Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Arnold Reitze and environmental law in the sixties

Continuing the thread on early environmental law courses, Prof. Arnold Reitze has kindly allowed me to post his recollections of his work at Western Reserve in the 1960s, a demonstration of the interesting work that was being done in environmental law in this period in the academy and at a variety of governmental levels, as well as of the cross-fertilization of teaching, scholarship, and activism. Prof. Reitze writes:
I moved to Western Reserve in 1965 to be the school’s tax teacher. I earned my living teaching tax, but spent much of my time as an environmental activist. I was the counsel for Citizens for Clean Air and Water and for the TB Association’s Air Quality Committee. I also represented the Izaak Walton League. I was very involved in the first attempt to use a voter petition to force the legislature to enact environmental laws. The CAA of 1963 created a conference program for air quality improvement, and Cleveland was one of the areas subject to that laws program. I spent a lot of time on that effort. The 1965 Federal Water Pollution Control Act created a zoning program for improving water quality, and I was active in working to set stringent standards for northern Ohio’s rivers. 
When Louis Toepher became Dean he wanted to hire an experienced tax teacher, and he asked me what I wanted to do. I said I wanted to start an environmental program focusing on eastern pollution issues. I then became the nation’s first full-time environmental law teacher. (Joe Sax also was doing some environmental law work, but he spent his career in water and natural resources and never got seriously involved with the pollution control programs that were transferred to the EPA in 1970.) I taught natural resources law, which eventually was named environmental law, but I believe I continued to teach the more traditional natural resources law with a focus on Ohio issues. I also taught water law and administrative law (which was primarily nuclear energy). [I was active in the fight to stop Davis-Bessee plant.] My work on water pollution led to the “Wastes, Water and Wishful Thinking: The Battle of Lake Erie,” 20 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 5 (1968). My air work led to “The Role of the “Region” in Air Pollution Control,” 20 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 809 (1969). This was based on the work to implement the CAA Amendments of 1967. My work on Ohio’s surface mining led to “Old King Coal and the Merry Rapists of Appalachia”, 22 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 650 (1971). In 1968 I started working to produce the Cleveland Air Pollution Code, which I coauthored with Jim Wilburn; it passed in 1969. My research assistant Jim Walpole became the first lawyer for the Cleveland air pollution program. I was also an advisor to Mayor Carl Stokes, Governor Gilligan and was state campaign chairman for Ray Marvin’s run for attorney general. He lost, but was made the deputy AG for administrative issues, and I continued as an advisor to the AG’s office. 
In 1970 the Ford Foundation fully funded an environmental law program at the George Washington University and I was hired to be the director.
For more on early environmental law teaching, see here and here.

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