Norman Williams Lecture with John Nolon

4 Apr 2019

Norman Williams Lecture with John Nolon

5:30pm - 7:00pm

Chase Center

Calming Troubled Waters: Local Solutions

In the 19th Century, the law struggled to regulate water “because the causes which govern and direct [its] movements are so secret, occult and concealed.” Frazier v. Brown (Ohio, 1891) Today, when science has revealed the secrets of hydrology, the law remains “occult.” Federal jurisdiction over water is incomplete; the promise of the states’ police power is unfulfilled, and local governments lack the capacity to use their extensive land use authority to protect their citizens. If these systems of law were coordinated, the legal system could be as interconnected as the hydrological cycle. Professor Nolon’s lecture explores the local foundations of a comprehensive regime of water law, building from the bottom-up to integrate the legal authority and resources of local, state and federal governments. This regime serves as a model for dealing with the catastrophe that is climate change and the imperative that the law evolve to meet the challenges of society.

John R. Nolon is Distinguished Professor of Law at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University where he teaches property, land use, and sustainable development law courses and is Counsel to the Law School's Land Use Law Center which he founded in 1993. He served as Adjunct Professor of land use law and policy at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies from 2001-2016.

This lecture is free and open to the public.

Questions? Concerns? Contact Environmental Law Center at