Waters of the United States

Feb. 19, 4:10 pm, Weinmann Hall, Room 151

“Waters of the United States.” On this phrase hangs the fate of nearly half of America’s wetlands. After the release of the EPA’s new “Clean Water Rule”, three federal circuit courts have come to three different conclusions about what constitutes these waters. The outcome of this debate will have major impacts on both coal and fracking operations nationwide.


Joseph Dellapenna, Professor of Law, Villanova University

Joe DellapennaJoseph W. Dellapenna, a Professor of Law at Villanova Uninversity, has taught at law schools in the United States and abroad for 47 years. He has been a Fulbright Senior Professor three times: in the People’s Republic of China (in 1987-1988), on Taiwan (in 1978-1979), and in Portugal (in 1990). Professor Dellapenna’s teaching interests have centered on international and comparative law, contracts and commercial law, and environmental law, having taught courses he has taught are Admiralty, Chinese Law, Commercial Transactions, Comparative Law, Conflicts of Law, Contracts, International Trade Law, Managing the Water Environment, Public International Law, Remedies, Secured Transactions, and Transna¬tional Litigation. He has worked on numerous transnational litigation cases, and extensively on problems of national and international water law. Professor Dellapenna has served as the Director of the Model Water Code Project of the American Society of Civil Engineers since 1995, and as Rapporteur of the Water Resources Committee of the International Law Association from 1997 until 2004. In the former capacity, he led the drafting of the Regulated Riparian Model Water Code and of the Appropriative Rights Model Water Code. In the latter capacity, he led the drafting of the Berlin Rules on Water Resources, a modernization of the Helsinki Rules, a basic document of international water law.   Professor Dellapenna received a B.B.A. with Distinction from the University of Michigan in 1965, a J.D. cum laude from the Detroit College of Law in 1968, an LL.M. in Public International and Comparative Law from the George Washington University in 1969, and an LL.M. (in Environmental Law) from Columbia University in 1974. In addition to Villanova, he has also been a member of the faculty of the University of Cincinnati and of Willamette University, and a visiting professor at the Detroit College of Law, George Washington University, Ohio State University.


Christopher S. Pugsley, Partner, Thompson & Pugsley, Counsel to the National Mining Association


Christopher PugsleyChristopher S. Pugsley focuses his legal and political practice on environmental and energy issues, as well as government contracting and regulation and constitutional issues.  Many of the issues his practice involves include drafting and implementing legislation, regulatory and contract counseling and litigation, contract and license drafting, mine and occupational safety and health counseling, and risk assessment and management. Mr. Pugsley’s environmental practice consists of statutory and regulatory analyses, development of new policies, and the conduct of administrative litigation regarding Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and State-based issues related to the possession and use of radiological and hazardous materials, operating fuel cycle facilities, and the decommissioning of nuclear and mineral processing facilities.  Mr. Pugsley specifically works or has worked with the National Mining Association (NMA), the Food Irradiation Processing Alliance (FIPA), and the Gamma Industry Processing Alliance (GIPA) and other NRC/Agreement State licensees on issues of concurrent federal/state regulation of nuclear facilities, federal preemption of State regulatory authority under the Atomic Energy Act, licensing under and compliance with NRC and State regulations, and transportation of hazardous materials.  Mr. Pugsley works with various technical consultants assisting in decommissioning of contaminated facilities, including fuel cycle and reactor facilities.  Further, Mr. Pugsley is one of the primary attorneys on the recent Hydro Resources, Inc. (HRI) litigation before NRC and, currently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on NRC and EPA issues. Mr. Pugsley received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics from Washington and Lee University in 1998 and his Juris Doctor degree from The George Washington University School of Law in 2001.  He is currently licensed to practice in the State of Maryland and before the Tenth Circuit and is the author of many articles and presentations.


Robert Verchick (moderator), Gauthier-St. Martin Chair in Environmental Law, Loyola University New Orleans