Jeff Civins Reflects on Earth Day 50th Anniversary

April 21, 2020

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Haynes and Boone, LLP Senior Counsel Jeff Civins authored an article in American College of Environmental Lawyers about the EarthX virtual program and was featured in a Brandeis Alumni Association profile reflecting on environmental law.

Here is an excerpt:

In May of last year, I posted a blog about Earth Day’s upcoming 50th anniversary, highlighting one planned celebration of that landmark event, EarthX, which last year drew a crowd of 175,000 visitors in Dallas and which this year was anticipating over 200,000 attendees. But the world is a different place today than it was a year ago and EarthX organizers, under the leadership of the environmentalist Trammell S. Crow, developed a Plan B, transforming the event into a virtual, online experience, featuring a series of high profile thought leaders, sharing the objective of EarthX and its founder—to inspire people and organizations to take action towards a more sustainable future worldwide. Among this year’s virtual programs is its Law and Policy Symposium.

The Symposium had been planned to be a full-day event with sessions on water, public and private lands, the challenges of climate change, and the future of environmental law--with speakers representing a diverse range of perspectives. Fingers crossed, EarthX is planning to hold that same event on Oct. 22, “Half Earth Day.” But to celebrate Earth Day on its true birthday, EarthX will be presenting instead a 90-minute virtual program on April 22 at noon Central time/1 p.m. Eastern time.

To read the full article, click here.

Here is an excerpt from Civins’ profile in the Brandeis Alumni Association:

At Brandeis, I majored in chemistry and worked as a lab assistant. I pursued my interest in chemistry through two years of graduate school and then became a New York City public and private school science teacher. It made sense, therefore, when I graduated from law school that I became an environmental lawyer, though it was somewhat serendipitous that I did. My experience at Brandeis grounded me in both science and critical thinking, which helped me decide to become an environmental lawyer. …

I would say the biggest environmental law milestone in the past 50 years was the first: the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), consolidating federal research, monitoring, standard-setting and enforcement activities to ensure environmental protection. Since then, the enactments of each of the federal pollution statutes — the Clean Air and Water Acts, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and Superfund — were all significant in regulating the releases of pollution into our air and water and onto our land. But the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Massachusetts v. EPA — which affirmed that the regulation of greenhouse gases was within the scope of the federal Clean Air Act — may have been the biggest because of the message it sent, rather than the regulatory actions that it engendered.

To read the full profile, click here.

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