Rethinking the Federal-State Relationship

February 28, 2019 11:00 am — 12:30 pm
Webinar only

An ELI 50th Anniversary Webinar

In April 2017, then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced his “Back-to-Basics Agenda” for the agency. A key component of this agenda was giving state and local governments more responsibility for regulation and enforcement. This agenda presents an opportunity for a rethinking of the federal-state relationship as it pertains to environmental protection.

In addition to being written into key environmental statutes and American democracy more broadly, cooperative federalism can lead to more efficient and pragmatic environmental protection, and can allow states to develop effective programs tailored to their needs and resources. Nevertheless, the future of the federal-state relationship in the environmental regulatory context remains uncertain as state and federal priorities come into conflict: see, for instance, EPA’s proposal to revoke California’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases. It is clear that, for cooperative federalism to function as intended, state and federal regulators must engage in dialogue so as to align their programs and priorities to current realities. Recent reports—such as the Environmental Council of the States’ Cooperative Federalism 2.0 and ELI’s The Macbeth Report—have begun a discussion on the future of cooperative federalism and environmental protection, but significant questions remain unanswered.

ELI held an interactive discussion of the opportunities presented by increased state autonomy in environmental protection. Featured panelists included experts in interstate environmental coordination and attorneys with significant experience in environmental compliance and stewardship.

Donald Welsh, Executive Director, The Environmental Council of the States, Moderator
Julia Anastasio, Executive Director and General Counsel, Association of Clean Water Administrators
Scott Fulton, President, Environmental Law Institute
Sylvia Quast, Regional Counsel, EPA Region 9

ELI members will have access to materials and a recording of this session (usually posted w/in 48 hours). If you are not an ELI member but would like to have access to archived sessions like this one, go HERE to see the many benefits of membership and how to join.