Lisa Jordan, Director of Tulane's nationally-recognized Environmental Law Clinic, has been appointed to serve on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, an independent advisory board to the EPA.
Jordan has been part of the Clinic for over 20 years; during that time, she has supervised students as they represent clients who not only face harms from pollution but also lack access to representation before the governmental agencies and courts that provide oversight.
Since becoming Clinic Director in 2017, Jordan and her students’ representation has focused on Louisiana communities disproportionately impacted by industrial pollution.
Her appointment at the NEJAC came through a national selection process and she represents the academic sector. The agency is a federal advisory committee to the EPA that provides independent advice and recommendations on broad, cross-cutting issues related to environmental justice. The council’s efforts include evaluating a range of strategic, scientific, technological, regulatory, community engagement and economic issues related to environmental justice.
Jordan joined the Tulane clinic in 1996 and was the lead attorney of a team in the mid-90s to represent a grassroots citizen group and their regional and national partners in opposing permits to Shintech Corporation for a massive polyvinyl chloride plant proposed for Convent, La., a town in the middle of Louisiana’s Cancer Alley.
The Clinic’s representation of these groups in the face of massive political and financial resistance and interference led to them being named runner-up for the National Law Journal’s Lawyer of the Year award. Today, Jordan continues this important work for clients across Louisiana and other areas, as well as clients fighting to protect invaluable natural resources such as the Atchafalaya Basin.
Most recently, the Clinic, under Jordan’s leadership, won a case before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that the U.S. Corps of Engineers must conduct a comprehensive environmental review of a project in St. Tammany Parish to address the cumulative environmental impacts to the communities surrounding the development.
Before joining Tulane’s clinic, Jordan practiced criminal law as an assistant district attorney in Orleans Parish.