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Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC)

Meet NEDC’s New Staff Attorney

November 29, 2017

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    NEDC Staff Attorney Peter Broderick

Our student law clerk Lucy Brookham recently sat down with our new staff attorney Peter Broderick to learn a little bit more about him

You’re a rare breed - a true Oregonian living in Portland - what was it like for you growing up in Oregon?  

Growing up in Oregon was terrific. I grew up on the coast in Cannon Beach. I was very fortunate to have the beach, a state park, and a river right next door. I spent countless hours roaming around outside in the neighborhood with my siblings and my friends. That was probably the origin of my environmentalism.

 

You were an attorney at Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger for four years after you graduated from Stanford Law School - what kind of work were you doing there?

Shute Mihaly & Weinberger is a mid-sized private public-interest firm in San Francisco that represents community groups, tribes, and public agencies in a variety of environmental and land use matters, mostly in California. The firm represents forward-thinking public agencies trying to accomplish progressive planning goals, such as building public transportation infrastructure projects. It also represents community groups fighting poorly planned and environmentally harmful development projects. It was an interesting dynamic having clients from both of those groups.

 

The last case you worked on prior to starting with NEDC recently went to trial in California - tell us a bit about that

For the last couple of years I’ve been involved with drafting local land-use initiatives in California. Monterey County voters passed one such initiative last November that restricted oil and gas operations in various ways. The oil and gas industry, led by Chevron, immediately filed six separate lawsuits to try to make it go away. I was assisting the proponents of the initiative– a group of local citizens concerned with protecting Monterey’s water and natural resources from the negative impacts of oil and gas production– in defending it against these lawsuits. We’re awaiting a decision from the trial court.

There are a lot of issues affecting the West and the Pacific Northwest right now. What issues are at the top of your priority list?

Water quality is obviously huge. NEDC has a long and illustrious history of advocating for clean water and I look forward to continuing that tradition. Clean water is important for all Oregonians, not just people who work and play outdoors.

NEDC is also starting to do some really interesting stuff related to air quality and I look forward to expanding that work.

Climate change work is high on the list. Oregon needs to be doing a lot more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state. As a coastal state, Oregon is especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change, but that also means we are well positioned to be a leader and a policy innovator.  

Finally, protecting our beaches, estuaries, and unique coastal resources is especially dear to me. Of course, all of these priorities relate to one another.

 

What is one of your goals for your first year as staff attorney?

Well I have a lot of goals! One of my immediate goals is to reacquaint myself with the environmental and regulatory landscape here in Oregon and really put the tools that I have developed over the past several years to use in my own backyard. I am also looking forward to learning from and working with the faculty, staff, and students here at Lewis and Clark Law School.

 

What do you like to in your spare time?

I like to read, especially short fiction. I also enjoy riding my bike, running, and hiking. I hiked to Ramona Falls in the snow for the first time two days ago. It was beautiful. Spectacular views of Mount Hood. Anything that gets me outside is a lot of fun. I also enjoy brewing beer. I haven’t done that in a while, but I brought all of my brewing equipment back up to Oregon with me, and I look forward to firing it back up this winter.

 

You went to law school at Stanford, but you attended the University of Oregon as an undergrad. Are you a Ducks or a Cardinal fan?

Oh, I always root for the Ducks over the Cardinal - but I’ll admit to cheering Stanford on when they play anyone else.