Kenneth T. Kristl
Associate Professor of Law

B.A., University of Notre Dame
J.D., IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law

Phone: 302.477.2053

Kenneth T. Kristl is an Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic on the Delaware campus. Professor Kristl received his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in 1981, where he was Phi Beta Kappa, and his J.D. from IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1984, where he was class Valedictorian and Editor-in-Chief of the Chicago-Kent Law Review.

After graduation from law school, Professor Kristl clerked for the Honorable William C. Lee in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. Following his clerkship, Professor Kristl joined the Chicago law firm of Winston & Strawn LLP, where he became a Partner in 1994. His practice focused on complex environmental and commercial litigation. He left Winston & Strawn in May 2004 to join the Widener faculty.

While Director of the Clinic at Widener, Professor Kristl has been involved in numerous proceedings that have set important legal precedents. These include:
  • A first-in-the-nation federal court ruling enjoining The United States Department of the Interior and the US Fish and Wildlife Service from allowing farming in general and with genetically modified crops in particular on the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Sussex County, DE without first complying with the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Administrative Procedures Act.
  • A DE state court ruling under Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act overturning a Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board (CZICB) ruling allowing new oil lightering operations in the Delaware Bay.
  • A PA Environmental Hearing Board ruling reversing and remanding an NPDES permit allowing discharge of stormwater into a High Quality, Cold Water Fishery stream because of a failure to comply with PA’s Antidegradation Regulations.
  • A DE Environmental Appeals Board ruling reversing and remanding a permit to dredge the Assawoman Canal under Delaware’s Subaqueous Lands Act.
  • Successful opposition to the Coastal Zone Act permit application for the Crown Landing LNG facility in New Jersey before the CZICB.
In addition to his Clinic work, Professor Kristl teaches Property I and II at the Law School. He is a Master in the Delaware Valley Environmental Inn of Court (the first Inn of Court to focus exclusively on environmental law) and a member of the ABA’s Section on Environment, Energy and Resources and the Delaware State Bar Association’s Section on Environmental Law. He has also written extensively on environmental law issues, including:

Selected Recent Publications
  • Renewable Energy and Preemption: Lessons From Siting LNG Terminals, 23 Natural Resources & Environment 58 (Winter 2009).
  • Diminishing The Divine: Climate Change and the Act of God Defense, 15 Widener L.Rev. ____ (forthcoming 2009).
  • Keeping The Coast Clear: Lessons About Protecting The Natural Environment By Controlling Industrial Development Under Delaware's Coastal Zone Act, 25 Pace Env. L. Rev. 37 (2008).
  • Cleaning Up Delaware's Streams, Rivers, And Bays: Now Comes The Hard Part, DEL. LAWYER (Fall 2007) (with Taryn L. Weiss).
  • Making a Good Idea Even Better: Rethinking the Limits on Supplemental Environmental Projects, 31 VERMONT L. REV. 217(2007).
  • A Boundary Dispute's Effect on Siting of an LNG Terminal, NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT (Summer 2006).
  • Coordination of a Large Environmental Permitting Effort, Natural Resources And Environment (Spring 2001) (co-authored with Jennifer Nijman). Winner, 2002 National Burton Award for Achievement in Legal Writing.
  • Are Franchise Agreements Headed for a Crash Landing? MSW Management (March/April 2001).
  • Allocating Responsibilities for Environmental Cleanup Liabilities through Purchase Price Discounts, Chapter 17 in Corporate Counsel's Guide To Environmental Problems in Corporate Transactions (West 2009).