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John C. Dernbach

Commonwealth Professor of Environmental Law and Sustainability
Director, Environmental Law and Sustainability Center

SSRN Papers
Bepress SelectedWorks
Curriculum Vitae

Phone: 717.541.1933

“We guide students to develop skills they need to practice law—to make connections they would not otherwise make, to do things they could not otherwise do, and to see themselves as professionals capable of serving the community. I get a lot of satisfaction out of “aha” moments.” 

John Dernbach is a nationally and internationally recognized authority on sustainable development, climate change, and environmental law. He is the director of the Environmental Law and Sustainability Center, and brings his expertise into the classroom in courses on property, environmental law, international law, and sustainability.

Professor Dernbach writes and lectures widely on sustainable development, climate change, and environmental law. He has written more than 40 articles for law reviews and peer-reviewed journals, and has authored, coauthored, or contributed chapters to more than 20 books. He leads the only national project that comprehensively assesses U.S. sustainability efforts and makes recommendations for future efforts. As part of that project, he is the principal author of Acting as if Tomorrow Matters: Accelerating the Transition to Sustainability (Environmental Law Institute Press 2012) and the editor of Agenda for a Sustainable America (ELI Press 2009) and Stumbling Toward Sustainability (ELI Press 2002). He also was a member of the National Research Council Committee that, in Sustainability and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2011), made recommendations on how to institutionalize sustainability at EPA.  In addition, he is a member of the American Bar Association Task Force on Sustainability.

Professor Dernbach contributed to two recent landmark environmental law cases. In its 2013 decision in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held several provisions of Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale statute to be unconstitutional. His scholarship provided much of the basis for the plurality opinion, which applied the previously dormant Environmental Rights Amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution. Dernbach was also one of four lawyers to co-author an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency on behalf of 18 prominent climate scientists, including two Nobel laureates. In 2007, the Supreme Court held that that EPA erred by not controlling greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles. The majority opinion reflects the science described in the brief, and the dissenting opinions do not contradict it. This case provides the foundation for much federal regulation of greenhouse gases.

In two stints totaling near 15 years, he worked at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources (now the Department of Environmental Protection). During this time, he had a major role in drafting comprehensive and nationally recognized reforms to Pennsylvania’s mining and waste programs. He was the primary drafter of Pennsylvania’s recycling legislation, under which more than two million tons of recyclable material are diverted from landfills each year. He was also a primary drafter of comprehensive regulations for municipal waste and residual waste (industrial waste that is not legally hazardous).

More recently, he directed the Department’s policy office. There, he was responsible for developing and coordinating policy and regulatory initiatives for the Department; and for advising the secretary on land use, energy, watershed protection, performance-based decision making, and other issues.

Professor Dernbach also is the primary author of a classic legal writing text (A Practical Guide to Legal Writing and Legal Method) as well as a book to assist students with writing law school exams (Writing Essay Exams to Succeed in Law School (Not Just Survive).

  • Environmental Law
  • Property
  • International Law
  • International Environmental Law
  • Sustainability and the Law
  • Climate Change

Selected Publications

Books
  • ed., Shale Gas and the Future of Energy: Law and Policy for Sustainability (James R. May, ed., Edward Elgar 2016).
  • Writing Essay Exams to Succeed in Law School (Not Just to Survive) (4th ed., Aspen Coursebook Series 2014).
  • et al., A Practical Guide to Legal Writing & Legal Method (5th ed., Wolters Kluwer 2013).
  • Acting as if Tomorrow Matters: Accelerating the Transition to Sustainability (Environmental Law Institute 2012).
  • et al., A Practical Guide to Legal Writing & Legal Method (4th ed., Wolters Kluwer 2010).
  • Writing Essay Exams to Succeed in Law School (Not Just to Survive) (3rd ed., Aspen 2009).
  • ed., Agenda for a Sustainable America (Environmental Law Institute 2009).
  • et al., A Practical Guide to Legal Writing & Legal Method (3d ed., Aspen 2007).
  • Writing Essay Exams to Succeed (Not Just to Survive) (2nd ed. Aspen 2007).
  • ed., Stumbling Toward Sustainability (Environmental Law Institute, 2002).
  • A Practical Guide to Writing Law School Essay Exams (William S. Hein & Co. 2001).
  • et al., Legal Drafting: (Little Brown 1994).
  • et al., A Practical Guide to Legal Writing & Legal Method 2d ed. (F. B. Rothman 1994).
  • & Richard V. Singleton, II, A Practical Guide to Legal Writing & Legal Method (F. B. Rothman 1981).
Chapters
  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation, in Encyclopedia of Climate Law (Daniel A. Farber & Marjan Peeters eds., Edward Elgar forthcoming 2016). 
  • & Federico Cheever, Sustainable Development and its Discontents, in Journal of Transnational Environmental Law (forthcoming 2016). 
  • Goal Setting in Environmental Decision Making, in Environmental Decision Making (Robert Glicksman & LeRoy Paddock eds., Edward Elgar forthcoming 2016).
  • Sustainable Development, in Science and Politics: An A to Z Guide to Issues and Controversies (Brent S. Steel ed., CQ Press/Sage Books 2014).
  • & Robert Altenburg, Evolution of U.S. Climate Policy, in Global Climate Change and U.S. Law Chapter 3 at 83 (Michael Gerrard & Jody Freeman eds.,ABA 2nd ed. 2014).
  • & Marianne Tyrrell, Federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Laws, in The Law of Clean Energy: Efficient and Renewables (Michael Gerrard, ed., ABA 2011).
  • U.S. Policy, in Global Climate Change and U. S. Law,  Chapter 3 at 61 (ABA 2007).
  • & Dan Tarlock, 2005, Sustainable Development and Natural Governance:  The Challenges Ahead in Social Sciences and Humanities, in Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), Developed Under the Auspices of UNESCO, EOLSS Publishers, Oxford, UK, http://www.eolss.net.
  • Chapter Twenty Nine (Natural Resources and the Public Estate) in The Pennsylvania Constitution:  A Treatise on Rights and Liberties (Ken Gormley, et al. eds., Bisel 2004).
  • Implementation of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act in Pennsylvania: A Decade Later in Moving the Earth: Cooperative Federalism and Implementation of the Surface Mining Act at 149 (Uday Desai ed.; Prepared under the auspices of the Policy Studies Organization, Greenwood Press

         1993).

Articles
  • et al., Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: Examination and Implications, 67 Rutgers U. L. Rev. 1169 (2015).
  • & Ira R. Feldman, The ABA Embraces Sustainability: From the Earth Summit to Rio 20 and Beyond, 44 Int'l L. News 1 (2015).
  • & Edmund J. Sonnenberg, A Legislative History of Article I, Section 27 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 28 Widener L.J. 181 (2015).
  • & Marc Prokopchak, Recognition of Environmental Rights for Pennsylvania Citizens:  A Tribute to Chief Justice Castille, 53 Duq. L. Rev. 335 (2015).
  • The Potential Meanings of a Constitutional Public Trust, 45 Envtl. L. 463 (2015).
  • Facing Down the So-Called Agenda 21 'Conspiracy', 81 Planning 20 (2015).
  • et al., Sustainability as a Means of Improving Environmental Justice, 19 MO. J. Evntl. & Sustainability L. 1 (2012).
  • The Unfinished Story of the Rio+20 Conference, 35 Int’l. Env’t Rep. 980 (2012), available at Bloomberg BNA 35 Iner 980.
  • Next Generation Recycling and Waste Reduction: Building on the Success of Pennsylvania’s 1988 Legislation, 21 Widener L. J. 285 (2012).
  • Can the Battle Against Climate Change Become an Effective Social Movement?, 11 Ethics Sci. & Envtl.Pol. 27 (2011).
  • Legal Education for Sustainability: A Report on U. S. Progress, 5 J. Educ. For Sustainability Dev. 225 (2011).
  • & Marianne Tyrrell, The “Cash for Clunkers” Program: A Sustainability Evaluation, 42 U. Tol. L. Rev. 467 (2011).
  • et al., Energy Efficiency and Conservation: New Legal Tools and Opportunities, Nat. Resources & Env’t., Spring 2011, at 7.
  • The Essential and Growing Role of Legal Education in Achieving Sustainability, 60 J. Legal Educ. 489 (2011).
  • Creating the Law of Environmentally Sustainable Economic Development, 28 pace Envtl. L. Rev. 614 (2011).
  • & the Widener University Law School Seminar on Climate Change, Next Generation Recycling & Waste Reduction: Building on the Success of Pennsylvania’s 1988 Legislation, Widener University School of Law Environmental Center, White Paper No. 1, April 2011, http://blogs.law.widener.edu/envirolawblogs/files/2011/03White-Paper-with-Cover-Final-4-12-11small.pdf.
  • An Agenda for Sustainable Communities, 4 Envtl. Energy L. & Pol’y J. 170 (2009).
  • & Donald A. Brown, The Ethical Responsibility to Reduce Energy Consumption, 37 Hofstra L. Rev. 985 (2009).
  • et al., Making the States Full Partners in a National Climate Change Effort:  A Necessary Element for Sustainable Economic Development, 40 Envtl. L. Rep (Envtl. L. Inst.) 10,597 (2010).
  • et al., Developing a Comprehensive Approach to Climate Change Policy in the United States: Integrating Levels of Government and Economic Sectors, 39 Envtl. L. Rep. (Envtl. L. Inst.) 10,711 (2009).
  • National Governance:  Still Stumbling Toward Sustainability, 39 Envtl. L. Rep. (Envtl. L. Inst.) 10,321 (2009).
  • et al., Progress Toward Sustainability:  A Report Card and a Recommended Agenda, 39 Envtl. L. Rep. (Envtl. L. Inst.) 10,275 (2009).
  • Achieving Early and Substantial Greenhouse Gas Reductions Under a Post-Kyoto Agreement, 20 Geo. J. Int’l L. 573 (2008).
  • et al., Federal Climate Change as if the States Matter,  Nat. Resources & Env’t, Winter 2008, at 3.
  • & Seema Kakade, Climate Change Law:  An Introduction, 29 Energy L.J. 1 (2008).
  • et al., Developing a Comprehensive Approach to Climate Change Policy in the United States That Fully Integrates Levels of Government and Economic Sectors, 26 Va. Envtl. L.J. 227 (2008).
  • Harnessing Individual Behavior to Address Climate Change: Options for Congress, 26 Va. Envtl. L.J. 107 (2008).
  • Navigating the U.S. Transition to Sustainability: Matching National Governance Challenges with Appropriate Legal Tools, 44 Tulsa L. Rev. 93 (2008).
  • Overcoming the Behavioral Impetus for Greater U.S. Energy Consumption, 20 Pacific McGeorge Global Bus. Dev. L. J. 15 (2007).
  • & the Widener University Law School Seminar on Energy Efficiency, Stabilizing and Then Reducing U.S. Energy Consumption:  Legal and Policy Tools for Efficiency and Conservation, 38 Envtl. L. Rep. (Envtl. L. Inst.) 10,003 (2007).
  • Targets, Timetables and Effective Implementing Mechanisms:  Necessary Building Blocks for Sustainable Development, 6 Sustainable Dev. L. & Pol’y 46 (2005).
  • Making Sustainable Development Happen:  From Johannesburg to Albany, 8 Alb. L. Envtl. Outlook J. 173  (2004).
  • Toward a Climate Change Strategy for Pennsylvania, 12 Penn St. Envtl. L. Rev. 181 (2004).
  • Citizen Suits and Sustainability, 10 Widener L. Rev. 503 (2004).
  • Toward a National Sustainable Development Strategy,  10 Buff. Envtl. L.J. 69 (2002-2003).
  • & Scott Bernstein, Pursuing Sustainable Communities: Looking Back, Looking Forward. 35 Urb. Law. 495 (2003).
  • Achieving Sustainable Development: The Centrality and Multiple Facets of Integrated Decisionmaking, 10 Ind. J. Global Legal Stud. 247 (2003).
  • Targets, Timetables and Effective Implementing Mechanisms: Necessary Building Blocks for Sustainable Development, 27 Wm. & Mary Envtl. L. & Pol’y Rev. 79 (2002).
  • Sustainable versus Unsustainable Propositions, 53 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 449 (2002).
  • Learning from the President’s Council on Sustainable Development: the Need for a Real National Strategy, 32 Envtl. L. Rep. (Envtl. L. Inst.) 10,648 (2002).
  • Sustainable Development: Now More than Ever, 32 Envtl. L. Rep. (Envtl. L. Inst.) 10,003 (2002).
  • & Doug Koplow, Federal Fossil Fuel Subsidies and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: A Case Study of Increasing Transparency for Fiscal Policy, 26 Ann. Rev. Energy & Env’t. 361 (2001).
  • & the Widener University Law School Seminar on Global Warming, Moving the Climate Change Debate from Models to Proposed Legislation: Lessons from State Experience, 30 Envtl. L. Rep. (Envtl. L. Inst.) 10,933 (2000).
  • Taking the Pennsylvania Constitution Seriously When It Protects the Environment (pts. 1 & 2) 103 Dick. L. Rev. 693 (1999). 104 Dick. L. Rev. 97 (1999).
  • Sustainable Development as a Framework for National Governance, 49 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 1 (1998).
  • Reflections on Comparative Law, Environmental Law, and Sustainability, 3 Widener L. Symp. J. 279 (1998).
  • Pollution Control and Sustainable Industry, 12 Nat. Resources & Env’t 101 (1997).
  • The Unfocused Regulation of Toxic and Hazardous Pollutants, 21 Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. 1 (1997).
  • & the Widener University Law School Seminar on Law and Sustainability, U.S. Adherence to Its Agenda 21 Commitments: A Five-Year Review, 27 Envtl. L. Rep. (Envtl. L. Inst.) 10504 (1997).
  • The Global Environment Facility: Financing the Treaty Obligations of Developing Nations, 23 Envtl. L. Rep. (Envtl. L.Inst.) 10,124 (1993).
  • Industrial Waste: Saving the Worst for Last? 20 Envtl. L. Rep. (Envtl. L. Inst.) 10,283 (1990).
  • Pennsylvania's Implementation of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act: An Assessment of How "Cooperative Federalism" Can Make State Regulatory Programs More Effective, in Symposium on Environmental Law, 19 U. Mich. J.L. Reform 903 (1986).
  • Legislative Note, Metallic Mining and Reclamation in Michigan: Environmental Management as a Gentler Approach, 10 U. Mich. J.L. Reform 323 (1977).
Other
  • Creating Legal Pathways to a Zero Carbon Future Legal and Policy Responses to the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment, in 46 ELR 10780 (2016).
  • & James May, Can Shale Gas Help Accelerate the Transition to Sustainability?, 57 Env’t Sci. & Pol'y for Sustainable Dev. 1 (Jan.-Feb. 2015). 
  • et al., A Response to the IPCC Fifth Assessment, 45 Envtl. L. Rep. (Envtl. L. Inst.) 10027 (2015).
  • et al., The Growing Importance of Sustainability to Lawyers and the ABA, 44 Trends 21 (July/Aug. 2013).
  • & Andrea Ross, The Sustainable Relationship: What the United States and the United Kingdom Can Teach Each Other About Climate Change and Sustainable Development at the National Level, 30 Envtl. F., May-June 2013.
  • et al., Committee on Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems: 2012 Annual Report in Environment, Energy, and Resources Law: The Year in Review 2012 313 (ABA Sec. Env’t, Energy & Resources L. 2013).
  • CSRwire Acting As If Tomorrow Matters: Mapping the Obstacles to Sustainability, CSRwire (Jan. 29, 2013), http://bit.ly/derncsr4.
  • CSRwire Talkback: As If Tomorrow Matters: Accelerating Progress Toward Sustainability, CSRwire (Jan. 8, 2013), http://www.csrwire.com/blog/posts/667-as-if-tomorrow-matters-accelerating-progress-toward-sustainability.
  • CSRwire Talkback: U. S. Sustainability Efforts: Modest Progress but an Increasingly Distant Goal, CSRwire (Jan. 17, 2013), http://www.csrwire.com/blog/posts/681-u-s-sustainability-efforts-modest-progress-but-an-increasingly-distant-goal.
  • CSRwire Talkback: What Motivates Sustainability Efforts in the U.S.?, CSRwire (Jan.22,2013),http://www.csrwire.com/blog/posts/686-what-motivates-sustainability-efforts-in-the-u-s.
  • CSRwire Hitting the Sustainability Accelerator: 51 Sustainability Experts, 4 Approaches, CSRwire (Feb. 5, 2013), http://www.csrwire.com/blog/posts/706-hitting-the-sustainability-accelerator-51-sustainability-experts-4-approaches.
  • Editorial, When Will America, World Make Sustainability a Priority?, Patriot News (Harrisburg,Pa.),June30,2012, http://www.pennlive.com/editorials/index.ssf/2012/06/the_future_we_want_puts_emphas.html.
  • It Takes a Global Sustainability Movement, The News J. (Wilmington, Del.), Sept. 25, 2012, at A11.
  • Sustaining America, 29 Envtl. F. 30 (2012).
  • & Howard S. Dakoff, Perspective on Law Firm Sustainability, 28 Envtl. F. 39 (2011).
  • Can the Battle Against Climate Change Become an Effective Social Movement?, 11 Ethics Sci. & Envtl. Pol. 27 (2011).
  • Legal Education for Sustainability: A Report on U. S. Progress, 5 J. Educ. For Sustainable Dev. 225 (2011).
  • & Joel A. Mintz, Environmental Laws and Sustainability: An Introduction, 3 Sustainability 531 (March 2011), http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/3/3/531/pdf.
  • & Joel A. Mintz, Issue Editors, Environmental Laws and Sustainability Issue, 3 Sustainability 530—561 (March 2011), http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/3/3/.
  • et al., Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems: 2010 Annual Report, in Environment, Energy, and Resources Law: The Year in Review 2010 30 (ABA Section of Env’t., Energy & Resources 2011).
  • et al., Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems:  2009 Annual Report in Environment, Energy, and Resources Law:  The Year in Review 2009 32 (ABA Section of Env’t., Energy & Resources 2010).
  • Editorial, The Demand for Oil: We Must Cut Back, Patriot News (Harrisburg, Pa.), June 24, 2010, at A19.
  • Book Review, 27 Law & Hist. Rev. 230 (2009) (reviewing Kenneth P. Murchison, The Snail Darter Case:  TVA Versus The Endangered Species Act (2007)).
  • Editorial, Sustainable Trends Offer Reason for Hope in Pennsylvania and Nation, Patriot News (Harrisburg, Pa.), March 29, 2009, at F1.
  • Editorial, Smart Use of Resources Makes Good Economic Sense, Patriot News (Harrisburg, Pa.), March 8, 2009, at F1.
  • Editorial, Sustainable America is Achievable in Our Lifetime, Patriot News (Harrisburg, Pa.), March 15, 2009, at F1.
  • et al., Transcript of Panel Discussion, Environmental Law:  The Policy Implications of the Reaction to Climate Change, 33 Wm. & Mary Envtl. L. & Pol’y Rev. 549 (2009).
  • Engaging Individuals in Climate Change Mitigation,  Gov’t L. & Pol’y J., Summer 2008, at 62.
  • et al., A Practical Guide to Legal Writing and Legal Drafting 3d ed.  Teacher’s Manual (Aspen 2007).
  • et al., Sustainable Development, Ecosystems, and Climate Change:  2006 Annual Report, in Env’t Energy and Resources L.:  The Year in Review 121 (2007). 
  • Guest Perspective:  Energy Efficiency and Conservation:  The Most Cost-Effective Approach to
  • Climate Change, Inside Green Business, February 21, 2007 at 14.
  • et al., Committee on Climate Change and Sustainable Development:  2005 Annual Report, in Env’t Energy and Resources L.:  The Year in Review 115 (2006).
  • et al., Committee on Climate Change and Sustainable Development:  2004 Annual Report, in Env’t Energy and Resources L.:  The Year in Review 120 (2005).
  • et al., Committee on Climate Change and Sustainable Development:  2003 Annual Report, in Env’t Energy and Resources L.:  The Year in Review 197 (2004).
  • Introduction, Symposium Facing Climate Change:  Opportunity and Tool for State, 14 Widener L.J. 1 (2004).
  • et al., Committee on Climate Change and Sustainable Development: 2002 Annual Report, in Env’t Energy and Resources L.: The Year in Review 197 (2003).
  • The World Summit:  Did Johannesburg Matter?, Widener Sch. L. Mag., Winter 2002/2003, at 12.
  • et al., Committee on Climate Change and Sustainable
  • Development: 2001 Annual Report, in Env’t. Energy and Resources L.: The Year in Review 220 (2002).
  • et al., Committee on Climate Change and Sustainable Development: 2000 Annual Report, in Env’t Energy and Resources L. 2000: The Year in Review 212 (2001).
  • Why Lawyers Should Care, 19 Envtl. F., July/Aug. 2002, at 30.
  • From Rio to Johannesburg: Implementing Sustainable Development at the Global and Local
  • Scale, Second Nat’l. Conf. Sci., Pol’y Env’t, app. at 46-50 (2001).
  • A Reappraisal of Article I, Section 27, in Fourth Annual Environmental Law Forum, vol. II at I-1 (PBI Publication No. 1999-2067, 1999).
  • et al., Committee on Climate Change and Sustainable Development: 1998 Annual Report, in Nat. Resources, Energy & Envtl. L. 1998: The Year in Review 224 (1999).
  • Refocusing Environmental Regulation, Widener Sch. L. Mag., Spring-Summer 1997, at 2.
  • Taking Eco-Efficiency to a New Level, Envtl. F., Sept.-Oct. 1997 at 13 (reviewing Ernst von Weizsäcker, Amory B. Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins, Factor Four: Doubling Wealth, Halving Resource Use (1997)).
  • Out of Focus, Envtl. F., Nov.-Dec. 1996, at 24.
  • Book Review, Envtl. F., May-June 1996, at 12 (reviewing President’s Council on Sustainable Development, Sustainable America (1996)).
  • et al., Legal Drafting: Teacher’s Manual (Little Brown 1995).
  • et al., A Practical Guide to Legal Writing and Legal Method 2d ed. Teacher's Manual (F. B. Rothman 1994).
  • The Other Ninety-Six Percent, Envtl. F., Jan.-Feb. 1993, at 10.
  • How will DER Implement the New Residual Waste Regulations, in The Environmental Regulators Speak at 484 (PBI Publication No. 1992-681, 1992).
  • Industrial Waste, in Municipal Solid Waste: Disposal Strategies, Environmental Regulation, and Contracts and Financing at 233 (ALI-ABA Course of Study No. C659, 1992).
  • Residual Waste Management: A Quick Guide to Decision-Making, in Pennsylvania's New Waste Management Rules at 26 (PBI Publication No. 1992-748, 1992).
  • Residual Waste, in Pennsylvania's New Waste Management Rules at 1 (PBI Publication No. 1992-748, 1992).
  • Industrial Waste Management, 1992 Proc. of the Second U. S. Conf. Mun. Waste Mgmt. 225 (1992).
  • & Wm. F. Pounds, The Development of an Industrial Waste Regulatory Program, 1991 Proc. Nat’l Solid Waste F. Integrated Mun. Waste Mgmt. 211 (1991).
  • & Stephen M. Socash, Land Application of Sewage Sludge in Pennsylvania, 19 Proc. Nat’l Conf. Mun. Sewage Treatment Plant Sludge Mgmt. 118 (1989).
  • Recycling and Waste Reduction: A Pennsylvania Perspective, in Municipal Solid Waste: Disposal Strategies, Environmental Regulation, and Contracts and Financing at 263 (ALI-ABA Course of Study No. C455, 1989).
  • Planning, Siting, and Flow Control: A Pennsylvania Perspective, in Municipal Solid Waste: Disposal Strategies, Environmental Regulation, and Contracts and Financing at 127 (ALI-ABA Course of Study No. C455, 1989).
  • Municipal Waste, in Environmental Law Update: The Hot Issues at 126 (PBI Publication No. 1988-448, 1988).
  • The Wrongs of Legal Writing, Student Law., October 1987, at 18.
  • & Cathy Curran Myers, The Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act, in Environmental Law Update at 1 (PBI Publication No. 1985-295, 1985).
  • & Thomas Y. Au, Book Review, 11 Ecology L.Q. 731 (1984) (reviewing Wesley A. Magat, Reform of Environmental Regulation (1982).
  • & Thomas Y. Au, Book Review, 10 Ecology L.Q. 193 (1982) (reviewing Bruce A. Ackerman & William T. Hassler, Clean Coal/Dirty Air (1981).

Education

BS, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, summa cum laude
JD, University of Michigan, cum laude

Experience

Director, Office of Policy, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Director, Advanced Science and Research Team, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Assistant Counsel, Special Assistant to the Director, Bureau of Waste Management, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources
Special Assistant, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources
Staff Attorney, American Lung Association of Michigan
Legal Writing Instructor, Wayne State University Law School

Bar Admissions

Pennsylvania
United States Supreme Court

Memberships   

American Bar Association
Pennsylvania Bar Association

Media Coverage

Law360
John Dernbach provided expert commentary on 10/7/16
Pa. Cases Could Pave Clearer Path for Local Fracking Laws

WESA-FM
John Dernbach provided expert commentary on 10/3/16
PA Supreme Court Rules with Environmentalists over Remaining Issues in Act 13

NPR's State Impact
John Dernbach provided expert commentary on 9/29/16
Attorney for PUC says "small cadre" trying to kill gas industry

NPR State Impact
John Dernbach provided expert commentary on 9/1/16
Gas drillers lose case over well permit requirements

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
John Dernbach was quoted on 8/2/16
The kids don't have a clear right

NBCNews
John Dernbach provided expert commentary on 6/4/16
Sustainable Investing Gains Ground in Boardrooms Everywhere

Outside Magazine
John Dernbach provided expert commentary on 5/27/16
The Newest Legal Tool to Fight Climate Change Is as Old as Ancient Rome 

Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN)
John Dernbach was interviewed on 3/30/16 (no link available)

NPR's State Impact
John Dernbach provided expert commentary on 3/9/16
Pa. Supreme Court weighs major gas drilling laws 

The Morning Call
John Dernbach was quoted on 11/26/15
Trash Talk? Two Lehigh Valley landfills say they are fast running out of space

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Power Source
John Dernbach was quoted on 11/26/15
Court to hear case on Pa.'s conservation duty

NPR State Impact
John Dernbach was mentioned on 11/3/15
Supreme Court race could hold the key to future environmental rulings

Environment Magazine
John Dernbach and James May, co-authored article on 02/06/15
Can Shale Gas Help Accelerate the Transition to Sustainability?

Bloomberg Businessweek, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Eagleford Texas
John Dernbach, quoted on Commonwealth Court opinion on Shale wells
A nuanced decision on oil, gas revenue from shale wells (Bloomberg Businessweek on 01/13/15)
A nuanced decision on oil, gas revenue from shale wells (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on 01/13/15)
A nuanced decision on oil, gas revenue from shale wells (Eagleford Texas on 01/13/15)

Daily KOS
John Dernbach, mentioned on 12/31/14
Why are 60 Progressive House Democrats Trying to Reverse 40 Years of Clean Air Act Progress?

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
John Dernbach, announced as a speaker on 10/26/14
Symposium on Jonas Salk focuses on his work in sustainability

The Times-Tribune
John Dernbach, quoted on 09/04/14
Residents beat gas company in Lycoming County zoning case (subscription may be required)

Philadelphia Daily News
John Dernbach, quoted on 08/18/14
Also shredding its Constitution...Pennsylvania

Environment and Energy Publishing
John Dernbach, quoted on 08/18/14
LAW: Enviros push 'public trust' as trump card over oil and gas influence

The Denver Post, The Daily News
John Dernbach, quoted on ordinances and bans related to oil and gas drilling of shale formations
Oil, gas boom taps rush of ordinances and bans across the U.S. (Denver Post on 07/27/14)
Oil, gas boom taps rush of ordinances and bans across the U.S. (Daily News on 07/26/14)

Colorado Public Radio
John Dernbach, quoted on 07/21/14
Explained: The Colo. ballot initiatives that would limit oil and gas development (Dernbach is quoted in the audio clip)

NPR's State Impact
John Dernbach, quoted on 07/17/14
Commonwealth Court throws out several challenges to Act 13, including ‘doctor gag rule’ [UPDATED]

The Patriot-News
John Dernbach, mention of an interview on 07/10/14
Pennsylvania's Environmental Rights Amendment to be spotlighted by panel

Pittsburgh Post Gazette
John Dernbach, quoted on 05/13/14
Appeals court to hear arguments on 4 sections of Act 13

WCAU-TV NBC, San Francisco Chronicle, Lancaster Online, The Patriot-News
John Dernbach, quoted on Franklin Kury
Court Vindicates Ex-Lawmaker's Environmental Work (WCAU-TV NBC on 04/12/14)
Court vindicates ex-lawmaker's environmental work (San Francisco Chronicle on 04/12/14)
Court vindicates ex-lawmaker's environmental work (Lancaster Online on 04/12/14)
A Green Ruling: Franklin Kury and the 40-year fight for clean air and water in Pennsylvania (The Patriot-News on 04/09/14)

Pittsburgh City Paper
John Dernbach, quoted on 03/26/14
Public Trusts: Proposed fracking under Deer Lakes Park could run afoul of state constitution

York Daily Record
John Dernbach, quoted on 03/20/14
Act 13 court battle: What's still at stake?

The Express
John Dernbach, quoted on 03/18/14
What’s still at stake in the Act 13 court battle?

State Impact NPR Blog
John Dernbach, quoted on 03/14/14
What’s still at stake in the Act 13 court battle?

Pennsylvania Cable Network
John C. Dernbach, served as a guest during special program on 01/27/14
Program on Pennsylvania's Act 13, the Marcellus Shale, and the recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court Ruling (no link available)

WITF-FM's Radio Smart Talk
John C. Dernbach, interviewed on 01/21/14
Smart Talk: the PA Supreme Court's shale decision and the quest for affordable artist housing in York(audio available)

The Philadelphia Inquirer
John Dernbach, quoted on 01/12/14
Court decision may have big impact on drilling

The Morning Call
John Dernbach, quoted on 01/06/14
Corbett to state Supreme Court: Undo fracking ruling

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