Citizen Suits

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tidepool_reflectionCitizen suits are an essential component of enforcing federal environmental laws. Widener faculty members have written extensively on the issue, and Jim May is a recognized national expert on the subject. The Widener Law Review’s Symposium, “Citizen Suits at Thirtysomething:  A Celebration and Summit” (chaired by Professor May)–taking up 2 issues of the Review–still stands as one of the best comprehensive reviews and scholarly discussions of the complicated practice and policy issues surrounding citizen suits.   Professor May writes and speaks regularly on citizen suit issues and developments.

In addition, the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic has a long history of putting the theory of citizen suits into action.  Under the guidance of Professors Hodas (1989 – 1992), May (1992 – 2004), and Kristl (2004 – present), the Clinic (on its own or in conjunction with its partner the Mid-Atlantic Environmental Law Center) has investigated and/or prosecuted scores of citizen suits on behalf of Clinic clients against governmental and private defendants.  The Clinic estimates that more than $ 20 million dollars in compliance, facility upgrade and Supplemental Environmental Project expenditures have resulted from these efforts.

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