Environmental Law Clinic
Legislation and Public Policy
The Clinic is actively involved not only in enforcing compliance with existing environmental laws, but improving laws to provide citizens greater access to the legal system and information and supporting a more just and equitable legal system. Clinic advocacy in the legislative and public policy realms include:
- The Environmental Law Clinic and the Public Health Law Clinic are surveying state-level environmental policy statutes and drafting an issue brief to inform potential future legislation and policy initiatives
- 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.
Clinic students argued before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals for the right of environmental organizations to intervene in an MDE enforcement action.
Clinic students argued before a State Circuit Court and the Maryland Court of Special Appeals for citizen access to nutrient management documents under the Maryland Public Information Act.
The Environmental Law Clinic was also instrumental in researching and drafting a bill to broaden the rights of citizens and organizations to challenge deficient pollution control permits in State court. The Clinic also prepared its clients to testify in support of the legislation. Due to the extensive work the Clinic’s student attorneys and the testimony of their clients, the Standing-Miscellaneous Environmental Protection Proceedings and Judicial Review Act, HB 1569/SB 1065 passed the Maryland General Assembly and was signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley on May 19, 2009.