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June 2020

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June 2, 2020
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Each summer, ELI convenes a complimentary seminar series that offers an introduction to the legal and policy foundations of environmental protection in the United States.

ELI's Summer School is a series of seminars taught by experts in their fields, introducing the audience to the major environmental statutes (including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)), land use law, and environmental justice. Faculty will also incorporate major regulatory and judicial updates to the laws.

Who will benefit: All are welcome. Students and emerging professionals will have unique opportunities to learn, hear updates, ask questions, and network. The series is intended for:

  • undergraduates,
  • law students and graduate students, and
  • working professionals new to or looking for a refresher course in environmental law (such as interns, summer clerks, and associates, or second-career professionals).

An Introduction to Careers in Environmental Law and Policy

Our Summer School Series began with a session to introduce participants to the many exciting career options in various sectors of environmental law and policy. This session offered the opportunity for budding environmental professionals to ask questions and interact with leading experts in the environmental law and policy fields.

  • private practice,
  • policy,
  • corporate,
  • government,
  • non-profit,
  • and international environmental law.


Faculty:
Linda Abbott
, Director, Office of Risk Assessment and Cost-Benefit Analysis (ORACBA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Lisa N. Garrett, Associate, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Marc Goncher, Counsel, Environmental, Safety and Sustainability, The Coca-Cola Company
Alejandra Goyenechea, Senior International Counsel, Defenders of Wildlife
Hana V. Vizcarra, Staff Attorney, Environmental & Energy Law Program, Harvard Law School
Alexandra Wyatt, Policy and Regulatory Manager, GRID Alternatives

Materials:
Recordings of Summer School sessions are usually posted w/in 48 hours.

**See the entire Summer School 2020 schedule HERE.**

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June 3, 2020
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An ELI Member Webinar

Although the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) offers essential information to assist decision-makers and stakeholders, the process can be expensive and time-consuming. This is especially true if a project requires an environmental impact statement (EIS). The average EIS takes 4.5 years to complete, consists of over 1,600 pages, and costs $2.5 million per project. Since at least 1978, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has prioritized streamlining the review process.

Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41) and Executive Order 13807 intended to streamline federal agencies’ management of the review process for infrastructure projects. As NEPA undergoes more change than at any other point in its history, and as the novel COVID-19 has changed business operations and affected public participation across the country, a new approach has come to the forefront: digitizing EISs. Digitizing the EIS process has the goals of reducing costs, time, and reports’ length and improving public involvement by integrating advanced analytics and visual tools supported by a digital platform.

What projects are best suited for a digital EIS process in the near-term? What opportunities and risks does streamlining the EIS process through digital technology present? What are the best practices to digitize the EIS process? How can a digital EIS be a strong tool during a global pandemic and in future crises? Our panelists explorde these questions and more by diving into the possible digital future of NEPA and its impact on streamlining the review process.

Panelists:
James M. McElfish, Jr.
, Director, Sustainable Use of Land Program and Senior Attorney, Environmental Law Institute, Moderator
Brian Boose, Vice President, AECOM
Kathryn Mengerink, Executive Director, Waitt Institute
Ross Stewart, Digital Impact Assessment Lead, EMEA, AECOM

Materials:
ELI members will have subsequent access to any materials/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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June 4, 2020
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An ELI Member Webinar

As Earth warms, increased water vapor in the atmosphere is fueling more intense storms and increasing the risk and intensity of flooding. These intensifying weather events are burdening municipalities’ capacity to manage stormwater, leading to increased stormwater runoff and pollutants into both local bodies of water and larger regional watersheds.  Stormwater runoff is now the fastest growing source of water pollution in many watersheds throughout the United States.

Lack of adequate and sustainable funding is a major hurdle for municipalities to effectively manage stormwater programs. In response, municipalities are increasingly implementing stormwater utility fees (SUFs) to fund their stormwater programs. From 2007-2018, the number of municipalities with SUFs increased more than 150% from 635 to 1681. Although SUFs are gaining traction as a more adequate, equitable, and sustainable revenue stream, variations in implementing SUFs–including rate structures, and credits and discounts–are generating mixed results. In some surveys, as many as 62% of municipalities with SUFs reported inadequate funding for stormwater programs. However, SUF-advocates argue that despite possible shortcomings, these fees offer a better funding mechanism than traditional revenue sources, and they have the potential to incentivize green infrastructure projects.

What are the best practices for municipalities to implement SUFs? What role might the growing trend of SUFs play in mitigating stormwater runoff and watershed pollution? How are NGOs, states, and the federal government responding to assist municipalities manage stormwater? Our panelists explored these questions and discussed the opportunities and challenges in stormwater management.

Panelists:
Rafe Petersen, Partner, Holland & Knight, Moderator
Michael Curley, Visiting Scholar, Environmental Law Institute
Greg Hoffmann, Director of Stormwater Services, Center for Watershed Protection
Amy Kay, Clean Water Manager, City of Davenport, Iowa  
Alison Prost, Maryland Executive Director, and Acting Federal Policy Director, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Materials:
ELI members will have subsequent access to any materials/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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June 8, 2020
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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:

  • The Ninth Circuit's rulings in the San Mateo case and the Oakland/San Francisco case concerning whether the lawsuits by several municipalities against energy companies for damages due to climate change belong in federal court or state court
  • The decision by the  U.S. District Court in Massachusetts on whether the lawsuit by the Massachusetts Attorney General against Exxon belonged in federal court or state court
  • The COVID19-induced upsurge in bicycling and resulting bicycle shortage
  • Maryland enacted legislation (SB457) in May authorizing local governments to establish Resilience Authorities with authority to finance costs associated with resilience infrastructure, including green space, building elevation, flood barriers, and stormwater infrastructure
  • CA releases Plan — California's Coast Resilient to Sea Level Rise: Principles for Aligned State Action
  • States sue to block Trump from weakening fuel economy rules
  • 14 AGs to court: Calif.-Quebec pact OK under state powers
  • Southern California Edison said late last week it had finalized what analysts called the nation's largest-ever purchase of battery storage, as the state of California seeks to ramp up renewables and retire gas-fired plants in coming years (770 MW)
  • Gov. Tom Wolf will not change his mind about his executive order including Pennsylvania in the multi-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
  • California's climate programs face a major threat as the state grapples with a potential budget deficit of $54.2 billion brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and New Jersey blocked key water permits Friday for a controversial multistate natural gas pipeline, handing climate activists a victory and setting the stage for a standoff with EPA ahead of a rollout on Clean Water Act guidance
  • Federal developments, including the House green infrastructure legislation, the EPA rule on state water quality certifications,  the IRIS proposed rule on tax credits

Speakers:
Vicki Arroyo, Professor from Practice and Executive Director, Climate Center, Georgetown University
Michael B. Gerrard, Professor, Columbia Law School; 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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June 9, 2020
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Each summer, ELI convenes a complimentary seminar series that offers an introduction to the legal and policy foundations of environmental protection in the United States.

ELI's Summer School is a series of seminars taught by experts in their fields, introducing the audience to the major environmental statutes (including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)), land use law, and environmental justice. Faculty will also incorporate major regulatory and judicial updates to the laws.

Who will benefit: All are welcome. Students and emerging professionals will have unique opportunities to learn, hear updates, ask questions, and network. The series is intended for:

  • undergraduates,
  • law students and graduate students, and
  • working professionals new to or looking for a refresher course in environmental law (such as interns, summer clerks, and associates, or second-career professionals).

NEPA, ESA and Fundamentals of Environmental Law

The oldest major environmental statutes in the United States have existed for more than four decades. This session serves as an introduction to the framework of environmental law and also highlights two of its major statutes.

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was enacted to establish a national policy and means for carrying out protective environmental principles. NEPA also established the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to ensure federal agencies meet their obligations under NEPA. Recent amendments and updates to NEPA have focused on the environmental review process in order to streamline the process and reduce long wait times. Such major changes are unprecedented with NEPA, and will have ramifications throughout environmental law.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is the principal law for the protection of endangered species. Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Commerce Department's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), ESA protects and recovers imperiled species deemed either “endangered” or “threatened” and the ecosystems that they depend on.

This session served as both an introduction to the fundamentals of environmental law and highlighted these two major statutes:

  • the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), known as the "Magna Carta" of environmental law, and
  • the Endangered Species Act (ESA), known as the “pit bull” of environmental law.

Faculty:
James M. McElfish, Jr.
, Director, Sustainable Use of Land Program and Senior Attorney, Environmental Law Institute
Ashley E. Parr, Associate, Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Materials:
James McElfish presentation
Ashley Parr presentation

Supplemental Materials:
Practitioner's Guide to Proposed NEPA regulations
(ELI Report, James McElfish, Feb. 2020)
The Proposed NEPA Regulations: A Conversation With NEPA Regulations Experts (ELI Podcast, Feb. 19, 2020)

**See the entire Summer School 2020 schedule HERE.**

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June 10, 2020
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An ELI Webinar co-sponsored by the Plant Based Products Council (PBPC)

By the end of 2019, Americans sent more than 35 billion pounds of textiles to landfills. Yet, approximately, 95% of all used clothing is recyclable through re-use as apparel, conversion into cloth-based items, and redevelopment as fibers for new products. Meanwhile, a new €50m deal for a sustainability-linked loan is making waves as a first for the luxury goods industry, allowing interest rates to be lowered in exchange for going green. In an ever-changing world with a focus on corporate social responsibility, companies are increasingly seeking measures, innovation, and consensus that could lead to significant reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. There is a growing movement within the fashion industry to redesign the fashion economy, business models, and policies to promote sustainable solutions to clothing waste.

How can efficiency be altered to steer the fashion industry away from a fast fashion culture and toward a more invested and sustainable culture? What are the environmental impacts of fast fashion waste and what are companies doing to address these impacts? How can sustainability be further incorporated into supply chains? What are the guiding policies, economic models, and proactive measures being taken by corporations across the globe? Panelists engaged in these questions and more as they explored consumer trends, policy obstacles and opportunities, potential for circular economies, and best practices to manage supply chains including recycling and sustainability.

Panelists:
Caitlin F. McCarthy, Director, Education, Associates and Corporate Partnerships, Environmental Law Institute, Moderator
Jessica Bowman, Executive Director, Plant Based Products Council (PBPC)
Kaveri Marathe, Founder & CEO, Texiles & Sustainability Consultant, The World Bank
Dana Thomas, Author, Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes, Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, & Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster & Contributor, The New York Times Style section
Jeff Trexler, Associate Director, Fashion Law Institute and Professor, Fashion Ethics, Sustainability, and Development, Fordham Law School

Materials:
ELI members will have subsequent access to any materials/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.

Supplemental Material:
Fast Fashion: Cutting Corners to Fuel Excessive Consumption
(ELI Vibrant Environment Blog, Jun. 26, 2019)

 

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June 11, 2020
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An ELI Member Webinar

The deep ocean environment is in many respects, a mystery. Some accounts state a mere 5% of the world's seabed has been thoroughly explored, yet heightened concerns over climate change and efforts to decarbonize transportation are driving a new frontier into deep-seabed mining. Proponents of deep-seabed mining claim it is a viable strong potential solution to present and growing shortages in the critical materials need for renewable energy technologies and electric car batteries, amongst others. Meanwhile, opponents to deep-seabed mining emphasize the risks to biodiversity, potential for permanent ecosystem damages, climate implications of mining, and lack of clarity surrounding international governance on the high seas.

How can environmental regulations protect unique deep ocean habitats from mining impacts without hindering potential growth in the technological sphere? What is the current status of deep-seabed mining activities? Who are the regulatory and industrial stakeholders in deep-seabed mining?  Panelists explored both the net benefits and costs of seabed mining decision-making, tackled best practices for seeking a sustainable and commercially-viable industry, envisioned the future of marine environmental protection, and confronted the current regulatory landscape of deep seabed mining.

Panelists:
Margaret Spring, Chief Conservation and Science Officer, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Moderator
Kristina Gjerde, High Seas Policy Advisor, Global Marine Program, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Gregory Stone, Ph.D., Director & Chief Ocean Scientist, DeepGreen Metals Inc.
Cindy Van Dover, Ph.D., Harvey W. Smith Professor of Biological Oceanography, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University

Materials:

ELI members will have subsequent access to any materials/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.

June 11, 2020
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Presented by Women In Government Relations and co-sponsored by ELI


As stay at home orders remain in place and business are shuttered or functioning at highly reduced capacities, you may be curious what effect this is having on the ability of agricultural operations to continue to supply food at a normal rate. Are farmers still able to plant their crop with diminished work capacity? How will producers cope with social distancing restrictions in plants where it is simply not feasible? Representatives in the agriculture industry discussed the current effects the pandemic is having on operations, and potential future effects.

Speakers:
Marne Coit
, Agricultural Law Lecturer, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, North Carolina State University, Moderator
Sanaz Arjomand, Federal Policy Director, Young Farmers Coalition
Allison Rivera, Executive Director, Government Affairs, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

 

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June 12, 2020
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ELI Member Breaking News Webinar

With County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund decided, several cases likely to affect environmental law await oral arguments, including McGirt v. Oklahoma and Texas v. New Mexico. Moreover, environmental cases previously argued by the Court are pending a decision and more cases are scheduled to be heard by the Court.

To complicate matters, oral arguments before the Supreme Court that were previously scheduled in March and April were postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Despite historically minimizing the use of technology, in April the Court announced plans to continue hearing oral arguments via teleconference in May.

What can we learn from the Maui and recent decisions as to how the justices might approach upcoming environmental cases? How might the coronavirus pandemic and the Court's recent embrace of technology affect its decision-making in pending environmental cases? Our panelists explored these developments and their implications for environmental cases pending before the Supreme Court.

Panelists:
Davina Pujari
, Partner, Hanson Bridgett¸ Moderator
John Cruden, Principal, Beveridge & Diamond PC, formerly Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Department of Justice (invited)
Richard Lazarus, Howard and Katherine Aibel Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
Sambhav Sankar, Senior Vice President of Programs, Earthjustice

Materials:
There are no speaker materials for Breaking News events.

Supplemental Material:
COVID-19 Today
(A non-profit project to track Covid19 policies across the United States)

 ELI members will have subsequent access to any materials/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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June 16, 2020
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Each summer, ELI convenes a complimentary seminar series that offers an introduction to the legal and policy foundations of environmental protection in the United States.

ELI's Summer School is a series of seminars taught by experts in their fields, introducing the audience to the major environmental statutes (including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)), land use law, and environmental justice. Faculty will also incorporate major regulatory and judicial updates to the laws.

Who will benefit: All are welcome. Students and emerging professionals will have unique opportunities to learn, hear updates, ask questions, and network. The series is intended for:

  • undergraduates,
  • law students and graduate students, and
  • working professionals new to or looking for a refresher course in environmental law (such as interns, summer clerks, and associates, or second-career professionals).

Basics of the Clean Water Act

Amended in 1972, the Clean Water Act (CWA) calls for ending the discharge of pollutants into the waters of the United States. Decades since the passage of the CWA, fundamental questions regarding the jurisdictional range remain contested. This session explored the progress made to date and the recent changes by the Trump Administration. In January, EPA promulgated the Navigable Waters Protection Rule to clarify which waterways and wetlands were subject to federal jurisdiction.  Faculty explored one of the nation’s most significant and pivotal environmental laws and its development, including:

  • the regulatory and permitting framework for limiting water pollution,
  • the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA),
  • the key distinction between point sources and nonpoint sources of pollution,
  • the corporate and private practice roles in complying with CWA,
  • the current legal context of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule,
  • and the considerations policymakers face in light of growing demands for water usage with growing energy needs, extreme weather, and climate change.


Faculty:
Abigail André
, Adjunct Professor, Sturm College of Law, University of Denver and former Trial Attorney, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice
Sara Colangelo, Director, Environmental Law & Policy Program and Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown Law
Holly Doremus, Ph.D., James H. House & Hiram H. Hurd Professor of Environmental Regulation; Co-Director, Law of the Sea Institute; and Co-Faculty Director, Berkeley Institute for Parks, People, and Biodiversity, University of California Berkeley School of Law
Laura L. Mona
, Assistant General Attorney, Environmental, BNSF Railway Company

Materials:
Abigail André presentation
Sara Colangelo presentation
Holly Doremus presentation
Laura Mona presentation

**See the entire Summer School 2020 schedule HERE.**

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June 17, 2020
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An ELI Member Webinar

Agriculture is facing a crossroads: while technologies and innovative practices are increasing productivity, these advances are not always sustainable. Furthermore, climate change is contributing to unpredictable crop yields. Sustainability has become an ever-growing concern among industry leaders, which may challenge the use of some long held practices. Technologies and traditional agriculture practices still common worldwide – tilling, monoculture operations, and synthetic fertilizer and pesticide use, amongst others – degrade and deplete topsoil over time, leading to erosion, run off, and non-point source pollution. Further, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides have the potential to damage the broader environment through air and water pollution.

In February, 21 agricultural groups launched the Farmers for a Sustainable Future (FSF) coalition to forge a more sustainable industry by focusing on improved soil health, water conservation, and the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While government measures and the Farm Bill have long supported voluntary incentive-based conservation programs, some believe these efforts to be inconsistently applied, subject to volatile markets and international trade schemes, and call for more of a balance between broad GHG goals and on the ground work reducing nonpoint source pollution and the overuse of pesticides. Yet overall, GHG emissions from agriculture appear to be declining and improvements in productivity require fewer inputs such as land, water, and nutrients.

What is driving sustainability in agricultural? What are the best practices to foster sustainability in agriculture? What are the conservation components of the current Farm Bill and are they seen as successful? Our panelists explored these questions and more as they dove into the opportunities and obstacles for promoting sustainability in agriculture.

Panelists:
Linda Breggin, Director of the Center for State, Tribal, and Local Environmental Programs, and Senior Attorney, Environmental Law Institute, Moderator
Tim Fink, Federal Policy Director, American Farmland Trust
Amy Hughes, Senior Manager, Technology, Working Lands, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
Rachel Lattimore, Senior Vice President and General Counsel CropLife America

Materials:
ELI members will have subsequent access to any materials/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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June 18, 2020
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An ELI Public Webinar

Today’s innovators are imagining first of their kind – “unicorn” – solutions and transforming these ideas to realities to address the looming challenges presented by climate change and environmental degradation. As the effects of climate change intensify and as deadlines to meet global greenhouse gas emissions targets draw near, innovators are producing creative “unicorn” projects to meet these goals and solve the challenges of tomorrow.

From floating infrastructures that can be utilized in regions experiencing sea level rise to next generation battery technology that can unlock the full potential of renewables and electric vehicles in decarbonizing the economy to floating solar farms that can minimize land use while expanding energy generation. These first of their kind projects bring with them exciting opportunities, but also unprecedented legal nuances.

What are the best practices to follow when proposing and developing innovative projects? How can project managers identify and evaluate environmental risks? How are local, state, and federal governments incentivizing or stifling the development of cutting-edge projects? Our panelists explored these questions and the uncharted terrain of these pioneering projects.

Panelists:
Jillian Kirn
, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, Moderator
Kerri L. Barsh, Co-Chair, Environmental Practice; Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig
Ryan Janda, Branch Chief, Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants Division, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Albert C. Lin, Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law, University of California, Davis School of Law

Materials:
ELI members will have subsequent access to any materials/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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June 19, 2020
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Presented by the Energy Bar Association and co-sponsored by ELI, Women in Government Relations, and the D.C. Bar Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Community


Electrification—the adoption of electric end-use technologies to replace other forms of energy—is occurring at an ever-increasing rate. This phenomenon is being driven in large part by utility investment in smart grid infrastructure and applications, the electrification of vehicles, the proliferation of IoT technologies and more energy-efficient devices; the development of smart communities; and state and local RPS requirements. In this webinar participants learned about the growth in electrification, its beneficial nature, and the regulatory and policy issues that have been raised at both the Federal and the state levels.

  • Introduction
  • Overview of Beneficial Electrification
  • Electric Vehicles—Strategic and Regulatory Issues
  • Battery Storage—Strategic and Regulatory Issues
  • What is the Response from State Regulators?
  • Q&A

Speakers:
Russell Frisby, Partner, Stinson LLP - Moderator
Adam Borison, Senior Vice President, Nathan Associates/EBA Western Chapter
Keith Dennis, Vice President, NRECA
Anne Hoskins, Chief Policy Officer, Sunrun
Samantha Lichtin, Legislative Liaison & Policy Analyst, Colorado Energy Office

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June 23, 2020
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Each summer, ELI convenes a complimentary seminar series that offers an introduction to the legal and policy foundations of environmental protection in the United States.

ELI's Summer School is a series of seminars taught by experts in their fields, introducing the audience to the major environmental statutes (including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)), land use law, and environmental justice. Faculty will also incorporate major regulatory and judicial updates to the laws.

Who will benefit: All are welcome. Students and emerging professionals will have unique opportunities to learn, hear updates, ask questions, and network. The series is intended for:

  • undergraduates,
  • law students and graduate students, and
  • working professionals new to or looking for a refresher course in environmental law (such as interns, summer clerks, and associates, or second-career professionals).

Basics of Land Use Law

Land use and planning touches numerous aspects of daily life. Embodying a range of laws and regulations across federal, state, and local levels, land use law impacts development, conservation, and more. Faculty explored the history of land use, urban planning, and recent trends in approaches to planning communities and development. This session focused on the primary elements of land use law, including:

  • foundations of land use law,
  • legal frameworks,
  • city and regional planning,
  • and conservation.


Faculty:
Sarah Everhart
, Research Associate and Legal Specialist, Agriculture Law Education Initiative, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
Peter Goldsmith, Senior Counsel, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Emily B. Parish, Vice President of Conservation, The Land Trust For Tennessee

Materials:
Sarah Everhart presentation
Peter Goldsmith presentation
Emily Parish presentation

**See the entire Summer School 2020 schedule HERE.**

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June 24, 2020
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An ELI, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C., and the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health Co-Sponsored Conference

This conference marked the fourth Toxic Substances Control Act Annual Conference, expanding upon TSCA: Three Years Later, TSCA Reform at 2 Years and TSCA Reform: One Year Later. Leading panelists will reflect on the accomplishments and challenges since the implementation of the 2016 Lautenberg Amendments and where the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) stands today.

Panelists dove into a host of topics, including the current impacts of TSCA on science policies, challenges faced by industry, and the impacts of TSCA on regulatory policies especially those concerning ensuring compliance and enforcement.

AGENDA
9:30 - 9:45 AM

Welcome and Overview of Forum:

Melissa J. Perry, Sc.D., MSH, Chair and Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University

9:45 - 10:15 AM

Morning Keynote Discussion:

Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

10:15 - 11:45 AM

Panel 1: TSCA Implementation: Where Are We Now?
How has TSCA been applied over the past four years since the enactment of the 2016 Lautenberg Amendments? What impact has the implementation of TSCA had on the regulatory, environmental, political, and corporate sectors? Expert panelists explored TSCA litigation, the status and next steps concerning “first 10” chemicals risk evaluations and regulations, and the next steps for the “next 20” chemical risk evaluations. Additionally, panelists shared how to promote public safety and corporate responsibility, including the treatment and classification of confidential business information (CBI), in accordance with TSCA.

  • Mary Kirchhoff, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Scientific Advancement, American Chemical Society, Moderator
  • Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner, Bergeson & Campbell P.C.

  • Yvette T. Collazo, Director, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxic Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Director of Chemistry, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

  • Mark A. Hartman, Deputy Director for Management, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

  • Liz Hitchcock, Director, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families

11:45 - 12:30 PM

Lunch Break

12:30 - 1:00 PM

Luncheon Keynote

Hon. John ShimkusU.S. Representative, 15th District of Illinois

1:00 - 2:30 PM

Panel 2: Science Policy Issues
What are the numerous impacts of TSCA on science policy? Expert panelists explored chemical prioritization and risk evaluation, efforts to update risk evaluation reporting, chemical data reporting and its use in assessments, testing of new and existing chemicals, updates to chemical category documents reflecting current scientific and assessment approaches, and more.

2:30 - 2:45 PM

Break

2:45 - 4:15 PM

Panel 3: Regulatory and Policy Issues
What are the regulatory and policy issues EPA is considering as it implements the amended TSCA? Panelists explored reporting and labeling requirements, current and potential future compliance standards, enforcement laws and policies, and the role of TSCA in upholding environmental justice.

  • Jeffery T. Morris, Ph.D., Member, Jeff Morris Solutions LLC, formerly Director, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, Moderator
  • Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Director of Chemistry, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

  • David B. Fischer, MPH, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • Robert M. Sussman, Principal, Sussman and Associates

  • Ami Zota, Sc.D., MS, Associate Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University

4:15 - 4:30 PM

Concluding Remarks

Scott Fulton, President, Environmental Law Institute

   

Materials:
Alex Dunn presentation
Speaker Biographies

 

 

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June 25, 2020
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An ELI Member Webinar

People, businesses, cities, and states are increasingly burdened by extreme weather events. While there may not be more weather events per year, drought, heat, wildfires, precipitation, hurricanes, and tornadoes are becoming more intense as Earth warms. Although some point towards lingering uncertainties on the linkage of climate change and extreme weather, others point towards an emerging trend: as Earth warms, extreme weather events are becoming more costly and more deadly.

In the United States from 1980-2009, extreme weather events resulted in an average of 268 fatalities per year and resulted in an annual average cost of $30.3 billion (adjusted for inflation). However, as extreme weather intensified, from 2010-2019, the average lives claimed per year jumped to 521 lives and the costs of these events ballooned to $80.2 billion on average per year. Stemming from these are costs are liabilities including insurance claims, fiduciary duty violations, adaptation concerns, and litigation. Extreme weather is putting increasing pressure on companies, cities, states, and the federal government to develop adaptation and resiliency strategies.

What resiliency and adaptation measures are local and state governments implementing in response to extreme weather? What are the leading strategies that companies and governments are developing in response to extreme weather, and what lessons can be learned? How is liability from extreme weather events affecting companies, as well as state and local governments? This ELI event explored these questions and dove into extreme weather adaptation and resiliency efforts in the United States.

Panelists:
Rebecca L. Kihslinger
, Senior Science and Policy Analyst, Environmental Law Institute, Moderator
Paul A. Hanle, Project Leader, Climate Judiciary Project, Environmental Law Institute, formerly President and CEO, Climate Central
Aladdine Joroff, Staff Attorney and Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School
Sarah Kapnick, Deputy Division Leader, and Research Physical Scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Edward Kussy, Partner, Nossaman LLP

Materials:
ELI members will have subsequent access to any materials/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.

June 25, 2020
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An ELI ELI Program

For the month of June’s Environmental Law Institute Emerging Leaders Initiative (ELI ELI) program, ELI Board Member and Leadership Council Member Kevin Poloncarz provided TED Talk style opening remarks. He explored finding your practice in environmental law.

Whether in an NGO, government, academia or a firm, ELI ELI Leaders have begun to demonstrate leadership and gain distinction in the practice of environmental law and policy.  How does one build a network and reputation that helps you advance? How to find work that is both professionally and personally satisfying? How to strike the right work-life balance? How to take control of the work you’re doing rather than let the work control you? Kevin explored these issues and more before participants continued these conversations in the breakout group setting.

Following the conclusion of Kevin’s remarks, participants participated in regional-based virtual breakout rooms for networking with fellow Emerging Leaders. Each breakout room was facilitated by the ELI ELI Steering Committee and Leaders were encouraged to network with and get to know their fellow Leaders, fostering new relationships in a pivotal time for environmental leadership.

ELI ELI programs are for the exclusive benefit of Emerging Leaders.

Panelist:
Kevin Poloncarz, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP

 

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June 26, 2020
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Presented by Women's Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE)
Co-sponsored by ELI, the Energy Bar Association, Women in Government Relations, and the D.C. Bar Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Community


A WCEE Executive Series Event

Beveridge & Diamond P.C. Chairman Ben Wilson -- a recognized leader in environmental law and the broader legal community -- held an open and honest conversation on environmental law, his experience in managing a law firm, and his leadership style.

Under Ben’s leadership, Beveridge & Diamond has received numerous recognitions for its environmental practice, as has Ben for his leadership of the firm and leadership in the legal community. Known for more than his legal acumen, Ben is a tireless mentor to young attorneys, advocate for the advancement of attorneys of color, and the kind of manager that exhibits genuine concern and care for those who work with him.

A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Ben graduated from Harvard Law School and Dartmouth College. Ben has been lead counsel in numerous complex environmental litigation and regulatory matters for major consumer product corporations, retailers, oil and gas companies, municipalities, and developers. He served as the Court-Appointed Monitor for the Duke Energy coal ash spill remediation project and serves as Deputy Monitor for Emissions & Environmental in the Volkswagen AG emissions proceedings. Ben represents a number of municipal government agencies on Clean Water Act enforcement, litigation, and project development matters and has represented financial bodies on a wide variety of environmental issues pertaining to the sale and ownership of real property, wetlands and Endangered Species Act litigation, and several complex commercial litigation matters.

Ben also offers deep experience with environmental justice representations and is a recognized leader on diversity and inclusion issues in the legal profession. Known for his willingness to mentor and advise attorneys and law students, Ben serves as an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Law at the Howard University School of Law and co-founded the Howard Energy and Environmental Law Society. In 2018, Diverse: Issues In Higher Education featured Ben in the “Black Scholars Matter” series, celebrating Black academicians and their work. Ben established the African American General Counsel and Managing Partner Networks in 2012 and founded the Diverse Partners Network in 2008.

Ben is Chair of the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and serves on the Board of Directors of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College, and the Board of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) where he currently serves as Secretary. For the past 30 years, he has been the Chairman of the Environmental, Energy, and Public Utilities Law Section of the National Bar Association. He serves on numerous other boards for legal associations, civil rights and environmental justice organizations, and environmental non-profit organizations.

WCEE Board Vice President Hana Vizcarra served as host.

 

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June 29, 2020
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The Energy Bar Association's Southern Chapter and the Public Utility Research Center at the University of Florida present a 3-panel webinar series taking place each Monday beginning June 29, 2020. Each Monday will feature a different panel to discuss the lesson and challenges of the post-pandemic energy sector.

FULL AGENDA

June 29th - Webinar 1:  How have the pandemic and government responses to it affected utility financials? How are companies managing liquidity, investment and maintenance?  What is Wall Street’s perspective?

  • Gary ClarkChairman, Florida Public Service Commission (moderator)
  • Dan AschenbachPartner, AGVP Advisory
  • Beth CooperExecutive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation
  • Bill GrafPartner, Deloitte Touche in Power, Utilities and Renewables

July 6th - Webinar 2:  How has the pandemic affected customers short term and long term? How will the pandemic affect industry structure?  What types of companies will have thrived and what types will not be around anymore? Did restructured markets fare differently from vertically integrated markets?  What has happened to innovation?

  • Lisa Edgar, Levin College of Law, University of Florida (moderator)
  • Joy DittoPresident and CEO, American Public Power Association
  • Asim HaqueVice President - State and Member Services, PJM Interconnection 
  • Ted KuryDirector of Energy Studies, Public Utility Research Center (PURC) at the University of Florida

July 13th - Webinar 3: What are the largest regulatory challenges? How have regulators responded to the pandemic and are their lessons learned? What ratemaking systems seem to perform best? Will the pandemic change regulation for the future?

  • The Honorable Ronald Brisé, Government Affairs Practice Leader, Gunster Law, former Chair, Florida Public Service Commission (moderator)
  • Commissioner Julie Brown, Florida Public Service Commissions
  • Hon. Tony Clark, Former Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Scott HemplingPrincipal, Scott Hempling, Attorney at Law LLC
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June 30, 2020
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Each summer, ELI convenes a complimentary seminar series that offers an introduction to the legal and policy foundations of environmental protection in the United States.

ELI's Summer School is a series of seminars taught by experts in their fields, introducing the audience to the major environmental statutes (including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)), land use law, and environmental justice. Faculty will also incorporate major regulatory and judicial updates to the laws.

Who will benefit: All are welcome. Students and emerging professionals will have unique opportunities to learn, hear updates, ask questions, and network. The series is intended for:

  • undergraduates,
  • law students and graduate students, and
  • working professionals new to or looking for a refresher course in environmental law (such as interns, summer clerks, and associates, or second-career professionals).

Basics of the Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act (CAA) has major impacts on the environment, human health, and the economy. In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Clean Power Plan under the CAA, establishing the first-ever national limits to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. EPA has repealed this plan for nationwide emissions reductions, sparking court hearings around the country. Additional rollbacks in CAA regulation and compliance are taking place in response to COVID-19.

As the regulations under the CAA continue to be at the center of developments in environmental law, this session explored both the foundations and real-world examples of the CAA. Our faculty discussed:

  • permitting programs,
  • air quality planning regulations,
  • standards for major sources, area sources, mobile sources, and
  • major developments, including in regulation of greenhouse gases.

Faculty:
Natasha DeJarnett, Ph.D.
, Interim Associate Director, National Environmental Health Association
Stacie B. Fletcher, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Larry Weinstock, Program Innovation Coordinator, Office of Air and Radiation (OAR), U.S. EPA

Materials:
Natasha DeJarnett presentation
Stacie Fletcher presentation
Larry Weinstock presentation

**See the entire Summer School 2020 schedule HERE.**

June 30, 2020
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Presented by the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice and co-sponsored by ELI


Everyone has now heard of "flattening the curve," a call for collective action to limit the worst effects of COVID-19. Advocates of climate action have begun to note the uncanny similarities between unchecked climate change and the pandemic, including the challenges brought by exponential growth, increased public awareness of the problem, and the imperative of a unified public response. Both pandemics and climate change know no boundaries and have the most impact on vulnerable communities; but ultimately they affect us all. Both jeopardize the safety, well-being and inherent dignity of those affected. And both trigger legal and ethical obligations of governments and the private sector to protect and safeguard the civil, political, economic, social and cultural human rights that pandemics and climate change threaten equally. Because climate change, like COVID-19, is a global problem with local consequences, addressing it will require a collaborative and coordinated set of solutions implemented locally, nationally, regionally and internationally. Attorneys have a major role to play by writing and advocating for meaningful change. Speakers described the lessons COVID-19 has taught us about the need for an effective global response; and they will identify a variety of legal actions governments and the private sector must take to "flatten the curve" and keep the worst effects of climate change at bay.

Speakers:
Lisa Benjamin
(Moderator)– Assistant Professor of Law, Lewis & Clark Law School
Sara Bronin – Faculty Director, Center for Energy & Environmental Law, University of Connecticut School of Law
Michael Gerrard – Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia Law School; Faculty Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School
Tracey M. Roberts – Associate Professor of Law, Cumberland School of Law, Samford University
Adam Zipkin – Legislative Counsel, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker

 
 
 
 
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