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The New Federalism & Environmental Governance (2017 ELI-Miriam Hamilton Keare Policy Forum)


October 18, 2017
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm


Omni Shoreham Hotel
2500 Calvert Street

Washington, DC


The event is open to the public and there is no cost to attend, but please REGISTER HERE by October 16.

  • Coffee/Networking/Registration, 3:30-4:00 PM ET. Speakers will begin promptly at 4 PM ET.
  • All times noted are Eastern Time. There is no CLE or webinar option for this event. Questions?: contact mcmurrin@eli.org

NOTE: All registrants for ELI events need to have an ELI "account." When you click on the above Register Here link, you will be asked to log in.

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  • Non-members who have previously not set up an ELI account may click on the "Create new account" tab, complete the process, and then return to this page to register. While creating this account does not confer membership, it will allow you to register for this and future events at any appropriate non-member rate that may be required.

The 2017 ELI-Miriam Hamilton Keare Policy Forum

Since its establishment 46 years ago, the US EPA has had overarching enforcement responsibility for most of the nation’s federal environmental laws. But over the decades, states have developed the expertise and capacity for ensuring environmental protection. With the Trump Administration’s proposed downsizing of EPA budget and staffing and renewed focus on states, decision-makers and stakeholders have a timely opportunity to rethink the paradigm of cooperative federalism and environmental protection in the US.

For decades, EPA has played the role of the “gorilla in the closet,” the looming threat of federal enforcement if regulated entities did not cooperate with state enforcement efforts.  But if less federal enforcement is on the horizon, how can environmental compliance be assured? In considering this question, The Environmental Council of States (ECOS) has proposed that a periodic audit system take the place of federal intervention in delegated states.  How would an audit system of this kind work in practice, and what are the implications of this kind of change?

Meanwhile, environmental data is being generated at an exponential rate, and other actors, namely local governments and international governing regimes, are increasingly asserting their roles in environmental governance. How will information technology and interconnectivity change environmental enforcement and accountability? How can governments, advocates, and businesses evaluate this information and use it to ensure compliance? What do forces outside the federalism dichotomy mean for the future of environmental governance in a global economy and society unconstrained by state or national borders?

Join ELI’s expert panel to discuss the opportunities and challenges of a new take on cooperative federalism for environmental governance. The conversation will consider trends in politics, economics, technology, and other factors influencing environmental protection. Experts will participate in a moderated discussion and field questions from the audience.

Invited Panelists:
Jonathan Z. Cannon
, Director, Environmental and Land Use Law Program, University of Virginia School of Law (Moderator)
Neal Kemkar, Director of Environmental Policy, General Electric
Becky Keogh, Director, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality
John Linc Stine, Commissioner, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Stan Meiburg, Director of Graduate Programs in Sustainability, Wake Forest University
Vickie Patton, General Counsel, Environmental Defense Fund

Materials of Interest:
ECOS Cooperative Federalism 2.0
Collaborative Federalism (The Environmental Forum, May/June 2016)
View the 2014 ELI-Keare Forum: The Role of State Leadership in Cooperative Federalism