Environmental Law Clinic
The negative effects of pollution are not distributed evenly throughout our society or state. Poor and minority communities are disproportionately impacted by excess pollution, often living right next door to polluting facilities. The Clinic represents Maryland communities who are disproportionately impacted by existing and proposed polluting facilities. In addition, the Clinic is working on legislative initiatives and partnerships to address inequitable distribution of pollution in our state. Past and present environmental justice work and initiatives include:
- Providing legal representation, in partnership with the Community Law Center, to community associations in Baltimore City that are concerned about the potential negative impacts of a proposed railroad facility on their neighborhood’s health, environment, and quality of life.
- Working with a coalition of environmental organizations and environmental justice advocates on behalf of community organization clients to research, analyze and draft a bill for the Maryland General Assembly that requires MDE to consider the cumulative impacts of permits on the environment and public health.
- Researching environmental justice issues throughout the State and interviewing leaders in environmental organizations and environmental justice advocates, to identify opportunities, strategies, and potential interdisciplinary partnerships to address environmental justice issues in Maryland’s communities.
- Working with the University of Maryland School of Public Health and other partners to engage overburdened communities and provide legal assistance.
- Representing a civic association challenging the construction of a new concrete batching plant in a historic African American community in Prince George’s County already impacted by numerous industrial facilities. Clinic students drafted briefs for the Prince George’s County Circuit Court and the Maryland Court of Special Appeals and argued before the Court of Special Appeals. The Clinic continues to work with the community to monitor compliance of the other industrial facilities that affect the community.