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Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review


Sally Katzen Ethan Shenkman Aditi Prabhu Vanderbilt Student

The Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review (ELPAR) is a special issue of the Environmental Law Reporter (ELR), published in collaboration with the Vanderbilt University Law School (VULS) and the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) in Washington, DC. Each year, Vanderbilt Law students work with an expert advisory committee and senior staff from ELI to identify the year’s best academic articles that present legal and policy solutions to pressing environmental problems (see methodology here). The result is a one issue, student-edited volume that includes condensed versions of the selected articles, along with commentaries from leading experts from the academy, law firms, business, government and non-governmental organizations.

In conjunction with the publication, ELI and Vanderbilt co-sponsor an annual conference at which the authors of the articles and article commenters present their ideas and views to an audience that includes business, government (federal, state, and local), think tank, and non-profit representatives. More information about the 2020 ELPAR conference is available here.

ELPAR is published annually in the August issue of ELR’s News & Analysis. For subscription information, visit: https://elr.info/subscription-information.

In 2019, ELPAR began publishing podcasts where ELI staff and VULS students interview some of the country’s leading law professors about their creative legal and policy proposals for addressing a range of cutting edge environmental issues. To listen to ELPAR podcasts please visit: https://www.eli.org/podcasts/elpar-podcasts

Vanderbilt University Law Students ELPAR 2019-2020 with ELI Senior Attorney Linda Breggin (front row second from right) and Professor Michael Vandenbergh (front row left)

2021 featured articles include:

  • Michael Burger, Jessica Wentz, and Radley Horton, The Law and Science of Climate Change Attribution

  • Madison Condon, Externalities and the Common Owner

  • Charles Lee, A Game Changer in the Making? Lessons from States Advancing Environmental Justice through Mapping and Cumulative Impact Strategies

  • Joshua C. Macey, Zombie Energy Laws

These articles will all be presented on April 9, 2021, in a virtual format. More information will be provided at a later date. 


Additionally, we selected two articles to receive honorable mentions, and will republish their abstracts:
  • Alexandra B. Klass, Eminent Domain Law as Climate Policy

  • Rory Van Loo, The New Gatekeepers: Private Firms as Public Enforcers 


2020 Washington DC Conference


The 2020 ELPAR DC conference took place on Friday, April 3, from 9:30am to 3:00 pm EST, via webinar. The webinar was free and open to the public. 

This conference is organized in partnership by the Environmental Law Institute and Vanderbilt University Law School. Co-sponsored by DC Bar Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Community, Women in Government Relations Taskforce on Energy, Environment and Agriculture, and Women’s Bar Association of District of Columbia.

Topics of the conference include include:

  • Addressing the cost of carbon dioxide emissions via FERC’s authority to ensure just and reasonable interstate wholesale electricity rates
  • Improving SEC sustainability disclosure requirements
  • Imposing exactions on developers to incentivize investment in low-carbon energy supply and energy efficient buildings


Nashville Symposium at Vanderbilt University Law School

This year's Nashville Symposium took place on Thursday, February 20, from 12:00pm to 1:30pm CST, at Vanderbilt University Law School. The event hosted Shana Jones, Thomas Ruppert and Jason Evans to discuss their recent article “Roads to Nowhere in Four States: State and Local Governments in the Atlantic Southeast Facing Sea-Level Rise.” Through their analysis of localities’ efforts to protect property and infrastructure as sea-levels rise and flooding increases, the authors discussed whether climate adaptation challenges faced by localities merit the reconsideration of the duties, immunities, and authorities of state and local governments. For more information about this conference, please click here.


ELPAR also co-sponsored an event with Urban Green Lab, EELU & Climate Change Research Network at Vanderbilt Law on Febuary 19, 2020 from 12:00pm - 1:00pm at the Law School. The event featured a talk by Tatiana Schlossberg on her recent book, Inconspicuous Consumption. The event was free and open to the public, please find more information here.




Click here to view the
2019 issue of ELPAR.

ELPAR 2019

Click here to view the Analysis of Environmental Law Scholarship 2017-2018 article published in ELPAR.


 The 2020 issue of ELPAR was published in August in the Environmental Law Reporter. It will be posted here and will be accessible for free starting in March 2021. If you would like to see it before it is posted, please subscribe to ELR here