Rena Steinzor is the Edward M. Robertson Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, and a past president of the Center for Progressive Reform. She is the author of Why Not Jail? Industrial Catastrophes, Corporate Malfeasance, and Government Inaction.
Professor Steinzor has taught an environmental law survey course, seminars in risk assessments and critical issues in environmental law and science, administrative law, contracts, torts and counseling and negotiation. She has written in the areas of (1) regulatory dysfunction in agencies assigned to protect public health, worker and consumer safety, and the environment; (2) the role of centralized White House review on the protectiveness of regulation; (3) environmental federalism, including so-called "unfunded mandates" imposed on state and local governments by the federal government and the impact on public health of devolving authority and responsibility for solving environmental problems; (4) the implications of industry self-regulation on the protection of the environment and human health; (5) "market-based" alternatives to traditional regulation; and (6) political interference with regulatory science.
She is the editor, with Christopher Schroeder, of the CPR-sponsored book A New Progressive Agenda for Public Health and the Environment, published by Carolina Academic Press. She is also the editor, with Wendy Wagner, of the book Rescuing Science from Politics, published by Cambridge University Press in 2006. Her book, Mother Earth and Uncle Sam: How Pollution and Hollow Government Hurt Our Kids was published by the University of Texas Press in December 2007. With Professor Sidney Shapiro of Wake Forest Law School, she co-authored The People’s Agents and the Battle to Protect the American Public: Special Interests, Government, and Threats to Health, Safety, and the Environment published by the University of Chicago Press in 2010.
Professor Steinzor began her legal career in 1976, and entered academia in January 1994. From 1987 through 1993, she was associated - first as "of counsel" and ultimately as the partner in charge of the environmental practice - at Spiegel & McDiarmid, a 45-lawyer, Washington, D.C. firm representing approximately 400 cities, counties, states, and public agencies in the energy, environmental, communications, and transportation fields. The practice counseled federal, state, and municipal clients regarding compliance with federal and state laws and regulations.
Prior to joining Spiegel & McDiarmid, Professor Steinzor served as Staff Counsel, Subcommittee on Commerce, Transportation, and Tourism of the Energy and Commerce Committee, U.S. House of Representatives (James J. Florio, Chairman). She was the primary staff person responsible for legislation that became the "Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986" (Public Law 99-499) and the "Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act" (Public Law 99-519). She also prepared legislation to reauthorize the Toxic Substances Control Act during the 98th Congress.
Professor Steinzor has testified before Congress on several occasions, most recently regarding the impact of health, safety, and environmental regulations on the economy.
Michael Patoka, J.D., joined the Center for Progressive Reform as a Policy Analyst in October 2012. He previously interned with CPR during law school, co-authoring an extensive report on the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) and its politicization of the regulatory process, as well as an article based on the report that was published in The Environmental Forum. As a summer research assistant to CPR President Rena Steinzor, he co-authored a set of comments detailing how OIRA undermined the EPA’s proposal to regulate toxic coal ash and critiquing the cost-benefit analysis that emerged from OIRA’s review.
Mr. Patoka graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) with a B.S. in Computer Science. He received his law degree from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, where he graduated summa cum laude and was awarded the William Strobel Thomas Prize for achieving the highest scholastic average of the Class of 2012. As a student attorney in the law school’s Drug Policy Clinic, he successfully persuaded several large employers to bring their benefits into compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and developed tools to help health care providers identify and pursue parity violations.
Contact information: email 202.747.0698