July 10, 2018

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 brown-bag lunch seminars taught by experts in their fields, introducing the audience to the major environmental statutes (including NEPA, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, TSCA, RCRA, and CERCLA) and land use law. 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 has a major impact on the environment,human health, and the economy. The Act and its implementing regulations are at the center of many of the most pressing controversies in environmental law.

As the Trump administration’s infrastructure plan has begun to take shape, a focus has been put on decreasing the time it takes to receive a permit. Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency has put forth plans to remove certain regulations that allow specific industrial polluters to turn off their pollution controls. A move like this would allow major plants to discharge more contaminants as a proposed cost-effective decision. Environmental groups have filed lawsuits on behalf of surrounding communities affected by this move. Additionally, the EPA has proposed a plan to abolish the Obama administration’s fuel efficiency standards. Yet despite this move, California, with the support of countless environmental groups, continues to fight back and retain the stricter fuel standards.

The Clean Air course provided real world examples of air quality planning to make this complex area accessible. Our expert panelists delved into:

  • permitting programs,
  • standards for mobile sources, and
  • special programs developed to improve air quality such as the acid rain program.

Phil Assmus, Senior Staff Associate, National Association of Clean Air Agencies
Janet McCabe, Senior Law Fellow, Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC); Professor of Practice, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, and Assistant Director for Policy and Implementation, Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute. Formerly Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation, U.S. EPA.
Peter Whitfield, Counsel, Sidley Austin LLP

Phil Assmus presentation
Peter Whitfield/Janet McCabe combined presentation

**See the entire Summer School 2018 schedule HERE.**

July 10, 2018

ELI is hosting a series of webinars on the policy, practice, and science of stream compensatory mitigation. Webinar topics are based on the findings and recommendations of the 2017 report Stream Mitigation: Science, Policy, and Practice and selected in coordination with an Advisory Committee of stream mitigation experts. The series will cover a range of issues from assessing stream functions and conditions to restoration approaches and long-term success of compensation projects. This ten-part series is funded by an EPA Wetland Program Development Grant.

Stream Compensatory Mitigation Webinar Series: Status of Stream Compensatory Mitigation

Stream compensation is on the rise. The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) reported that in 2005, 12 percent of all approved mitigation banks provided stream credits. By the end of 2014, 22 percent of all approved mitigation banks had stream credits (USACE, Institute for Water Resources, 2015). The science of stream restoration is also rapidly evolving, as is the development of state and Corps policies governing stream assessment and compensation requirements. Several states have formalized stream mitigation programs, the majority of which were initiated after the Corps and EPA issued regulations in 2008, and at least 32 stream mitigation guidance documents have been developed by states and Corps districts across the country. This webinar reviewed the current status of stream compensatory mitigation policy and practice throughout the United States. This is the first event in our 10-part Stream Compensatory Mitigation Webinar Series.

Rebecca Kihslinger, Environmental Law Institute
Steve Martin, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Institute for Water Resources
Brian Topping, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Jeanne Christie and Brenda Zollitsch, Association of State Wetland Managers


Additional Information/Resources:
Visit ELI's resource page, The State of Stream Compensatory Mitigation: Science, Policy, and Practice

July 10, 2018

Hunton Andrews Kurth and the Environmental Law Institute held a complimentary summer speaker series featuring key representatives from environmental regulatory agencies. The series of informal seminars provided attendees with the opportunity to directly interact with environmental regulators and professionals in the field on the latest issues and challenges in environmental law in California and throughout the western United States.

U.S. EPA Region 9

Kathleen Johnson is the Director of Enforcement for Region 9 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Ms. Kathleen Johnson oversees the Enforcement Division, which has a staff of nearly 100, including inspectors, planners and data analysts, with responsibility for compliance inspections, enforcement case development, state oversight coordination, compliance data management and analysis. Ms. Johnson spoke about the latest trends and developments on enforcement at EPA Region 9.

Kathleen Johnson, Director of Enforcement, US EPA, Region 9
Sam Brown, Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP (Moderator)


**See other sessions in the San Francisco Summer Speaker Series schedule HERE.**