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January 2019

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January 7, 2019 - January 9, 2019
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This conference was sponsored by the National Council for Science and the Environment and was held in partnership with myriad organizations, including the  Environmental Law Institute. For a list of event sponsors/partners, please go HERE.


NCSE 2019:  Sustainable Infrastructure and Resilience

No part of the planet is untouched by the impact of the more than seven billion human inhabitants. Collectively, we face pressing challenges such as extreme weather from climate change, growing urbanization, and resource scarcity. These challenges make cities and ecosystems more vulnerable. They trigger an urgent call to develop a sustainable, healthy, and just world. Human ingenuity and collaboration across the scientific, business, and education communities have led to solutions to ensure that society can mitigate and respond to these challenges.

More recently, the concept of resilience has become integrated into thinking about sustainable systems and infrastructure. Creating resilient, sustainable infrastructure will require coordination across all levels of government and should engage the private sector, academia, and planning agencies. Collectively these institutions should ensure that resilience planning is collaborative and inclusive, stimulates investment, and drives research.

Sustainable Infrastructure will include technical solutions, such as predictive tools that can be used to better anticipate storms, advanced metering that pinpoint outages in real time, and social media as an emerging tool for sharing data and widespread communication. For long-term success, a broad definition of infrastructure must  be used to include not only the built environment and physical solutions, but also the social, natural, and cyber dimensions.

Built – The roads, bridges, public transit, and utilities we rely upon. More than $6 trillion annually for the next 15 years will need to be invested internationally to keep pace with growing demands for sustainable infrastructure. While this estimate anticipates building new infrastructure that keeps pace with higher standards of resilience, it does not include unanticipated impacts that may arise from extreme weather events.

Natural – The healthy ecosystems that sustain crucial services to sustain life, such as water, air, and soil. It includes forests, oceans, coral reefs, grasslands, mangroves, rivers and lakes to name a few. Nature has quantifiable and unquantifiable values to ecosystems, humans and the planet.

Social – The interdependent mix of facilities, places, spaces, programs, projects, services and networks that maintain and improve the standard of living and quality of life in a community. Social Infrastructure typically includes assets that accommodate social services. Examples include government, public security and safety, public health, schools, universities, hospitals, prisons and community housing.

Cyber – Includes research environments that support advanced data acquisition, storage, management, integration, mining, visualization, and other computing and information processing services. These are distributed over the internet, beyond the scope of a single institution. In science, cyber infrastructure is viewed as the technological and sociological solution to the problem of efficiently connecting laboratories, data, computers, and people with the goal of enabling derivation of novel scientific theories and knowledge.

Collaboration across the scientific, business, and education communities is necessary to build resilience across ecosystems, communities, markets, and traditional infrastructure.

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January 7, 2019 - January 9, 2019
Body

This conference was sponsored by the National Council for Science and the Environment and was held in partnership with myriad organizations, including the  Environmental Law Institute. For a list of event sponsors/partners, please go HERE.


NCSE 2019:  Sustainable Infrastructure and Resilience

No part of the planet is untouched by the impact of the more than seven billion human inhabitants. Collectively, we face pressing challenges such as extreme weather from climate change, growing urbanization, and resource scarcity. These challenges make cities and ecosystems more vulnerable. They trigger an urgent call to develop a sustainable, healthy, and just world. Human ingenuity and collaboration across the scientific, business, and education communities have led to solutions to ensure that society can mitigate and respond to these challenges.

More recently, the concept of resilience has become integrated into thinking about sustainable systems and infrastructure. Creating resilient, sustainable infrastructure will require coordination across all levels of government and should engage the private sector, academia, and planning agencies. Collectively these institutions should ensure that resilience planning is collaborative and inclusive, stimulates investment, and drives research.

Sustainable Infrastructure will include technical solutions, such as predictive tools that can be used to better anticipate storms, advanced metering that pinpoint outages in real time, and social media as an emerging tool for sharing data and widespread communication. For long-term success, a broad definition of infrastructure must  be used to include not only the built environment and physical solutions, but also the social, natural, and cyber dimensions.

Built – The roads, bridges, public transit, and utilities we rely upon. More than $6 trillion annually for the next 15 years will need to be invested internationally to keep pace with growing demands for sustainable infrastructure. While this estimate anticipates building new infrastructure that keeps pace with higher standards of resilience, it does not include unanticipated impacts that may arise from extreme weather events.

Natural – The healthy ecosystems that sustain crucial services to sustain life, such as water, air, and soil. It includes forests, oceans, coral reefs, grasslands, mangroves, rivers and lakes to name a few. Nature has quantifiable and unquantifiable values to ecosystems, humans and the planet.

Social – The interdependent mix of facilities, places, spaces, programs, projects, services and networks that maintain and improve the standard of living and quality of life in a community. Social Infrastructure typically includes assets that accommodate social services. Examples include government, public security and safety, public health, schools, universities, hospitals, prisons and community housing.

Cyber – Includes research environments that support advanced data acquisition, storage, management, integration, mining, visualization, and other computing and information processing services. These are distributed over the internet, beyond the scope of a single institution. In science, cyber infrastructure is viewed as the technological and sociological solution to the problem of efficiently connecting laboratories, data, computers, and people with the goal of enabling derivation of novel scientific theories and knowledge.

Collaboration across the scientific, business, and education communities is necessary to build resilience across ecosystems, communities, markets, and traditional infrastructure.

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January 7, 2019 - January 9, 2019
Body

This conference was sponsored by the National Council for Science and the Environment and was held in partnership with myriad organizations, including the  Environmental Law Institute. For a list of event sponsors/partners, please go HERE.


NCSE 2019:  Sustainable Infrastructure and Resilience

No part of the planet is untouched by the impact of the more than seven billion human inhabitants. Collectively, we face pressing challenges such as extreme weather from climate change, growing urbanization, and resource scarcity. These challenges make cities and ecosystems more vulnerable. They trigger an urgent call to develop a sustainable, healthy, and just world. Human ingenuity and collaboration across the scientific, business, and education communities have led to solutions to ensure that society can mitigate and respond to these challenges.

More recently, the concept of resilience has become integrated into thinking about sustainable systems and infrastructure. Creating resilient, sustainable infrastructure will require coordination across all levels of government and should engage the private sector, academia, and planning agencies. Collectively these institutions should ensure that resilience planning is collaborative and inclusive, stimulates investment, and drives research.

Sustainable Infrastructure will include technical solutions, such as predictive tools that can be used to better anticipate storms, advanced metering that pinpoint outages in real time, and social media as an emerging tool for sharing data and widespread communication. For long-term success, a broad definition of infrastructure must  be used to include not only the built environment and physical solutions, but also the social, natural, and cyber dimensions.

Built – The roads, bridges, public transit, and utilities we rely upon. More than $6 trillion annually for the next 15 years will need to be invested internationally to keep pace with growing demands for sustainable infrastructure. While this estimate anticipates building new infrastructure that keeps pace with higher standards of resilience, it does not include unanticipated impacts that may arise from extreme weather events.

Natural – The healthy ecosystems that sustain crucial services to sustain life, such as water, air, and soil. It includes forests, oceans, coral reefs, grasslands, mangroves, rivers and lakes to name a few. Nature has quantifiable and unquantifiable values to ecosystems, humans and the planet.

Social – The interdependent mix of facilities, places, spaces, programs, projects, services and networks that maintain and improve the standard of living and quality of life in a community. Social Infrastructure typically includes assets that accommodate social services. Examples include government, public security and safety, public health, schools, universities, hospitals, prisons and community housing.

Cyber – Includes research environments that support advanced data acquisition, storage, management, integration, mining, visualization, and other computing and information processing services. These are distributed over the internet, beyond the scope of a single institution. In science, cyber infrastructure is viewed as the technological and sociological solution to the problem of efficiently connecting laboratories, data, computers, and people with the goal of enabling derivation of novel scientific theories and knowledge.

Collaboration across the scientific, business, and education communities is necessary to build resilience across ecosystems, communities, markets, and traditional infrastructure.

January 9, 2019
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ELI Public Seminar

With some of the highest poverty rates in the country, Appalachian communities stand at a post-coal crossroads between potential preeminence in the region’s energy supply and building resilient economies. The disparity of land ownership, long-lasting public health inequities, and unequal access to infrastructure (especially hospitals and highways) have all resulted in distinct environmental justice obstacles for communities throughout Appalachia.

Presently, only 2% of the Appalachian workforce is employed by the coal industry, and many have called for the emergence of new economic developments for greater prosperity. Many public interest groups advocate for an economic transition to foster “green collar” jobs as a major solution to the unemployment gap, and one that would train workers in renewable energy systems. How to catalyze this transition, however, remains uncertain. Competing with renewables is the natural gas industry transforming shale deposits into fuel with concerns that this approach, while offering short-term economic gains, may just reaffirm Appalachia’s historic fossil fuel dependency and lead to environmental problems. With uncertain paths to development and resilience, Appalachia’s fate demonstrates the complexity of how to navigate the intricate nexus of economic insecurity, inequality, and resource extraction in 21st century America.

Our expert panelists explored the potential of green energy innovation for fostering environmental justice and resilient economies in Appalachian communities.

Panelists:
James McElfish Jr.
, Director of Sustainable Use of Land Program, Environmental Law Institute, Moderator
Kate Boyle, Deputy Executive Director, Appalachian Voices
Emily Collins, Executive Director & Managing Attorney, Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services
Jillian C. Kirn, Associate, Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Cortney Piper, Co-Founder & Vice President, TN Advanced Energy Business Council and President, Piper Communications LLC
Mary Shoemaker, State Policy Analyst, The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)

Materials:

ELI members will have access to a recording and any materials from this session (usually posted w/in 48 hours). If you are not an ELI member but would like to have access to archived sessions like this one, go HERE to see the many benefits of membership and how to join.

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January 14, 2019
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Staying on top of the legal and policy developments in the climate change arena is no small task. As a special service to our members, the Environmental Law Institute provides a series of monthly conference calls with national experts on climate law and policy to keep you up to date and to answer your questions.

SmokyPlanet

Topics addressed in this month's call:

  • Announcement of 10 northeastern and mid-Atlantic states to work together on a regional cap-and-invest policy proposal for transportation
  • What some governors/mayors are saying in their inaugural addresses
  • The "Green New Deal"
  • The new Congress
  • Latest development in the Juliana case
  • Supreme Court denial of cert in Massachusetts AG's investigation of Exxon
  • DC Court of Appeals decision in the Michael Mann defamation case

Speakers:
Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director, Climate Center, Georgetown University
Michael Burger, Executive Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
Robert Sussman, Principal, Sussman & Associates

Materials:
ELI members logged on to the Members site will have access to a recording of this session (usually posted w/in 48 hours). If you are not an ELI member but would like to have access to archived sessions like this one, go HERE to see the many benefits of membership and how to join.


ELI Monthly Climate Briefings are made possible by the
generous support of our institutional members.


NOTE: This call/recording is for ELI members only. No comments may be quoted
or used without the express written permission of ELI and the panelist.

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January 17, 2019
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The Environmental Peacebuilding Association will host its first year-in-review event ,which will showcase important developments in the environmental peacebuilding field in the past year and preview what is in store for 2019. The discussions will highlight key stories, accomplishments, and innovative solutions. Please join us for a distinguished panel:

  • Geoffrey Dabelko, Professor, Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, Ohio University and Senior Advisor, Environmental Change and Security Program, Wilson Center (Moderator)
  • David Jensen, Head of Environmental Cooperation for Peacebuilding, UN Environment
  • Florian Krampe, Researcher, Climate Change and Risk Programme, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Janani Vivekananda, Senior Advisor, adelphi
  • Erika Weinthal, Lee Hill Snowdon Professor of Environmental Policy, Duke University
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January 23, 2019
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Upper Mississippi States: Innovative Financing for Nutrient Reduction -- Webinar

Nutrient runoff from farms contributes to pollution of US waterways. There are opportunities to increase and diversify funding for nutrient reduction projects by coordinating with existing funding mechanisms. Although traditionally the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan programs have been used to upgrade sewage treatment plants and stormwater management systems, nutrient reductions could be advanced at lower cost if these funds are applied to farm-based conservation efforts in coordination with other programs. Federal and state entities, as well as soil and water conservation districts, are having conversations with farmers about reducing nutrient runoff through familiar Farm Bill programs and other grant programs. However, recent experience has shown that water and sewer financing programs can provide additional flexible funding for projects on farms while meeting nutrient management goals of wastewater treatment authorities.

Join ELI and our expert panelists to explore how focused efforts in states of the upper Mississippi River that bring together farming, wastewater treatment, and state financing agencies can provide new funding for on-farm polluted runoff projects. Panelists from Iowa, Illinois, and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies will discuss how flexible funding structures that pair farmland with wastewater treatment providers can achieve targeted nutrient reduction in their respective states, and what they plan to achieve in the future.

Panelists:
Michael Curley, Visiting Scholar, Environmental Law Institute, Moderator

Nick Menninga, General Manager, Downers Grove Sanitary District (Illinois)

Randy VanDyke, CEO, Iowa Lakes Regional Water Authority

Jason Isakovic, Director of Legislative Affairs, National Association of Clean Water Agencies

Lee Wagner, Program Planner, SRF Nonpoint Source Program, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

John Dunn, Director of Ames Water and Pollution Control Department (Iowa)

 

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January 24, 2019
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An ELI 50th Anniversary Seminar

The rapid extraction of non-renewable resources (metal ore, minerals, fossil fuels) combined with deteriorating renewable resources (air, water) reflects a firmly rooted “take, make, and dispose” economic model. Despite calls for a system-wide transformation, hurdles persist including unprecedented levels of consumerism and the persistence of low-cost materials and production processes (assembly line automation). Lower costs have allowed for planned obsolescence, compounding the demand for new products.

What are the main drivers to move away from this traditional wasteful model to the circular economy model? The list is expansive and encouraging. Internal drivers include cost savings, regulatory compliance and corporate sustainability, while external drivers include rapid technological transformation, disruptive innovation, reputational risk, and a well-informed society. These are some of the significant factors motivating the business community to rethink productivity. Pioneering design, material innovation, products as a service, product life extension, and waste as a resource are leading mechanisms through which businesses are transitioning to a circular economy and reaping the financial benefits. There are hundreds of solutions-focused initiatives collectively fostering a circular economy in the U.S. and beyond. From re-purposing flexible plastic packaging to closed loop nutrient recycling and waste to energy solutions, new technologies and business models are emerging, yet one must examine whether these are economically viable and find opportunities to expand their use.

ELI held an interactive discussion of the many facets, obstacles, and benefits of fostering a circular economy. Expert panelists included corporate leaders who are actively engaged in adopting the principles of circular economy, focusing on innovations in technology and business models/practices, and their potential to transform traditional systems of production and consumption.

Panelists:
Michael Goo, Partner, AJW and Circular Economy Industries Association (CEIA), Moderator
Michael Burger, Executive Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and Research Scholar and Lecturer in Law, Columbia Law School
Paul Hagen, Principal, Beveridge & Diamond PC
Stewart Leeth, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer, Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Meagan Weiland, Independent Researcher, Economic & Human Dimensions Research Associates and Program Coordinator, Science Magazine

Materials:

ELI members will have access to a recording of this session (usually posted w/in 48 hours). If you are not an ELI member but would like to have access to archived sessions like this one, go HERE to see the many benefits of membership and how to join.

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January 29, 2019
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An ELI and AECOM Co-Sponsored Seminar

Energy requirements, policy, and regulations are changing rapidly in the U.S. Numerous large-scale energy projects are underway and as such, energy generation, supply, and distribution infrastructure is changing at an unprecedented rate. With such shifts across the energy sector, the focus now turns especially to energy transmission including regulatory updates, emerging and complex storm water and erosion and sedimentation control requirements, environmental impact analysis and permitting, and environmental construction monitoring.

Leading experts explored the changes and challenges in energy transmission, environmental protection and compliance, permitting challenges and solutions implemented, and more, with a special focus on pipelines.

Panelists:
Dr. Richard DeCesar, Vice President, Midstream & Pipelines, Oil & Gas Market Sector, Design & Consulting Services Group, AECOM Moderator
Bernie Holcomb, Associate Vice President, Pipeline Services Director, Environment Leader, AECOM
Annie Jones, Attorney-Advisor (Security), Office of Energy Infrastructure Security, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
James M. McElfish, Jr., Senior Attorney and Director, Sustainable Use of Land Program, Environmental Law Institute
Christopher G. Miller, President, The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC)

Materials:
Bernie Holcomb presentation
James McElfish presentation
Christopher Miller presentation

ELI members will have access to a recording of this session (usually posted w/in 48 hours). If you are not an ELI member but would like to have access to archived sessions like this one, go HERE to see the many benefits of membership and how to join.

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January 31, 2019
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An ELI 50th Anniversary Seminar

“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is the call to arms of the mainstream environmental movement. While these actions may seem simple to conduct in households, in the commercial and industrial spheres, the decision to reduce, reuse, and recycle requires innovation, creativity, and risk. New practices in the organic waste sector and hazardous waste sector have revolutionized our perspectives on waste and resource use and contributed to reductions in pollution, yet there is certainly room to scale up such innovation.

Our expert panelists explored how industrial and commercial institutions are finding sustainable, economic, and innovative solutions for recycling undesirable material. Panelists delved into how the wastewater industry is rebranding itself as a resource recovery industry and finding beneficial uses for treated sewage sludge and methane gas; how cities are recovering and reducing food waste; and how companies are managing growing volumes of hazardous wastes including electronic waste and aerosol cans. These new trends represent the future of resource recovery and pollution prevention and are also creating new business opportunities for the industrial and commercial sector.

Panelists:
Jim McElfish
, Senior Attorney and Director, Sustainable Use of Land Program, Environmental Law Institute, Moderator
Linda Breggin, Co-Lead, Food Waste Initiative, Environmental Law Institute
Byron R. Brown, Senior Counsel, Crowell & Moring LLP
Carol Adaire Jones, Visiting Scholar and Co-Lead, Food Waste Initiative, Environmental Law Institute
Anna Vinogradova, Senior Manager II, Sustainability, Walmart

Materials:
ELI members will have access to materials and a recording of this session (usually posted w/in 48 hours). If you are not an ELI member but would like to have access to archived sessions like this one, go HERE to see the many benefits of membership and how to join.

 
 
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