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Arsenic And Old Case(s):

Debating The Constitutional Scope Of The Safe Drinking Water Act And

Other National Environmental Laws


A Panel Discussion

By Counsel In <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Nebraska V. EPA


Increasingly, federal courts are entertaining broad constitutional challenges to the scope of national environmental statutes. The Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act have all weathered legal attacks arguing that they exceed Congress’ authority to regulate intrastate or local activities under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. The latest constitutional challenge to a national environmental law is Nebraska v. Environmental Protection Agency, recently argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. At issue in the case is whether the “Arsenic Rule” (as enacted by the Clinton Administration, then revoked and ultimately reinstated by the Bush Administration) and the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) exceed the scope of the Commerce Clause and violate the Tenth Amendment when applied to local, intrastate drinking water supply systems. This little-known case could have powerful implications not only for the SDWA, but also for the constitutionality of other environmental laws.


Please join Steven Rogers (Environment & Natural Resources Division, U.S. DOJ), Erik Olson (Senior Attorney, NRDC), and Sam Kazman (General Counsel, Competitive Enterprise Institute) – each of whom is a counsel of record in Nebraska v. EPA – for an ELI Associate Seminar, co-sponsored by the American Constitutional Society, on the constitutional scope of the SDWA and other national environmental laws.  The panelists, moderated by Richard Lazarus (Professor of Law, Georgetown University), will not only explore the constitutional issues raised by that case, but also share their views on the viability of other recent, pending, and future litigation calling into question the reach of federal environmental laws.


* * * Attendees are invited to bring a brown-bag lunch. * * *


WHEN:             June 12, 2003

            12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

            (Speakers begin promptly at 12:15)


WHERE:           Environmental Law Institute (ELI)

            Seventh Floor Conference Room

            1616 P Street, NW

            Washington, DC 20036


RSVP: Capacity limited; RSVP 48 hours before program [Tues 6/10 by Noon]

RSVP by calling (202) 939-3858, or e-mail [email protected]

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This seminar is part of the Environmental Law Institute’s new Environmental Law Legacy Seminar Series, which convenes legal scholars and practitioners to explore recent and pending constitutional law decisions applicable to environmental law and the consequences of emerging legal trends for environmental protection.

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