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Origins of Environmental Law


Oct 22, 2014 - 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.


Columbia University, Kellogg Center, Room 1501

The Earth Institute is pleased to present Origins of Environmental Law: Process, Issues, and Solutions.

In 2013, the government shut down for two weeks unable to agree on virtually anything; but in the 1970's, the United States Congress enacted a series of environmental laws that chartered a new course for our future. The Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Superfund Act are just some of the foundational environmental laws of that time that have shaped vast improvements in the nation's environment - and continue to do so. And yet, no new piece of major environmental legislation has been enacted since the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act - almost 25 years ago. What has changed since then?

Join us for a discussion about this unique time in our history from the principal authors of those laws themselves. This fall, Columbia students have a unique opportunity to learn about the historical, legislative, and political process that led to the implementation of these laws in a class taught by Leon G. Billings and Thomas C. Jorling, the two senior majority and minority staff members who led the Senate environment subcommittee which originated and developed the legislation. This panel will provide some insight into the legislative and human dynamic in the 1970's versus today, and discuss how public policy shapes how environments and organizations are managed.