Clinic Students Visit Historic Dam That They Seek to Protect

Clinic students Sarah Peterson (JD ’15) and Albert Teng (JD ’15) started their academic year seeing the real world impact of their work. First, they attended oral arguments in the case of United States Department of the Interior v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission before the First Circuit Court of Appeals (No. 13-2439). Second, the Clinic team traveled to Lowell, Massachusetts to visit the dam that was the subject of the case.

Last semester, working with Clinic Director Wendy Jacobs and Clinical Instructor Aladdine Joroff, Sarah and Albert submitted an amicus brief in the case on behalf of nonprofit organizations regarding historic preservation issues relating to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) decision to amend the license for a hydroelectric project that impacts the Pawtucket Dam in the Lowell National Historical Park. Lowell’s history as the first large-scale planned industrial city in the United States, powered by its hydropower system, is protected by the Lowell National Historical Park Act (the “Lowell Act”). In its brief, the Clinic argued that the project approved by FERC would adversely affect the Pawtucket Dam, a historic resource of the Park, in a manner that contravenes the Lowell Act’s prohibition of adverse effects on the Park’s resources.

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