William W. Buzbee

Professor of Law

Curriculum Vitae




Areas of Expertise

Environmental Law, Administrative Law, Land Use, Legal Methods, Federalism and Devolution, Regulatory Reform


William W. Buzbee is a professor of law, director of the Emory Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, and a director of Emory’s Center on Federalism and Intersystemic Governance. He has been a visiting professor of law at Georgetown, Columbia, Cornell and Illinois law schools, and has served as a professor for the Leiden-Amsterdam-Columbia Law School Summer Program in American Law. Professor Buzbee helped design and launch the Turner Environmental Law Clinic at Emory Law and chairs its advisory board. Professor Buzbee also is a founding Member Scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform, a Washington D.C.-based regulatory think tank. Professor Buzbee was awarded the 2007-2008 Emory Williams Teaching Award for excellence in teaching. He teaches environmental law, administrative law, legislation and regulation, and seminars on environmental, regulatory, and constitutional law subjects.  His most recent seminar explores “The Art of Regulatory War.”

Professor Buzbee's scholarship focuses on environmental law, administrative law and other public law topics, with most of his recent publications focusing on regulatory federalism and design issues. His new book, Fighting Westway: Environmental Law, Citizen Activism, and the Regulatory War that Transformed New York City, is slated for publication during early 2014 by Cornell University Press.  He is also the editor and an author of several chapters in the Cambridge University Press book, Preemption Choice: The Theory, Law and Reality of Federalism’s Core Question (2009), which was republished in paperback form in 2011.  He is a co-author of Environmental Protection: Law and Policy (6th ed. Aspen/Wolters Kluwer 2011), with professors Glicksman, Markell, Mandelker and Bodansky.  Other recent scholarship includes "State Greenhouse Gas Regulation, Federal Climate Change Legislation, and the Preemption Sword," in 1 San Diego Journal of Climate and Energy Law 23 (2010), “Preemption Hard Look Review, Regulatory Interaction, and the Quest for Stewardship and Intergenerational Equity,” in 77 George Washington Law Review 1521 (2009) and “Asymmetrical Regulation: Risk, Preemption, and the Floor/Ceiling Distinction,” in 82 New York University Law Review 1547 (December 2007). Other publications have appeared in University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Stanford Law Review (co-authored), Cornell Law Review (co-authored), Iowa Law Review, The Journal of Law and Politics and in an array of other journals, books, news outlets, and blogs. Three of his articles have been named among the 10 best environmental or land use law articles of that year and republished in the Land Use and Environment Law Review. He regularly assists with appellate and Supreme Court environmental and regulatory litigation, and also has testified before congressional committees on environmental and regulatory matters. Prior to joining Emory’s faculty, Professor Buzbee clerked for United States Judge Jose A. Cabranes, was an attorney-fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council, and did environmental, land use and litigation work for the New York City law firm, Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler.  JD, Columbia Law School, 1986; BA, Amherst College, magna cum laude, 1983.


William W. Buzbee


Preemption Choice: The Theory, Law & Reality of Federalism’s Core Question
(William W. Buzbee, editor and contributor to three chapters) (Cambridge University Press 2009).

Environmental Protection: Law and Policy
(with co-authors Robert Glicksman, David Markell, Daniel Mandelker, Daniel Tarlock). (5th ed. Aspen 2007)

Fighting Westway: The Environment, Citizens, and the Art of Regulatory War (manuscript in progress).

The Story of Laidlaw: Standing and Citizen Enforcement
in ENVIRONMENTAL STORIES 201 (Richard Lazarus and Oliver Houck, editors) (Foundation Press 2005).

Regulatory Underkill in an Era of Anti-Environmental Majorities
in STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS IN AN UNCERTAIN JUDICIAL CLIMATE 141 (Michael Allan Wolf, editor) (Environmental Law Institute 2005) (collecting papers from a University of Florida College of Law and Environmental Law Institute November 2004 conference).

(Carolina Academic Press 2004) (contributing author).

(Robert D. Bullard, Glenn S. Johnson and Angel O. Torres, editors) (Island Press 2000).

Chapters 1 and 2, Nature and Effects of the Brownfields Problem, and Perspectives and Goals of the Parties to the Brownfields Transaction,
in BROWNFIELDS LAW AND PRACTICE (Michael Gerrard, editor) ( Matthew Bender Publisher 1998) (named best law book of 1998 by the Association of American Publishers).



The Scope of Congressional Authority to Protect the Environment
Environmental Protection in the Balance: Citizens, Courts, and the Constitution, February 26, 2010

State Greenhouse Gas Regulation, Federal Climate Change Legislation, and the Preemption Sword
1 San Diego J. of Climate and Energy Law 23 (2010) (expanded version of paper given at 2009 Conference on "Federal Preemption or State Prerogative: California in the Face of National Climate Pollcy").

Clean Air Act Dynamism and Disappointments: Lessons for Climate Legislation to Prompt Innovation and Discourage Inertia
32 Wash. U. J. of Law and Pol'y 33 (2010) (expanded version of paper given at 2009 Symposium on "New Directions in Environmental Law").

Preemption Hard Look Review, Regulatory Interaction, and the Quest for Stewardship and Intergenerational Equity
77 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 1521 (2009).

Adjudicatory Triggers of Enhanced Ambient Environment Information
83 Indiana L. J. 583 (2008) (based paper given at Indiana Law School 2006 conference on “Missing Information: Environmental Data Gaps in Conservation and Chemical Regulation”).

Roundtable Discussion: Access to the Courts after Massachusetts v. EPA: Who Has Been Left Standing?
37 Envtl. Law Reporter 10692 (2007).

Asymmetrical Regulation: Risk, Preemption, and the Floor/Ceiling Distinction
82 NYU Law Review 1547 (2007).

Interaction’s Promise: Preemption Policy Shifts, Risk Regulation, and Experimentalism Lessons
57 Emory L. J. 145 (2007) (based on paper given at 2007 Thrower Symposium on “The New Federalism: Plural Governance in a Decentered World”).

Contextual Environmental Federalism,
14 N.Y.U. Environmental Law Journal 108 (2005) (based on March 2005 paper at N.Y.U. Law School and Environmental Law Journal Symposium on “State Roles in U.S. Environmental Law and Policy”).

The Regulatory Fragmentation Continuum, Westway and the Challenges of Regional Growth,
21 Journal of Law and Politics 323 (2005) (based on January 2005 conference paper at University of Virginia and Journal of Law and Politics symposium on “Local Government Law”).

Unidimensional Federalism: Power and Perspective in Commerce Clause Litigation,
88 Cornell Law Review 1199 (2003) (with co-author Robert A. Schapiro).

Urban Form, Health, and the Law’s Limits,
Vol. 93, Issue 9 American Journal of Public Health 1395 (September 2003) (peer review journal solicited article).

Recognizing the Regulatory Commons: A Theory of Regulatory Gaps,
89 Iowa Law Review 1 ( 2003)

Accountability Conceptions and Federalism Tales: Disney’s Wonderful World?,
100 Michigan Law Review 1290 (2002)(reviewing Richard Foglesong, Married to the Mouse: Walt Disney World and Orlando (Yale University Press 2001).

Legislative Record Review,
54 Stanford Law Review 87 (2001)(with co-author Robert A. Schapiro).

Smart Growth Micro-Incentives and the Tree-Cut Tax Case,
17 Georgia State Law Review 999 (2001)(based on paper delivered at Georgia State Law School’s Annual Law Review Symposium, “Spr’all Come On In,” February 1, 2001).

Standing and the Statutory Universe,
11 Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum 247 (2001) (solicited article for March 2000 symposium on “Citizen Suits and the Future of Standing in the 21st Century: From Lujan to Laidlaw and Beyond”).

The One-Congress Fiction in Statutory Interpretation,
149 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 171 (2000).

Sprawl’s Political-Economy and the Case for a Metropolitan Green Space Initiative,
32 The Urban Lawyer 367 (2000)(published proceedings of January 2000 papers given at AALS Annual Meeting, State and Local Government Section, Panel on “The City in the 21st Century”).

Sprawl’s Dynamics: A Comparative Institutional Analysis Critique,
35 Wake Forest Law Review 509 (2000)(solicited article for symposium on “Smart Growth”).

Urban Sprawl, Federalism and the Problem of Institutional Complexity,
68 Fordham Law Review 57 (October 1999)(selected by Land Use and Environment Law Review and republished in 2000 as one of best ten environmental and land use law articles published during 1998-99).

Expanding the Zone, Tilting the Field: Zone of Interests and Article III Standing After Bennett v. Spear,
49 Admin. L. Rev. 763 (Fall 1997).

Brownfields, Environmental Federalism and Institutional Determinism,
21 Wm. & Mary Envtl. L. & Pol'y Rev. 1 (1997)(symposium issue, by invitation)(selected by Land Use and Environment Law Review as one of best thirty environmental and land use law articles published during 1996-97).

CERCLA's New Safe Harbors for Banks, Lenders and Fiduciaries,
26 Envtl. L. Rep. 10656 (December 1996).

Regulatory Reform or Statutory Muddle: The 'Legislative Mirage' of Single,
5 N.Y.U. Envtl. L. J. 298 (1996)(symposium issue, by invitation).

Remembering Repose: Voluntary Contamination Cleanup Approvals, Incentives and the Costs of Interminable Liability,
80 Minn. L. Rev. 35 (November 1995)(selected by Land Use and Environment Law Review as one of best thirty environmental and land use law articles published during 1995-96).

Parent or Successor Corporation Environmental Liability,
19 Real Estate L. J. 300 (spring 1991) (co-author Mary M. Luria).

Not-for-Profits and the Perils of Donations of Real Estate Contaminated with Hazardous Materials,
The Philanthropy Monthly 5 (March 1991) (co-author Patricia M. Dineen).

Administrative Agency Intracircuit Nonacquiescence,
85 Colum. L. Rev. 582 (April 1985).



Boston Bound: A Comparison of Boston’s Legal Powers with those of Six Other Major American Cities
Cities (report to Boston Foundation written by Gerald Frug and David Barron, with research report contributions on individual cities by Keith Aoki, Richard Briffault, William Buzbee, Richard Thompson Ford, Laurie Reynolds, and Richard Schragger) (2005).

Derailing Regulatory Initiatives: The Tools and Process of Regulatory Underkill
(Center for Progressive Reform white paper report with contributions by William Buzbee, Robert Glicksman, Sidney Shapiro and Karen Sokol) (2004).


William W. Buzbee

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