Students and Faculty Visiting Aquarena Springs

Environmental Clinic

Students in the Environmental Clinic work with underserved communities throughout Texas to advocate for solutions to today’s pressing environmental problems, including environmental injustice and climate change.  Students develop creative legal solutions to protect and improve environmental quality and public health.  They also gain practical experience with factual investigation and analysis, client counseling and community education, administrative research and advocacy before regulatory agencies, and legal drafting and litigation support.

The Environmental Clinic’s clients include individuals, neighborhood associations, nonprofits and local governments.  We frequently partner with Texas legal services organizations and with national environmental non-governmental organizations on our cases and projects.

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Cases and Projects

Enforcing the Clean Water Act to stop illegal discharges of plastic pellets into Lavaca Bay

The Formosa plastics plant illegally discharged plastic pellets and residue into local streams and bays for over a decade. Clinic students worked with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid on a Clean Water Act (CWA) citizen suit for the discharge of such pellets on behalf of clients, including Texas Injured Workers and Commercial Oystermen of Texas. Formosa was found liable for CWA violations and the case settled before the penalty trial, resulting in first of their kind permit limits and significant community projects.

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