Clean Air Act

Clean Air Act - Professor S. Ferrey

  • Course Number: LAW-463
  • Course Type: Foundational
  • Credits: 2
  • Enrollment Limit: Determined by the Registrar
  • Description:

    This will be an experiential course in which students engage in legal problems that lawyers handle to develop practical skills that will be useful regardless of what practice area students eventually choose. In this summer course using environmental facts and laws applying to Professor Ferrey’s real-world ‘Modules’/problems, students represent different sides in different disputes representing NGOs, regulated companies, or government agencies responsible for clean air, developing applicable skills:

    • Discerning the federal/state legal split as to which level of government can regulate what aspects of the environment
    • Re-argue in class the most cited Supreme Court precedent this century (a Clean Air Act case) using the actual briefs from the case, with legal teams on both sides of the case
    • Navigate recent Supreme Court restrictions on the ability of government agencies (EPA) to regulate U.S. air emissions that cause climate change
    • Explore the revitalization of common law creates claims on air pollution and climate
    • As a law firm, try to avoid our client NGO’s air claim against a government agency getting tossed out on procedural grounds that the U.S. DoJ raises against any NGO environmental litigant, and how we avoid that as well as to recover our attorney fees from litigation

    To substantially lighten the reading load of cases but allow students at a deeper level to have tools to attempt to navigate our clients around obstacles in our in-class several Modules, our book will be Environmental Law: Examples & Explanations (9 th ed. 2022)(paperback), which concisely describes key cases, circuit court splits to allow students to dig deeper on key cases, and how the Clean Air Act operates in context:

    • First week: Class meets 3 times where we focus on the Clean Air Act
    • Second week: Class meets 5 times focusing on other legal mechanisms and ‘back-door’ legal avenues affecting air quality
    • Paper Presentation and submission: Students then take two weeks off to do research and prepare a short final paper and 2 weeks later for our final 2 class meetings, present their research to the class orally for a few minutes while students ask questions.

    Each day in class, as we cover material, Professor Ferrey will mention a variety of related paper topics that might be of interest to students for their paper. The course grade is comprised 40% on student participation in-class in our Modules, 20% on the oral presentation of research on the paper on the final two days, and 40% on the final paper submitted. There is no exam. The class meetings will occur on Zoom and the Professor will supply electronically the Modules, the syllabus, and actual briefs for the Supreme Court case that students will reargue.

  • Prerequisite: none
  • Evaluation Method: Presentations, held on Wednesday July 31 & Friday August 1; 9:00am-12:00pm
  • Capstone: no
  • WIE: no