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Fall 2013 - Smnr: Solving Environmental Problems

Brown, Jeremy M

Course ID: 397S  Unique # 29890  Credit Hours: 3
Meeting DaysTimesLocation
   Monday 3:45 pm - 5:35 pm JON 6.207
Exams:  None
Registration Information
This course is restricted to upper division students only.

Solving Environmental Problems:  Theory to Practice
Fall 2013
Professor Jeremy Brown

The class follows environmental law from theory to practice.  Each week, it introduces students to a new subject and connects that subject to case studies that illustrate the ways legal doctrine and theory play out in practice.  Typically, the case studies center around real-world projects that students develop.  In addition to making the subject matter more tangible, the projects allow students to sharpen legal skills and make meaningful contributions to environmental law.

In the past, students have drafted public records requests, petitions, and comments on proposed rulemakings.  They have completed projects related to water rights, hydraulic fracturing, and workplace toxins.  They have engaged agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and state agencies such as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Railroad Commission.

Students enjoy discretion in deciding on the focus and shape of their projects.  Next semester, for instance, students may find a number of promising projects in the rulemakings for regulations being promulgated under statutes the Texas legislature adopts this session.  The class will attempt, as it has in past semesters, to bring in guest speakers to help students chart the direction of their projects.

By the end of the semester, students, working individually or in groups, will be expected to have achieved concrete results — short of litigation — that have the potential to improve the regulatory process.  Course grades will be based on:  (1) contributions to projects and (2) participation in weekly seminars, including discussion of assigned readings and workhopping of project drafts.

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