Brent Newell

Legal Director
Oakland


bnewell bio 2014Brent leads CRPE's dynamic and talented team of attorneys while collaborating with our community organizers to deliver CRPE's unique style of environmental justice advocacy where we are on tap and not on top. Brent has over 13 years of environmental justice litigation and policy experience on air quality, climate change, factory farm, and civil rights issues and has served as CRPE's legal director since 2008.

Brent started accumulating this experience as a CRPE legal intern while in law school. During that summer in 1998, he helped CRPE embark on a multi-year campaign to regulate factory farm dairies. After graduation, Brent joined CRPE as an Equal Justice Fellow in our Delano office and implemented a project to help rural communities protect themselves from unregulated factory farm air pollution. By the end of 2003, Brent had founded the San Joaquin Valley Air Quality Project – which led to him earning the Breathe California Clean Air Award for Leadership in 2008 - and led a coalition of allies that ended California's agricultural exemption for air pollution regulations.

Brent's Clean Air Act experience includes a series of cases over ten years in which he forced California to adopt regulations to reduce volatile organic compound emissions from pesticide use and held factory dairy farms accountable for Clean Air Act violations. More recently, Brent has focused on CRPE's climate justice work, including representing the Native Village of Kivalina in its effort to hold major greenhouse gas emitters accountable in Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil and secure funding for relocating the Village. Brent is also a member of the National Title VI Alliance and leads CRPE's effort to compel the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to protect environmental justice communities by enforcing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits racial discrimination by recipients of federal funding.

Brent serves on the steering committee of the Animal Agriculture Reform Collaborative and the Ralph Santiago Abascal Fellowship Committee.

A lifelong Californian, Brent graduated from Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa, earned a degree in economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1992, and got his J.D. at the University of Oregon School of Law. Brent lives in Sonoma County where he grew up.

 
Contact Information
Phone: 415-346-4179 ext. 304
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Twitter:  @brentjnewell