The best part of the Environmental Law Clinic is the opportunity to work on interesting and complicated assignments. I spent a large part of the semester drafting comments to submit to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on a proposed rulemaking relating to standards for urban and rural water runoff management. I learned a great deal about the negative effects of runoff into surface waters. It was a very rewarding project.
– Kyle Recker, '10
Environmental Law Clinic
The Environmental Law Clinic (ELC) provides opportunities to litigate and develop policies to protect natural resources and the environment. The ELC operates in conjunction with the National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes Regional Center in Ann Arbor. NWF's docket ranges from federal litigation to stop water pollution to advocacy on behalf of endangered species.
In one recent case, ELC students worked to prevent the filling of crucial wetlands along Lake Huron to build an RV park. In another case, which is ongoing, students are aiding in the appeal of an Ohio EPA decision giving the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permission to annually dump large quantities of dredged sediment into Lake Erie, contributing to harmful algal blooms and potentially raising pollution levels in the lake. Past cases have dealt with a proposal to reclassify the wolf's status in the Western Great Lakes under the Endangered Species Act, the restoration of water quality in Ohio's lakes and rivers, and lawsuits in federal district court to stop water pollution.
Working closely with NWF staff attorneys, student attorneys taking the ELC have the opportunity to influence state and national policy and to see that current laws that benefit the environment are upheld.