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Course Details

Environmental Justice And The BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill




2 cr.

Senior Writing


Student Year



The unfair distribution of environmental harms and benefits poses complex legal and policy challenges, as are evident in the recent Gulf oil spill and its ongoing consequences. The sources of this inequality are difficult to unpack, and legal solutions cut across multiple areas of law. This quasi-clinical seminar combines a substantive introduction to environmental justice law with the submission of research memoranda to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. Our class will provide background factual and legal memos on a variety of environmental justice issues arising from the spill, which we will complete by the end of October 2010 and submit for the Commission's consideration as it prepares its final report. Each class session will be divided between discussing that day's topics in environmental justice law and learning from our class project. Grades will be based on students' final drafts of their work product for the class project (90%), oral presentations (5%), and class participation (5%). This course can be used to satisfy the senior writing requirement.


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