Noah M. Sachs

Professor of Law
Director, Robert R. Merhige Jr. Center for Environmental Studies


Professor Noah Sachs is Director of the Law School's Robert R. Merhige, Jr. Center for Environmental Studies and teaches and writes in the areas of environmental law, torts, and administrative law. His scholarship, which focuses on climate change, toxic substance and hazardous waste regulation, and transboundary pollution, has appeared in the UCLA Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, and University of Illinois Law Review, among other venues, and his co-authored text, Regulation of Toxic Substances and Hazardous Waste, is the leading casebook on toxic substances regulation. Professor Sachs was awarded the University of Richmond's Distinguished Educator award in 2013, the highest recognition for teaching and scholarship on the faculty. He was also chosen as the University of Richmond's Outstanding Faculty nominee in the rising star category to the Virginia State Council of Higher Education in 2009. Professor Sachs was awarded a Fulbright grant to conduct research in India in the spring of 2014, where he focused on emerging environmental markets in India and the challenges of implementing market-oriented environmental reforms in developing countries. Professor Sachs has been a Member Scholar with the Center for Progressive Reform in Washington, D.C. since 2010.


Presenter, "Climate-Induced Flooding and Toxic Floodwaters," Hearing of the State Water Control Board, Commonwealth of Virginia (December 2019)

Presenter, "Climate-Induced Flooding and Legislative Remedies," Hearing of the Joint Subcommittee on Coastal Flooding, Virginia General Assembly (August 2019)

Presenter, "The Pipeline Meets the Appalachian Trail," Environmental Writers Conference, Middlebury College (June 2019)

Presenter, "Toxic Floodwaters in Virginia," Richmond Local Emergency Planning Committee, City of Richmond (June 2019)

Presenter, "Toxic Floodwaters," ClimenkoFest workshop, Harvard Law School (April 2019)

Presenter, "Navigating The Academic Job Market," ClimenkoFest workshop, Harvard Law School (March 2019)

Presenter, "The Paris Agreement in the 2020s: Breakdown or Breakup," UR Faculty Writing Workshop, UR Law (March 2019)

Presenter, "Environmental Law after the 2018 Mid-Term Elections," Scholars Workshop, Center for Progressive Reform (January 2019)

Commentator, "Incorporating Lawyering Skills in Doctrinal Courses," AALS Annual Meeting, AALS (January 2019)

Bar Admissions


New York

Professional Experience

Professor and Faculty Director, Robert R. Merhige, Jr. Center for Environmental Studies (2012 - present)
University of Richmond School of Law, Richmond, VA

Associate Professor and Faculty Director, Robert R. Merhige, Jr. Center for Environmental Studies (2009 - 2012)
University of Richmond School of Law, Richmond, VA

Assistant Professor of Law (2006 - 2009)
University of Richmond School of Law, Richmond, VA

Lecturer (2004 - 2006)
Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA

Adjunct Professor (2005 - 2005)
Vermont Law School, South Royalton, VT

Guest Lecturer (2003 - 2004)
Tufts University, Boston, MA

Associate, Environmental Practice (2002 - 2004)
Foley Hoag LLP, Boston, MA

Associate, Environmental Practice (1999 - 2002)
Carter, Ledyard & Milburn, New York, NY

In the News

Argument analysis: The trail, the pipeline and a journey to the center of the earth (SCOTUSblog)
Tue., Feb. 25, 2020

Pipeline Backers Optimistic After Supreme Court Hearing (1)
Mon., Feb. 24, 2020

Supreme Court to hear pipeline case (WDBJ7)
Fri., Feb. 21, 2020

Here's Exactly How a Trump 2020 Win Would Spark a Nightmare Climate Scenario (Vice)
Wed., Feb. 12, 2020

Paris Climate Agreement and US withdrawal (Morning Wave)
Wed., Nov. 13, 2019

The Paris climate agreement is at risk of falling apart in the 2020s (Vox)
Tue., Nov. 5, 2019

The Paris Agreement in the 2020s: Breakdown or Breakup? (Opinio Juris)
Fri., Oct. 25, 2019

What to watch in the Appalachian Trail pipeline fight (Energywire)
Mon., Oct. 7, 2019

Shoreline industry poses hazards as sea level, floods increase (Bay Journal)
Tue., Aug. 27, 2019

Op-Ed: A call to action on the risk of toxic floodwaters in Virginia (Richmond Times Dispatch)
Tue., Mar. 19, 2019

New Report on Climate-Driven 'Toxic Flood' Threats in Virginia (Eco Magazine)
Tue., Mar. 12, 2019

California court tells Monsanto to pay out $289 million (Knowledge at Wharton via SiriusXM)
Mon., Aug. 20, 2018

Trump's EPA may be weakening chemical safety law (Scientific American)
Wed., Aug. 16, 2017

How the EPA chief could gut the agency's climate change regulations (The Hill)
Sun., Mar. 12, 2017

The BPA debate is back, as workers exposed to levels 70 times the average (The Guardian)
Sun., Jan. 22, 2017

Op-ed: Time to upgrade drinking water protections (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Wed., Jan. 18, 2017

Will the new toxic chemical safety law protect us? (The conversation)
Thu., Jun. 16, 2016

West Coast cities sue Monsanto to pay for chemical cleanup (High Country News)
Mon., May. 16, 2016

Art gallery: "India Becoming" at Weinstein JCC (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Wed., Jan. 20, 2016

House votes to reform toxic chemical regulation for the first time in nearly 40 years (Climate Progress)
Wed., Jun. 24, 2015

The City Of San Diego Is Suing Monsanto. Can It Win? (Think Progress)
Wed., Mar. 25, 2015

Virginia Must Guard Against Freedom Industries - type spill (Befpre It's News)
Mon., Jan. 26, 2015

Bakken crude oil production relies on rail shipments (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Sat., Aug. 30, 2014

Crude oil spilled from train may be in James River mud (Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Roanoke Times)
Wed., May. 7, 2014

EPA still trying to clean state's Superfund sites (Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Roanoke Times)
Sat., Apr. 5, 2014

Virginia water supplies so far unaffected by Dan River coal ash spill (Richmond Times-Dispatch, Water Environment Federation)
Sat., Feb. 8, 2014

Murphy: Reversing Virginia's toxic legacy (The Virginian-Pilot)
Fri., Feb. 7, 2014

Undermanned And Limited, Chemical Safety Board Confronts A Crisis (NPR)
Mon., Feb. 3, 2014

Fatal chemical accidents expose weak federal laws (USA Today, Daily Record)
Tue., Jan. 28, 2014

Va. urged to toughen toxic-chemical laws (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Sun., Jan. 19, 2014

W.Va. chemical spill poses a new test for lawmakers (The Washington Post, The Oregonian, Norwich Bulletin, Charleston Daily Mail, The Tribune-Review)
Sun., Jan. 19, 2014

Obama's Plan to Bypass Congress: Big Talk, Little Action (The Fiscal Times)
Wed., Aug. 7, 2013

Don't Undercut Consumer Financial Protection Agencies: Independence (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Mon., Nov. 26, 2012

Agenda 21: Fact, Not Conspiracy (WND)
Fri., Mar. 23, 2012

Agenda 21: plot or paranoia? (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Sun., Mar. 18, 2012

Urgent overhaul of bisphenol A regs needed to protect public - report (
Tue., Jan. 31, 2012

Little Progress on Regulating BPA, Report Finds (ConsumerAffairs)
Fri., Jan. 27, 2012

Federal regulators have failed to act on toxic chemical, report says (The Center for Public Integrity)
Thu., Jan. 26, 2012

Report faults regulators for failing to crack down on BPA (E&E News)
Thu., Jan. 26, 2012


J.D., Stanford Law School 1999

M.P.P., Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs 1999

B.A., Brown University 1993

Contact Information

Room 216, Law School
(804) 289 8555
(804) 289 8992 (Fax)

Areas of Expertise

Environmental Law and International Environmental Law
Toxic Substances and Hazardous Waste Regulation
Climate Change
Transboundary Pollution