Joel A. Mintz is a Professor Emeritus of Law and C. William Trout Senior Fellow in Public Interest Law at Nova Southeastern University Law Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and is a member of the Board of Directors at the Center for Progressive Reform.
For more than 30 years, Professor Mintz has taught a variety of substantive and clinical environmental law courses, including offerings on the federal law of pollution control, comparative environmental law, environmental aspects of land use planning, and other subjects. He has written extensively on environmental enforcement, the Superfund program, growth management, sustainable development, and certain international environmental agreements.
Professor Mintz co-founded Nova Southeastern Law Center’s in-house Environmental and Land Use Law Clinic, which provides representation to environmental citizens groups and neighborhood organizations in matters that concern implementation of the Florida Growth Management Act and protection of the Everglades and the Florida Keys. He has testified as a legal expert witness in judicial and administrative proceedings, and has given numerous presentations on environmental topics at gatherings of professional and trade associations and on radio and television public affairs broadcasts.
Professor Mintz serves on the board of directors of the Everglades Law Center, Inc., a not-for-profit environmental public interest law firm based in South Florida. He chairs that firm’s Litigation Screening Committee.
Mintz is an elected member of the Environmental Law Commission of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and of the International Council on Environmental Law, and he is a member of the Environmental Law Institute, the American Society of Writers on Legal Subjects, and other professional, environmental, bar and civic organizations. He is a member of the executive committee of the Section on State and Local Government Law of the Association of American Law Schools, whose Section newsletter he has edited annually since 1991. He has also served on the Committee on Source Removal of Contaminants in the Subsurface of the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council.
In the early and mid-1970’s, on a pro-bono basis, Professor Mintz lobbied successfully for the passage of the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. In recognition of those voluntary efforts, President Carter invited him to attend the White House ceremony at which that statute was formally signed into law.
Prior to becoming a professor at Nova Southeastern, Professor Mintz worked for six years as an enforcement attorney and supervisory attorney with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago and Washington, D.C. He handled or supervised numerous complex cases involving air, water, and hazardous waste/groundwater pollution from such varied industries as iron and steel, electric utilities, petroleum, pulp and paper, portland cement, and rubber manufacturing. Mintz was the lead attorney on the first EPA criminal contempt case brought in a U.S. District Court to redress a knowing violation of a signed Consent Decree; and he served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Wisconsin with respect to a precedent-setting Grand Jury investigation into criminal violations of the Clean Water Act. In recognition of his EPA enforcement work, he received EPA’s Special Service Award as well as its Bronze Medal for Commendable Service.
Professor Mintz also worked (more briefly) as a law clerk with both the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Public Education Association, and as an editor for West Publishing Company (now West Group, Inc.) in New York.
Professor Mintz has published extensively in the fields of environmental law and state and local taxation and finance. He authored a critically acclaimed history of EPA’s enforcement programs, Enforcement at the EPA: High Stakes and Hard Choices (University of Texas Press, 1995), and a well received treatise on the potential liabilities of subnational governments under federal environmental laws, State and Local Government Environmental Liability (West Group, Inc., 1994), which he has updated on an annual basis.Mintz also co-authored an introductory casebook on environmental law (published in 2000 by Lexis-Nexis, Inc.), Environmental Enforcement: Cases and Materials, (with CPR Member Scholar Clifford Rechtschaffen and Robert Kuehn, Carolina Academic Press, 2007), and State and Local Taxation and Finance in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition (with Gelfand and Salsich, West Group, Inc., 2007).
In addition, Professor Mintz has written several book chapters and contributions, and he is the author of numerous law review articles that have appeared in journals published at Harvard, Yale, Virginia, Georgetown, Columbia and other well known law schools. His journal articles have repeatedly been considered to be among the 30 best articles of the year in the environmental law field by peer reviewers.
Professor Mintz has consulted, on an informal basis, with officials of the EPA with regard to environmental issues and policy matters. He has peer reviewed the written work of other academics in several disciplines. His name appears on a list, compiled by the U.S. Department of State, of potential speakers at U.S. embassies and consulates with respect to environmental issues.