Jody Endres

Talk: Bioenergy, Water, and New Sustainability Paradigms in Agriculture?

JodyEndres.jpgAbstract: Debates surrounding the sustainability of bioenergy have emerged in recent years with regard to water quality and quantity. In the United States, aggressive measures by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to clean-up polluted waterways present valuable incentives for perennial biomass cropping to play a major role in reducing pollution run-off. Water use likely will be a primary concern, particularly where irrigation occurs in areas already under stress from drought and irrigation withdrawals from depleted underground aquifers. In the U.S., these areas primarily lie in the Great Plains. Complex state laws, such as those exemplified in Texas, govern future water competition. Federal laws also overlay water allotment and protection of endangered and threatened species. Sustainability certification for biofuels may be one way to measure and address water quality and quantity impacts.


Bio: Jody Endres is an Assistant Professor of Law in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an affiliate at the University’s Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI). She received her J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law in 2000. Her research focuses on the nexus between agricultural, environmental and energy policies in forming sustainable energy alternatives. Her papers have examined various facets of sustainability policy, including operationalizing sustainability standards from technology and legitimacy perspectives, land use classifications, sustainable contracting theories, the role of law in bioenergy modeling, and whether existing forestry regulations can protect forests in an era of increasing demand from bioenergy. Her current work applies institutional and comparative approaches to building sustainability legal regimes in Brazilian agricultural landscapes, and formulates green development metrics that integrate accounting of economic, environmental and social benefits. Jody teaches courses on Renewable Energy Law, Natural Resources Law, Environmental Law, and Science and Regulatory Policy. She currently chairs the U.S. Biomass Market Access Standards (BMAS) group, a multi-stakeholder effort facilitated by the Universities of Illinois and Tennessee to create sustainability standards and foster more positive messages about the biomass-based sector through outreach.