Director’s Office

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Ken KristlKenneth T. Kristl is the Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic and an Associate Professor of Law at the Delaware Law School’s Wilmington, DE campus.  Professor Kristl received his undergraduate degree in 1981 from the University of Notre Dame, where he was Phi Beta Kappa and graduated magna cum laude.  Professor Kristl received his JD degree from IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1984, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Chicago Kent Law Review and graduated 1st in his class.  Ken is a member of the bar of the Supreme Courts of Illinois (1984), Pennsylvania (2008), and Delaware (2008).

After graduation from Chicago Kent, Professor Kristl served a judicial clerkship with the Honorable William C. Lee in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana from 1984 – 1986.  After the clerkship, he worked in the Chicago, Illinois office of Winston & Strawn in the firm’s Litigation and Environmental departments, from 1986 – 1994 as an associate and from 1994 – 2004 as a partner.  While at Winston, Professor Kristl worked on commercial and environmental litigation, including trials in federal and state courts, as well as administrative proceedings, arbitrations, and mediations.  In May 2004, he resigned from Winston & Strawn in order to take his current position at Delaware Law School.

While Director of the Clinic, 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 PA Environmental Hearing Board ruling reversing and suspending the issuance of a stormwater permit for a chicken farm on the grounds of failure to comply with public notice procedures.
  • 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.  Ultimately resulted in assisting Delaware counsel prepare for the United States Supreme Court arguments on New Jersey’s unsuccessful challenge to Delaware’s regulatory authority in New Jersey v. Delaware.

kristlWaterMonitoringIn 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:

“Assessing the Legal Toolbox for Sea Level Rise Adaptation in Delaware:  Options and Challenges for Regulators, Policymakers, Property Owners and the Public (2014 Lulu Press) (available here)

“Diminishing The Divine:  Climate Change and the Act of God Defense,” 15 Widener L.Rev. 325 (2010). (available at

“Renewable Energy and Preemption:  Lessons From Siting LNG Terminals,” 23 Natural Resources & Environment 58 (Winter 2009). (available at

“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) (available at This article is the first extensive scholarly analysis of Delaware’s signature environmental statute.

“Cleaning Up Delaware’s Streams, Rivers, And Bays:  Now Comes The Hard Part,” DEL. LAWYER (Fall 2007) (with Taryn L. Weiss).  This article examines legal issues with Delaware’s TMDL program.

“Making a Good Idea Even Better:  Rethinking the Limits on Supplemental Environmental Projects,” 31 Vermont L. Rev. 217 (2007)(available at  This article is the first scholarly analysis of federal SEP utilization rates and argues for relaxing theoretical requirements to increase use of SEPs.

“A Boundary Dispute’s Effect on Siting an LNG Terminal,” 21 Natural Resources and Environment 34 (Summer 2006)(available at  This article examines the New Jersey v. Delaware dispute over regulation of environmentally sensitive activities in the Delaware River.

“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).

“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.

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