Jonathan Z. Cannon

  • Blaine T. Phillips Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law Emeritus

Jonathan Cannon, who served as the inaugural director of the Law School’s Program in Law, Communities and the Environment (PLACE), joined the Law School faculty in 1998 from the Environmental Protection Agency, where he served as general counsel (1995-98) and assistant administrator for administration and resources management (1992-95). Prior to his work with the EPA, Cannon was in the private practice of environmental law; served as an adjunct professor at Washington and Lee Law School, where he taught environmental law; and was a lecturer at the Law School. Cannon is the author of the book “Environment in the Balance: The Green Movement and the Supreme Court.” He retired from UVA in May 2021.

Scholarship Profile: Finding a Way Forward on the Environment


  • J.D.
    University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • B.A.
    Williams College


America’s Energy Future: Balancing Renewable Power and Carbon Fuel (White Paper) (with Michael R. Bucy), Miller Center for Public Policy (2009).

Book Chapters

EPA and the Clean Water Act, in Fifty Years at the US Environmental Protection Agency: Progress, Retrenchment, and Opportunities, Rowman and Littlefield, 167–209 (2021).
Judicial Review in the New Age of Deference, in Combating Climate Change With Section 115 of the Clean Air Act: Law and Policy Rationales, Edward Elgar, 101–124 (2020).
The Environmental Other: Finding and Losing Ourselves in Nature, in What Should I Read Next?, University of Virginia Press, 104–107 (2008).
Bargaining, Politics and Law in Environmental Regulation, in Environmental Contracts: Comparative Approaches to Regulatory Innovation in the United States and Europe, Kluwer Law International, 39–70 (2001).

Articles & Reviews

The Sounds of Silence: Cost-Benefit Canons in Entergy Corp. v. Riverkeeper, Inc., 34 Harvard Environmental Law Review 425–460 (2010).
Respecting EPA, 39 Environmental Law Report 10365–10367 (2009).
Over the Life of a Site, Environmental Forum 27 (2008).
A Bargain for Clean Water, 17 NYU Environmental Law Journal 608–637 (2008).
Sustainable Watersheds, 107 Michigan Law Review First Impressions 74–79 (2008).
The Significance of Massachusetts v. EPA, 93 Virginia Law Review in Brief 53–62 (2007).
Words and Worlds: The Supreme Court in Rapanos and Carabell, 25 Virginia Environmental Law Journal 277–310 (2007).
Checking in on the Chesapeake: Some Questions of Design, 40 University of Richmond Law Review 1131–1153 (2006).
Environmentalism and the Supreme Court: A Cultural Analysis, 33 Ecology Law Quarterly 363–441 (2006).
Adaptive Management in Superfund: Thinking like a Contaminated Site, 13 NYU Environmental Law Journal 561–612 (2005).
Presidential Greenspeak: How Presidents Talk about the Environment and What it Means (with Jonathan Riehl), 23 Stanford Environmental Law Journal 195–272 (2004).
EPA and Congress (1994-2000): Who’s Been Yanking Whose Chain?, 31 Environmental Law Report 10942–10956 (2001).
Public Policy and Law since Love Canal, 8 Buffalo Environmental Law Journal 23–249 (2001).
Choices and Institutions in Watershread Management, 25 William & Mary Environmental Law & Policy Review 379–428 (2000).
Superfund Transaction Costs: A Critical Perspective on the Superfund Liability Scheme (with David M. Friedland & WIlliam N. Hedeman), 21 Environmental Law Reporter News & Analysis 10413–10426 (1991).
Rethinking the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act for the 1990s (with Marcia E. Williams), 21 Environmental Law Reporter News & Analysis 10063–10075 (1991).

Op-Eds, Blogs, Shorter Works

Environmental Law Futures, Vibrant Environmental Blog (March 15, 2019).

Current Courses

No courses were found for this instructor.

All Courses

Environmental Ethics (seminar)
Environmental Law
Environmental Lawyering: Principles and Practice
Environmental Liability Litigation (seminar)
Environmental Liability Litigation
Seminar in Ethical Values
Land Use Law




Professor Jon Cannon on "Environment in the Balance"

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