Few attorneys did more to harness the power of the law to protect the environment than former longtime NJPIRG director and legal counsel Ed Lloyd, who passed away on August 5.
In 1983 alone, when he was a senior attorney at NJPIRG, Ed and his team filed 15 groundbreaking cases under the citizen enforcement provision of the Clean Water Act. The suits alleged that companies, including Monsanto, had illegally exceeded their permits for discharges of wastes into the Delaware River and other waterways. NJPIRG’s research found that state officials had done little to deter the polluters. Curbing the pollution required coupling the power of the law and citizen action.
Over the next decade, under Ed’s leadership, the number of successful NJPIRG citizen suits filed to enforce the Clean Water Act would rise to 53, including cases against Exxon, Chevron and Georgia-Pacific. In each case, court rulings or settlements among the parties resulted in a stop to illegal pollution and a payment of penalties — totaling $32 million, much of which funded local environmental projects.
These cases included the first citizen suit under the Clean Water Act to result in a summary judgment (the Monsanto case), the first to uphold the constitutionality of the citizen suit provision of the Clean Water Act (Monsanto again), the first to win a preliminary injunction against further violations (a case against Top Notch Metal Finishing), and the first cases to impose the maximum penalty of $10,000 per violation (the Monsanto, Hercules and Powell Duffryn Terminals cases).
NJPIRG won more of these cases than any other citizen group in the country. It proved that the citizen enforcement model worked. And it would soon be replicated across the country, thanks to PIRG founding in 1990 the National Environmental Law Center (NELC), where Ed was one of the original attorneys.
Ed’s work on environmental protection predated NJPIRG’s clean water lawsuits. He served as NJPIRG’s executive director from 1974-1983, during which time the organization pioneered the Streamwalkers Project. College student volunteers would hop into canoes and don hipwaders to identify and report illegal sources of pollution on waterways across the state.
He also ran the Rutgers University Environmental Law Center, served as a clinical professor of environmental law at Columbia University, founded the Eastern Environmental Law Center, was a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Environmental Litigation, was a board member of The Fund for New Jersey, and was an outspoken advocate for conservation on the state’s Pinelands Commission. He earned numerous awards, including the PIRG Alumni Achievement Award, in recognition of his work.
His contributions to NJPIRG not only resulted in a cleaner, healthier New Jersey, but also helped lay the foundation for Environment New Jersey (which became the new home of NJPIRG’s environmental work in 2003 ) and NELC, which has utilized provisions of the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act to protect the public in dozens of legal actions.
Ed did a world of good for people and the environment, and was also a great human being. The environmental movement needs more Ed Lloyds.
Ed is survived by his wife, Janine Bauer, also a PIRG alum and formidable advocate and activist in her own right, and their two children.
President and Executive Director, The Public Interest Network
Doug is President and Executive Director of The Public Interest Network. As director of MASSPIRG starting in 1979, he conceived and helped organize the Fund for the Public Interest, U.S. PIRG, National Environmental Law Center, Green Century Capital Management, Green Corps and Environment America, among other groups. Doug ran the public interest careers program at the Harvard Law School from 1976-1986. He is a graduate of Colorado State University and the Harvard Law School.