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Speakers

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Mary D. Nichols, J.D., was reappointed Chairman of the California Air Resources Board by Governor Jerry Brown in January 2011, a post she previously held under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger from 2007 to 2010 and under Governor Brown (during his first tenure) from 1979 to 1983. At ARB she is responsible for implementing California's landmark greenhouse gas emissions legislation as well as setting air pollution standards for motor vehicles, fuels and consumer products. After graduating from Cornell University and Yale Law School, Ms. Nichols practiced environmental law in Los Angeles, bringing cases on behalf of environmental and public health organizations to enforce state and federal clean air legislation. President Clinton appointed her to head the Office of Air and Radiation at U.S. EPA, where she was responsible for, among many other regulatory breakthroughs, the acid rain trading program and setting the first air quality standard for fine particles. She also served as California's Secretary for Natural Resources from 1999 to 2003. Prior to her return to the ARB, Ms. Nichols was Professor of Law and Director of the Institute of the Environment at UCLA.

 

PANELIST SPEAKERS

John Cruden
John C. Cruden is the President of the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), a nationally recognized non-profit association that provides research, education, and publications in the area of environmental law and policy.  Before coming to ELI, Mr. Cruden was--for over two decades--the career Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). He has personally litigated and led settlement negotiations in numerous environmental cases, many with reported decisions.  Prior to becoming Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Mr. Cruden was Chief of the Environmental Enforcement Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. DOJ.  Before joining the U.S. DOJ, he was the Chief Legislative Counsel of the Army.  Mr. Cruden graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and served in airborne, ranger, and Special Forces units before attending law school. He is a Past President of the District of Columbia Bar, the second largest bar in the nation, and is a Past Chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section on Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources, as well as a member of the American College of Environmental Lawyers.  Mr. Cruden has received the Presidential Rank Award from President Barack H. Obama, President George W. Bush and President William J. Clinton, and numerous awards from the U.S. DOJ, the EPA, the ABA, the Federal Bar Association, and the military.  In 2010, he was listed by LawDragon as one of the top 500 lawyers in America. He has written and lectured extensively in the areas of environment, energy, and natural resources law.

Michael Wara

Michael Wara’s research focuses on climate policy and regulation, both domestically and internationally. Professor Wara’s current scholarship addresses the performance of the emerging global market for greenhouse gases and mechanisms for reducing emissions, especially in developing countries after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. Professor Wara was formerly a geochemist and climate scientist and has published work on the history of the El Niño/La Niña system and its response to changing climates, especially those warmer than today. The results of his scientific research have been published in premier scientific journals, including Science and Nature. Professor Wara joined the Stanford Law School faculty in 2007 as a research fellow in environmental law and as a lecturer in law. Previously, he was an associate in Holland & Knight's Government Practice Group, where his practice focused on climate change, land use, and environmental law. Professor Wara is a research fellow at the Program in Energy and Sustainable Development in Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He is a 2007 graduate of Stanford Law School, and he received a Ph.D. in Ocean Sciences from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2003. He holds a BA from Columbia University.


Mary Wood

Mary Christina Wood is Philip H. Knight Professor of Law, Faculty Director for the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, and a 2007-08 Luvaas Faculty Fellow at the University of Oregon School of Law. She teaches property law, natural resources law, public trust law, federal Indian law, public lands law, wildlife law, and hazardous waste law. She is the Founding Director of the school's Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program and is Faculty Leader of the Program's Conservation Trust Project, Sustainable Land Use Project and Native Environmental Sovereignty Project. After graduating from Stanford Law School in 1987, she served as a judicial clerk on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She then practiced in the environmental/natural resources department of Perkins Coie, a Pacific Northwest law firm. In 1994 she received the University's Ersted Award for Distinguished Teaching and in 2002 she received the Orlando Hollis Faculty Teaching Award. Professor Wood is a co-author of a leading textbook on natural resources law (West, 2006) and has published extensively on climate crisis, natural resources, and native law issues. She is a frequent speaker on global warming issues and has received national and international attention for her sovereign trust approach to global climate policy. Professor Wood is currently working on a book entitled, Nature's Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age.

 

WORKSHOP SPEAKERS

Environmental Enforcement:
Using Civil & Criminal Laws to Address Environmental Misdeeds

Jeffrey Meyer, Yale Law School & Quinnipiac Univ. School of Law

Kevin Cassidy, Lewis & Clark Law School


Jeffrey A. Meyer
is a Visiting Professor of Law at Yale Law School and Professor of Law at Quinnipiac University School of Law. He has taught in the fields of environmental law, criminal procedure, international law, legal ethics, and Supreme Court litigation. Before teaching law, he was Senior Counsel to the Independent Inquiry Committee into the United Nations Oil-for-Food Program, led by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. Prior to that, Professor Meyer served for nearly 10 years as a federal criminal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut and served as the Office’s lead prosecutor of environmental crimes. Professor Meyer also served as a law clerk to Chief Judge James L. Oakes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Associate Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court. He has studied rural development economics as a Fulbright Scholar in Ecuador and is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School.
  
Kevin Cassidy is a Staff Attorney at the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center of Lewis & Clark Law School. In January 2011, Mr. Cassidy opened PEAC’s East Coast office (Massachusetts) to better position the clinic to participate in environmental litigation of national scope and importance. Prior to joining PEAC, Mr. Cassidy was a Senior Trial Attorney in the Environmental Crimes Section of the United States Department of Justice. In his eight years as an environmental crimes prosecutor, Mr. Cassidy was co-lead counsel for several significant prosecutions, including the 2007 trial of Southern Union Company in Rhode Island. He received a B.A. from the University of Connecticut and a J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School.

   

Corporate Accountability in Environmental Law:
Strategies in Litigation & Market Innovation

Jim Coburn, Senior Manager, Investment Programs, Ceres
Adam Riedel, Associate Director, Columbia Center for Climate Change Law

Alisa Valderama, Financial Policy Analyst, NRDC Center for Market Innovation


Jim Coburn
 is a Senior Manager, Investor Programs at Ceres, where he directs efforts to improve mandatory disclosure of environmental risks and opportunities by corporations.  He has collaborated with investors since 2003 to improve climate change disclosure in financial filings, leading to SEC interpretive guidance on the subject in February 2010.  Jim directs Ceres’ involvement in the Climate Disclosure Standards Board, a global collaboration of accounting associations and NGOs developing standards for reporting in financial filings.  He has managed several reports evaluating companies’ governance, performance and reporting related to climate change, and is co-author of Disclosing Climate Risks & Opportunities in SEC Filings: A Guide for Corporate Executives, Attorneys & Directors.  He earned his law degree from Boston College Law School and BA in Government from Cornell University.

Alisa Valderrama
 is Senior Project Finance Attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Center for Market Innovation.  Alisa joined the NRDC from the Clinton Climate Initiative, where she participated in the design and implementation of large-scale energy efficiency and hybrid transport finance projects.  Previously, Alisa helped launch the World Bank’s first capacity-building program geared toward environmental and social governance.  Alisa holds an LL.M in International Law from the London School of Economics, a J.D.  from the University of Southern California, and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Adam Riedel
is the Associate Director and a fellow at the Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law. Prior to joining the Center for Climate Change Law, Mr. Riedel practiced environmental law at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in New York.  He holds a J.D. from Duke Law School and an M.A. in Environmental Science and Policy from Duke University.

 

Old Laws, New Problems:
Evolving Legal Strategies & Responsibilities for Water Quality
Tom Lindley, Partner in Environment, Energy, & Natural Resources Practice, Perkins Coie
Ann Powers, Pace Univ. School of Law, Center for Env. Legal Studies

Tom Lindley
is a partner at Perkins Coie and Firmwide Chair for Environment, Energy & Resources. Tom has over 25 years' experience with cutting edge environmental matters including strategic counseling; underground coal gasification (UCG) and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), chemical weapons, air, water, and hazardous waste and solid waste permits; water quality and supply; greenhouse gases/climate change; cleantech/greentech; buying, selling, and developing contaminated properties; endangered species; oil spills response; enforcement defense; litigation and trials; site investigations and remediation; audits and due diligence; and investigation of potential criminal matters. Tom helped to conceive and create the nation's first watershed-based multiple source NPDES permit, the nation's first statutory Prospective Purchaser Agreement protections, the nation's first multi-party multi-species Candidate Conservation Agreement, the nation's first statutory environmental audit privilege, Oregon's water quality trading law, and the 2001 Oregon Sustainability Act.
 
Professor Ann Powers is a full-time faculty member of Pace Law School’s Center for Environmental Legal Studies.  Her scholarship includes articles on emerging ocean issues, water pollution trading programs, and citizen litigation, among other subjects.  Professor Powers’ has worked with United Nations Environment Program projects and the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN) Commission on Environmental Law and its Law Academy.  She chairs the Land-based Pollution Subcommittee of the Commission’s Oceans, Coasts & Coral Reefs Specialist Group. She was a co-organizer of a Workshop on High Seas Governance for the 21st Century, an international conference on policy and regulatory options to improve oceans governance held in New York City. She has served on many boards and panels, including the National Research Council’s Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Environmental Law, and the Board of Directors of the Environmental Law Institute.   In connection with her work and professional activities she has testified on numerous occasions before the US Senate and House of Representatives, and state legislatures and commissions. 

 

Ensuring Healthy & Sustainable Communities for All:
Federal, State, & Local Approaches to Advancing Env. Justice

John (Jack) Dillon, Executive Director, Groundwork Bridgeport
Suzi Ruhl, Senior Attorney Policy Advisor, U.S. EPA Office of Env. Justice
Gerald Torres, Visiting Professor, Yale Law School

 
Jack Dillon
is Executive Director of Groundwork Bridgeport.  Bridgeport is one of the three original Groundwork trusts (of 19 nationwide currently) and sponsors a wide variety of remediation and revitalization programs including two city-wide cleanup projects each year, assists the city with park maintenance and tree plantings, is helping create a new vacant lot management program, maintains 9 school based vegetable gardens, sponsors a yard care program for low-income seniors to allow them to remain in their home in a neat, blight free environment, and sponsors a high school environmental program involving students in revitalization efforts such as helping create rain gardens to aid in stormwater mitigation.  Prior to joining Groundwork Bridgeport, Jack was the founding Executive Director of the “new” Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens in Stamford CT, and led a multi-million dollar expansion and revitalization of the gardens.  His earlier career in industry included operational and marketing positions with both FORTUNE 500 corporations and entrepreneurial start-ups.  For 14 years he served as Managing Partner of Dillon & Co., a business consulting firm.  By education he is a Biologist.

 
B. Suzi Ruhl is currently Senior Attorney Advisor for the US EPA Office of Environmental Justice. In this capacity, she works to integrate environmental justice in NEPA, permitting and rulemaking, supports community based action, and fosters administration wide action that promotes healthy and sustainable communities for environmentally burdened and medically underserved populations.  Prior to this position, she was the Director of the Public Health and Law Program for the Environmental Law Institute.  She is also the founder and former President of the Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation, Inc. (LEAF).  Ms. Ruhl has been an Assistant Clinical Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at the New York State University School of Optometry and has had a Courtesy Faculty Appointment to the Institute of Public Health at Florida A&M University.  In addition to her law degree, Ms. Ruhl has a Master’s Degree in Public Health (Epidemiology). She is admitted to the bars of the Northern District of Florida and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Gerald Torres is currently a visiting Professor at the Yale Law School. He holds the Bryant Smith Chair at the University of Texas at Austin and is former President of the Association of American Law Schools. A 1977 graduate of the Yale Law School Professor Torres has taught at Stanford Law School and at Harvard Law School where he served as the Oneida Nation Visiting Professor of Law. Professor Torres served as Counsel to the Attorney General on environmental matters and Indian affairs at the U.S. Department of Justice. Professor Torres has written widely in environmental law, natural resource and Indian law and has served on the Board of the Environmental Law Institute, the EPA's National Environmental Justice Advisory Council as well as the National Petroleum Council. He is currently board chair of EarthDay Network and founding Chairman of the Advancement Project, the leading Civil Rights advocacy organization in the country. He has lectured in Europe and Latin American and served as a consultant to the United Nations on environmental matters. He is a life member of the American Law Institute and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

 

Food: Sustainability and Access
Amy Laura Cahn, Skadden Fellow at Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia

Amy Laura Cahn
is a Skadden Fellow at the Public Interest Law Center in Philadelphia. She provides comprehensive legal assistance, including direct legal, transactional, and negotiation support, to Philadelphians in historically underserved and low wealth communities. Ms. Cahn uses urban farming to encourage economic independence, to foster community food sovereignty, and to help reclaim neighborhoods from urban blight. She is a 2009 University of Pennsylvania Law School graduate, magna cum laude, where she was a Toll Public Interest Scholar, a Louderback Legal Writing Fellow, and co-founder of the Penn Law Environmental Law Project. Ms. Cahn clerked for Honorable Michael M. Baylson of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and for Honorable Stephen Skillman, P.J.A.D., of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. Ms. Cahn’s community-based study on childhood lead paint poisoning, written with Gabriel Thompson, helped to overturn New York City's lead laws in 2004.

 

Righteous Minds & Black Swans: 
Strategies for Adapting to Public Morality and
Chance in Environmental Enforcement

Justin Savage, U.S. DOJ, Env. & Natural Resources Division, Env. Enforcement Section

Justin Savage
 is a Senior Counsel in the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. He is a trial lawyer and supervisor in the Division’s Environmental Enforcement Section, focusing on civil enforcement federal environmental laws on behalf of EPA. Mr. Savage was lead counsel in United States v. American Electric Power (S.D. Ohio), in which EPA received the largest single environmental settlement in history. Mr. Savage also served as lead counsel in the remedy phase of United States v. Cinergy (S.D. Ind.), the first remedy case to be tried under the New Source Review provisions of the Clean Air Act. Mr. Savage is a 1997 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law.

 

Shale Gas Development & Hydraulic Fracturing:
An Environmental Justice Issue?

James Saiers, Prof. of Hydrology, Yale School of Forestry
Briana Mordick, Oil and Gas Science Fellow, Natural Resources Defense Counse
l
Deborah Goldberg, Managing Attorney, Earthjustice


Deborah Goldberg
 is the Managing Attorney of Earthjustice's new Northeast Regional Office, where she supervises and conducts legal advocacy and litigation related to global warming and environmental health. Her arrival at Earthjustice in July 2008 marked a return to the practice of environmental law, where she spent the first decade of her legal career. As an attorney at the law firms Berle, Kass & Case and Arnold & Porter, she concentrated in cases involving environmental impact review, historic preservation, and hazardous waste issues. She was lead counsel at the U.S. Supreme Court for the county intervenors in New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144 (1992) (overturning portions of the Low Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act).  While in private practice, she also co-authored with Michael B. Gerrard the environmental law column of the New York Law Journal.  Ms. Goldberg is a graduate of Harvard Law School, and also holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and taught ethics for three years at Columbia University before embarking on the study and practice of law.

Briana Mordick is an Oil and Gas Science Fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). She holds a B.A. in Earth Sciences from Boston University (2002) and an M.S. in Geological Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2005). Prior to joining NRDC, Briana worked for Anadarko Petroleum for six years as a petroleum geologist on projects including shale gas, tight gas sands, and CO2 enhanced oil recovery. Briana is NRDC’s lead on geological and technological issues related to natural gas production and the identification of regulatory solutions and industry best practices to address the environmental impacts of natural gas.

Jim Saiers is a Professor of Hydrology and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  Much of his scholarly work focuses on factors influencing the fate of waterborne chemicals in streams, rivers, wetlands, and groundwater. This research involves experiments that illuminate the ways in which physical and chemical processes combine to regulate contaminant levels within aquatic environments.  By using these experimental observations to advance theories for contaminant migration, Saiers seeks to develop predictive approaches that can be used to inform water-resource management decisions and to guide restoration plans for sites impacted by polluted groundwater and surface water. He grew up in a two-traffic-light town in north-central Pennsylvania that sits atop the Marcellus Shale, which recently has been revealed as a natural-gas super giant. Saiers wants to improve understanding of the water-quality and water-supply impacts of Marcellus shale-gas development and help devise management practices that minimize these impacts so that this potential energy and economic game-changer does not imperil access to safe drinking water or the health of freshwater ecosystems.

 

pH, Phytoplankton, & Policy:
Drivers of Ocean Acidification & Potential Solutions

Dr. Libby Jewett, Director of NOAA Ocean Acidification Program
Ryan P. Kelly, Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions


Dr. Elizabeth (Libby) Jewett
, a NOAA scientist with diverse science and management experience in ocean acidification and coastal hypoxia (low oxygen) research programs, is the first director of NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program. A founding member of NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Steering Committee, Jewett has led NOAA-wide meetings of scientists and policymakers to conceive and develop NOAA’s first comprehensive ocean acidification research plan. Jewett earned a doctorate in biology at the University of Maryland, a master of public policy degree at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and a bachelor’s degree at Yale University. She is an adjunct professor of biology at George Washington University and has authored a number of peer-reviewed publications and interagency research assessments and plans.

Ryan Kelly 
is Analyst for Science, Law, and Policy with Stanford University's Center for Ocean Solutions.  Ryan's role is to bridge the divide between hard scientific data and policymakers' use of those data, bringing both technical and legal analysis to bear on issues affecting the coastal ocean.  Ryan received a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology from Columbia University, followed by two years of postdoctoral work at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, using molecular techniques to study the interplay among geography, ecology, and genetics in Pacific intertidal animals.  He later received a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, applying genetic and ecological research to real-world questions of law and policy.  His current work focuses on ocean acidification, environmental monitoring, and public resources management.

 

Accountability to Future Generations
Sébastien Jodoin, Centre for International Sustainable Development Law

Sébastien Joudin is a Trudeau Scholar at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Director of the One Justice Project. He is also Lead Counsel for climate change with the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law and holds Fellowships with the Canadian Centre for International Justice and the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. He serves on Amnesty International’s Working Group on International Justice and on the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Poverty Law. Sébastien previously worked in the Canadian branch of Amnesty International and the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. He holds degrees in law, international law, and international relations from McGill University, the London School of Economics, and the University of Cambridge. Sébastien has received numerous awards and honors, most recently a Trudeau Scholarship, an SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, a John Humphrey Fellowship in Human Rights from the Canadian Council on International Law, and a Public Interest Law Articling Fellowship from the Law Foundation of Ontario.

 

The Case of Specialized Environmental Courts & Tribunals
Merideth Wright, Vermont Environmental Court, Retired

Elizabeth Burleson, Pace Univ. School of Law

Judge Merideth Wright retired on September 2011 as one of the two environmental judges for the State of Vermont; she presided over the Vermont Environmental Court (now known as the Environmental Division of the Vermont Superior Court) since its creation in 1990. The Vermont Environmental Court is a judicial branch civil trial court with statewide jurisdiction over certain environmental enforcement cases, over all appeals and enforcement matters involving local zoning and planning decisions, and over all appeals from state environmental and land use permit decisions. Before her appointment to the bench, Judge Wright worked in the Vermont Attorney General’s Office, and, before moving to Vermont in 1978, worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in a small Washington, D.C. law firm, and for a county prosecutor’s office.  She earned her J.D. degree in 1974 from the University of Chicago and her B.A. degree in 1971 (magna cum laude) from Yale University, in an independent environmental studies major.  Judge Wright has taught courses at the Vermont Law School, the University of Vermont, and Pace University School of Law, and has presented on judicial and environmental topics at international and U.S. conferences, as well as in Vermont, throughout her professional career.

Professor Elizabeth Burleson
has an LL.M. in International Law from the London School of Economics and is a Fulbright Senior Specialist. Focusing on emerging International Law, Prof. Burleson has been an advisor to UNICEF's Senior Advisor for the Environment and to the New York Director of UNEP. She has also written reports for UNESCO and UNDP. A particular focus has been placed on design, development and implementation of human rights and environmental programs. She was a member of the UNICEF delegation to the Bali Climate Conference; worked with the NWF and UNEP delegations to the Copenhagen Climate Conference and with the IUCN and ASIL delegations to the Cancun and Durban Climate Conferences. Prof. Burleson is on the National Wildlife Federation President's Advisory Council and has conducted legal research for Amnesty International's London-based International Secretariat and New York-based research division. She joined the Pace Law School faculty in 2011. She teaches International Environmental Law in Barcelona as a Summer Visiting Professor. As a National University of Singapore Centre for International Law Fellow, she has researched energy and water security. She also teaches Energy Law as a Summer Visiting Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law and International Trade and the Environment as a Fulbright Senior Specialist. Prof. Burleson spent 2010-2011 as a visiting law professor at Florida State University and the University of Oregon. She taught at USD School of Law from 2007 to 2011.


Conservation or Renewable Energy?
Conflicting Interests in the Land Use Arena

Sara C. Bronin, U. Conn Law, Program Director of Center for Energy & Env. Law

 
Sara C. Bronin is an Associate Professor and the Program Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Law at the University of Connecticut. A licensed architect and licensed attorney, Professor Bronin has researched and published in the areas of renewable energy, green building, property, land use, and historic preservation law. Her most recent publications have dealt with solar rights, barriers to sustainable design, energy sprawl, and microgrids. Her first (co-authored) book, Historic Preservation Law, comes out next month. Outside the classroom, Professor Bronin served as the lead attorney and development strategist for 360 State Street, a LEED-Platinum designed building in downtown New Haven. 

Practical Difficulties Posed by Suing the Government, and
Why Suing the Government Still Makes Sense (Sometimes)

Matthew R. Oakes, U.S. DOJ,  Env. & Natural Resources Division, Env. Defense Section
 
Matthew R. Oakes
 is a both an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland School of Law, where he teaches a seminar on the Clean Air Act, and a Trial Attorney in the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. Mr. Oakes’ practice involves both enforcement and defensive litigation under federal pollution control statutes, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. Representative cases include defense of both EPA’s Clean Air Mercury Rule promulgated under the Bush administration, and EPA's Mercury Air Toxics Standards promulgated under the Obama administration, and defense of EPA's greenhouse gas SIP call and subsequent federal implementation plan. Mr. Oakes is a 2002 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and received his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University.