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30th Annual Environmental Law Section Spring Super Symposium

30th Annual Environmental Law Section Spring Super Symposium: Thirty Years of Environmental Law – Understanding Today’s Challenges and Planning for a Sustainable Future

Presented by: Environmental Law Section

Program Title:
30th Annual Environmental Law Section Spring Super Symposium: Thirty Years of Environmental Law – Understanding Today’s Challenges and Planning for a Sustainable Future

Program Date:
Friday, April 8, 2016

Program Description:
Our Section’s thirtieth annual Spring Super Symposium gives us an opportunity to reflect on the current status of a wide array of environmental issues facing our clients, while we also look forward to a more sustainable future. Matt Petersen, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Los Angeles, will provide our keynote address, speaking about the City’s Office of Sustainability, the Sustainable City pLAn, and related issues.
Our five expert panels, consisting of representatives of government offices, academia, environmental advocacy groups, and private law firms, will provide their insights into several timely topics and practice areas, including recent CEQA developments arising out of the Newhall Ranch case, management of complex groundwater plumes, practice skills in administrative arenas, the latest issues under the Clean Water Act and NPDES permitting, and vapor intrusion concerns.

8:30am to 9:00am


9:00am to 10:15am

Panel 1: Managing the Complex Challenges of Regional, Multi-Party Groundwater Plumes
Multi-party groundwater cases bring complex legal, technical, and regulatory challenges that often require unique management.  This panel will provide an overview of these cases in California and across the country.  The panel will discuss these challenges and provide different perspectives on lessons learned and the potential for successful resolutions.

Moderator: Suzi Rosen, P.G. – Environmental Services Manager, Gannett Fleming, Inc. 

Phil Bender – Partner, Ring, Bender, McKown & Castillo, LLLP
Steven J. Elie – Partner, Musick, Peeler & Garrett LLP
Sam Unger - Executive Officer, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board

10:25am to 11:40am

Panel 2: Challenges to Developing Sites with Vapor Intrusion Issues
This panel will discuss the technical, legal and regulatory challenges to developing sites with soil-vapor contamination, whether such contamination concerns methane, VOCs or other contaminants.  The panel also will discuss recent developments concern vapor intrusion.

Moderator: Brent Cheney – Shareholder, Parker Milliken Clark O'Hara & Samuelian, APC

Robbie Ettinger – Principal, Geosyntec Consultants
Paul Cho, P.G. – Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board
Ladd Cahoon – Partner, Edgcomb Law Group, LLP

11:40am to 11:55pm


11:55am to 12:45pm

Keynote Speaker: Matt Petersen, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Los Angeles

12:55pm to 2:10pm

Panel 3: Nuts and Bolts of Administrative Advocacy before the RWQCB, DTSC and AQMD
This panel will cover the basics of administrative advocacy before the Regional Water Quality Control Board, the Department of Toxic Substances Control and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.  The panel will discuss their thoughts on best practices of administrative advocacy in general, as well providing specific advice for practicing before each specific agency.  Topics will include handling of routine matters and working with agency staff, as well as enforcement and public hearings.    

Moderator: Krista Hernandez – Associate, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

David Coupe – Attorney IV, Office of Chief Counsel, State Water Resources Control Board
Gideon Kracov – The Law Office of Gideon Kracov, Chair of the Department of Toxic Substances Control Independent Review Panel
Ivan Tether – Tether Law

2:20pm to 3:35pm

Panel 4: CEQA and Greenhouse Gases – Recent Cases and Their Implications for Future Cases
In Center for Biological Diversity v. California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the California Supreme Court overturned an environmental impact report related to the proposed Newhall Ranch residential development.  The decision found fault with the environmental impact report’s greenhouse gas emissions analysis and with its mitigation measures regarding protected fish species.  This panel will address this California Supreme Court case and other CEQA cases that have addressed greenhouse gas issues, and discuss what they mean for CEQA analyses of GHG emissions.

Moderator: Bay Gilchrist - Assistant Chief Deputy Counsel, South Coast Air Quality Management District

Dean Wallraff – Executive Director, Advocates for the Environment
Meghan Dunnagan – Attorney, Thomas Law Group
Sean Hecht – Law Professor, UCLA School of Law

3:45pm to 5:00pm

Panel 5: Discharges to Groundwater – the Conduit Theory and Clean Water Act/NPDES Permitting Issues
A panel of experts will discuss a recent court decision holding that injections of recycled water into groundwater that ultimately reach the ocean require a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.  This case, and the theory that the discharge of pollutants into groundwater that serves as a conduit for carrying the discharged pollutants to waters of the United States, has generated a significant amount of controversy, and the theory has been examined in varying contexts in several other courts.

Moderator: Eric M. Katz - Supervising Deputy Attorney General, Natural Resources Law Section, California Department of Justice

Colleen Doyle – Partner, Hunton & Williams LLP
Shawn D. Hagerty – Partner, Best, Best & Krieger LLP
Colin Kelly – Senior Staff Attorney, Orange County Coastkeeper

5:00pm to 6:30pm

Hosted reception

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 Jeffrey Margulies via email at jeff.margulies@nortonrosefulbright.com.  Please be prepared to show proof that you qualify for the special rate.

Cocktail Reception: 
You are invited to join us at a cocktail reception immediately following the Symposium.  We wish to thank our sponsors of this reception:

Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP 
JLT US Specialty Insurance Services 
Lewitt, Hackman, Shapiro, Marshall & Harlan

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

L.A. Hotel
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 Student






4/8/2016 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
L.A. Hotel 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.