Jessica C. Landman, J.D.
Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation
...Ms. Jessica Landman, J.D. Senior Counsel, Science and Policy
...Jessica Landman is an environmental attorney specializing in water and coastal policy and legislation.She currently is senior Counsel for Science and Policy at COMPASS, a partnership between academic scientists, SeaWeb, and the Center for the Future of the Oceans at Monterey Bay Aquarium.COMPASS
' mission is to assist leading marine conservation scientists in bringing their research findings to the media, their fellow scientists, and opinion leaders.Landman
works with the scientists and the policy makers to open new lines of communication between them, and to create new forums for cutting edge research findings to be presented. Before moving to COMPASS, Jessica Landman spent several years as a Senior Counselor with Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in Washington, DC., where her work focused on the Clean Water Act and issues of water pollution prevention and control.She also served as Director of Publications for the Pew Oceans Commission. Before joining NRDC, she was a legislative aide to a member of Congress and served in the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Landman
has co-authored and edited several books and numerous papers on the Clean Water Act, polluted runoff, and coastal water pollution issues, and has frequently testified before the U.S. Congress
on pending legislation and on the effectiveness of current federal law.She also served for six years as co-chair of the Clean Water Network, a nationwide alliance of over 1000 citizens' organizations dedicated to effective implementation and enforcement of the nation's water pollution laws.
Pew Fellowship Project Under her
Pew Fellowship, Jessica Landman
used legal techniques to exert pressure on two industrial plants that were releasing large amounts of toxic wastewater into Florida's fragile waterways and ecosystems.Landman's goal was to use non-traditional negotiations as well as state and federal legal procedures to ensure that stringent pollution limits required under the Clean Water Act (CWA) would be put in place and enforced.
In the first case, Landman
used an innovative approach-negotiating directly with the polluting company, with the goal of achieving a positive outcome while avoiding expensive and time-consuming litigation.Buckeye Cellulose operates a pulp manufacturing plant in Perry, Florida.This facility produces fluff pulp, used in diapers, and dissolving pulp, used in products such as tire cord, automobile filters, and casings for meat products.The facility had been violating the CWA for many years by discharging toxics (including dioxins) and excess nutrients directly into the Fenholloway River, resulting in severe pollution of the River and the Gulf of Mexico.Buckeye had requested a permit to build a 17-mile-long pipeline that would simply have redirected the plant's wastewater directly to the Gulf of Mexico as a means for avoiding water quality standards violations in the River.
Facing a Clinton-era EPA veto of its proposed state permit for the discharge, Buckeye was persuaded by Jessica Landman
and the Florida Clean Water Network
to begin active negotiations with environmental organizations, the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), and the state of Florida's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).Buckeye signed an agreement to explore other ways to reduce the toxicity and quantity of wastewater (an approach called pollution prevention).Unfortunately, after several years of data collection, research and negotiations, Buckeye's representatives ultimately refused to implement any changes voluntarily.
Landman and NRDC's partners then began a campaign exerting strong public pressure on EPA
and Florida DEP to force Buckeye into compliance with the law.But the change in administration in Washington led to a weakening of EPA's position, and in 2004 the DEP and EPA
agreed to accept the once-rejected proposal for a pipeline-this time with even weaker controls on the mill's discharges.At the end of 2005, the new Buckeye permit proposal was pending and the Clean Water Network
, Landman's collaborator, had initiated another round of administrative challenges to the proposed pipeline. The second part of Jessica Landman's
fellowship project involved mounting a more traditional legal challenge to another major pulp mill polluter, Georgia Pacific (GP).The corporation had applied for a state permit to build a pipeline into the St. Johns River, a slow-moving tidal estuary that already has significant water quality problems.The proposed permit would authorize GP to discharge up to 60 million of gallons of toxic wastewater per day through a 4-foot-diameter pipeline into the river, in the middle of a bass tournament fishing ground.Landman
represented the environmental and residents' organizations seeking to prevent authorization of the discharge permit.This case was hindered throughout by what she
described as "the extreme bias of the Administrative Law Judge and the intransigence of the corporate polluter and the State of Florida."The DEP
ultimately issued the discharge permit, and the state courts denied the environmental groups' appeal.Undeterred by this setback, Landman
partners continued their struggle in other forums.
The extent of Florida's disregard for water pollution laws unveiled by these permit challenges ultimately led Landman
partners to file an administrative petition and a federal lawsuit against EPA
for failing to withdraw Florida's legal authority to run the state's CWA permitting program.Meanwhile, three other suits over DEP's
and EPA's failure to implement and enforce the Clean Water Act in Florida, in which Landman
played a supporting role, have resulted in landmark victories.