Federal Environmental Regulation


Emmett Institute faculty are among the leading U.S. scholars of federal environmental law and engage with the application of federal law in practice.

Strong federal policy underpins the United States’ improvements in water and air quality in recent decades and is critical for addressing climate change and other environmental harms. Emmett Institute faculty are among the leading U.S. scholars of federal environmental law.

Emmett Institute faculty members regularly publish analysis of the application of federal laws addressing climate change, air pollution, water, energy, and other issues, shaping understanding of the impact of federal laws and charting the future of federal law and policy. Our faculty have played a leading role in responding to the Trump administration’s rollbacks of federal environmental protections, with frequent interventions and commentary on issues such as public lands, climate change, air pollution from motor vehicles and industrial sources, water law, and more.

Our faculty also help chart the future of federal environmental law. Shirley Shapiro Professor of Environmental Law Ann Carlson co-edited a recent book on the Clean Air Act and led a series of workshops on the future of federal climate and energy policies.

Emmett Institute faculty teach a wide selection of UCLA Law courses that provide training and exposure for students to federal law issues. Ann Carlson, Jim Salzman, and William Boyd are authors of leading casebooks on federal environmental and natural resources law. UCLA Law’s Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic offers students opportunities for hands-on experience in federal environmental law. Among recent projects, students contributed to a brief in an Endangered Species Act case before the Supreme Court and advocated for federal plastics legislation alongside attorneys and environmental scientists.

Our faculty also engage with the application of federal environmental law in practice, submitting amicus briefs to federal courts and comment letters to federal agencies on a range of issues and testifying before federal committees. Emmett Institute faculty members are frequently quoted by national media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and NPR, explaining developments in federal environmental law and policy to a national audience.

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