Drones and Environmental Monitoring

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The EPA has historically flown over farmland in private aircraft looking for violations of the Clean Water Act—a less expensive way to perform inspections than on-site visits. As EPA and other agencies consider using drones to monitor industrial sites and farmland, many landowners claim it would be an invasion of privacy. Using drones for inspections also raises legal questions about information obtained from drone flyovers and the associated evidentiary requirements.

Fraught with legal uncertainty and the potential for significant public interest, the debate over the use of drones for environmental monitoring and enforcement raises important questions for many stakeholders. Join our panel to learn more about the current debates regarding drone use and regulation.


  • Chris Carr, Partner, Morrison & Foerster LLP (moderator)
  • Molly Harris, Acting Assistant Administrator, FAA Office for Government and Industry Affairs (invited)
  • Joseph Muhlhausen, Co-founder, CielMap
  • Jeramie Scott, National Security Counsel, Electronic Privacy Information Center – Georgetown Law
  • TBD, The Nature Conservancy (invited)

This event is also a webinar. Webinar information will be emailed one business day prior to the event.

***Please register by April 22. If you are unsure if you are an ELI member, contact mcmurrin@eli.org prior to registering.


Environmental Law Institute
1730 M Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington DC 20036

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