Widener environmental law professor appointed to national committee on sustainability
Public Relations - Published: December 16, 2010
Widener Law Distinguished Professor John C. Dernbach has been appointed to a national committee that will advise on ways the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can incorporate sustainability into agency decision-making.

The Committee on Incorporating Sustainability in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is part of the National Academy of Sciences. It was created at the request of the EPA’s Office of Research and Development. One of the questions the committee will address concerns the relationship between sustainability and the EPA’s traditional effort to reduce and manage risks.

Dernbach, who teaches on Widener’s Harrisburg, Pa. campus, began his work with the 12-member committee at an opening session Dec. 14-15 in Washington, D.C. The group will issue a report within one year making recommendations to EPA.

“It is a privilege and an honor to be part of this committee,” Dernbach said. “I look forward to working on this important issue.”

Dernbach directs Widener’s Environmental Law Center, which launched in October 2009 under the motto “Law for Sustainability.” The center creates learning and service opportunities for students and helps public and private decision-makers solve legal problems relating to environment, energy and climate change.

His 2009 book “Agenda for a Sustainable America” is a comprehensive assessment of recent American sustainability efforts based on contributions from academic and other experts from around the country. It also contains recommendations for the next five to 10 years. Dernbach approached the project with the intention of providing a broad framework for moving the United States toward sustainability.

Dernbach teaches and writes in the areas of environmental law, property, international environmental law, climate change, and sustainability and the law. He was quoted prominently in Thomas L. Friedman’s latest book “Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – and How it Can Renew America.” He joined the Widener Law faculty in 1993.