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Environmental Governance

Nanotechnology Governance: Environmental Management from a Global Perspective

May 19, 2006
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN
 
Co-Sponsored by the Environmental Law Institute and
the Vanderbilt Center for Environmental Management Studies
 
Left to right: Michael Lesnick (Meridian Institute), Leslie Carothers (ELI), Mark Cohen (VCEMS), Linda Breggin (ELI), and Geert van Calster (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium).
 
On May 19, 2006, ELI and the Vanderbilt Center for Environmental Management Studies (VCEMS) sponsored a Symposium on “Nanotechnology Governance: Environmental Management from an International Perspective.” The Symposium brought together over 40 key stakeholders including corporate, government, academic, nonprofit, and law firm practitioners. The purpose of the Symposium was to address from an environmental management perspective the desirability of and potential for an internationally harmonized approach to nanotechnology environmental, health, and safety governance. The event included a morning panel of international experts who explored the status of efforts to develop governance structures in the United States, Europe, and Asia. During the afternoon, participants engaged in breakout sessions focused on answering several questions pertinent to environmental management and harmonization of nanotech governance structures. Presentations and recordings of the speakers’ remarks are provided below along with an ELI summary of the participant discussions. The Symposium will serve as a launching point for several articles in the November 2006 issue of ELI’s Environmental Law Reporter that will focus on nanotechnology governance from an international perspective.
 
Agenda, recordings, presentations, and discussion summaries 
 
10:00-10:15: Welcome and Introduction
 
  • Leslie Carothers, President, Environmental Law Institute
  • Mark Cohen, Professor, Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management and Co-Director, Vanderbilt Center for Environmental Management Studies
 
10:15-11:00: Overview of Nanotechnologies: Uses and Benefits/Potential Human Health and Environmental Risks
 
  • Barbara Karn, Visiting Scientist, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Nanotechnology: What is it; where are we; what should we think about?
Flexibility, Clarity, and Legitimacy: Considerations for Managing Nanotechnology Risks
 
11:00-12:30: What is the Status of Efforts to Develop Governance Structures in the U.S., Europe, and Asia?
 
  • Don Sadowsky, Attorney, Office of General Counsel, United States Environmental Protection Agency
Regulation of Nanotechnology: A TSCA Perspective
 
  • Geert van Calster, Co-Director, Institute of Environmental and Energy Law, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
Governance Structures for Nanotechnology in the EU
 
  • Hideo Shindo, Chief Representative, Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization
Current Status of Efforts to Develop Governance Structure to Control Nanochemicals in Japan
 
  • Michael Lesnick, Senior Partner, Meridian Institute
Global Dialogue on Nanotechnology and the Poor: Opportunities and Risks
 
  • Peter Hatto, Director of Research, IonBond Ltd and Chair, Technical Committee for Nanotechnologies, International Organization for Standardization
Developing standards for nanotechnologies — an international perspective
 
12:30-1:30: Working Lunch: How Do Corporations Currently Address Lack of Harmonization of Environmental Standards Internationally through Their Environmental Management Systems and Approaches?
 
  • Greer Tidwell, Jr., Director Environmental Management, Bridgestone North American Tire, LLC
Coordinating Environmental Compliance Facing Uncoordinated Regulation: Bridgestone’s Culture of Connectedness
 
1:40-2:40: Breakout Sessions: The participants divided into groups to address the following questions
 
  • What are the corporate environmental management benefits of international coordination or harmonization of environmental, health, and safety governance structures for nanotechnology? What are the costs?
 
  •  What principles should be applied to any efforts to harmonize or coordinate environmental, health, and safety governance structures for nanotechnology?
 
  • What steps could be taken toward harmonization or coordination on an international level to address conflicting or inconsistent nanotechnology governance approaches?
 
2:50-3:50: Breakout Session Reports (ELI Summary)
 
  • Peter Hatto, Director of Research, IonBond Ltd and Chair, Technical Committee for Nanotechnologies, International Organization for Standardization
 
  • Gary Marchant, Lincoln Professor of Emerging Technologies, Law & Ethics, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law; Executive Director, Center for Law, Science & Technology; and Professor, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University
 
  • E. Donald Elliott, Partner, Willkie Farr & Gallagher, LLP and Adjunct Professor of Law, Yale Law School and Georgetown University Law Center
 
 
3:50-4:00: Wrap Up
 
  • Linda Breggin, Senior Attorney, Environmental Law Institute and Director, ELI Nanotechnology Initiative
 
  • Mark Cohen, Professor, Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management and Co-Director, Vanderbilt Center for Environmental Management Studies