Students and Faculty Visiting Aquarena Springs

Environmental Clinic

Environmental Clinic students 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 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.

To learn about additional Environmental Law opportunities and organizations at Texas Law, visit http://sites.utexas.edu/texasenvironmentallaw/.

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Cases and Projects

Clean Air Act Citizen Suit Against Wood Pellet Manufacturer

 

Environmental Clinic students worked alongside the Environmental Integrity Project on a citizen suit in federal court against an East Texas wood pellet manufacturer. The manufacturer violated its air permits and illegally emitted hazardous air pollutants, endangering the community and environment surrounding the plant. Clinic students were integral to the trial team and involved in researching legal issues, drafting discovery responses and motions, and participating in strategy sessions.  The case resulted in a settlement and Consent Decree requiring the company to install pollution controls, conduct testing and monitoring, and contribute to a fund for energy efficiency upgrades to homes in the area.

Language Access at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)

Environmental laws require that the public be given the opportunity to participate in environmental permitting and rulemaking. One of the many barriers Texans face in attempting to engage in environmental advocacy for themselves and their communities is the limited access to information in languages other than English. Clinic students worked with Earthjustice in representing Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (T.E.J.A.S.) and Sierra Club in a Title VI civil rights complaint and a rulemaking petition to TCEQ, our state environmental agency, to increase language services at the agency.   In response, TCEQ recently revised its rules  to provide increased translation and interpretation services.

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