Introducing the Environmental Law Review Syndicate

You may have noticed over the last few weeks a new addition to ELR’s homepage: some excellent posts written by students at other law schools and tagged “ELRS,” for “Environmental Law Review Syndicate.” ELRS is a new project Harvard ELR is undertaking with the environmental-law journals of Berkeley, Lewis & Clark, Georgetown, University of Michigan, NYU, Stanford, UCLA, Vermont Law School, and University of Virginia.

Every week, students from one of the ELRS member journals write a short article on an interesting topic or new development in environmental law, and the other journals host the article on their own websites. We hope this effort will connect the community of environmental journals, broaden the reach of our student authors, and foster discussion on cutting-edge topics in the field.

We are very excited about the articles we have already made available through ELRS. Christopher Hyner, Managing Editor at the Georgetown Environmental Law Review, outlines the harmful impacts of large-scale animal agriculture in “A Leading Cause of Everything: One Industry That Is Destroying Our Planet and Our Ability to Thrive on It.” The Editor-in-Chief of the Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law, Sarah Stellberg, points out the risk of a Dormant Commerce Clause attack on Michigan’s Renewable Portfolio Standard and suggests an alternative approach to supporting local renewable energy which would be better able to survive a legal challenge in “A Perfect Storm for Michigan’s Renewable Portfolio Standard?” In “Trying to Find a Balance: Agricultural Land Conservation vs. Development in the Green Mountain State,” Kristen Mae Rodgers, Vermont Journal of Environmental Law’s Note Editor, reports on a new development project in rural Vermont that will set the stage for a new era in the state’s land-use policy.

And today we have a brand new submission, from Gillian Schroff, Form & Style Editor at Lewis & Clark’s Environmental Law Review. “What is Reasonable?: The Consideration of Economic Effects in Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives Under the Endangered Species Act” explains the controversy over attempted water diversions in California which have been blocked by the ESA in order to protect the endangered delta smelt, at an estimated cost of $2.2 billion in agricultural productivity. But concern over these short-term economic impacts, Gillian argues, is irrelevant to the ESA’s mandate to ensure the health of ecosystems in the long run.

New ELRS articles will be posted every Monday, so be sure to check back weekly, or sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page!