Professor Patrick A. Parenteau, formerly director of Vermont Law School's Environmental Law Center and of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, is recognized for his expertise regarding endangered species and biological diversity, water quality and wetlands, environmental policy and litigation, and climate change. The courses he currently teaches at Vermont Law School include Climate Change and the Law, Extinction and Climate Change, Water Quality and Environmental Litigation.
Professor Parenteau received his BS degree in business administration from Regis College in 1969 and his JD degree from Creighton University in 1972. He served as staff counsel for the Legal Aid Society of Omaha, Nebraska, and then earned his LLM degree from George Washington University in 1975. From 1976 to 1984, he held three positions with the National Wildlife Federation in Washington, DC: counsel, director of the resources defense division, and vice president for conservation. During this period, he also served as an adjunct professor at Vermont Law School, at George Washington University, and at the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College. From 1984 to 1987, he served as regional counsel for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region I, in Boston. Professor Parenteau served as commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation from 1987 to 1989. From 1989 to 1993 he was of counsel to the firm of Perkins Coie in Portland, Oregon. During that time he served as special counsel to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the spotted owl exemption proceedings under the Endangered Species Act. In 1993, he returned to Vermont to assume the directorship of the Environmental Law Center, a position he held through 1998. In 2003, he helped found and directed the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at VLS, where he now serves as senior counsel. Professor Parenteau has lectured on environmental issues in the Czech Republic, Cuba, Russia, China, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico. Professor Parenteau is the recipient of the 2006 National Conservation Achievement Award in the Legislative division, presented by the National Wildlife Federation.
"A Bright Line Mistake: How EPA Bungled the Clean Water Rule,” 46 Environmental Law 379 (2016) .
Carbon Trading in China, (with Mingde Cao) 46 ELR 10194, March 2016.
"The Pebble Mine Veto: Saving the Last Wild Salmon Runs," National Wetland Newsletter, March/April 2015.
A Bum Rap for Vermont's Endangered Species Act, The Vermont Bar Journal and Law Digest (October, 1995)
ClimateChange in the Marine Environment (lead author), in Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy 2d Ed. (ABA 2015).
Go Back it's a Trap: On the Perils of Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide, in The Climate Reader Carolina Press 2010
Keynote address, "Just Say No: Reducing Nutrient Pollution to Chesapeake Bay," sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Annapolis, MD, April 22, 2016.
Webinar presentation, “Waters of the U.S. Rule," Environmental Law Symposium: Waters of the United States, Lewis and Clark Law School, April 8, 2016.
Presentation, Law and Governance in the Anthropocene, April 8, 2016.
Presentation, “Ending the War on Wildlife: Reforming the Wildlife Services Agency within the US Department of Agriculture," Massachusetts School of Liberal Arts, March 31, 2016.
Keynote Address, "The Post Scalia Era of Environmental Law," 17th Annual Northeast Florida Environmental Summit, Florida Coastal Law School, February 25, 2016.
Keynote address, “Climate Change in the Caribbean” Climate Change in the Caribbean 2015: Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, San Juan, Puerto Rico, November 18, 2015.
The Clean Power Plan: Legal and Moral Imperative for Action, 40th annual conference of the National Association of Environmental Professionals, Panelist, April 14, 2015.
What's in a Name? The Bush Administration's Environmental Record, The Society for Environmental Journalists 15th Annual Conference, Austin, TX (September 2005)
"Forestry Law," Presentation to the Duma of the Republic of Karelia, Russia, 1999.
Awards & Accomplishments
Awards, Honors or Grants
Connecticut River Conservation Council, River Champion (2009)
National Wildlife Federation, National Conservation Achievement Award (2006)
Commissioner, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, 1987–89.
Helped build strong advocacy program, National Wildlife Federation.
Administered environmental programs for state and federal agencies.
Developed legal theories to expand protection for wetlands and endangered species.
Drafted and helped enact many environmental laws at federal and state level.
Taught and mentored hundreds of students and young lawyers.
Vice-President for Conservation, National Wildlife Federation, Washington, DC, 1976–84.
Other Accomplishments or Activities
Director of Vermont Law School's Environmental Law Center 1993-1999.
Director of Vermont Law School's Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic (ENRLC) 2003–07.
Currently serves as senior counsel to the ENRLC.
Admitted to practice in Nebraska, Oregon, District of Columbia, Second Circuit and US Supreme Court.
Member, American Bar Association, Society of Conservation Biologists
Board Member, Climate Law Institute