Environmental Law

2018 Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite

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Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite
October 18-21, 2018

Speakers & Sessions | Scholarship Info | Sponsors | Original Brochure

The Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite® 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’s top environmental officials, lawyers, and other professionals in the spectacular setting of Yosemite.

Speakers & Sessions

Friday, October 19

Session 1: Friday General Session: Polluting Black Space: How Racial Stereotypes Perpetuate Racial Disparities in Wealth, Health, and Environmental Pollution Exposure—Courtney Bonam

Courtney Bonam is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Before becoming a professor, she completed an interdisciplinary teaching fellowship in Stanford University’s African American Studies Department, followed by a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Bonam’s work focuses on the way racial stereotypes extend beyond personal attributes to physical space (e.g., Black areas are impoverished, White areas are wealthy). For example, people more often assume lower quality amenities when a neighborhood is Black (vs. White), which leads them to be less willing to visit the neighborhood, monetarily devalue a house there, and provide less environmental protection for the surrounding area. These biases have made and continue to make physical spaces, in addition to people, targets of racial stereotyping and discrimination. Dr. Bonam will (1) detail both quantitative and qualitative empirical evidence for these ties between race and physical space, (2) discuss implications for persistent racial disparities in wealth, health, and environmental pollution exposure, and (3) provide insights on strategies for change via social justice education and civil rights law. Courtney is also a research affiliate of San Francisco State University’s Institute for Sustainable Economic Educational and Environmental Design, and is a member of the Diversity Scholar Network at the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity. She received her BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan (2004), and her PhD in Social Psychology from Stanford University (2010).

Session 2: New California Environmental Legislation—The Legislative Recap from Sacramento

The California Legislature continues to pass groundbreaking environmental laws, which are often adopted nationally and internationally. During the 2018 legislative session, the Governor signed a number of new environmental, natural resources, and land use laws. Join our panel of seasoned legislative staffers for a timely discussion of newly enacted legislation, with a special focus on legislative accomplishments and trends for the future.

Moderator: Gary Lucks, Beyond Compliance, Oakland

Katie Kolitsos, Special Assistant to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Sacramento
Kip Lipper, Office of the California Senate pro Tempore, Sacramento
Dennis E. O’Connor, Principal Consultant to Senate Committee on Natural Resources & Water, Sacramento

Session 3: We Have to Do Watt? Energy Impacts Analysis and CEQA

The Legislature adopted the Warren-Alquist State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Act in 1974 after finding that the “rapid rate of growth in demand for electric energy is … due to wasteful, uneconomic, inefficient, and unnecessary uses of power and a continuation of this trend will result in serious depletion or irreversible commitment of energy, land and water resources, and potential threats to the state’s environmental quality.” At the same time, the Legislature modified the California Environmental Quality Act to require “measures to reduce the wasteful, inefficient, and unnecessary consumption of energy.” For decades that requirement lay largely dormant in Appendix F of the CEQA Guidelines. Recent cases, proposed updates to the CEQA Guidelines, and new green energy requirements from the Energy Commission and Public Utilities Commission have brought the issue to the fore.

This panel will explore the evolving state of practice in energy impacts analysis, including discussion of, among others, the role of renewables, transportation energy, lifecycle analysis, and net zero development.

Moderator: Chip Wilkins, Remy Moose Manley LLP, Sacramento

Cliff Rechtschaffen, California Public Utilities Commission, Sacramento
Tanya Gulesserian, Adams, Broadwell, Joseph & Cardozo, San Francisco
Andrea Matarazzo, Pioneer Law Group, LLP, Sacramento

Session 4: Drill, Baby, Drill

In January 2018, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and the Trump Administration announced a plan to allow offshore drilling along the entirety of the Pacific coast, along with the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and in the waters off Alaska. Shortly thereafter, the Administration took steps to exempt the Florida coast from the leasing plan—but federal waters along the entire West Coast will remain open to oil and gas development through the proposed five-year leasing program. This panel will explore the implications for California: What’s allowed offshore now, and what would be allowed under this new plan? How can this move by the federal government be reconciled, if at all, with California’s greenhouse gas reduction goals? Will there be a significant spike in offshore oil and gas activities? How could the Coastal Zone Management Act, OCSLA, and NEPA be used to challenge the Administration’s plan?

Jordan Diamond, UC Berkeley School of Law, Berkeley

Alison Dettmer, California Coastal Commission, San Francisco
Lisa Halko, California Department of Conservation, Sacramento
Miyoko Sakashita, Center for Biological Diversity, Oakland

Session 5: The Storm Over Implementing TMDLs in the Industrial Storm Water General Permit

The State Water Resources Control Board is considering amendments to the statewide Industrial Storm Water General Permit to implement total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) and provide statewide stormwater capture incentives for industrial facilities. This panel will discuss issues related to how TMDLs can be applied to storm water discharges, proposed methods of compliance and implications for citizen suits.

Moderator: Jennifer F. Novak, Law Office of Jennifer F. Novak, Rancho Palos Verdes

Sean Bothwell, California Coastkeeper Alliance, San Francisco
Dawn Koepke, McHugh, Koepke & Associates, Sacramento
Matthew Q. Lentz, GSI Environmental, Irvine
Laurel Warddrip, State Water Resources Control Board, Sacramento

Session 6: Keeping In-House in Order

This interactive roundtable panel brings together distinguished in-house counsel from a variety of corporate sectors. Each of the panelists has environmental law expertise and responsibilities, and will discuss common aspects of their positions, as well as some of the unique challenges they confront in managing complex environmental matters. Topics will include their companies’ management of environmental affairs; examples of representative matters; an in-house counsel’s responsibilities in selecting and interacting with outside counsel; and oversight of regulatory affairs, compliance, and litigation.

Moderator: Pete Nyquist, Greenberg Glusker LLP, Los Angeles

Marisa Blackshire, BNSF Railway, Vernon
Oyango A. Snell, Western States Petroleum Association, Sacramento
Estela de Llanos, San Diego Gas & Electric, San Diego
J. Steven Rogers, The Boeing Company, Seattle
Christianne Chen, Prologis, San Francisco

Session 7: Do Recent Developments in CEQA and Land Use Help or Hurt Environmental Justice Communities? Topics for In-Depth Discussion

The role of public health and infill development in CEQA and Planning Law is quickly developing, and environmental justice issues are coming to the fore. CBIA v. BAAQMD, East Sacramento Partnership for a Livable City v. City of Sacramento, and the forthcoming Sierra Club v. County of Fresno (“Friant Ranch”) decision address whether a project must evaluate impacts on public health and related issues on which practitioners have been awaiting guidance. On the legislative side, SB 1000 is now effective and requires that certain jurisdictions include an environmental justice element in their General Plans when updating or amending at least two or more elements of that General Plan.

On the policy side, in 2017, OPR released its 2017 General Plan Guidelines, which include considerations for environmental justice. This panel will discuss and debate the apparent contradictions and competing priorities between localized impacts and regional planning goals, and how public agencies and private developers should respond in terms of CEQA, land use planning, and other actions. There will be also be an opportunity for dynamic discussion between the panel members and the audience.

Moderator: Scott Lichtig, Office of the California Attorney General, Sacramento

Ricia Hager, Woodruff, Spradlin & Smart, Costa Mesa
Allen Hernandez, Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, Jurupa Valley
Brad Raulston, City of National City, Office of the City Manager, National City

Session 8: Fight or Write? How States, eNGOs, and Green Businesses Are Reworking Their Playbooks to Respond to Federal Deregulation of Fuel Economy Standards and Green Transportation

Refusing to roll over in an era of federal environmental law rollbacks, state governments, environmental non-profits, and businesses have deployed several strategies to fill an increasing void.

Through litigation, state policy-making, voluntary efforts and other means, environmental stewards now engage in a daily battle to replace what has been lost. Examples and case studies of these efforts are abundant, crossing industry and state lines.

This panel will focus on recent legal and policy efforts to ensure continued support for clean vehicles and clean fuels at a time when the federal government is moving to weaken fuel efficiency and tailpipe emissions standards.

Moderator: Jill Yung, Paul Hastings LLP, San Francisco

Irene Gutierrez, Clean Energy Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council
Sanjay Ranchod, Director & Counsel for Business Development & Policy, Tesla
Alice Reynolds, Senior Advisor for Climate, the Environment and Energy, Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.

Session 9: Legal Cannabis, Legal Water

In October 2017, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted its Cannabis Cultivation Policy and general waste discharge requirements for cannabis cultivation. These SWRCB actions provide detailed regulation of a previously unregulated industry and California’s largest cash crop. The regulations include requirements for protection of instream flow, protection of wetlands and riparian habitat, and prevention of erosion. Learn what these requirements are, how they can be implemented, and how they differ from other water supply requirements applicable to agriculture.

Moderator: Patrick Soluri, Soluri Meserve, Sacramento

Nathaniel Arnold, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Sacramento
Hollie Hall, Hollie Hall & Associates Watershed Resources Consulting, Arcata
Joanna Hossack, Lawyers for a Green Frontier, San Francisco

Saturday, October 20

Session 10: Saturday General Session: How Cities Will Save Our Planet—Sam Liccardo

Introduction by Jennifer Novak, Yosemite Co-Chair, Law Office of Jennifer F. Novak. Keynote presentation by Sam Liccardo, Mayor, City of San Jose.

Mayor Liccardo will discuss initiatives in San Jose that address some of the legal and environmental challenges facing cities and how they can serve as a template for other jurisdictions. In the three years since Mayor Sam Liccardo took office in 2015, San Jose has thrived. Sam has led the most successful period of economic growth in the City’s history, announcing major expansions from such employers as Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Broadcom, Google, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, and Microsoft. He is implementing innovative approaches to reduce homelessness—such as rehabilitating deteriorating motels, expanding work-first programs, and building “tiny home” villages—while working with community partners to house more than 1,000 homeless veterans. Sam has led a regional coalition to raise the minimum wage in Silicon Valley, partnered with employers to provide jobs to more than 2,000 teens living in gang-impacted neighborhoods, teamed with community colleges to eliminate tuition and fees for 1,600 low-income college students, and launched after-school learning programs in sixteen of San Jose’s least affluent neighborhoods.

San Jose has become the largest city in the nation to rapidly decarbonize through a community choice energy program, and Sam has co-led the passage of measures to bring BART and other transit improvements to San Jose, and protect hillsides and open spaces from sprawling development. A native of the Santa Clara Valley and former criminal prosecutor, Sam is a graduate of Bellarmine, Georgetown University, Harvard University, and Harvard Law School.

Session 11: Key Recent Environmental Law Developments in The U.S. Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and California Supreme Court

Over the past year, the U.S. Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit and California Supreme Court have decided and have pending a large number of environmental, natural resources, and public health-related cases. Join a panel of environmental law scholars and practitioners who follow these courts closely for a lively and comprehensive discussion of the most important federal and state appellate court decisions for busy environmental lawyers.

Moderator: Richard Frank, UC Davis School of Law, Davis

John C. Cruden, Beveridge & Diamond, Washington, DC
Alice Kaswan, University of San Francisco School of Law, San Francisco
Janill Richards, Principal Deputy Solicitor General, California Department of Justice, Oakland, CA

Session 12: Fire in our Future

California’s landscapes are becoming hotter and drier with climate change, and the threat of wildfires on the built and natural environment is a growing reality throughout the state. In fact, wildfires in California killed more people in 2017 than in any previous year, and the Thomas Fire burned more acreage than any fire in California history. In 2018, fire events across the state have continued, devastating numerous homes, other structures and infrastructure, and many parts of our state’s landscapes. Called “the new normal,” large fire events in California are likely to continue into the future. Come learn about the unique nature of California’s fire ecology, how State and local agencies are responding to recent fire events in light of future fires, and what we can expect to see in the future in light of climate change.

Moderator: Ryan Waterman, Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck, LLP, San Diego

Panelists: Ken Alex, Governor’s Office of Planning & Research, Sacramento
Dr. Alexandra Syphard, Conservation Biology Institute, Corvallis, OR
Margaret Van Vliet, Sonoma County Community Development Commission, Santa Rosa
Michael Wara, Stanford University, Stanford

Session 13: California’s Biomass Management Problem and the Impacts on Air Quality Moving Forward

With ongoing extreme drought conditions, the tree mortality epidemic, mandated landfill diversion goals for urban waste, a cycle of agricultural waste disposal needs, and the demise of the biomass power industry, California, as a whole, has an urgent biomass waste disposal problem. This panel will consider and discuss the following: Can or should anything be done to save the existing biomass power industry? What role do healthy soils play in helping to address agricultural waste disposal needs? How cost-effective are various biomass management techniques, including whole orchard soil incorporation, composting, air curtain burn boxes, and power production, and what are the related funding, legal, and policy hurdles? What are the air quality impacts of each? How is carbon sequestration affected? How do California’s climate change goals come into play? What lessons can be learned from the San Joaquin Valley in particular, where all of these sub-issues have converged strongly over the past couple of years?

Moderator: Mariah Thompson, California Rural Legal Assistance, Fresno

Genevieve Gale, Central Valley Air Quality Coalition, Fresno
Kevin Bundy, Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP, San Francisco
Morgan Lambert, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, Fresno
Julia Levin, Bioenergy Association of California, Albany

Session 14: Water Without Borders: Is Trouble Brewing for the United States and Mexico?

Communities along the United States-Mexico border are linked by the fluidity and fragility of rivers, aquifers and ecosystems, and a changing political and physical climate. A recent agreement, Minute 323, provides storage for Mexico in long-declining Lake Mead, conservation projects, and water for consumptive uses and the environment. But struggling border communities also face major conflicts. In 2018, these include disputes over the impacts of a border wall and the control of sediment and trash, and protests in Mexicali over the use of scarce supplies for a U.S.-owned beer bottling plant. This panel will address the future of cross-border cooperation in troubled times.

Moderator: Gabriela Torres, Surfrider Foundation, San Diego

Paloma Aguirre, Wildcoast, Imperial Beach
Doug Liden, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, San Diego
Mayumi Okamoto, State Water Resources Control Board, Sacramento

Session 15: Our Electric Future

It is no secret that meeting California’s greenhouse gas reduction goals requires less reliance on fossil fuels. And while mobile sources contribute significantly to greenhouse gases, stationary sources such as homes containing gas appliances also contribute to the state’s greenhouse gas footprint. Replacing gas-powered appliances and cars with electrically powered equivalents is part of the solution, but another is making cleaner electricity more readily available. Several California communities are banding together to aggregate their electric loads and purchase electricity from cleaner sources. They often accomplish this at a lower cost than the incumbent independently-owned utilities. Come learn about the initiatives afoot to move California towards an electric future supplied by renewable and greenhouse gas-free sources, including a discussion on community choice aggregation and proposed electric vehicle and stationary source proposals.

Moderator: Leah Goldberg, East Bay Community Energy, Oakland

Panama Bartholomy, Environmental Defense Fund, Petaluma
Janea A. Scott, California Energy Commission, Sacramento
Beth Vaughan, California Community Choice Association, San Rafael

Session 16: The High Environmental Cost of California’s Housing Shortage

Opponents of housing projects sometimes ask what the environmental impacts of new building will be. But given California’s housing crisis, the more important question may be: what are the environmental impacts of not building housing?

Disagreement remains over the causes of the housing shortage, though recent legislation, such as SB 2, SB 35, and the defeated SB 827, attempts to chip away at the problem. CEQA and the CEQA Guidelines (including the proposed Guidelines package) also provide tools for regulatory streamlining. This panel will engage attorneys representing environmental organizations, local governments and the building industry in a discussion about the obstacles to building affordable housing, impacts of our lack of housing, and the degree to which recent legislation and regulatory changes may help us house our residents.

Moderator: Christopher Calfee, California Natural Resources Agency, Sacramento

Eric Biber, UC Berkeley School of Law, Berkeley
Karen M. Tiedemann, Goldfarb & Lipman LLP, Oakland
Terry Watt, Council of Infill Builders, Sacramento

Session 17: Common Law Lawsuits by Municipalities in the Name of Climate Change

Is Climate Change the next Big Tobacco? A wave of lawsuits in California seeks to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their contribution to climate change. In 2017, the Counties of San Mateo, Marin, and Santa Cruz, and the Cities of San Francisco, Oakland, Imperial Beach, and Santa Cruz filed complaints against more than three dozen fossil fuel companies under theories including public nuisance, private nuisance, strict liability for design defect and failure to warn, negligence, and trespass. Will courts apply these ancient legal doctrines to this modern existential threat? What are the hurdles and complexities in this emerging area of climate law?

Moderator: James M. Birkelund, Greenfire Law, PC, Berkeley

Ann Carlson, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles
David E. Cranston, Greenberg Glusker LLP, Los Angeles
Vic Sher, Sher Edling LLP, San Francisco

Session 18: Tanks for Everything—UST 101

This panel will provide a review of tank regulation and cleanup for both experienced and beginning practitioners. In addition to the basics of tank regulation, the panel will examine recent changes to the Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund in SB 445, and other recent developments, including changes in the Fund and recipients, possible impact on cleanups for other contaminants, a requirement for closure of all remaining single-walled tanks, and new administrative enforcement authority enacted in 2017. The panelists will also examine the status of Low Threat Closure guidance in California, and other legal, technical, and regulatory implications of the changes and developments involving cleanup actions.

Moderator: Jeff Lawson, Silicon Valley Law Group, San Jose

Panelists: Diane Barclay, State Water Resources Control Board, Sacramento
Pat Hoban, Weber, Hayes & Associates, Watsonville

Saturday Afternoon Outdoor Presentations

Some presentations may involve a short hike, and some programs may not be appropriate for children. Registration is on-site only, and all presentations have limited space. Descriptions and signup sheets are available at the Executive Committee table. At press time, the following presentations have been scheduled.

Mindfulness and Competence in Legal Practice
1 Hour MCLE Competence Issues

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 Sheet 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 propensity of lawyers 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: Allison Smith, Stoel Rives LLP, Sacramento
Speaker: Douglas Chermak, Lozeau Drury, LLP, Oakland

Ecosystem Restoration And Greenhouse Gas Reduction

Restoring meadows and forests can be a tool for reducing greenhouse gases and increasing long-term carbon storage. Current evaluating how restoring hydrological function in montane meadows and stand structure in forests result both in reduced net greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere and improvements in the health of these important ecosystems will be discussed.

Moderator: Tim O’Connor, Environmental Defense Fund, Los Angeles
Speaker: Stephen C. Hart, UC Merced, Merced

Wildlife And Sensitive Species

Recent high-severity fires in and around Yosemite National Park have burned large tracts of prime habitat for the California spotted owl and fisher, species under consideration for federal or state listing as threatened or endangered. Understanding how to protect and restore habitat for rare species during and after fires is a priority for land management agencies, and the Resource Advisor (READ) program provides a unique opportunity for this. READs relay information to fire staff to protect natural and cultural resources during initial planning stages for prescribed fires or during response to a wildfire. READs work on the ground with firefighters during fire response and often participate in postfire recovery efforts. Visit recently burned habitat with species experts and learn about the READ program, conservation actions to restore habitat, and the latest post-fire science on rare wildlife and plant species.

Moderator: Andrea Ruiz-Esquide, City of San Francisco, Office of the City Attorney, San Francisco

David Campbell, Vegetation and Ecological Restoration
Biologist, Yosemite National Park
Stephanie Eyes, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sacramento

Mariposa Grove Restoration

This year the National Park Service completed a three-year project for restoration of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. The project includes restoring natural hydrology, realigning roads and trails away from sensitive habitat, building accessible trails and relocation of parking from the grove to an area near the South entrance to Yosemite. Visit the recently reopened grove and learn about the restoration project.

Moderator: Kimberly Bick, Bick Law LLP, Newport Beach

Speaker: Schuyler Greenleaf, Yosemite Conservancy, El Portal

A Fireside Chat with Mary Nichols, Recipient of the 2018 Environmental Law Section Lifetime Achievement Award

Join us in the Fireside Lounge, adjacent to the Hotel lobby, for an informal chat with Mary Nichols, this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Hear a firsthand account on her stellar career and contributions to environmental law. Facilitated by Cara Horowitz, UCLA School of Law, and Thomas J.P. McHenry, President and Dean, Vermont Law School.

Sponsored by Langan

Saturday Night Dinner Program

Dinner sponsored by Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and Terraphase Engineering. Wine sponsored by SCS Engineers and provided courtesy of Bogle Vineyards, LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards, Muddy Boot Wine, and Wilson Vineyards.

Presentation of the Environmental Law Section Lifetime Achievement Award given to Mary Nichols

The Environmental Law Section is honored to present its fifth annual Lifetime Achievement Award to Mary Nichols. Introductions by Ellen Peter, Lifetime Achievement Award Co-Chair and Chief Counsel to CARB, and Ann Carlson, UCLA School of Law. Remarks by Mary Nichols.

For over 45 years, Mary D. Nichols has been at the forefront of environmental law and policy, working steadfastly in the public interest to improve air quality and tackle climate change. She has worked for and represented non-profits, directed UCLA’s Institute of the Environment, and served stints as U.S. EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, as California’s Resources Secretary, and twice as Chair of the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

In these posts, she has developed, implemented, and defended innovative regulatory approaches that now serve as models for jurisdictions across the world.

Smog was her initial target in 1974, when then-Governor Jerry Brown appointed her to the California Air Resources Board. In the 1990s, at US EPA, Mary took on fine particle pollution from heavy-duty trucks. In 2007, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger tapped Mary to lead California’s fight against climate change and implement the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) during her second, and ongoing, stint as Chair of CARB. Mary brings her legal acumen and a broad perspective on political and policy undercurrents to every issue.

She also dives into the details of lawyering, playing a leading role, for example, in negotiating the landmark Volkswagen enforcement settlement. Over her decades of service, Mary has done more than perhaps any lawyer in the state to transform California’s pioneering environmental goals into workable policies and enforceable protections. The Environmental Law Section is proud to recognize Mary for her lifetime of achievements in environmental law.

Dinner and Keynote Presentation

Introduction by Andy Sawyer, Assistant Chief Counsel, California State Water Resources Control Board. Remarks by Dr. Tyrone Hayes, Ph.D., Professor of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley. Dr. Tyrone B. Hayes was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina where he developed his love for biology. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 1989 and his Ph.D. from the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley in 1993.

After completing his Ph.D., he began post-doctoral training at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health and the Cancer Research Laboratories at UC Berkeley (funded by the National Science Foundation), but this training was truncated when he was hired as an Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley in 1994. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2000 and to Full Professor in 2003. For the last twenty years, Hayes’ research has focused on the role of endocrine disrupting contaminants, particularly pesticides, on evolution and environmental regulation of growth. Hayes is interested in the impact of chemical contaminants on environmental health and public health, and environmental justice concerns associated with targeted exposure of racial and ethnic minorities to endocrine disruptors and the role that exposure plays in health care disparities. In 2014, The New Yorker profiled Hayes’ and the efforts by Syngenta to discredit his work documenting the links between pesticide and global amphibian declines.

Sunday, October 21

Session 19: Sunday General Session: The Trees Are Still Standing—The Honorable Margaret McKeown

Welcome by Nicole Gordon, 2018-2019 Chair, Environmental Law Section, The Sohagi Law Group, PLC. Introduction by Pete Nyquist, Yosemite Co-Chair, Greenberg Glusker LLP. Keynote presentation by The Honorable Margaret McKeown, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Judge McKeown will discuss how Justice Douglas’s experiences influenced the Supreme Court’s decision in NRDC v. Morton. Judge McKeown has served on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals since 1998. She received her B.A. from the University of Wyoming in 1972, her J.D. from Georgetown University in 1975, and was a partner in the Seattle and Washington, DC offices of Perkins Coie. Growing up in Wyoming, Judge

McKeown has long appreciated the western landscape and its natural resources. She served as a White House Fellow in 1980-81, as Special Assistant to Secretary of Interior Cecil D. Andrus and as Special Assistant at the White House. Judge McKeown chairs the ABA Rule of Law Board and is a member of the ALI Council and the Murie Center Advisory Committee of the Teton Science School. Among other awards, she is recipient of the White House Fellows Legacy of Leadership Award, the ABA Margaret Brent Women of Achievement Award, and the Girl Scouts Cool Woman Award. She was a member of the first American expedition to Mt. Shishabangma in Tibet. Judge McKeown is currently writing a book about the environmental legacy of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.

Session 20: Earth, Wind & Fire: The Legal and Policy Implications Of California Natural Disasters

Natural disasters in California have become increasingly frequent and devastating, posing unique and often unforeseen challenges. Join us for a discussion of key legal and policy implications relating to risk reduction, immediate response, and long-term recovery.

Jeannie Lee, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, Sacramento
Susan Petrovich, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, Santa Barbara

Verne Ball, Sonoma County Office of County Counsel, Santa Rosa
Julia Forgie, Office of the California Attorney General, Los Angeles
Alex J. Pal, Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Sacramento

Session 21: CEQA Update – A Perennial Favorite

Panelists will discuss in detail key CEQA cases from the past year, summarizing the published cases, outlining trends, and providing a brief update on recent legislation.

Moderator: Nicole Gordon, The Sohagi Law Group, PLC, Los Angeles

James L. Arnone, Latham & Watkins LLP, Los Angeles
Elizabeth Forsyth, Earthjustice, Los Angeles
Savith Iyengar, formerly Office of the City Attorney, Berkeley

Session 22: California’s AB 617—Attacking Air Pollution at the Neighborhood Level

AB 617, enacted last year with legislation extending California’s greenhouse gas Cap and Trade program, is a groundbreaking statute with respect to toxic air pollution. AB 617 is designed to address air quality in the most heavily burdened communities, marking an important departure from historical regulatory efforts that have focused on each region as a whole. The legislation requires the California Air Resources Board and the local air districts to develop air monitoring programs for these communities, and to follow up with programs to reduce their air toxics burdens, in collaboration with local community groups and other stakeholders. This panel will explain how those requirements will be implemented, discuss the political motivations that led to the bill, and explore the enormous potential for this new initiative to make a real difference in communities that have long suffered from elevated cumulative public health impacts related to air toxics.

Moderator: Megan Lorenz, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Diamond Bar

Veronica Eady, California Air Resources Board, Sacramento
Luis Olmedo, Comite Civico Del Valle, Inc., Brawley
Marne Sussman, Holland & Knight LLP, San Francisco

Session 23: The Salton Sea: Restoring the Beauty of California’s Inland Sea

The Salton Sea, California’s largest inland sea, faced a critical turning point in 2017, with fifteen years of long-term water supply coming to an end under the Quantification Settlement Agreement. With a boost from Prop 68 funding, how will California respond to this crisis and will it be enough to affect the fate of this once-popular resort destination? This panel will discuss the environmental challenges facing the Salton Sea and local communities, and what lies ahead for the state and federal governments.

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

Belynda Reck, Reed Smith LLP, Los Angeles
Frank Ruiz, Audubon Society of California, Coachella Valley
Bruce Wilcox, California Natural Resources Agency, Sacramento

Session 24: All Eyes on Us: California and the 2018 Global Climate Summit

Last month, Governor Brown hosted the highest profile climate change event of 2018, the Global Climate Summit. The Summit drew advocates, private sector leaders, and government representatives from around the world to San Francisco to talk about climate cooperation, highlighting the role of cities and states in achieving the global climate goals set forth in the Paris Agreement. This panel will review the most significant happenings from the Summit and look at what’s next for international climate advocacy, especially in light of President Trump’s vow to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. Did the Summit signal a shift away from multilateral diplomacy at the United Nations, toward a more subnational approach? How is the role of non-state actors, such as individual states, NGOs, and private sector corporations, changing in the climate advocacy sphere? What were the Summit’s outcomes, and where do we go next?

Moderator: Cara Horowitz, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles

Anjali Jaiswal, Natural Resources Defense Council,
San Francisco
Kirsten James, Ceres, Inc., San Francisco
Lauren Sanchez, California Air Resources Board, Sacramento

Session 25: Sustainable Agriculture: Improving Food Reliability and Addressing the Long-Term Environmental Impacts of Food Production

As the nation’s top food producer, California has enjoyed decades of intensive practices leading to increased short-term efficiencies. But now we face the long-term consequences of those practices, with uncertainty over water supplies, increased air pollution from tilling practices, depleted soil from fertilizers, and others. These effects, coupled with uncertainties created by climate change, are forcing us to reevaluate how we approach food production and what assistance the State can offer to guard against catastrophic food shortages. This panel will look at what practices and policies created our current situation, what has been done to try to safeguard our food supply, and offer recommendations on policies, laws, and policies for strategic planning.

Moderator: Jessi Fierro, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, Fresno

Kassandra Hishida, Community Alliance for Agroecology,
Jennifer Lester Moffitt, California Department of Food and
Agriculture, Sacramento
Tom Tomich, UC Davis School of Law, Davis

Session 26: PFAS: From Fire Fighting to Smoldering Liability, a Fall from Grace

Once hailed as miracle compounds and used in fire-fighting and numerous industrial processes for years, the huge family of chemicals called Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are now emerging as a potentially serious liability in light of their mobility in groundwater, persistence in the environment, and difficulty to remediate. This panel of leading experts will provide an up-to-date discussion on the state of the law and science around PFAS, and provide examples of steps being taken to address these emerging contaminants in the environment.

Moderator: Adam Baas, DLA Piper, San Francisco

Avram Frankel, Integral Corp., San Francisco
Dr. Kimberly Gettman, California Department of Toxic
Substances Control, Sacramento
Dr. Brian Howard, U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer Center,
San Antonio, TX

Session 27: Water, Water Everywhere, Nor Any Drop to Drink

Is California finally addressing its lack of safe, affordable drinking water in many communities? Many find shocking the lack of safe, affordable drinking water in a state as rich as California. In response, the last few years have seen a flurry of administrative and legislative efforts to address this issue, particularly in disadvantaged communities. What are the legal and technical tools available to make safe, affordable drinking water a reality? What is on the horizon? Are we finally going to get there? If not, what will it take?

Moderator: Debbie Franco, Governor’s Office of Planning & Research, Sacramento

Debi Ores, Community Water Center, Sacramento
Cindy Tuck, Association of California Water Agencies,
Tricia Geringer, Agricultural Council of California, Sacramento

Scholarship Info

The California Lawyers Association of the 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. Remy 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’s 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 “Environmentalist of the Year.” 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’s 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 2018 Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite®. There are up to five (5) scholarships of this type available, which is designed primarily, though not exclusively, for law students.

Tuition-Only Scholarships

The Environmental Law Section plans to offer at least 40+ tuition-only scholarships to attend the 2018 Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite®.

The Section thanks the following for their contribution to the 2018 Yosemite Conference Scholarship program.

Ascent Environmental, Inc.
Brandt-Hawley Law Group
Daniel B. Stephens & Associates, Inc.
Greenberg Glusker LLP
Hinson Gravelle & Adair LLP
Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard
Gideon Kracov, Attorney at Law
Lozeau Drury LLP
Meyers Nave
Norman & Frances Flette
PC Law Group
Remy Moose Manley, LLP
Silicon Valley Law Group
Solano Press Books
Soluri Meserve, A Law Corporation
Terraphase Engineering
The Sawyer Families
The Sohagi Law Group, PLC
Wactor & Wick LLP


Thank you to our 2018 Conference Sponsors

Ascent Environmental, Inc.
Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp, LLP
Barr Mediation
Best Best & Krieger LLP
Bick Law LLP
Bogle Vineyards
Boies Schiller Flexner LLP
Brandt-Hawley Law Group
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
Burke, Williams & Sorenson, LLP
Daniel B. Stephens & Associates, Inc.
Downey Brand LLP
Edgcomb Law Group, LLP
EEC Environmental
Element Markets
Greenberg Glusker LLP
Gresham Savage Nolan & Tilden, PC
GSI Environmental Inc.
Hanson Bridgett LLP
Hinson Gravelle & Adair LLP
Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard
LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards
Latham & Watkins LLP
Law Office of Gideon Kracov
Law Office of Jennifer F. Novak
Lozeau Drury LLP
McGuireWoods LLP
Meyers Nave
Muddy Boot Wine
Norman & Frances Flette
Partner Engineering & Science, Inc.
PC Law Group
Remy Moose Manley, LLP
Roux Associates, Inc.
SCS Engineers
Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger
Silicon Valley Law Group
SLR Consulting
Solano Press Books
Soluri Meserve, A Law Corporation
Stoel Rives LLP
Terra-Petra Environmental Engineering
Terraphase Engineering
Tetra Tech
The Sawyer Families
The Sohagi Law Group, PLC
Thomas Law Group
Wactor & Wick LLP
Wilson Vineyards

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