Top government and industry officials to speak at ABA environmental law conference

Jonathan D. Brightbill, deputy assistant attorney general, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice; Matthew Leopold, general counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and Jeffrey H. Wood, acting assistant attorney general, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice, are the keynote speakers at the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources 26th Fall Conference, Oct. 17-20 at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina hotel.

At the conference, environmental experts will discuss the legal landscape of public land management, tech giants' environmental footprints, nonfederal efforts to address climate change, Superfund reform and changing regulatory landscapes under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, among other topics.

Program highlights include:

- "The Great Enforcement Debate" - This panel will explore the current state of civil and criminal environmental enforcement, enforcement trends and initiatives and the efficacy of enforcement versus other approaches to compliance assurance. Speakers include Peter Hsiao, Morrison & Foerster LLP, Los Angeles, Calif.; Sylvia Quast, regional counsel, region 9 for the EPA, San Francisco, Calif.; Sambhav Sankar, executive director, Environmental Council of the States, Washington, D.C.; Justin Savage, Sidley Austin LLP, Washington, D.C.

- "Reversing Course: Administrative Law in a Time of Change" - President Trump was elected on a platform that called for rolling back many Obama-era environmental policies and regulations. The EPA, U.S. Department of the Interior and other federal agencies have faced a torrent of litigation as they grapple with their mandate, triggering important developments in administrative law. This panel will present a nuts-and-bolts discussion about how an agency can eliminate or alter a final regulation. Examples will be drawn not only from the environmental field, but also from other topical areas of law, such as immigration. Speakers include Matthew Leopold, general counsel, EPA; Amanda Leiter, professor of law, American University Washington College of Law, Washington, D.C.; and Brenda Mallory, executive director and senior counsel, Conservation Litigation Project, Washington, D.C.

- "Deregulation in Focus: The Clean Air Act and States" - The administration's executive orders, regulation changes and other deregulatory efforts are reshaping the Clean Air Act landscape. The intensity of this deregulation activity is obvious in California, where the state environmental agency leads with some of the most protective environmental laws in the nation, including its authority to set California-specific motor vehicles emission standards. Speakers include Jonathan D. Brightbill, deputy assistant attorney general, U.S. Department of Justice; David Pettit, senior attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council, Santa Monica, Calif.; Clint Woods, deputy assistant administrator, Office of Air and Radiation, EPA, Washington, D.C.

Published: Thu, Oct 11, 2018