Environmental Law Center Set to Launch
Web Editor - Published: October 15, 2009
environmental law center faculty photo

From left, Distinguished Professor Andrew L. Strauss, center Associate Director and Professor James R. May, Associate Professor Kenneth T. Kristl, Widener Delaware campus Vice Dean and Professor J. Patrick Kelly, Law Dean Linda L. Ammons, center Director and Distinguished Professor John C. Dernbach, Professor Jean M. Eggen, and Professor David R. Hodas

Widener University School of Law is pleased to announce it is forming an Environmental Law Center that will harness the expertise of the environmental law faculty on both of its campuses in a new effort to benefit its students and the public. The official launch for the Center will be October 13, 2009 in Wilmington and October 15, 2009 in Harrisburg.

pdf icon Download the Environmental Law Center 2009 Program (.pdf)


The Delaware launch will take place from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. in the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom. Widener will also host a companion event at its Harrisburg campus on Thursday, October 15, 2009, also from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. in room A180.

Russell Peterson, former Governor of the State of Delaware, Chair of the President’s Council on Environmental Quality, Director of the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment, and President of the National Audubon Society, will provide opening remarks. Peterson was the guiding force behind the Delaware Coastal Zone Act of 1972. This act protected Delaware's inland bays and waterways by banning heavy industry from a two-mile-wide strip of Delaware's 115-mile coastline, about 20% of the state. This piece of legislation has since been used by other states to protect their shorelines.

EnviroLawCenterLaunchPromoGovernor Peterson will be joined by Lt. Governor Matt Denn (Widener Law Skaddens Fellow, 1992-94); Wilmington Mayor James Baker; Laura Coogan, Office of U.S. Senator Tom Carper, Cleon Cauley, Deputy Legal Counsel to Delaware Gov. Jack Markell; Stephanie Hansen, Chair of the State of Delaware’s Section on Environmental Law (Widener Law, ’99); Professor David Markell, Florida State University; Mary Jacobson, Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Environmental Law Center (Wolcott Fellow, Widener Law ’97); and, Dawn Kurtz Crompton, Editor-in-Chief of the Widener Law Review. A reception will follow the remarks.

The Honorable Arthur A. Davis, who served as the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources from 1987-1995 will speak at the Harrisburg launch. Other speakers include two 2002 Widener Law graduates, the Honorable Eugene DePasquale of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and the Honorable Richard Alloway II of the Pennsylvania State Senate, and Mr. Philip R. Hinerman of Fox Rothschild LLP who is the Chair of the Energy and Environmental Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Current Widener Law student Steve Matzura of the class of 2010, Director of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club Jeff Schmidt, Professor Ken Kristl, Vice Dean of the Harrisburg campus Robyn L. Meadows, and David Sunday of the Environmental Law Alumni Association will also speak. Penn State University Professor Donald A. Brown, the Director of the Pennsylvania Environmental Resources Consortium will close the program. A reception will follow.

The launch marks the official start of the Center, which was first announced around Earth Day 2009. It is the first academic-civic initiative to operate between the Widener Law campus in Wilmington, Del. and the school’s other campus in Harrisburg, Pa. Working under the motto “Law for Sustainability,” the Center is intended to harness the expertise of seven environmental law faculty from both locations in a new effort to benefit students and the public. The seven Widener environmental law faculty are Professors John Dernbach (Director), Jim May (Associate Director), Jean Eggen, David Hodas, Patrick Kelly, Ken Kristl, and Andrew Strauss.