Publications and Scholarship

CLEANR and CLEANR faculty actively contribute to ongoing debates and inform regulatory decisionmaking through their scholarship and publications. The center's reports, produced in association with its workshop roundtables, address knowledge gaps and issue recommendations to concretely address important and emerging environmental issues.

Faculty Scholarship

Prof. Camacho’s profile page ›
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View Carrie Menkel-Meadow’s profile >
View Michael Robinson-Dorn’s profile >

    Center Publications

  • November 2022
    Linking Housing Costs, Land Use Regulation, and Fair Housing

    This report develops a quality-adjusted measure of housing price increases for five large coastal cities in California: Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose. It notes that in four of these cities lower-income residents generally experience more rapid housing cost increases than higher income residents, that lower-income residents are more likely to be renters who are harmed by cost increases while homeowners benefit, and that since lower-income residents are more likely to be people of color, the relatively high cost increases that they experience result in racial inequities. The report argues that increasing housing supply in lower-density, higher-income neighborhoods by facilitating the development of diverse housing types could help alleviate rapid increases in housing costs in lower-income neighborhoods. Local planners can use the housing price indices developed for this study to assess whether existing regulation promotes housing development in an equitable manner.

  • September 2021
    Six Priority Recommendations for Improving Conservation under the ESA

    This report by CLEANR and the Environmental Policy Innovation Center (EPIC) follows two workshops, hosted in 2019 and 2020, which brought together leading Endangered Species Act (ESA) scholars, advocates, and policymakers in order to first outline a conservation vision for improving the ESA, and then identify and prioritize key recommendations that balance conservation enhancement with political pragmatism. The six priority recommendations offered in the report seek to advance the conservation objectives of the ESA in this century and inform future public dialogue on imperiled species conservation.

    Citation: Alejandro E. Camacho, Melissa L. Kelly & Ya-Wei Li, Six Priority Recommendations for Improving Conservation under the ESA, 51 Envtl. L. Rep. 10785 (2021).

    Original Report >

  • September 2021
    Tap into Resilience: Pathways for Localized Water Infrastructure

    This report focuses on the considerable and largely overlooked opportunities presented by localized water infrastructure (LWI)—distributed systems that extend beyond centralized water infrastructure and are located at or near the point of use. Building on a 2019 dialogue hosted by CLEANR and WaterNow Alliance, the report makes nine recommendations and identifies roughly two dozen achievable, practical action items to overcome the financing, institutional, and legal and policy barriers to largescale adoption of LWI. These recommendations and action items set a foundation for expanding access to and understanding of LWI in an effort to catalyze and accelerate the shift towards sustainable, climate resilient, affordable, and equitable water solutions.

    Executive Summary >
    Abridged Report >

  • January 2021
    Safeguarding Against Distortions of Scientific Research in Federal Policymaking

    This comment expands upon the recommendations CLEANR and UCS proposed in their September 2020 factsheet, Conflicts of Interest at Federal Agencies: Recommendations for 2021 and Beyond. It offers conflict-of-interest recommendations for political leaders, agency career staff, and Congress intended to improve disclosure and management policies surrounding political appointments, federal advisory committees, and the scientific peer review process. Its recommendations also aim to enhance oversight and enforcement to protect against such conflicts in the future.

  • September 2020
    Conflicts of Interest at Federal Agencies

    This factsheet, produced by CLEANR and the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), addresses the ways in which conflicts of interest at federal agencies compromise the role of science in informing environmental policy.  Following a 2019 roundtable convened by CLEANR and UCS, the factsheet offers a broad set of recommendations to the President and Administration to protect scientific research from political, ideological, and financial influences, and to preserve its integrity as a policymaking tool.

  • report cover image

    April 2019
    Mitigating Climate Change Through Transportation and Land Use Policy

    A number of U.S. state and local governments have adopted strategies for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation and land development. Although some have made significant progress in reducing GHG emissions from the power sector, transportation emissions in most states continue to rise. This Article, produced following an October 2018 roundtable hosted by CLEANR, details the range of existing and proposed state interventions to reduce transportation-sector GHG emissions, analyzes the trade offs of these strategies, and offers recommendations to improve and supplement such initiatives, including strategic use of planning mandates and funding and technical assistance. Additionally, regulating land use, shifting transportation spending, removing barriers to implementing road pricing policies, and altering standards for environmental impact analysis can more effectively reduce transportation-sector GHG emissions and mitigate climate change.

    Citation: Alejandro E. Camacho, Melissa L. Kelly, Nicholas J. Marantz & Gabriel Weil, Mitigating Climate Change Through Transportation and Land Use Policy, 49 Envtl. L. Rep. 10473 (2019).

  • MPA report cover

    April 2018
    Opportunities for Improving Water Quality and Ecosystem Health in California's Marine Managed Areas

    This report is the product of two CLEANR dialogues on Marine Managed Areas (MMAs)—a June 2016 scoping session and a January 2017 plenary roundtable. Based on stakeholder contributions from those dialogues, as well as additional research and interviews, the report explores the current framework for managing coastal water quality and monitoring in MMAs and identifies challenges to and opportunities for enhanced coordination and improved management. Although the report does identify more fundamental legislative changes that might ultimately be needed to protect marine water quality in the long-term, it concentrates on more viable, concrete near-term strategies to: I) enhance MMA water quality through other existing regulatory programs, II) improve water quality monitoring and data access, and III) offset resource constraints on programs protecting marine water quality.

    Citation: Elizabeth Taylor, Stephanie Talavera & Alejandro E. Camacho, Improving Water Quality and Ecosystem Health in California's Marine Managed Areas, 48 Envtl. L. Rep. 10818 (2018).
    Abridged Report >

  • Arctic summary cover

    January 2018
    Roundtable Summary: Legal Strategies to Address Climate Change in the Arctic

    This document is a summary of the themes and topics discussed at an October 2017 CLEANR Roundtable which brought together legal professionals and other experts to discuss their experiences and examine various legal strategies to address climate change and its consequences for communities and wildlife in the U.S. and Canadian Arctic. Particular topics addressed in this summary include: I) identifying and reconciling adaptive management priorities, II) ensuring equity and accountability, III) affirming sovereignty and self-determination, and IV) establishing trust and forming partnerships. The document also identifies several areas recognized by Roundtable participants as deserving of further analysis and/or action.

  • October 2017
    Assessing State Laws and Resources for Endangered Species Protection

    This report provides a detailed analysis of state endangered species laws and funding to implement the federal Endangered Species Act. The study compares state endangered species protections against the federal law in terms of: existing statutes, the extent of species covered, standards and provisions for listing species, authority for recovering planning, designation of critical habitats, substantive and land-use restrictions, consultation for public action, and habitat modification. The report concludes that without significant state law reforms and massive expansions of funding in most states, devolution of federal authority and responsibility over threatened and endangered species to states is likely to undermine conservation and recovery efforts, lead to a greater number of species becoming imperiled, and result in fewer species recovered.

    Citation: Alejandro E. Camacho, Michael Robinson-Dorn, Asena Cansu Yildiz & Tara Teegarden, Assessing State Laws and Resources for Endangered Species Protection, 47 Envtl. L. Rep. 10837 (2017).

    See this app from Defenders of Wildlife to evaluate each state's endangered species protections

  • September 2016
    Advancing Ecosystem-Based Marine Management in the Arctic: Recommendations to the Arctic Council Task Force on Arctic Marine Cooperation

    This report follows from CLEANR’s Arctic II Roundtable, reflecting participants’ recommendations for the Arctic Council Task Force on Arctic Marine Cooperation to advance Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) in Arctic marine governance. The report emphasizes the importance of EBM—the place-based, comprehensive assessment and management of ecosystem impacts, including those from human activity—in maintaining ecological integrity in large marine ecosystems of the Arctic. The report evaluates its current state of implementation, identifying gaps and opportunities for enhanced cooperation, and proposes means of further analysis, collaboration, and data sharing between organizations within and beyond the region.

  • February 2016
    Emerging Regulatory Experiments in Permit Process Coordination for Endangered Species and Aquatic Resources in California

    CLEANR conducted extensive interviews, research, roundtables, and dialogue sessions to evaluate a range of efforts to coordinate proposed California Habitat Conservation Plans/ Natural Community Conservation Plans with freshwater aquatic resource permits under federal and state laws. The Center shares its findings and makes some suggestions going forward in this Article, published in the February 2016 issue of the Environmental Law Reporter.

    Citation: Alejandro E. Camacho, Elizabeth M. Taylor, Melissa L. Kelly & Stephanie L. Talavera, Emerging Regulatory Experiments in Permit Process Coordination for Endangered Species and Aquatic Resources in California, 46 Envtl. L. Rep. 10131 (2016).

  • March 2015
    Lessons from Area-wide, Multi-agency Habitat Conservation Plans in California

    This report is the product of extensive research, interviews, and intensive collaborative dialogues co-convened with the Center for Collaboration in Governance as part of CLEANR's innovative Workshop Roundtable series. As some of the first experiments in inter-governmental conservation planning, area-wide, multi-agency Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) exemplify the key challenges of promoting effective and comprehensive conservation governance. The report identifies four topics about which area-wide, multi-agency HCPs provide particularly valuable insights for the many emerging federal and state innovations in conservation.

    Citation: Alejandro E. Camacho, Elizabeth M. Taylor & Melissa L. Kelly, Lessons from Area-Wide, Multi-Agency Habitat Conservation Plans in California, 46 Envtl. L. Rep. 10222 (2015). Abridged Report >