John Dernbach Selected To American College Of Environmental Lawyers

Widener Law Dean Linda L. Ammons Tuesday congratulated Distinguished Professor John C. Dernbach on his election to the prestigious American College of Environmental Lawyers.

The Washington, D.C.-based organization is a professional association of distinguished lawyers who practice in the field of environmental law. Membership is by invitation and members are recognized by their peers as pre-eminent in their fields. Known as fellows, the newly elected group includes 26 academic and practicing legal professionals.

Dernbach has led the only nongovernmental effort in the United States to comprehensively assess U.S. sustainability activities and make recommendations for future actions. He is the principal author of “Acting As If Tomorrow Matters: Accelerating the Transition to Sustainability,” published this summer. He also edited two earlier books “Stumbling Toward Sustainability” (2002) and “Agenda for a Sustainable America” (2009).

Dernbach is a recognized leader on matters of sustainability. He is quoted in Tom Friedman's “Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – And How It Can Renew America” and he is one of 12 members of the National Research Council Committee on incorporating sustainability in the U.S. EPA.

He also coauthored an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency on behalf of eighteen prominent climate scientists. The court sided with the scientists’ arguments in 2007 when it held that EPA erred by not controlling greenhouse gas emissions. The decision is generally recognized as a landmark in environmental law.

“I congratulate Distinguished Professor Dernbach on being elected a fellow to the ACOEL,” Ammons said. “It is rewarding to see his significant contributions to the field of environmental law recognized by his peers in this way.”

“It is a great personal honor to be named as a fellow,” Dernbach said. “It is also an honor for Widener’s Environmental Law Center to now have two of its faculty members as fellows in the ACOEL.”

Widener Law Professor James R. May was elected a fellow in 2009.

Dernbach joined the Widener Law faculty in 1993 and he co-directs Widener’s Environmental Law Center with May. He teaches environmental law, property, international law, international environmental law, sustainability and the law, and climate change.

He will be officially inducted into the organization at its annual meeting in October.


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