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Tracy Hester
Environmental Law
Fall 2018


LAW 5390

FALL 2018
Room BLB 209



No. Date Topics Guest Speaker(s) Readings Comments and Reference Materials
1. August 20, 2018

Introduction to class

Foundations of Environmental Law and Philosophy


Percival, et al. (PSML) pp. 1-17, 41-52

Hydraulic fracturing example on pp. 62-64

Lecture (video and audio)

Environmental Law Research Guide

U.S. shale oil and gas forecast

U.S. energy import/export forecast

GOM wells .

2. Aug. 22, 2018

Economics and Environmental Protection


PSML 29-41, 52-58

Lecture (audio)

Suppy and Demand Curves
3. Aug. 27, 2018 Common Law -Private and Public Nuisance  

PSML 65-80, 87-93

Texas Public Nuisance Statutory Elements

Lecture (audio)

Ducktown, TN

Damaged Landscape from Ducktown Copper Smelter Emissions

Nuisance Exercise: Yellow Team
Blue Team
Green Team


Aug. 29, 2018

Common Law - Private and Public Nuisance (interstate torts, preemption and displacement)


PSML 80-87, 104-116

Lecture (audio) .

Crye v. Reichhold Chemicals petition

Crye v. Reichhold Chemicals (234th Dist. Ct. 1999) (dismissal of Ship Channel nuisance action)

  Sept. 3, 2018 LABOR DAY - NO CLASSES      
5. Sept. 5, 2018

Class exercise: advocacy for climate tort claimants

Climate Change Law - Tort Claims and Litigation


Climate Tort Discussion Problem

Climate Change Litigation Powerpoint (.pdf)

Comer v. Murphy Oil, pp. 1-8, 13-30, 34-3

Lecture (audio)

Class seating chart

Bonser-Lain v. TCEQ letter opinion

Bonser-Lain v. TCEQ appellate opinion

EPA Greenhouse Gas Mapping System

6. Sept. 10, 2018

a. Overview of Federal Environmental Control: Congress' Commerce Power, Citizens' Standing to Sue, Rulemaking, and Takings

b. Rise of the Federal Statutory Framework

c. Review of Administrative Law Principles


a. PSML 116-127, 137-142

b. PSML 93-104

c. PSML 174-198 (skim as refresher from your Statutory Intepretation & Regulatory Practice class)

Lecture (audio)


7. Sept. 12, 2018

Clean Water Act: Structure of Act; "Waters of the United States" and Jurisdiction

Introduce class exercise


PSML 667-696

Clean Water Intro PowerPoint (.pdf)

Summary of Final Rule on Waters of the United States

Lecture (audio)

Final Rule on Waters of the United States

Stay of WOTUS final rule by 6th Circuit

8. Sept. 17, 2018

Clean Water Act: Definitions of "Point Source", "Discharge" and "Pollutant"

Clean Water Act: Water Quality Standards and technology requirements in NPDES permits


PSML 696-704, 714-729

Lecture (audio)


9. Sept. 19, 2018 Clean Water Act: TMDLs, Wetlands Protection  

PSML 772-801

PSML 729-751 (skim only; will cover in lecture)

Wetlands PowerPoint(.pdf)

Lecture (audio)


10. Sept. 24, 2018

Clean Air Act: Clean Air Act: Air Pollutants, NAAQS/SIP Program


PSML 521-32 (skim), 571-595

Lecture (audio)

Plain English Guide to the Clean Air Act

Sources of Air Pollution

Air map

11. Sept. 26, 2018

Clean Air Act: New Source Review/Prevention of Significant Deterioration, Hazardous Air Pollutants


PSML 595-604,610-630

Lecture (audio)

State of Texas v EPA complaint (Sept. 24, 2018)

  Sept. 27, 2018 (Thursday)


OPTIONAL SITE VISIT: CES Environmental Services Superfund Site, with Robin Morse


Information on CES Environmental Services Site removal action: fact sheet and status website.

Logistics for Site Tour

12. Oct. 1, 2018 Clean Air Act: Wrap-up on NSR/PSD and HAPs, Acid Rain, Multi-State Air Quality Issues  

PSML 630-640, 309 n.6-315

Michigan v. EPA (pp. 1-22 only)

Air Toxics PowerPoint (.pdf)

Lecture (audio)

Air Permitting Thresholds Chart

Sample Air Permitting Exercise

13. Oct. 3, 2018

GUEST LECTURE: former U.S. Rep. Bob Ingliss, at the UH Hilton, 6 pm.


GUEST LECTURE: former U.S. Rep. Bob Ingliss on carbon taxation as a conservative strategy to control climate change.


14. Oct. 8, 2018

Climate Change Law - Regulation Under the Federal and State Laws and Regulations


PSML 1244-1250, 530-556

Lecture (audio)

Texas reply to EPA's demand for GHG regulations (NOT required reading - solely for your reading pleasure)

15. Oct. 10, 2018

Clean Air Act: Multi-State Air Quality Issues

Guest lecturer: Jed Anderson, AL Law Group

PSML 640-655 (refresh)



CAA Section 7410(a)(2)(D)

Ozone Transport

Ozone transport animation

CSAPR update

  Oct. 12, 2018


VOLUNTARY FIELD TRIP: Kayak tour of wetlands in Christmas Bay with Prof. Jim Blackburn


RESCHEDULED to Spring 2019    
16. Oct. 15, 2018

RCRA - Solid Waste, Hazardous Waste, TSDs, Generators and Transporters

Introduce class exercise


PSML 345-356, 361-380

McCarty Landfill.

Lecture (audio)

Statutory definitions handout

Read the solid waste statutory definition and regulatory definition at 40 CFR 261.2, but skim only the lengthy exemptions from the solid waste definition in 40 CFR 261.4

17. Oct. 17, 2016

RCRA - Solid Waste, Hazardous Waste, TSDs, Generators and Transporters


PSML 381-403, 407-409

Definition of Solid Waste review chart

HazWaste TSDF PowerPoint (.pdf)

Download the Philern Case Study materials and supplement and review Part I only. Keep them in mind as you prepare to represent your clients in the class RCRA Enforcement Exercise in our next class.

Lecture (audio)


18. Oct. 22, 2018

RCRA and Environmental Enforcement

RCRA Enforcement Exercise


Because this class is a participatory simulation of an enforcement action, that portion of the class will not be recorded.

Lecture (audio)

19. Oct. 24, 2018

Toxic Substances and Chemicals Regulation

Guest lecturer: Christopher Bell, Greenberg Traurig LLP

TSCA as amended (redline)

Corrosion Proof Fittings v. EPA

TSCA Preemption Chart

TSCA PowerPoint (.pdf)

Lecture (audio)

20. Oct. 29, 2018

CERCLA - the National Contingency Plan, Potentially Responsible Parties, Defenses, Liability and Allocation

Introduce class exercise - CERCLA settlement negotiation and strategy


PSML 409-437


Lecture (audio)

CERCLA sites in Harris County

Sample CERCLA cost recovery complaint


Oct. 31, 2018

CERCLA - the National Contingency Plan, Potentially Responsible Parties, Defenses, Liability and Allocation


PSML 437-458

Lecture (audio)



Nov. 5, 2018

CERCLA - the National Contingency Plan, Potentially Responsible Parties, Defenses, Liability and Allocation


PSML 458-484

CERCLA settlement allocation worksheet

Lecture (audio)


23. Nov. 7, 2018

CERCLA Negotiation and Enforcement Exercise

No reading assignment- everyone prepare to represent your respective clients in class exercise. You will receive your client package via email.

CERCLA Negotiation Session background fact sheet

Lecture on CERCLA settlement options. No recording of CERCLA negotiations.

CERCLA Listing Process flowchart 

 PRP Contact Sheet
24. Nov. 12, 2018

Endangered Species Act - Listing, Endangerment, Consultation Process


Sign-up sheet for Valero Refinery tour

PSML 999-1013, 1029-1058

ESA Introduction PowerPoint (.pdf)

Lecture (only partial audio due to technical difficulties - 2)

Sign-up sheet for Texas State Bar environmental jobs panel

Proposed revisions to ESA listing process (July 25, 2018)

Proposed revisions to Threatened Species Protection Under Section 4d (July 25, 2018)

Proposed revisions to Interagency Consultation Under Section 7 (July 25, 2018)
25. Nov. 14, 2018 Endangered Species Act - Private Takings


PSML 1058-1083

Lecture (audio)

Where Jaguars are "Killed to Order" for Illegal Trade (National Geographic, 9/23/18)

ESA Section 4 refresher

  Nov. 16, 2018


VOLUNTARY SITE VISIT: Valero Refinery in Manchester neighborhood, Houston, TX.


  Logistics for refinery visit  
25. Nov. 19, 2018

National Environmental Policy Act: Major Actions, FONSI, Environmental Impact Statements


PSML 911-914, 921-934, 948-955, 962-970, 977-78, 986-992

Lecture (audio)

Final Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in NEPA Reviews

ESA Review Hypothetical 1
Hypothetical 2
26. Nov. 26, 2018

Voluntary review session


Review Session (audio)

Final exam will take place on Dec. 3 from 6 pm to 9 pm in Room 144 TUII .

Sample Final Exam Essay Question

Answer Key to Sample Essay

Answers to Email Questions for Finals Review (please submit questions before 5 pm on Thursday, Nov. 29)