Amending the EPA's Environmental Appeals Board

Virtual event hosted by the Environmental Law Institute
Tue, 11 May, 2021 12:00pm

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This event will feature Brian Mannix.

Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final rules, Streamlining Procedures for Permit Appeals, makes sweeping changes to the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board (EAB). These changes include imposing swift deadlines for EAB decisions, 12-year term limits for agency judges, and streamlining the EPA administrator’s authority to overturn EAB decisions. Since 1992, the EAB has served as an out-of-court option for resolving disputes over permitting and agency orders under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Proponents of the EAB changes argue that the permit appeals proceedings are lengthy, creating uncertainty for when or whether project development may proceed. However, opponents note that EAB proceedings are especially important in regards to issues affecting environmental justice communities, and these changes may limit the ability of community groups to challenge unfavorable permits.

How do these rule changes impact EPA environmental decision-making and permitting? What are the potential impacts of the final rules on environmental justice communities? How might the rule changes affect the EPA permitting process in the long-term? Join the Environmental Law Institute and expert panelists to explore the impact of the “Streamlining Procedures for Permit Appeals” Final Rules on the Environmental Appeals Board, environmental justice, and governance.


  • Sandra Nichols Thiam, Associate Vice President, Research & Policy, and Director, Judicial Education Program, Environmental Law Institute, Moderator
  • Scott Fulton, President, Environmental Law Institute, former Judge, Environmental Appeals Board, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Seema Kakade, Director, Environmental Law Clinic, and Associate Professor of Law, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
  • Brian F. Mannix, Research Professor, Regulatory Studies Center, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, George Washington University
  • Dianne Phillips, Partner, Holland & Knight

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