May 14, 2018

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.


Topics addressed in this month's call:

  • Federal Circuit decision in St. Bernard Parish v. US (re MRGO liability)
  • NRDC v. NHTSA (2d Cir. re penalties for violations of vehicle fuel efficiency standards)
  • NRDC v. Perry (9th Cir. re publication of energy conservation rules)
  • Exxon v. Massachusetts AG (Massachusetts Supreme Court -- Mass. AG investigation may proceed)
  • State v. Klapstein (Minn. Ct. App. -- allowing necessity defense)
  • Draft NHTSA/EPA rollback of Obama vechicle standards now at OMB
  • EPA carbon-neutral biomass policy
  • New Jersey passed two energy bills. One increases the state RPS to 50% by 2030 and sets a goal of 2,000 MW of energy storage by 2030. The other creates a ZEC program to provide subsidies for the state’s remaining nuclear power plants.
  • The Hawaii legislature passed a law to reform utility regulation in the state toward a performance-based model. The Ratepayer Protection Act (SB 2939) directs the PUC to design incentives and penalties that link utility revenue to several customer-focused performance metrics by 2020.
  • Attorneys General from 17 states sue Trump Administration over proposed rollback of vehicle GHG emissions regulations.
  • Ohio Public Utility Commission approves $10 million EV charging infrastructure plan for AEP Ohio.
  • Maryland passed legislation expanding existing "Coast Smart" requirements for state and state-funded local projects, and adding new planning requirements for local jurisdictions that experience nuisance flooding.
  • The Village of Newtok, Alaska is receiving $22 million in federal and state funds to continue efforts to relocate the community away from the river-driven erosion that threatening the village.
  • Louisiana announced projects in six parishes to be funded through the LA SAFE program, which provides funding to communities to implement adaptations or other measures that will improve their resilience to future sea-level rise, land loss, and flooding.
  • New York Gov. Cuomo announced new energy efficiency goals that would increase the state’s current 2025 energy savings goal by 50%.

Vicki Arroyo, 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

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.

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.

May 14, 2018

Co-sponsored by ELI, Chicago Bar Association Environmental Law Committee, and the Lake Michigan States Section of the Air & Waste Management Association.
Hosted by Nijman Franzetti LLP.

NOTE: Leverett (Rett) Nelson, Regional Counsel of US EPA Region 5, substituted for Administrator Stepp at this event.


Ms. Stepp serves as the Regional Administrator for EPA Region 5. Her responsibilities include overseeing environmental protection efforts in the Great Lakes states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, as well as 35 federally recognized tribal governments. One of her roles is manager of EPA Great Lakes National Program, in which she leads restoration and protection of the largest freshwater system in the world. Before joining Region 5, she was principal deputy regional administrator for EPA Region 7.

Ms. Stepp served as the secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources from 2011 to 2017. As state cabinet secretary, she led the third largest state agency with about 4,000 employees and was responsible for state enforcement and protection of wildlife, fisheries, state parks, trails, forests and environmental permitting.

Ms. Stepp also served as a Wisconsin state senator from 2003 to 2007, where she represented nearly 160,000 constituents and authored and advanced legislation on regulatory reform, job creation and other issues. Prior to entering public service, Ms. Stepp owned a small business, a home-building company.

Ms. Stepp will discuss recent office accomplishments, updates on agency priorities and her office’s goals for the upcoming months.