Ann Powers

  • Professor of Law Emerita


BA, Indiana University
JD, Georgetown University Law Center

Professor Ann Powers is an emerita faculty member of the Elisabeth Haub School of Law’s Center for Global Environmental Legal Studies at Pace University. She assumed emerita status in 2014. She has taught a range of environmental courses, including the law of oceans and coasts, international environmental law, UN diplomacy, and water quality. Her scholarship includes articles on emerging ocean issues, water pollution trading programs, and other subjects. 

Professor Powers has worked with various projects of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), including the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law and the Oceans, Coasts & Coral Reefs Specialist Group of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law. She served on the ABA’s Sustainable Development Task Force and as ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources’ (ABA SEER) Liaison to the IUCN Law Academy, and is the International Council of Environmental Law’s (ICEL) Representative to the UN. 

She has served on many boards and panels, including the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Environmental Law, the Board of Directors of the Environmental Law Institute, the National Research Council’s Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology and the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic. In connection with her work and professional activities, she has testified on numerous occasions before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and state legislatures and commissions. 

Until joining the faculty in 1995 Professor Powers was vice-president and general counsel of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a major regional non-profit environmental organization, where she supervised the Foundation’s legal work and its pollution control advocacy program. She also served as a senior trial attorney in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, handling both civil and criminal cases, and as an assistant United States attorney for the District of Columbia.

Professor Powers is graduate of Indiana University and Georgetown University Law Center. She clerked for the Honorable Thomas A. Flannery, U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia.



Jeffrey Miller, Ann Powers, Nancy Long, Introduction to Environmental Law: Cases and Materials on Water Pollution Control (Environmental Law Inst. 2008)


Emerging Ocean Uses in Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy (Baur et al., eds.; ABA, 2d ed.) (with Odin Smith)

Trade in Fish and Fisheries Products in Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy (Baur et al., eds.; ABA, 2d ed.) (with David K. Schorr)

Amicus Brief

Center for Biological Diversity, Inc. v. BP America Production Co., No. 12-30136 (5th Cir. 2012) (Deepwater Horizon litigation).


Sea Level Rise and Its Impact on Vulnerable States: Four Examples, 73 La. L. Rev. 151 (2012)

Commentary, The Rio+20 Process: Forward Movement for the Environment?, 1Transnt’l Envt’l J. 403 (2012)

The Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Pollution and Activities: Gauging the Tides of Global & Regional Governance, 23 Int’l J. Marine & Coast. L. 423 (2008) (with David VanderZwaag)

The Connecticut Nitrogen Exchange Program, 14 Penn St. Envtl. L. Rev. 195 (2006)

The Current Controversy Regarding TMDLs: Contemporary Perspectives "TMDLs And Pollutant Trading,” 4 Vt. J. Envtl. Law 1 (2003)

Justice Denied? The Adjudication of Extradition Applications, 37 Texas Int’l L. J. 277 (2002)

Gwaltney of Smithfield Revisited, 23 Wm. & Mary Envtl. L. & Policy Rev. 557 (1999)

Reducing Nitrogen Pollution on Long Island Sound: Is There a Place for Pollutant Trading?, 23 Colum. J. Envtl. L. 137 (1998)

Other Publications

Environmental Policy & Law Journal, rapporteur for UN meetings, including Law of the Sea and Commission on Sustainable Development (2010-present)

Contributor, International Environmental Law, International Legal Developments Year in Review: 2012, 47 Int’l Lawyer 435, ABA Section of Int’l Law (2013)

Reflections on Oceans and SIDS, 42 Envt’l Policy & Law Journal 239 (2012)

One Participant’s Diary, Envt’l Policy & Law Journal 140 (2012)

Farming the Ocean, Natural Resources & Environment Journal, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources 45 (Fall 2007) (selected by ABA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division as one of best articles published by ABA, and republished in condensed version, GPSolo 32 (March 2008))

Federal Water Pollution Control Act (1948), in Major Acts of Congress, McMillan Reference USA (2004)

Environmental Citizen Suits at Thirtysomething: A Celebration and Summit, 33 Envtl. L. Rep. 10721, 10729 (2003) (conference remarks) (co-authored)

1997 Air Quality Standards: It's Not Over Yet, The Environmental Manager's Advisor, Oct. 20, 1997, at 3 (with David R. Wooley)

Long Island Sound: A Bibliography of Legal and Related Materials, 14 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 447 (1997) (with Eric S. Andreas)

Environmental Citizen Suits, in Understanding The Clean Water Act, Video for Lawyers Study Materials (A.L.I.-A.B.A. 1995)

Common Ground May Be Bad For The Environment, in The Forum: Is There Common Ground?, Envtl. L. Forum, July/Aug. 1995, at 44

Keep Government Participatory, in The Forum: Lessons Worth Learning, Envtl. L. Forum, Nov./Dec. 1994, at 67

Environmental Law is Alive and Well Outside of the Beltway, in A Guide To Environmental Law In Washington 198 (Envtl. L. Inst. 1990)

What Would You Do If You Were Running EPA?, 18 ENVTL. L. REP. 10243 (Envtl. L. Inst. 1988)

Citizen Suit Outline, in The Clean Water Act, Litigation and Admin. Practice Series (Practicing Law Inst. 1987)

A Layman's Guide to the Takings Issue, in Wetlands Of The Chesapeake: Conference Proceedings (Envtl. L. Inst. 1985)

A Citizen’s View of Gwaltney, 18 Envtl. L. Rep. 10119 (Envtl. L. Inst. 1988)

Selected Lectures

Lessons from Across the Waters, presenter, Stanford Law School Symposium on Emerging Perspectives on the Law, Science, and Policy of Dynamic Marine Conservation 2013

Regional Ocean Planning in the Mid-Atlantic, moderator; concluding panel commentator, Seton Hall Law School Regional Ocean Governance Symposium 2013

What If Plans Were Law, Panelist, Yale Law School, New Directions in Environmental Law 2013

The Clean Water Act @ 40, interactive panel of experts, Harvard Law School and & Natural Resources Defense Council 2012

RIO+20: Initial Observations, Insights, and Collective Impressions, panelist, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources webinar 2012

Teaching the Art of Environmental Diplomacy, presenter, 10th IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Colloquium, Univ. of Maryland 2012

From New Orleans to Nauru: Coasts and the Climate Debate, presenter, Louisiana Law Review’s 2012 Symposium, Coastal Land Loss in the Gulf Coast and Beyond

Old Laws, New Problems: Evolving Strategies for Water Quality, workshop co-leader, Yale Law School, New Directions in Environmental Law, [Re]claiming Accountability 2011

Coastal and Ocean Resources: Protection for the Most Vulnerable States, presenter, 9th Worldwide Colloquium of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law; chair, Governance and Water Management: Water and Ownership (property) Issues panel, South Africa 2011

Rising Waters Don’t Float All Boats: Preserving Marine Rights, presenter, Threatened Island Nations Conference: Legal Implications of Rising Seas and a Changing Climate, Columbia Law School 2011


"Environmental Citizen Suits," in Understanding the Clean Water Act (ALI-ABA 1995).