Learn more about the Environmental Clinic

Students use existing permitting, rulemaking, and enforcement processes while also innovating creative means to improve environmental quality and further environmental justice.

Recent clinic projects have included:

  • federal litigation to enforce air pollution limits and secure access to clean water,
  • comments on Environmental Impact Statements for new highways and coastal barriers,
  • challenges to new pollution permits in overburdened communities,
  • civil rights complaints to address environmental injustice
  •  petitions for rulemaking to increase interpretation and translation services in environmental processes,
  • community education about pollution and environmental rights,
  • pollution monitoring, and
  • policy research into environmental and climate-related relocations.

The Environmental Clinic’s clients include low-income individuals and underserved neighborhood groups that are exposed to pollution or other environmental hazards, such as flooding. We also represent environmental nonprofit organizations and local governments.

We frequently partner with Texas legal aid organizations (e.g., Texas RioGrande Legal Aid or Lone Star Legal Aid) and with national environmental nonprofit law firms (e.g., Earthjustice or the National Environmental Law Center), allowing students to connect and collaborate with the individuals and organizations working on environmental issues locally and nationwide.

What Our Partners and Clients Say

Josh Kratka

Senior Attorney, National Environmental Law Center

“The students at the Environmental Clinic did a first-rate job of researching, assimilating and analyzing a vast amount of information relating to Clean Air Act compliance at a major industrial facility on the Gulf Coast.  Their thorough and professional work has been of invaluable assistance in our efforts to improve air quality for Texas resid ents.”

Enrique Valdivia

Attorney, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

“The Clinic helped us with a fairly complex air permit case for a biomass power plant. The students helped with all aspects of the case including preparing for discovery, depositions, the hearing on the merits and briefing. It was great working with them. I think we all learn a lot along the way.”

Robin Schneider

Texas Campaign for the Environment

“The UT Environmental Clinics students were invaluable in preparing the way for the passage of state legislation requiring the manufacturers of televisions to provide free and convenient recycling for old TVs. They were very thorough in contacting various stakeholders, gathering the input and developing sample language for introduction. It was very helpful to have keen minds focus on the details in advance of the session so that our organization could better focus its resources on passage of a bill once the session began. That legislation was one of the few high environmental bills that passed in 2009.”