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31st Annual Environmental Law Section Spring Super Symposium

31st Annual Environmental Law Section Spring Super Symposium: The Intersection of Transportation and Environmental Law

Presented by: Environmental Law Section

Program Title:
31st Annual Environmental Law Section Spring Super Symposium: The Intersection of Transportation and Environmental Law

Program Date:
Friday, April 7, 2017

Program Description:
The 31st Annual Environmental Law Spring Symposium provides the opportunity to consider four segments of the transportation sector and related environmental legal issues.  Our four panels, consisting of representatives of government, academia, environmental advocacy groups, in-house counsel, outside counsel and more, will offer their insights into several timely topics and practice areas broken out by transportation segments: (1) public transportation; (2) utilities; (3) rail; and (4) ports.  Our presenters will include Cris Liban and Uduak-Joe Ntuk, who will offer expert opinions on current and foreseeable environmental issues touching upon the transportation sector and beyond.   


8:30 to 9:00 a.m.  - Registration

9:00 to 10:15 a.m. - Opening Presentation  
Description:  LA Metro’s $120B infrastructure program will transform the Los Angeles’ transportation, housing, and economic fabric. This presentation provides the most pressing environmental and sustainability challenges faced by LA Metro; along with the solutions and strategies it is implementing to reduce environmental liabilities, increase equity, and promote regional economic vitality.

Panelist: Dr. Cris B. Liban, P.E. – Executive Officer, Environmental Compliance and Sustainability,  LA Metro

10:25 to 11:40 a.m. - Panel 1:  Transportation Utilities
Description:  This panel will feature a robust discussion of the technical, legal, and regulatory challenges to the provision of energy for transportation purposes in California.  Discussion will highlight issues relating to transportation electrification, the role of oil and gas pipelines in California’s energy system, as well as best practices for meeting the state’s requirements regarding air quality and greenhouse gas reductions.

Moderator:  Kelly Henderson – Senior Attorney, Southern California Edison, Environmental Section

Panelists: Nate Jensen – Vice President and General Counsel, Clean Energy Fuels; Laura Renger – Principal Manager, Air & Climate (Regulatory Affairs), Southern California Edison; Michael Mills – Partner, Stoel Rives LLP

11:40 to 11:55 a.m. - Break

11:55 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. - Lunch Presentation  
Description:  A century of oil and gas legislation and litigation in Los Angeles. The City of Los Angeles’ Petroleum Administrator will discuss the modern Urban Oil and Gas Policy. Topics of discussion will include municipal oil codes, regional regulatory compliance, environmental protections and current petroleum administration projects.

Panelist: Uduak-Joe Ntuk – Petroleum  Administrator, Office of Petroleum  and Natural Gas Administration, City of Los Angeles

12:55 to 2:10 p.m. - Panel 2:  Public Transportation
Description:  This panel will consider how climate change policies will affect transportation projects and technologies like driverless vehicles going forward. Panelists will discuss what policies, legal developments, and technological advancements will be most pressing and consider how those developments may impact California’s long-term planning.  Panelists will also discuss how the current federal landscape may influence state efforts to regulate air emissions from transportation.

Moderator:  Andrea Warren – Senior Associate, Alston & Bird LLP

Panelists: Ryan Snyder – Principal, Transpogroup; Jamey Wyman – Associate, Best Best & Krieger LLP; Ethan Elkind – Director of Climate Program at Center for Law, Energy and the Environment at UC Berkeley Law; UCLA Law’s Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment

2:20 to 3:35 p.m.  - Panel 3:  Rail – The Challenges of Entitling Rail Projects
Description:  The panel will discuss the legal and political challenges involved in entitling passenger and commercial rail projects.  Topics include federal limits on authority to local agencies to regulation and condition rail projects, including the impact those limits can have on project approval, acquiring property for rail projects through condemnation, and the environmental impacts associated with rail projects.

Moderator:  Marisa Blackshire – Senior General Attorney, BNSF Railway

Panelists: Michelle Rudd – Partner, Stoel Rives LLP; Paul Beard – Partner, Alston & Bird LLP; Ramya Sivasurbramanian  – Staff Attorney, Environmental Justice Program, Natural Resources Defense Council

3:45 to 5:00 p.m. - Panel 4:  Ports
Description:  The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the busiest ports in the U.S., moving 1/3 of U.S port cargo and generating nearly
1 million jobs in Southern California. But these economic engines also generate environmental and community impacts that require creative technical and legal solutions.  This panel will discuss the past, present and future challenges of the ports.

Moderator:  Peter Nyquist – Partner, Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP

Panelists: Amrit Kulkarni – Partner, Meyers Nave Riback Silver & Wilson, PLC; Adrian Martinez – Staff Attorney, Earthjustice

5:00 to 6:30 p.m. - Cocktail Reception
You are invited to join us for a reception immediately following the symposium. We wish to thank our sponsors of this reception: Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Bick Law LLP and Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP.


Special Rate for Law Students, Government Attorneys, and Public Interest Attorneys:
There are a very limited number of subsidized registrations available for law students, government attorneys, and public interest attorneys.  For more information on the discounted registration price, please contact Vivian Heger via email at vheger@tropiolaw.com.  Please be prepared to show proof that you qualify for the special rate.

Registration:  8:30 - 9:00 AM
Program:        9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

L.A. Hotel Downtown
333 S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017

CLE Credit:
7 Hours General of CLE Credit

Valet parking is $15 at the hotel


CLE+ Members


Environmental Law Section Members


Gov’t/Public Interest Attorneys


LACBA Members


All Others


Law Students






4/7/2017 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
L.A. Hotel Downtown 333 S. Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90071
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Advance registration (both online and via phone) closes for most programs approximately 12-24 hours before event time (in order to allow for operational considerations), we would still like to have you join us, and you are more than welcome to register on-site and attend, unless the program is specifically noted as SOLD OUT. Full refunds issued only for registrations which are cancelled 48 hours in advance.

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The Los Angeles County Bar Association is a State Bar of California MCLE approved provider. If this is a CLE event, the Los Angeles County Bar Association certifies that this activity has been approved for MCLE credit. CLE events will state the amount and type of credit offered in the calendar listing.