Environmental Law

2015 Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite

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Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite
October 22-25, 2015

Speakers & Sessions | Scholarship Info | Sponsors | Original Brochure

The Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite¬ģ is nationally recognized as the largest and most prestigious gathering in California of leaders in environmental, land use, and natural resources law. We hope you will join us and many of our nation‚Äôs top environmental officials, lawyers, and other professionals in the spectacular setting of Yosemite.

Speakers & Sessions

Session 1: Friday General Session – Keynote presentation by Ashley Swearengin, Mayor of Fresno

Fresno’s Story: Rebuilding the Center of Central California Welcome by Gideon Kracov, 2014-2015 Chair, Environmental Law Section, Law Offi ce of Gideon Kracov, Los Angeles. Introductions by Letitia D. Moore, Assistant Regional Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, San Francisco. Keynote presentation by Ashley Swearengin, Mayor of Fresno.

Ashley Swearengin was elected Mayor of Fresno in 2008. In addition to her efforts to revitalize downtown Fresno and its surrounding neighborhoods, Mayor Swearengin has also launched a number of major initiatives, including the ‚ÄúBuilding Neighborhood Capacity Program‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒa federally supported pilotprogram intended to catalyze community-drivenchange in neighborhoods that have historically faced barriers to revitalization. Mayor Swearengin was named one of California‚Äôs top 10 mayors by Capitol Weekly, and was identifi ed by the Brookings Institution as a member of the ‚ÄúPragmatic Caucus.‚ÄĚ She is a board member of the California League of Cities, chair of the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, and at the national level, serves on the leadership team of the U.S. Conference of Mayors as a member of its Executive Committee. Mayor Swearengin holds a Bachelor of Science (magna cum laude) and a Master of Business Administration (summa cum laude) from California State University, Fresno.

Session 2: CEQA Update: A Perennial Favorite

Panelists will discuss in detail key CEQA cases from the past year, including those decided in the California Supreme Court, and provide an update on recent legislative developments.

Moderator: Robert ‚ÄúPerl‚ÄĚ Perlmutter, Partner, Shute Mihaly & Weinberger LLP, San Francisco

Panelists: Kevin Bundy, Senior Attorney, Center for Biological Diversity, San Francisco
Ellen Pilsecker, Chief Deputy County Counsel, San Diego County, San Diego
Alisha Winterswyk, Partner, Best Best & Krieger, Irvine

Session 3: Going Underground: Local Governance and Planning

Under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act California fi nally has a plan to sustainably manage its shrinking groundwater resources. But the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act’s founding principle Рthat groundwater management is best accomplished locally Рnow faces a major test. Local agencies must act quickly to form new governing bodies, Groundwater Sustainability Agencies, to develop and implement plans for sustainable basin management. Daunting obstacles remain, from gaps in information and institutional accountability to severe funding limitations and the disconnect between surface water and groundwater management.

Can progress arrive in time to prevent destructive races to the bottom of groundwater basins? This multidisciplinary panel considers the prospects for counties, cities, and local agencies to equitably engage stakeholders and communities in effective groundwater governance.

Moderator: Roger Moore, Partner, Rossmann and Moore, Berkeley

Anecita Agustinez, Tribal Policy Advisor, Department of Water Resources, Sacramento
Roger Dickinson, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, Sacramento Michael Kiparsky, Associate Director, Wheeler Institute for Water Law and Policy, University of California, Berkeley
Jeanne Zolezzi, Partner, Herum Crabtree Suntag, Stockton

Session 4: From Here to Eternity: The Trend Toward Extended Producer Responsibility

Extended Producer Responsibility (‚ÄúEPR‚ÄĚ) is an environmental protection strategy intended to minimize the total environmental impact of a product, including product packaging, by making the manufacturer of the product responsible for its entire life-cycle, including for its take-back, recycling and final disposal. A similar concept, Product Stewardship (‚ÄúPS‚ÄĚ) involves making all parties that manufacture, sell, distribute, use or dispose of a product responsible for its proper management. Since 2006, there has been a growing trend towards regulating EPR and PS ranging from international to local regulations. Areas of focus of EPR and PS policies include motor vehicle switches, batteries, cell phones, fluorescent lamps, mattresses, paint, medical sharps (needles), mercury containing thermostats and pharmaceuticals. Recent regulations and cases will be discussed, as will overall trends and the likely future of EPR and PS policies in California and beyond.

Moderator: Robert Sullivan, Senior Staff Counsel, Department of Toxic Substance Control, Sacramento

Peggy Otum, Partner, Arnold & Porter, San Francisco
Kathleen Pacheco, Senior Deputy County Counsel, County of Alameda, Office of the County Counsel, Oakland
Heidi Sanborn, Executive Director, California Product Stewardship Council, Sacramento

Session 5: The Long and Winding Road: The Future of Transportation Spending and Emission Reductions

California faces a severe backlog of transportation infrastructure needs but a shortage of revenue to address them. At the same time, the state seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, primarily through reducing vehicle miles traveled. This panel will discuss how environmental concerns may shape the future of transportation spending decisions in California and how new sources of funding could affect that effort.

Moderator: Ethan Elkind, University of California at Berkley & Los Angeles Schools of Law, Berkeley

Brian Kelly, Secretary, California State Transportation Agency, Sacramento
Seleta Reynolds, Director, City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Los Angeles
Jeanie Ward-Waller, Policy Director, California Bicycle Coalition, Sacramento

Session 6: The Lifetime Achievement Award Annual Panel: A Look at Joseph Sax

The Yin and the Yang: The Role of the Public Trust Doctrine and Takings Law as Conceptual Bookends in the Management of California’s Natural Resources

In 2014, The State Bar of California Environmental Law Section posthumously gave the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award to Professor Joseph Sax. Professor Sax’s scholarship covered a wide terrain within the field of environmental law, but he is perhaps best known for his groundbreaking work in defining and refining the understanding and delineation of the public trust doctrine and takings law. Decadesafter Professor Sax began his exploration into these legal doctrines, they continue to shape public policy and government decision-making in important ways. This panel will discuss the overall impact of the public trust doctrine and takings law, recent decisions, and the path ahead.

Moderator: Scott Birkey, Partner, Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP, San Francisco

Christina Bull Arndt, Supervising Deputy Attorney General, California Office of the Attorney General, Los Angeles
Eric Buescher, Principal, Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy LLP, Burlingame
Megan Herzog, Emmett/Frankel Fellow in Environmental Law & Policy, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles

Session 7: Water Transfers: Love Child of the Free Market or Deal with the Devil?

California’s massive water infrastructure already redistributes water throughout the state. In this fourth year of drought, competition for what little water is available is more intense than ever and the water transfer market is hot. This panel will explore the applicable legal structures, impediments to transfers, the environmental and economic effects of water transfers, and potential new directions for water markets. Real examples will be used as a means to illuminate the ability of water transfers to help reallocate water to where it is needed most. The panel will also grapple with what makes sound public policy with respect to transfers, especially given the long term emphasis on regional self-reliance.

Moderator: Andy Sawyer, Assistant Chief Counsel, State Water Resources Control Board, Sacramento

Ellen Hanak, Senior Fellow and Director, Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco
Adam Keats, Senior Attorney, Center for Food Safety, San Francisco
Tim Quinn, Executive Director Association of California Water Agencies, Sacramento
Buzz Thompson, Professor, Stanford University School of Law, Stanford

Session 8: Administrative Advocacy: Effective Participation in Administrative Proceedings

An environmental lawyer’s success in protecting his or her client’s interests often depends on working with administrative agencies. An understanding of the workings of the specific agency involved and the type of administrative proceeding to be followed is essential. This practical skills session will cover effective advocacy before the California Air Resources Board, and the State Water Resources Control Board (and its nine regional water quality control boards), in both legislative and adjudicative proceedings. Areas to be covered include practice under the California Administrative Procedures Act, permitting and other adjudicative proceedings, ex parte contacts, and separation of functions.

Moderator: Beth Collins-Burgard, Shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Santa Barbara

Felicia Marcus, Chair, State Water Resources Control Board, Sacramento (invited)
Ellen Peter, Chief Counsel, California Air Resources Board, Sacramento
Matt Vespa, Senior Attorney, Sierra Club, San Francisco

Session 9: Global Action on Global Warming: Trade, Diplomacy and Climate Populism

Yes, there is such a thing as international climate law, and it can have a direct effect on you, your clients and employers. The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal may change environmental laws in the U.S. and abroad in ways that affect California businesses. The upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris may lead to hard targets for greenhouse gas reductions in the U.S., and California’s pioneering Under 2 MOU initiative may do the same on a sub-national basis. Our panel of experts will discuss the impact of these events on California.

Moderator: Cara Horowitz, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles

Ken Alex, Senior Advisor, California Governor’s Office, Sacramento
Alexia Kelly, Senior Climate Change Advisor, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.
Roger Martella, Partner, Sidley and Austin, Washington, D.C.

Saturday, October 24

Session 10: Saturday General Session – Keynote presentation by Professor Richard J. Lazarus and Professor Jody Freeman, Harvard Law School

The President’s Clean Power Plan and is it Legal?

Introduction by Richard M. Frank, Professor of Environmental Practice, University of California at Davis, School or Law, Davis. Keynote presentation by Professor Richard J. Lazarus and Professor Jody Freeman, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA.

Richard Lazarus is the Howard and Katherine Aibel Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where he teaches environmental law, natural resources law, Supreme Court advocacy, and torts. Professor Lazarus has represented the United States, state and local governments, and environmental groups in the Supreme Court in 40 cases and has presented oral argument in 13 of those cases. His primary areas of legal scholarship are environmental and natural resources law, with particular emphasis on constitutional law and the Supreme Court. Prior to joining the Harvardlaw faculty, Professor Lazarus was the Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., Professor of Law at Georgetown University, where he also founded the Supreme Court Institute. A 1979 graduate of Harvard Law School with a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in economics from the University of Illinois, Professor Lazarus previously worked at the U.S. Department of Justice and later in the Solicitor General’s Office.

Jody Freeman is the Archibald Cox Professor of Law and the founding director of the Harvard Law School Environmental Law and Policy Program.

She is a leading scholar of both administrative law and environmental law, and has written extensively about climate change regulation. Professor Freeman served in the White House as Counselor for Energy and Climate Change in 2009-10. After leaving the administration, Freeman served as an independent consultant to the President’s bipartisan Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. In 2011, she was elected to the American College of Environmental Lawyers. In 2012 Professor Freeman was elected as an outside director of ConocoPhillips, where she serves on the public policy and compensation committees. She has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and LA Times.

Session 11: Learning to Listen: Bringing California Native Voices into the Land Use Decision-Making Process

This panel will discuss how the concerns, knowledge and perspectives of California‚Äôs native peoples are integrated into the land use decision-making process and explore the challenges faced by tribal representatives and advocates, local governments and project proponents in implementing consultation and other cultural resource protection requirements. In addition to providing an overview of the key laws governing the field, this panel will tackle the meaning of ‚Äúconsultation‚ÄĚ under SB 18 and the AB 52 amendments to CEQA, how to determine which tribes need to be consulted, the definition of a ‚Äútribal cultural resource,‚ÄĚ and how to balance protecting the confidentiality of tribal resources with transparent decision-making.

Moderator: Antonette B. Cordero, Deputy Attorney General, California Department of Justice, Los Angeles

Thomas Gibson, Deputy Secretary and General Counsel, California Natural Resources Agency, Sacramento
Merri Lopez-Keifer, Chief Legal Counsel, San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians, Martinez
Craig Spencer, Associate Planner, Monterey County, Monterey

Session 12: Water Rights Light: Regulation to Prevent Waste and Unreasonable Use

Article X, section 2 of the California Constitution, which prohibits waste and unreasonable use of water, is a basic principle of California water rights law, providing broad, but flexible authority for the state to regulate water diversion and use. Until recently, the doctrine has been applied relatively infrequently, and on a case-by-case basis. Two significant developments in 2014 and 2015 may change that: The first is the District Court of Appeal’s opinion in Light v. State Water Resources Control Board, upholding the State Water Resources Control Board’s Russian River frost control regulations. The second is the State Water Resources Control Board’s adoption of drought emergency regulations. The panel will discuss these developments and their implications for water management and protection of instream beneficial uses in California.

Moderator: Barry Epstein, Partner, Allen Matkins, San Francisco

Virginia Cahill, Lecturer, University of California at Davis, Davis
Brian Johnson, California State Director and Senior Attorney, Trout Unlimited, Emeryville
Peter Kiel, Partner, Ellison Schneider & Harris, Sacramento
Felicia Marcus, Chair, State Water Resource Control Board, Sacramento

Session 13: Recent Environmental Law Developments in the U.S. Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and California Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and California Supreme Court have been active over the past year, deciding numerous major environmental law cases. Join a panel of environmental law experts who follow these judicial developments closely for a survey of the most important decided and pending environmental law cases from these courts. The panelists will also discuss general environmental law trends and developments in these tribunals.

Moderator: Richard M. Frank, Professor of Environmental Practice, Director, California Environmental Law & Policy Center, University of California at Davis School of Law, Davis

Holly Doremus, Professor, UC Berkeley School of Law, Berkeley
Richard Lazarus, Professor, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Janill Richards, Principal Deputy Solicitor General, California Department of Justice, Oakland

Session 14: Handling the High Profile Case: Strategies for Managing Complex Hazardous Waste, Environmental Remediation, Toxic Tort and Enforcement Matters

What are the issues you should think about if suddenly thrown into a high profile case? This panel will cover legal strategies and challenges in representing clients in significant, high liability environmental cases, including those resulting from ‚Äúbig events‚ÄĚ (spills, explosions, toxic releases); legacy contamination (perhaps only recently discovered); and/or chronic, recalcitrant operators who ignore or underestimate years of non-compliance. Issues to be explored include: parallel proceedings, i.e., administrative actions (such as clean up orders and notices of noncompliance), civil actions (related to property damage, enforcement actions, and/or toxic torts), and/or criminal enforcement; litigation strategies (from venue selection to how to work with other parties and opposing counsel); dealing effectively with multiple governmental agencies; the role of insurance; and handling the press.

Moderator: Reed Sato, Chief Counsel, Department of Toxic Substances Control, Sacramento

Stacey Geis, Managing Attorney, Earthjustice, San Francisco
Gary Meyer, Shareholder, Parker Milliken, Los Angeles
Belynda Reck, Partner, Hunton & Williams, Los Angeles

Session 15: Are Wind Turbines for the Birds? The Compatibility or Incompatibility of Wind Energy with Eagles and Other Birds

As the Governor‚Äôs Office moves forward with its 50% renewable energy goal for 2030, the state could experience another renewable energy ‚Äúgold rush,‚ÄĚ including a push for new wind energy development projects.

Wind energy has potentially significant impacts on birds and bats. The new wind projects will likely seek to take advantage of new permitting procedures for the incidental take of special status avian species under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA), while also navigating other regulatory requirements, including Endangered Species Act and potentially new permits that may be offered under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This panel will explore the interrelationship between wind energy development and protection of birds, and how this tension can be best handled given the regulatory requirements that are in place and other tools that are available.

Moderator: Marc Luesebrink, Senior Counsel, The Boeing Company, Seattle

Amedee Brickey, Deputy Chief, Migratory Birds and Habitat Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento
Garry George, Renewable Energy Director, Audubon California, Los Angeles
Anne Mudge, Partner, Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP, San Francisco

Session 16: Going Nuts Over Water: The Law, Economics and Water Consequences of Cropping Choices

Deliveries from federal and state water projects helped transform arid regions of California into major agricultural centers, but questions remain about their scale, salinity and sustainability. California law makes irrigation the ‚Äúnext highest‚ÄĚ use of water after domestic use. Critics charge that hardened demand to supply large irrigators with reliable water for nut trees and other permanent crops strains surface supplies during drought and contributes to groundwater overdraft. They also question using water for export of alfalfa and other crops. This panel explores the law, economics and water consequences of cropping choices, including potential roles of the constitutional restriction on unreasonable use, and of stricter requirements to show adequate supply (as for large housing developments and other projects). The panel will also discuss how cropping patterns affect implementation of California laws protecting groundwater and the Delta.

Moderator: Osha Meserve, Shareholder, Soluri Meserve, A Law Corporation, Sacramento

Heather Cooley, Water Program Co-Director, Pacific Institute, Oakland
Randy Fiorini, Managing Partner, Fiorini Ranch, Turlock; Chair, Delta Stewardship Council, Sacramento
Jennifer L. Harder, Assistant Professor, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, Sacramento

Session 17: What Happened Under the Capitol Dome?‚ÄĒThe Latest Environmental Legislation from Sacramento

The California Legislature continues to pass groundbreaking environmental laws, which are often adopted nationally and internationally.

During the 2015 legislative session, the Governor signed a number of new laws that, among others, tackle California’s severe drought, establish strategies and goals to address climate change, and promote renewable energy. Join our panel of seasoned legislative staffers for a timely discussion of newly enacted environmental, natural resources, and land use laws, with a special focus on legislative accomplishments and trends for the future.

Moderator: Gary Lucks, Partner, Environmental Resources Management, Walnut Creek

Bill Craven, Chief Consultant, Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, Sacramento
Tina Cannon Leahy, Principal Consultant, Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, Sacramento
Kip Lipper, Chief Policy Advisor on Energy and the Environment, Office of the Senate pro Tem, Sacramento

Session 18: What’s New Under The Federal Clean Air Act?

Plenty. The Supreme Court has taken a heightened interest in this statute recently, including in 2014 with the Utility Air Regulatory Group (‚ÄúUARG‚ÄĚ) case and this year with the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (‚ÄúMATS‚ÄĚ) rule case ‚Äď a decision that may have a broad effect on EPA‚Äôs regulatory authority. EPA is considering new ozone (smog) standards. Here in California, the San Joaquin Valley and South Coast air districts are struggling to meet federal ozone limits that are many years old; how will they meet the new standards? And air districts throughout the state are revising their CAA implementation plans, giving rise to changing regulatory programs on the ground as well as legal challenges over whether they are doing enough. This panel will explore all of these recent developments ‚Ķ and much more.

Moderator: Suma Peesapati, Staff Attorney, Environmental Law Clinic, UC Irvine School of Law, Irvine

Kara Christenson, Senior Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, San Francisco
David Farabee, Partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP, San Francisco
Angela Johnson Meszaros, Staff Attorney, Earthjustice, Los Angeles

Saturday Afternoon Outdoor Presentations

Fire and Forest Structure

Fire has shaped forest structure in Yosemite National Park and fire exclusion has altered that structure. Now the National Park Service is using prescribed fires to restore the forest. Learn about how the forests of Yosemite National Park are changing and how the National Park Service is taking the role of fire into account as part of park management.

Moderator: K. Eric Adair, Hinson Gravelle & Adair LLP

Jan van Wagtendonk, Forest Researcher Emeritus, Yosemite National Park
Gary Wuchner, Fire Information Officer, Yosemite National Park

Native Yosemite

What is now Yosemite National Park was home to Native American tribes for millennia. Historically, Miwok and Paiute groups populated the area, in addition to other neighboring peoples who frequented the region. Following the discovery of gold and increased non-native settlements leading to California statehood, efforts increased to drive them from the area. These native peoples were the original stewards of the ecosystems in the area. Today the National Park Service collaborates with traditionally associated tribal groups to protect the natural, historical and cultural resources of the Park. Learn how Yosemite National Park addresses issues involving ethnology, archeology, traditional practices, and tribal consultation.

Moderator: Antonette Cordero, Deputy Attorney General, California Department of Justice

Speaker: Scott Carpenter, Cultural Resources Program Manager, Yosemite National Park

Mindfulness and Competence in Legal Practice

This presentation qualifies for 1.0 Hour MCLE Competence Issues (formerly known as Prevention, Detection and Treatment of Substance Abuse or Mental Illness.) Pre-registration is not available. Attendees seeking MCLE credit must sign a MCLE Log Book at the start of the presentation.

The nature of the legal profession and those drawn to it results in a substantially higher rate of substance abuse and mental health issues than in the general population. This program, presented in a beautiful outdoor setting, presents a background on lawyers, substance abuse and mental illness, covering personality types and the particular lawyer propensity to struggle with substance abuse. Participants will learn about their own personalities and factors which might lead them to such abuse, and explore ways this interferes with their ability to perform legal services competently. Discussion will include learning how mindfulness can be a tool to enhance awareness to detect the factors leading to abuse and to prevent their occurrence. Also discussed will be cravings and addictions, and how to detect and work with them.

Moderator: Rob Sawyer, Remy, Moose Manley, LLP, Sacramento
Speaker: Douglas Chermak, Lozeau | Drury LLP, Oakland

Water Cycle Implications of Headwater Management and Forest Restoration

Forest management practices have a substantial effect on evapotranspiration and runoff. Learn about observed and projected changes in the water cycle from headwater management and forest restoration, where there are knowledge gaps, and efforts to verify the effects of the restoration measures, in a field trip in the Big Sandy watershed, upper South Fork Merced River, near Fish Camp.

Moderator: Andy Sawyer, Assistant Chief Counsel, California State Water Resources Control Board, Sacramento

Speaker: Dr. Roger C. Bales, Director of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute and Professor of Engineering, U.C. Merced

A Fireside Chat with E. Clement Shute, Jr., Recipient of the 2015 Environmental Law Section Lifetime Achievement Award

Join us in the Fireside Lounge, which is adjacent to the Hotel lobby, for an informal chat with E. Clement (Clem) Shute, Jr., this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Hear a fi rsthand account of his fi ve-decade career and contributions to environmental law.

Facilitated by: Jane Kroesche, Skadden Arps, Palo Alto and Thomas McHenry, GIBSON DUNN, Los Angeles.

Saturday Night Dinner Program with Keynote by American Photographer James Balog. With Presentation of the Environmental Law Section Lifetime Achievement Award

Presentation of the Environmental Law Section Lifetime Achievement Award given to E. Clement (Clem) Shute, Jr. Introductions by Osha Meserve, 2015-16 Vice-Chair, Environmental Law Section, Soluri Meserve, Sacramento and Marc B. Mihaly, President and Dean, Vermont Law School, South Royalton, Vermont.

Remarks by E. Clement (Clem) Shute, Jr., Senior Counsel, Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP, San Francisco The Environmental Law Section is honored to present its second annual Lifetime Achievement Award to E. Clement (Clem) Shute, Jr., a leading practitioner and innovator who has been instrumental in shaping substantive law and the culture of the environmental legal community in California for over five decades. Clem has contributed to the practice of environmental law in numerous ways, including driving to establish the State Bar’s Environmental Law Section while he was a litigator at the California Attorney General’s Office, co-founding the eponymous law firm that has been at the forefront of natural resources and environmental law for several decades, and profoundly influencing new generations of environmental lawyers. Clem broke ground in fields such as coastal protection, the public trust doctrine, the California Environmental Quality Act and regulatory takings, assisted in drafting the law under which the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (where he is still a member of the Governing Board) operates today, and volunteered his time to many non-profit environmental organizations. During all these endeavors, Clem set high ethical standards for himself and others. The Environmental Law Section is proud to recognize Clem for his lifetime of achievements in environmental law.

Dinner and Keynote Presentation

Introduction by Angela T. Howe, Legal Director, Surfrider Foundation, San Clemente. Remarks by James Balog, Founder & President, Earth Vision Institute & Extreme Ice Survey

Sunday, October 25

Session 19: Sunday General Session – Keynote presentation by Matthew Rodriquez, Secretary, California Environmental Protection Agency, and Dr. Manuel Pastor, Professor, University of Southern California

Mapping the Path to an Environmentally Just California Welcome and introduction by Ed Ochoa, California Department of Justice, San Diego. Discussion moderated by Janill Richards, Principal Deputy Solicitor General, California Department of Justice, Oakland. Keynote presentation by Matthew Rodriquez, Secretary, California Environmental Protection Agency, and Dr. Manuel Pastor, Professor, University of Southern California.

Matt Rodriquez was appointed California Secretary for Environmental Protection by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in July 2011. Secretary Rodriquez oversees the activities of the California Air Resources Board, the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, the Department of Toxic Substances Control, the Department of Pesticide Regulation, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and the State Water Resources Control Board, and advises the Governor on environmental policy. Before becoming Secretary, Mr. Rodriquez served for more than 24 years with the California Department of Justice. Prior to joining the California Department of Justice, Mr. Rodriquez was Deputy City Attorney for the City of Hayward, Assistant City Attorney for the City of Livermore, an associate program analyst for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, and a graduate student assistant with the California Coastal Commission. He received his JD from UC Hasting College of the Law in 1980.

Dr. Manuel Pastor is Professor of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Founding director of the Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Dr. Pastor currently directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at the University of Southern California and USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. Dr. Pastor’s research has generally focused on issues of the economic, environmental, and social conditions facing low-income urban communities, and the social movements that seek to change those conditions. Dr. Pastor holds an economics Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is the inaugural holder of the Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change at USC.

Session 20: CEQA Practitioner Roundtable: Enforcing Project Descriptions and Mitigation Measures

This session is limited to 60 people. Sign up on the Course Selector. When projects are subject to environmental review under CEQA, formulation of effective mitigation to avoid or lessen potentially significant impacts is a shared goal of lead agencies, the public and the applicant. But once adopted, project features and mitigation measures that are critical to reducing a project’s environmental impacts may be changed and can be difficult to enforce. This practitioner-focused roundtable discussion will explore the forms mitigation may permissibly take under the statute, regulations and interpretive case law. The results of these varying approaches to mitigation on the ability of the public to participate in informed decision-making and to enforce what was agreed upon at the time of project approval in the context of recent legal developments will then be discussed.

Roundtable Moderators:
Ellison Folk, Partner, Shute Mihaly & Weinberger LLP, San Francisco
Nicole Gordon, Partner, Sohagi Law Group, Los Angeles
Amanda Olekszulin, Principal, Ascent Environmental, Sacramento

Session 21: California’s Safe Drinking Water Program at 40: New Directions

December 16, 2014 marked the 40th anniversary of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, and the 40th anniversary of the California Safe Drinking Water Act will be in 2016. In 2014, California’s drinking water program was transferred from the California Department of Public Health to the State Water Resources Control Board. This panel will review recent developments and challenges facing the drinking water program, including establishing maximum contaminant levels for Chromium 6 and other contaminants, place of use treatment, regulatory requirements for a reliable water supply to get public water systems through drought, and efforts to find emergency supplies for disadvantaged communities during the drought.

Moderator: Rob Sawyer, Of Counsel, Remy Moose Manley LLP, Sacramento

Marisol Aguilar, Staff Attorney, California Rural Legal Assistance, Modesto
Cindy Forbes, Deputy Director, Division of Drinking Water, State Water Resources Control Board, Sacramento
Martha Guzman-Aceves, Deputy Legislative Secretary, California Governor’s Office, Sacramento
Andre Monette, Partner, Best Best & Kreiger LLP, Washington, D.C.

Session 22: The Other Side of Water: Stormwater Permits and Receiving Water Limitations

The State Water Resources Control Board has issued a precedential order affecting water quality in California through the adoption of municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permits. The order will require permits to continue to incorporate receiving water limitations and total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), but will also allow watershed-based program implementation to constitute compliance with those provisions. By issuing a decision on Los Angeles County’s MS4 permit, which uses the watershedbased program approach in part to promote capture of stormwater runoff, the State Water Board has endorsed a paradigm shift from previous permits. This panel will discuss how the State Water Board order will affect MS4s statewide and beyond through the precedential determinations on receiving water limitations, TMDL implementation, and watershed programbased compliance, as well as how the new MS4 approach focusing on stormwater capture factors into the State’s greater water supply picture and need to develop alternative water supply sources.

Moderator: Noah Garrison, Environmental Science Practicum Director, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles


Tess Dunham, Shareholder, Somach Simmons & Dunn, Sacramento
Steve Fleischli, Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council, Los Angeles
William W. Funderburk, Jr., Vice President of Board of Commissioners, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and Partner, Castellón & Funderburk LLP, Los Angeles
Emel Wadhwani, Senior Staff Counsel, State Water Resources Control Board, Sacramento

Session 23: Sustainable Cities and Sustainable Energy for All

To meet California’s climate goals, we must integrate efficiency and renewable energy into land use planning in every community, including disadvantaged neighborhoods. Panelists will share their experience implementing creative, bold strategies for lowering greenhouse gas emissions that improve access to clean energy while taking into account geography, land use and development patterns, and environmental justice concerns.

Moderator: Deborah Halberstadt, California Attorney General’s Office, Oakland

Howard Choy, General Manager, County of Los Angeles Office of Sustainability, Los Angeles
Sandy Goldberg, Senior Counsel, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, Sacramento
Louise Mozingo, Professor and Chair, Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at UC Berkeley, Berkeley
Parin Shah, Senior Strategist, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Oakland

Session 24: Evaluating the Risks of Crude-by-Rail

A series of highly-publicized accidents involving crude oil trains, including an explosion in Lac M√©gantic, Quebec, that killed 47 people, has given rise to a great deal of public concern about the safety of transporting crude oil by railroad. This panel will examine the accident, public health and environmental risks of crude-by-rail and similar projects, including topics such as how these risks should be addressed in the environmental review process, how to determine whether such risks are ‚Äúsignificant‚ÄĚ, the environmental justice implications, how mitigation measures can reduce such risks, and how doctrines like federal preemption interact with the environmental review process under state law.

Moderator: Alexander ‚ÄúSandy‚ÄĚ Crockett, Assistant Counsel, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, San Francisco

Yana Garcia, Associate Attorney, Earthjustice, San Francisco
Melissa Hagan, Senior Counsel, Union Pacific Railroad Company, City of Industry
Scott Lichtig, Deputy Attorney General, California Department of Justice, Sacramento

Session 25: Reliability, Restoration and Resilience in Water Planning: Relearning the Three Rs in an Era of Climate Change

In 2014, California‚Äôs Water Action Plan recognized that climate change is compounding the current inability of the state‚Äôs water management system to ‚Äúsatisfactorily meet both ecological and human needs.‚ÄĚ The plan identifies three broad objectives: reliable water supply, restoration of important species and habitat, and a more resilient water management system. This diverse panel of experts will evaluate the changing relationship of laws and institutions to these potentially conflicting objectives, and the potential future roles of supply and storage options, watershed restoration, and improvements in conservation.

Moderator: Paul Kibel, Professor, Golden Gate University, San Francisco

Debbie Davis-Franco, Community & Rural Affairs Advisor, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, Sacramento
Jonas Minton, Water Policy Advisor, Planning and Conservation League, Sacramento
Chris Scheuring, Associate Counsel, California Farm Bureau Federation, Sacramento
Joshua Viers, Professor and Co-Director, UC Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative, University of California, Merced

Session 26: Diversity and the Environmental Bar: Look to your Left, Look to your Right‚ÄĒWhere Are the People of Color?

California is the second most diverse state in the Union (surpassed only by Hawaii). On July 1, 2013, the State officially confirmed its ‚Äúmajority minority‚ÄĚ status, with non-Latino whites accounting for less than fifty percent of the State population for the first time since California‚Äôs statehood. On every front, we tackle issues that impact and are influenced by California‚Äôs diverse population, yet, the oft-stated goal of achieving diversity among the environmental bar remains elusive.

Why is this so? A growing body of research shows that a number of unconscious and institutional factors impact who we hire, retain and promote. This panel seeks to not only highlight the lack of diversity in the world of environmental law, but discuss the reasons behind this phenomenon and present generally-applicable strategies for combating our unconscious and institutional biases.

Moderator: Letitia D. Moore, Assistant Regional Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, San Francisco

Juliet Cho, Associate, Stoel Rives LLP, San Francisco
Gladys Limón, Staff Attorney, Communities for a Better Environment, Huntington Park
Jyoti Nanda, Lecturer in Law, Former Co-director, Critical Race Studies Program, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles

Session 27: The Future of Rooftop Solar: What Happens Next Will Make All the Difference

In recent years, the growth of rooftop solar has been exponential in California and numerous other states. Many believe that rooftop solar is a key component of a sustainable energy future, and Governor Brown has indicated that it will be a significant part of achieving his 50% renewable energy goal. At the same time, utilities worry about loss of revenue as their customers go solar and about disruption of their established business model. Environmental justice advocates are concerned that the benefits of rooftop solar may not reach disadvantaged communities. The future of rooftop solar depends on decisions being made now by state regulators and legislatures, and California is at the forefront of this debate. This panel will discuss the state of play and what happens next in this exciting area.

Moderator: Jonathan Welner, Partner, Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP, San Francisco


Aaron Johnson, Vice President, Customer Energy Solutions, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Francisco
Shana Lazerow, Chief of Litigation, Communities for a Better Environment, Oakland
Sanjay Ranchod, Vice President for Policy and Electricity Markets and Regulatory Counsel, SolarCity Corporation, San Mateo
Edward Randolph, Energy Division Director, California Public Utilities Commission, San Francisco

Scholarship Info

The State Bar Environmental Law Section is pleased to offer the Michael H. Remy Scholarship.

In his nearly thirty years of private practice, Michael Remy represented a wide variety of public and private clients as well as nonprofit organizations. Michael assisted large corporations and small entrepreneurs alike in various permitting and environmental matters throughout the state. Many counties, cities, and special districts relied on Remy‚Äôs counsel in the processing, environmental review, and litigation of large and small projects. Some of his most notable environmental accomplishments were: heading the successful political and legal efforts to shut down the Rancho Seco Nuclear Power Plant; and representing the Sierra Club and William Hewlett against the conversion of Shirley Canyon to a commercial ski run by the Squaw Valley Ski Corporation. In 1990, the Environmental Council of Sacramento named Remy ‚ÄúEnvironmentalist of the Year.‚ÄĚ Remy was widely admired and loved by his colleagues, friends and family, who regarded him as a man of extraordinary intelligence, personal integrity, kindness, and generosity. Remy‚Äôs warm presence is sorely missed by everyone at Remy Moose Manley, LLP, but even in his absence, his memory continues to provide guidance and inspiration.

This scholarship, sponsored by Remy Moose Manley, LLP in memory of former Environmental Law Section member and advisor, Michael H. Remy, includes tuition, travel and room for the 2015 Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite¬ģ. Five (5) scholarships were awarded.

Tuition-Only Scholarships

The Environmental Law Section offered more than 25 tuition-only scholarships to attend the 2015 Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite¬ģ. The Section thanks the following for their contribution to the 2015 Yosemite Conference Scholarship program.

Ascent Environmental, Inc.
Brandt-Hawley Law Group
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
Castellon & Funderburk LLP
Farella Braun and Martel LLP
Norm and Nan Flette
Hinson Gravelle & Adair LLP
Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP
Gideon Kracov
Lozeau Drury, LLP
McGuire Woods LLP
Meyers Nave
Miles Law Group
PC Law Group
Remy Moose & Manley, LLP
Soluri Meserve
The Sawyer Families
The Sohagi Law Group
Wactor & Wick LLP


Thank you to our 2015 Conference Sponsors.

AEI Consultants
Antea Group
Ascent Environmental, Inc.
Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp, LLP
Bick Law Group
Brandt-Hawley Law Group
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
Burke Williams & Sorensen
Caldwell Leslie & Proctor PC
Castellon & Funderburk LLP
Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP
Edgcomb Law Group, LLP
EEC Environmental
Farella Braun and Martel LLP
Flette, Norm and Nan
Gannett Fleming, Inc.
Gideon Kracov, Attorney at Law
Geosyntec Consultants
Greenberg Glusker LLP
Gresham Savage Nolan & Tilden, PC
Hinson Gravelle & Adair LLP
Holland & Knight
Integral Consulting Inc.
Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP
KP Public Affairs
Lozeau Drury, LLP
Meyers Nave
McGuireWoods LLP
Miles Law Group
PC Law Group
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Remy Moose Manley, LLP
Rossmann and Moore, LLP
Roux Associates, Inc.
SCS Engineers
The Sawyer Families
Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
The Sohagi Law Group
Soluri Meserve
Stoel Rives LLP
Terra-Petra Environmental Engineering
Tetra Tech, Inc.
Thomson Reuters
University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
Wactor and Wick LLP
Wilson Vineyards/Bogle Wines

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