Mizzou Engineer provides expertise for paper in Ecology Law Quarterly

September 29, 2021


An interdisciplinary team recently published a comprehensive review of the Clean Water Act in Ecology Law Quarterly. From left, lead author Robin Rotman, assistant professor of energy and environmental law and policy in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; Kate Trauth, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering; and Ashley Hollis, an environmental studies graduate.

A Mizzou Engineer provided expertise on water management in a paper published in this month’s Ecology Law Quarterly.

Kate Trauth, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, worked with lead author Robin Rotman, assistant professor of energy and environmental law and policy in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) and Ashley Hollis, an environmental studies student who is now in law school.

The paper provides an extensive history of water quality regulation in the United States, including the Clean Water Act, and discusses contemporary legal and political challenges related to the scope of the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority under the Act.

Rotman said she recruited Trauth for the project because of Trauth’s experience in nonpoint source pollution control.

“We had a thorough legal analysis, and I asked Kate to join us to provide a forward-looking perspective on both technical and regulatory solutions,” Rotman said. “It ended up being a great collaboration between CAFNR and engineering on issues around water resources.”

In the paper, authors propose a comprehensive framework for regulating pollution under the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, and set forth recommendations for legislative and regulatory reform. The paper also provides guidelines and tools that local governments and groups can use to mitigate pollution under existing laws.

“We’re trying to provide some of the underpinnings to allow people to engage with their communities and have larger conversations around how we manage our water resources,” Trauth said.

Ecology Law Quarterly, published by UC Berkeley Law School, is one of the oldest and most prestigious journals publishing environmental law scholarship.

“This is a great example of how engineering crosses over into every other field,” Trauth said. “As engineers, it’s important to use our skills to help solve real-world problems such as ensuring safe public drinking water.”