Patrick A. Parenteau

Patrick A. Parenteau
Vermont Law School · environmental law center

JD Creighton U 1972; LLM George Washington U 1975

About

52
Publications
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117
Citations
Introduction
Additional affiliations
July 1993 - present
Vermont Law School
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (52)
Chapter
Full-text available
Achieving an effective remedy is the ultimate objective of nearly all litigation, and that is especially true for climate change litigation. In many climate cases, the claims being pressed, and relief being sought, are unprecedented. But so too is the existential threat of climate disruption. Climate disruption is not only already having profound e...
Article
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The Inflation Reduction Act represents an historic investment of $370 B in clean energy to speed the transition away from fossil fuels and fight global warming. But contrary to what some have said it does not overturn the Supreme Court's decision in West Virginia v EPA limiting the agency's authority to regulate carbon pollution from powerplants. I...
Article
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Hurricane Maria killed 3000 people, caused over $95 B in damages, and destroyed Puerto Puerto Rico's grid. Congress authorized $23 B for recovery including $10B for repair and replacement of the grid. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to transition the Island's electricity grid to a greener and more resilient system based on distributed sola...
Article
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Are the "Safe Harbor" guarantees issued by the the US Army Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act still valid when the rule on which they were based has been vacated?
Chapter
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Climate litigation is exploding across the globe. As of August 2020 some 1646 cases had been filed in various courts and other tribunals in 33 countries. The United States leads the pack with Australia gaining ground. The claims span the gamut of administrative, statutory, constitutional, common law, and international law sources. Human rights bas...
Presentation
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Presentation reviews the following rules and policies: GHG Emissions for Powerplants; Fuel Economy and Tailpipe Emission Standards; Navigable Waters Protection Rule (aka WOTUS); Water Quality Certifications (CWA 401); Discharges through Groundwater (Maui Decision); CEQ NEPA Rules; Endangered Species Act Rules; Tort Claims against Oil Companies . Th...
Article
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Explores the consequences for environmental law of the rightward shift of the US Supreme Court in the wake of President Trump's appointment of three conservative justices.
Article
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This is a tribute to my long time friend and colleague Dick Brooks as part of a "festschrift" honoring his scholarship and contributions to the field of environmental and land use law, and to legal education. His substantial body of work and teaching has inspired whole generations of lawyers, educators and policy makers.
Article
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EPA has proposed a rule to curtail state authority under section 401 of the Clean Water Act to certify that federally licensed energy projects like gas pipelines and LNG terminals comply with state water quality laws. This is a radical re-interpretation of the scope and effect of 401 authority and raise serious legal and policy (federalism) questio...
Presentation
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The Trump administration has repealed the Clean Water Rule adopted by the Obama administration and proposed a new definition of the key term "waters of the United States" otherwise known as "WOTUS" which would dramatically reduce the geographic scope of the Clean Water Act. In the preamble to the proposed rule the Environmental Protection Agency sa...
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Justice John Paul Stevens’ ability to forge majority opinions in key environmental law cases made him arguably the nation’s most influential justice ever on those issues. He was first and foremost a person of impeccable integrity with a curious and fertile mind always seeking to understand the momentous issues that came before the court and to do t...
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Global insect populations have declined by an estimated 40% according to recent studies and some scientists are predicting an "insect apocalypse" this century. Even if that proves hyperbolic there is no doubt the world is witnessing mass extinction event rivaling the five great extinctions in earth's history. This catastrophic loss of biological di...
Article
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After one of the most extensive and controversial rulemakings in the history of the Clean Water Act (CWA), featuring over four hundred stakeholder meetings and over a million comments, the Obama Administration adopted the Clean Water Rule (aka “WOTUS”) in May 2015. The stated purpose of the rule is to clarify the scope of the term “waters of the Un...
Article
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Cities, counties and states are suing oil and gas companies for damages from sea level rise, storm surge, flooding and other extreme weather events attributable to climate change. The claims are mainly based on theories of public nuisance and product liability modeled on the litigation brought by states against the tobacco industry. As in the tobac...
Presentation
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The Trump Administration roared into town promising to “drain the swamp” and “deconstruct the administrative state.” It wasted little time targeting over 67 environmental rules, executive orders and policies for oblivion. Executive Orders and policy statements can be canceled in the stroke of a pen but revoking or revising rules is a bit more compl...
Article
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President Trump ordered EPA Administrator Pruitt to review the clean water rule and consider replacing it with a rule based on the late Justice Scalia's plurality opinion in the Rapanos case. Scalia's view is that the jurisdiction of the CWA should be limited to "relatively permanent bodies" of water and wetlands connected by a "continuous surface...
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Obama invoked a little used provision of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to place an "indefinite" ban on drilling in 90% of the Arctic and major portions of the Atlantic. The scale and relatively permanent nature of this action is unprecedented. The US Chamber of Congress and companies in the oil industry have vowed to challenge it in court a...
Article
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In a marathon (7 hour) oral argument on September 27 the full DC Circuit (10 judges) actively questioned all of the attorneys and thoroughly explored every issue presented by the challenges to the Clean Power Plan. I predict the court will uphold the plan though the vote may be close and on some issues break along "partisan" lines (6 of the judges...
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In the final Clean Water Rule, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army established, for the first time in the history of the Clean Water Act (CWA), a “bright line” rule excluding all lakes, ponds, and wetlands lying more than 4,000 feet from the ordinary high water mark or mean high tide line of jurisdictional water...
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EPA has invoked its authority under section 404 (c) of the Clean Water Act to restrict the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska's spectacular Bristol Bay watershed, home of the largest salmon run in the world, producing almost one-half of the world’s wild sockeye harvest. The Pebble Mine Partnership has filed two lawsuits seeking a declaration that EPA h...
Article
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China and the United States deserve a great deal of credit for the successful outcome at the Paris Climate Agreement talks. Their landmark 2014 agreement committing each nation to reduce emissions and promote cleaner energy sources inspired a record number of nations to submit their intended nationally determined contributions to climate mitigation...
Research
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A primer on the total maximum daily load program under the Clean Water Act. Program addresses point and nonpoint sources of pollution in impaired water bodies (i.e. those not meeting water quality standards. Presented at the Vermont Law School Environmental Law Journal symposium on October 23 2015
Research
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Keynote presentation at Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review symposium, "Who Will Pay: The Public & Private Insurance Implications of Climate Change's Drastic Challenges."
Article
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The article discusses the four main legal issues to be decided in the challenges to EPA's clean power plan and argues that none have merit.
Conference Paper
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EPA estimates that its proposed clean power plan will reduce CO2 emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. The plan sets an interim goal of 17% reduction between 2020-2029. The plan will be finalized this summer and will face a number of legal and political challenges, as well as the practical challenges of shifting to cleaner, more efficient ene...
Chapter
Written by practitioners and scholars in the field of ocean and coastal law, this updated edition is an excellent resource for providing an understanding of complex ocean and coastal law and the ongoing efforts to transition to an ecosystem-based management approach.
Chapter
Written by practitioners and scholars in the field of ocean and coastal law, this updated edition is an excellent resource for providing an understanding of complex ocean and coastal law and the ongoing efforts to transition to an ecosystem-based management approach.
Article
In their article, Kharecha and Hansen state that they seek to "avoid a false and counterproductive dichotomy" between air pollution and climate change, and to show that "nuclear power has provided a large contribution to the reduction of global mortality and GHG emissions due to fossil fuel use." But they end up perpetuating another false dichotomy...
Article
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Energy policy in the United States is once again at a crossroads. Hydraulic fracturing combined with the breakthrough technology of horizontal drilling has opened up a vast store of natural gas deposits formerly locked deep beneath the earth. Experts are calling natural gas a foundational fuel for the 21st century and a bridge to a cleaner, more cl...
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This article presents a preliminary effort to capture the dialogue at the Environmental Law Collaborative’s inaugural Workshop. Attendees engaged in the re-conceptualization of sustainability in the age of climate change, premised on evidence that climate change is forcing changes in the norms of political, social, economic, and technological stand...
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Conference Paper
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Background/Question/Methods Results/Conclusions Background/Questions/Methods The public trust doctrine (PTD) traces its roots to Justinian: “the following things are by natural law common to all--the air, running water, the sea.” Historically, the purpose of the PTD was to protect water resources for navigation and commerce when waterways were...
Article
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During the Bush II years, there was a decided lack of leadership at the national level on the gathering threat of climate change. Many states, particularly coastal states like California and Florida, but also states in the Northeast and Midwest, stepped forward to fill the void. In the best constitutional tradition of "laboratories for new ideas" t...
Article
Does coal have a future in a carbon-constrained world? The fate of the planet hinges on the answer to that question. We know that coal is a cheap, abundant fuel that provides nearly half of the nation's electricity. And we know that coal plays an even larger role in powering development in the emerging economies of China and India. We also know tha...
Article
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Climate change poses grave threats to human civilization on earth. As a candidate, President-elect Obama promised to reverse the head-in-the-sand policies of his predecessor and take swift and effective action to address the gathering menace of climate change. This paper briefly outlines ten steps that the new president can take under existing auth...
Article
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I would like to begin with two caveats. First, this critique is not intended to be an exhaustive analysis of the Bush Administration's entire environmental record. Rather, the purpose is to illustrate, through selected examples, how this administration abuses science, law, and democratic processes to make bad public policy. Second, I make no claim...
Article
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Did the State of Rhode Island commit a regulatory taking when it denied Anthony Palazzolo the right to fill the salt marsh on his property? The answer suggested here is no. Under "background principles" of state property and nuisance law, in particular the public trust doctrine, owners of coastal property in Rhode Island have never enjoyed an unqua...
Article
Full-text available
Did the State of Rhode Island commit a regulatory taking when it denied Anthony Palazzolo the right to fill the salt marsh on his property? The answer suggested here is no. Under “background principles” of state property and nuisance law, in particular the public trust doctrine, owners of coastal property in Rhode Island have never enjoyed an unqua...
Article
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As Congress considers amendments to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), one of the most contentious issues to be resolved involves the designation of critical habitat for listed species. At this point, the first wave of critical habitat lawsuits filed by environmental groups has essentially run its course, and has been replaced by a second em...

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