January 18, 2012



Pursuing its mandate to facilitate communication and coordination on environmental law activities throughout the Association, the Standing Committee provides a number of services including networking guides, White Papers, and reporting on environmental law activities ABA-wide.

Each Fall, the Task Force will produce a Directory of ABA Environmental Law and CLE Chairs and Staff. This unique resource lists all chairs and staff of the ABA’s many dozens of environmental law, energy law, resources law, and CLE committees and is an important tool that ABA committees and their members can use to network on planned and desired initiatives. To be placed on a mailing list to receive the Directory, please e-mail us and include your ABA Member number:

Update: The 2011-2012 Directory of ABA Environmental, Energy, and Resources Law and CLE Chairs and Staff is now available! Download it here.

Each Summer, the Task Force will produce a Guide to ABA Annual Meeting Environmental Law Programs. The Guide is the only comprehensive source of information setting forth all environmental law, energy law, and resources law related meetings, programs and planned policy proposals for the ABA Annual Meeting. To be placed on a mailing list to receive the Guide, please e-mail us and include your ABA Member number: scel@americanbar.org.

Foundations of Sustainable Development: Law, Regulation, and Planning
Dean M. Frieders
Saving money. Using resources wisely. Building more durable projects that require less maintenance and upkeep. Protecting water supplies, trees, and farmland. These are all noble goals--but what if they could be pursued in one project? How do communities and private developers work collaboratively, to meet public and private interests and to create spaces where people want to live and work? Sustainable development is intended to prevent the permanent damage or loss of resources as well as incorporating methods that reduce the rate of consumption of resources. In its many forms, sustainable development and environmentalism are increasingly important for commercial, governmental, and social issues. Helping meet the need for current, accessible information on this growing area of law and practice, Foundations of Sustainable Development provides a hands-on guide to understanding sustainable development concepts and projects.

The NEPA Litigation Guide, Second Edition
Albert M. Ferlo, Karin P. Sheldon, and Mark Squillace; Editors
This guide examines the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a statute that introduced the environmental impact statement, transformed decision making by federal agencies, and spurred the growth of an extensive body of environmental law. The guide takes a close look at litigating NEPA cases, including jurisdiction and related issues, standard and scope of judicial review, and the unique concerns of litigators. The second edition includes a new chapter on climate change and its relationship to the NEPA process; updated chapters highlight new cases and provide information on new policies, such as monitoring and mitigation, from the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the body created by the statute to provide guidance and oversight to other federal agencies on NEPA compliance.

Implementing Institutional Controls at Brownfields and Other Contaminated Sites, Second Edition
Amy L. Edwards, Editor
Institutional controls are designed to reduce or eliminate potential exposure to certain chemicals, prevent activities that may interfere with a response action, and ensure that “no significant risk” is posed to human health and the environment. This second edition examined the substantial strides that have been made over the past decade to improve regulators’ and practitioners’ awareness and understanding of institutional control issues. It is intended to be a companion piece to two other American Bar Association publications: Brownfields: A Comprehensive Guide to Redeveloping Contaminated Property, Third Edition, and Environmental Aspects of Real Estate and Commercial Transactions: From Brownfields to Green Buildings, Fourth Edition.

The Law of Adaptation to Climate Change: U.S. and International Aspects
Michael B. Gerrard and Katrina F. Kuh; Editors
Since the emergence of climate change as a public policy concern in the late 1980s, most attention has focused on mitigation – reducing humanity’s impact on the climate, principally by controlling the emissions of greenhouse gasses (GHGs). But even with the most aggressive plausible mitigation efforts, GHG emissions will continue to increase globally for decades before they peak and decline, and the effects of climate change will continue to worsen. While mitigation is essential, so is adaptation. “Adaptation” is the term used to describe efforts to moderate, cope with and prepare for the current and anticipated impacts of climate change on human and natural systems. Ultimately, scientists and engineers will have to devise the solutions, and politicians will have to provide the legal mechanisms and financial resources to implement them. But already, around the world, numerous national and sub-national governments, often operating in isolation, have developed legal tools to address many of the bewildering array of problems posed. By attempting to bring these tools together in one volume, it is hoped that the most promising ones can be identified, emulated, and ultimately integrated some day to create a coherent body of climate adaptation law.
Available: August 2012

Basic Practice Series: Clean Water Act, Second Edition
Joel M. Gross and Kerri L. Stelcen
Current overview of the Clean Water Act’s complex framework of federal and state controls.
Available: August 2012

In conjunction with a Committee conference in 2005, environmental law experts wrote follow-up White Papers on topics relating to “Financial Institutions, Corporate Stewardship, and Sustainable Development: Drivers for the Evolution of U.S. Environmental Laws and Practice."