Reimagining Environmental and Natural Resources Law: 2020 and Beyond

Fifty Years of Environmental and Energy Law

Join the Environmental and Energy Law Program and the Environmental Law Institute as they host a debriefing of the Wingspread retreat for the GW Law community. At the end of the program, the 2019 Jamie Grodsky Prize for Environmental Scholarship will be presented to the best paper written for a GW Law class during the 2018 calendar year.  


Robert L. Glicksman, J. B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Environmental Law

LeRoy C. Paddock, Associate Dean for Environmental Studies; Professorial Lecturer in Law

Achinthi Vithanage, Visiting Associate Professor of Law & Environmental and Energy Law Fellow

Jay Pendergrass, Vice President, Programs and Publications, Environmental Law Institute 

Wingspread Retreat
March 21-23, 2019
Johnson Foundation's Wingspread Conference Center
Racine, WI

2020 is the 50th anniversary of the modern environmental law era marked by the enactment of the National Environmental Policy Act in late 1969, the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970, and the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency in 1970. 2020 is also the 50th anniversary of the GW Law Environmental Program. As the country enters the next half-century, we believe it is an important time to think carefully about what changes in environmental and natural resources law are needed to meet the very different challenges of the 21st century and the new tools available to meet these challenges.  

GW Law and the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) will co-sponsor a program at the Johnson Foundation’s Wingspread Conference Center on March 21-23 that will bring together about 25 prominent environmental lawyers from all sectors to contribute to this reimagining process. We expect the discussion will focus on critical substantive issues such as climate change and decarbonization, diffuse sources of water and air pollution, ecosystem survival, and materials use and reuse.  It will likely also include a focus on the democratization of environmental and natural resources law through wider public involvement, the role of citizen science in governance, how to more fully integrate justice considerations in decision-making, and the role of private environmental governance among other tools for improved governance. We also hope to begin identifying how a broader consensus for changes in environmental and natural resources law can be built.