Managing the Great Lakes

October 29, 2019 2:00 pm — 5:00 pm
Chicago, IL (and webinar)

An ELI and Jenner & Block LLP Co-Sponsored 50th Anniversary Seminar

The Great Lakes Basin is the largest freshwater system in the world, containing 20% of the earth’s fresh water.  Careful management has proven vital to the health of this key natural resource, and has become increasingly important in light of recent challenges and in preparation for the expected impacts of climate change upon the Lakes and the communities that rely on them.

Panel 1: The Great Lakes Compact and Water Rights

More than 35 million people in the U.S. and Canada use the Great Lakes for drinking water, jobs, and recreation. Upwards of 40 million gallons of water are drawn from the Great Lakes every day for use in electrical power production, drinking water, industrial production, and agriculture. Recent debates over who is eligible to use Great Lakes water have sparked renewed tension amongst those who rely on these water resources. Panelists are leaders in Great Lakes policy, and explored various innovations in water management as well as potential tactics and initiatives to ensure the sustainable use of Great Lakes water.

Steven Siros
, Partner, Chair, Environmental Litigation Practice, and Co-Chair, Environmental Workplace Health and Safety Practice, Jenner & Block, Moderator
Cameron Davis, Commissioner, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and former Great Lakes Czar
Victoria Pebbles, Program Director, Great Lakes Commission

Panel 2: Algae Blooms

There has been a significant uptick in the incidence of algae blooms in waters throughout the United States. The Great Lakes have not been immune, with widespread algae blooms being reported in all of the Great Lakes. Recent examples include a 2014 algae bloom in Lake Erie that forced the city of Toledo to declare the water unsafe for drinking or bathing and a 2018 significant algae bloom reported around the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior. As climate change continues to contribute to warming waters, there is a high likelihood of increased algae blooms throughout the Great Lakes. Experts representing a range of environmental sectors explained and discussed their ongoing efforts to address the conditions that contribute to algae blooms in the Great Lakes.

Gabrielle Sigel
, Partner and Co-Chair, Environmental and Workplace Health and Safety Law Practice, and Climate and Clean Technology Law Practice, Jenner & Block,
Todd Brennan, Senior Policy Manager, Alliance for the Great Lakes
Robert Michaels, Senior Attorney, Environmental Law and Policy Center
William Goodfellow, Jr., Principal Scientist, Health Sciences, Exponent
Todd Nettesheim, Deputy Director, Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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