Anne Shaffer is the Executive Director & Lead Scientist of the Coastal Watershed Institute. I…
William, a Professor Emeritus of Law at the University of Washington, is widely recognized as a founder of and leading expert on U.S. Environmental Law. Instrumental in writing some of the nation’s earliest environmental laws that ushered in the “environmental revolution” of the 1960’s and 70’s, his four volume Treatise on Environmental Law and Hornbook on Environmental Law are still considered foundational texts for law schools nationwide. A dedicated mentor, he has educated thousands of passionate advocates and students at law schools across the country.
In Washington State, William’s work has had a profound impact on water resource issues. Most notably, he acted as lawyer and witness in the “Smelter Cases” of the 1970s and 80s that brought suit against companies spewing pollution into the air across the country. At that time ASARCO’s copper smelter in Tacoma was pumping roughly 186,000 tons of sulfur dioxide into the air every year leading to acid rain burning the leaves of plants and crops across the Puget Sound region, and arsenic, lead, and other heavy metals settling into the soil and sediment across more than 1,000 square miles. Thanks to the work of William and others, the site surrounding the smelter was declared one of the first EPA Superfund sites in 1982 and the smokestack shut down in 1985. William has also represented tribes and activists on numerous occasions, often working alongside CELP’s co-founder, attorney Ralph Johnson, to protect Indigenous fishing rights under the Boldt decision.
11. Professor William H. Rodgers Jr., Water Hero 2016