Reporter 10527 (1996). [Full Text]
Unfunded Environmental Mandates and the "New (New) Federalism": Devolution, Revolution, Or Reform?, 81 Minnesota Law Review 97 (1996). [Full Text]
The Reauthorization of Superfund: Can the Deal of the Century Be Saved?, 25 Environmental Law Reporter 10016 (1995). [Full Text]
The Reauthorization of Superfund: The Public Works Alternative, 25 Environmental Law Reporter 10078 (1995). [Full Text]
Professor Rena Steinzor is quoted in the Scientific American looking ahead to the EPA's regulation of toxic substances.
Professor Rena Steinzor discussed the implications of a new report from the Center of Progressive Reform regarding industrial runoff into the Chesapeake Bay in an article from the Bay Journal.
Professor Rena Steinzor was quoted by Greenwire regarding the recent move to ban household uses of flame retardants.
She was also quoted in a Forbes article on activists' push for legal action in workplace deaths.
Prof. Rena Steinzor quoted in the Union of Concerned Scientists regarding EPA Advisory Board selections.
Professor Rena Steinzor was quoted in the article "How Trump launched the biggest regulatory rollback in American history," published by The Week
Professor Rena Steinzor was quoted in the CNN Money article, Trump's war on regulation comes with big tradeoffs.