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Practicing Environmental Law brings the provocative challenges of environmental law practice into the classroom. The book covers the traditional subject matter of an environmental law course, but with an innovative practice-based approach. Each chapter is organized around a series of case study-style problems, which require students to address an environmental problem relying on a range of supporting materials. As students work through the book, they will develop an environmental justice advocacy strategy, decide whether to bring novel Clean Air Act litigation to address climate change, consider whether fireworks displays are point sources of water pollution, assess whether the Army Corps of Engineers must prepare an environmental impact statement for a new utility line, negotiate an enforcement settlement, and negotiate the contents of a landscape-scale habitat conservation plan—among many other exercises. In tackling these problems, students will review and use affidavits, administrative orders and guidance documents, biological opinions, white papers, letters, and other document types, in addition to many statutory and regulatory excerpts and court cases. In short, they will simulate the work that environmental attorneys actually do in practice. The casebook and the accompanying online self-assessment questions written by the authors teach the basics of environmental law and also help students gain deeper understanding of, and heightened enthusiasm for, a crucially important legal field.

The new second edition of Practicing Environmental Law adds a short chapter on toxics regulation, updates the materials throughout the book to reflect recent legal developments, adds a new problem on using common law claims to address climate change, and streamlines and refines many of the existing problems.


Imprint: Foundation Press
Series: University Casebook Series
Publication Date: 05/25/2021
Related Subject(s): Administrative Law

Todd Aagaard, Villanova University School of Law

Dave Owen, UC College of the Law, San Francisco

Justin Pidot, University of Arizona College of Law


This title is available in our CasebookPlus format. CasebookPlus provides support beyond your classroom lectures and materials by offering additional digital resources to you and your students. Anchored by faculty-authored formative self-assessments keyed to our most popular casebooks, CasebookPlus allows students to test their understanding of core concepts as they are learning them in class – on their own, outside of the classroom, with no extra work on your part. CasebookPlus combines three important elements:

  • A new print or digital casebook
  • Access to a downloadable eBook with the ability to highlight and add notes
  • 12-month access to a digital Learning Library complete with:
Multiple-choice self-assessment questions, including:
  • Chapter questions keyed to the casebook
  • Black Letter Law questions (available in select subjects)
  • Subject area review questions for end of semester use
Essay and short answer questions with sample answers and expert commentary, in 1L and select upper-level subjects

Leading digital study aids, an outline starter, and audio lectures in select subjects

Students can still utilize CasebookPlus digital resources if they’ve purchased a used book or are renting their text by purchasing the Learning Library at

With CasebookPlus, you can customize your students’ learning experience and monitor their performance. The quiz editor allows you to create your own custom quiz set, suppress specific quiz questions or quiz sets, and time-release quiz questions. Additionally, the flexible, customized reporting capability helps you evaluate your students’ understanding of the material and can also help your school demonstrate compliance with the new ABA Assessment and Learning Outcomes standards.

Teacher's Manual

Commonwealth Pharma Services Documents (Clean Water Act-NPDES)

NPDES Permit

Discharge Monitoring Report

NPCA's Video - 3D Model of the James River

Environmental Impact Studies

The Cape Wind Energy Project FEIS

The Cape Wind Energy Project FEIS addresses a proposed wind energy farm off the coast of Massachusetts. The proposed project was huge, novel, and controversial. The EIS also is large, even by EIS standards, and you should view this EIS as an example of a particularly large and ambitious document.

We have included the final EIS itself and two of the many appendices. One appendix addresses interagency correspondence and consultation and the other addresses public comments.

The Bear River Narrows DEIS and FEIS

The Bear River Narrows DEIS and FEIS provide an example of a smaller-scale EIS. They also are an example of something uncommon: an EIS that recommends against proceeding with the project. The DEIS and FEIS address a proposed new hydroelectric dam in Idaho. Based partly on this analysis, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denied a license for the project.

The Proposed Range 71 Desert Operations Area Expansion

The Proposed Range 71 Desert Operations Area Expansion document is an EA/FONSI, not an EIS. While the document is much shorter than the Cape Wind FEIS, it still is over ninety pages long (some EAs are much longer), and it illustrates the reality that even EAs often take time and effort to prepare.

Categorical Exclusions

The last documents in our set pertain to categorical exclusions. The first is a rule, issued by the Forest Service, that finds that certain environmental restoration and rehabilitation projects are eligible for categorical exclusions. The second is a finding by the Bonneville Power Administration, a federal agency, that a particular project is eligible for a categorical exclusion.

Sample Note Taking Documents

Standing Problem – Sample Note-Taking Document

Introductory Administrative Law Problem – Sample Note-Taking Document

Supplemental Instructions – Chesapeake Bay TMDL Negotiation

POTW Instructions

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau Instructions

MS4 Instructions

PA Chamber of Commerce Instructions

PennFuture Instructions

Supplemental Instructions – Northern Rockies HCP Negotiation

Facilitator Instructions

FWS Instructions

Northern Rockies Environmental Foundation Instructions

Forest Products Industry Instructions

Local Government Instructions

Governor's Representative Instructions

The new second edition of Practicing Environmental Law adds a short chapter on toxics regulation, updates the materials throughout the book to reflect recent legal developments, adds a new problem on using common law claims to address climate change, and streamlines and refines many of the existing problems.

Learn more about this series.