October 19, 2021

ELI 2021 Corporate & Policy Forum

In the age of private environmental governance, companies play a growing role in environmental management and sustainability. The ESG (environment, social, and governance) priority — the new frame for corporate sustainability thinking — has companies increasingly focused on strategies for improving their relationships with the communities in which they operate, including environmental justice (EJ) communities. Evolving corporate EJ strategies may be a valuable addition to efforts to shift the power dynamics that have contributed to the legacy of environmental injustice.

Governments at all levels, long challenged in the quest to level the distribution of environmental benefits and burdens, are reexamining how to make further progress on this important front. The role of local land use planning laws and decisions in contributing to cumulative environmental impact scenarios remains a difficult point of intersection. But new energy in the federal government to make progress on these issues, along with the intensifying efforts in the private sector, make this an important moment of opportunity for progress on this key issue.

But what makes for actions and decisions that avoid new burdens for overburdened communities or that offset or reduce existing burdens? How can corporations, governments, and community groups work together more effectively to these ends? What kinds of outreach and engagement has proven effective in involving EJ communities in environmental decisions that affect them and in engendering community support?  How can land use planners and environmental regulators work together more effectively to avoid or ameliorate pollution hotspots? What are the lessons learned by companies and governments implementing EJ policies, and how can success be replicated? Join ELI for this year’s combined Corporate & Policy Forum, featuring expert panelists exploring best practices for and lessons learned from private and public governance that can contribute to a more just environmental future.

Arielle V. King, Environmental Justice Staff Attorney, Environmental Law Institute, Moderator
Carlos M. Brown, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Dominion Energy
Stacey Sublett Halliday, Principal, Beveridge & Diamond
Dana Johnson, Director of the Federal Policy Office, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
Marco K. Merrick, Acting Chief, Equity and Environmental Justice, Department of Public Works, Baltimore City
Fred Tutman, Riverkeeper & CEO, Patuxent Riverkeeper

ELI members will have subsequent 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.

October 19, 2021

The Environmental Law Institute's ANNUAL AWARD CEREMONY will be held in person* and streaming this year on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.

We are very excited to announce that this year's Environmental Achievement Award will go to Carol Browner, the longest serving EPA Administrator and a true climate champion!

The 2021 Award Dinner will take place on Tuesday, October 19, 2021
The Omni Shoreham Hotel
2500 Calvert Street, NW
Washington, DC
Please contact Melodie DeMulling at 202-939-3808 or demulling@eli.org
if you would like to become a Star Sponsor of the 2021 Award Dinner!

*ELI is asking only vaccinated people to attend the in-person reception and dinner on October 19.

The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) is pleased to announce that it will present its 2021 Environmental Achievement Award to Carol M. Browner in recognition of her visionary leadership and outstanding environmental stewardship over a most distinguished career.

Carol Browner is perhaps best known for her work as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a position she held during the Clinton Administration from 1993 through 2001. But she also served as Assistant to President Obama and the first Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, where she oversaw the coordination of environmental, energy, climate, transport, and related policy across the U.S. federal government. During her tenure, the White House secured the largest investment ever in clean energy and established the national car policy that included both new automobile fuel-efficiency standards and first-ever greenhouse gas reductions.

“As the only Administrator in history to serve two consecutive terms in a job many regard as one of the toughest jobs in all of government, Carol Browner was truly a transformational leader for EPA, with many of the environmental actions she directed remaining in place to this day,” said Scott Fulton, ELI’s President. “Her vision lead to EPA’s groundbreaking decision to treat carbon as a pollutant and set the stage for federal policy to tackle the climate crisis. Her legacy is the cleaner air, water, and lands we have today.”

During her tenure and under her direction, EPA adopted what were at the time the most stringent air pollution standards in U.S. history; set for the first time a fine particle clean air standard; and spearheaded the reauthorization of the Safe Drinking Water Act as well as the Food Quality Protection Act. Also under her leadership, EPA issued its landmark second-hand smoke report, which forever changed the country’s relationship with tobacco. Ms. Browner started the Agency’s Brownfields Program, which helped facilitate cleanups of brownfield lands and their contaminated facilities, especially in urban areas, by empowering states, communities, and assorted stakeholders in economic development. She adopted “environmental justice” as part of EPA’s lexicon and spearheaded the effort to secure the signing of the first presidential environmental justice Executive Order. She completely reorganized and consolidated EPA’s enforcement operations to improve their strength, consistency, and efficiency.

She orchestrated EPA’s move from remote and run-down Waterside Mall to its fabulous space in the William Jefferson Clinton/Ronald Reagan complex—some of the best government office space in D.C.—lifting EPA’s profile and relative positioning in the Washington power structure. Throughout her tenure, Carol was known for working with both environmentalists and industry to set science-based public health protections while providing businesses important flexibilities in how to meet those standards. A true “unicorn,” Ms. Browner was able to negotiate bipartisan agreement on key environmental policy while protecting the Agency’s resources and legal authorities from unprecedented challenges.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Browner served as Secretary of Environmental Regulation in Florida, where she launched the largest ecological restoration project ever attempted in the United States to restore the natural flow of water to the Everglades.

Today, Ms. Browner continues her work with environmental organizations and private-sector climate leaders. Ms. Browner serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the League of Conservation Voters.

ELI will present the 2021 Environmental Achievement Award to Carol Browner on October 19 in person at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, D.C., and streaming virtually. Details and tickets are available at https://www.eli.org/award-dinner.