Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal, Fall 2018, Vol. 36, No. 2, Issue 105 [view full issue].
Cite: 36 Mich Env Law J 2 (2018)
Great Lakes Environmental Law Center’s Annual Blue Water Bash
November 15, 2018, Detroit
The Great Lakes Environmental Law Center hosted its fifth annual blue water bash at Tony V’s to celebrate a year of successful work and to honor a distinguished actor in the environmental field. This year’s honoree is Detroit City Council Member Raquel Castañeda-López. The GLELC dubbed her the “Legislator of the Year” for her work spearheading the passage of the Detroit Fugitive Dust Ordinance last fall and her perseverance as a steadfast advocate in addressing air quality issues in Southwest Detroit.
Webinar: Ontario Bar Association ELS and SBM ELS: Examining Shared Environmental Interests
Nov. 12, 2018
Members of the Environmental Law Section and the Ontario Bar Association discussed environmental law topics relevant to lawyers on both sides of the border. The speakers included Jaffrey K. Haynes of Beier Howlett, Mark Mattson of Swim, Drink, Fish, Theresa McClenaghan of the Canadian Environmental Law Association, and Professor Nicholas Schroek of the University of Detroit Mercy Law School. They discussed the impact of the deep geological (nuclear waste) repository, development patterns, storm, sewage, and chemical run-off on the Great Lakes. Their presentations addressed the similarities and differences of legislative frameworks in Michigan and Ontario.
Joint Environmental Law Conference
Nov. 8, 2018, Lansing
The Joint Environmental Law Conference, co-sponsored with the West Michigan and East Michigan Chapters of the Air & Waste Management Association, was held in early November at the Lansing Community College West Campus. The Conference featured key note addresses from EPA Region 5 Administrator Cathy Stepp and MDEQ Director Heidi Grether.
SBM NEXT Conference
Sept. 26-28, 2018, Grand Rapids
The ELS provided programing during the Conference. Margrethe Kearney of the Environmental Law and Policy Center and Todd Schebor of Dykema organized a presentation by Janet McCabe, Former Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, and Jim Roush and Matt Hall of Consumers Energy regarding the EPA’s proposed Affordable Clean Energy rule—a rule intended to replace the Clean Power Plan rule. Sean Hammond of the Michigan Environmental Council provided an update on new public acts regarding environmental, energy, and land use matters that were passed by the Michigan Legislature since last year’s annual meeting.
Following the Section meeting, the Council held its annual election meeting. Outgoing Chair Scott Steiner of Rhoades McKee passed the gavel on to Chair-Elect Kelly Martorano of Dickenson Wright (above left). By nomination and confirmation of Section members present, Jim Enright transitioned from Secretary-Treasurer to Chair Elect and Tammy Helminski of Barnes & Thornburg filled his position as Secretary-Treasurer. In addition, Lydia Barbash-Riley of Olson, Bzdok & Howard, and Kurt Kissling of Pepper Hamilton were selected to serve on the Council while Todd Schebor of Dykema, and Paul Collins of Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone were confirmed to serve a second term on the Council. Chris Dunsky was honored for his years of dedication to the Section and his commitment to leading this publication (right). Following the meeting, the Section sponsored a happy hour at Bistro Bella that was well attended. The next Council meeting will be in December TBD.
Webinar: A Closer Look at the Endangered Species Act
September 18, 2018
The Natural Resources, Energy, & Sustainability Committee of the Michigan Bar's Environmental Law Section hosted a webinar focused on unique issues that arise in endangered species actions. Susan Topp of Topp Law lead the webinar, which examined the burden of proof and how it has been applied in actions brought to protect birds and bats in wind turbine cases. In addition, the speakers discussed the role of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other state and federal agencies that implement the Endangered Species Act and related protection laws.
Webinar: A Legal Perspective on PFOS/PFAS Contamination Issues
July 10, 2018
The Hazardous Substances & Brownfields Committee of the Michigan Bar's Environmental Law Section hosted a webinar focused on the legal issues that arise at sites contaminated with PFOS/PFAS. Presenters included Ben Fruchey of Foley Baron Metzger & Juip, Ryan Thomas, an environmental scientist at GHD, and Taryn McKnight, a product manager at Test America.
Webinar: Latest Perspectives on Vapor Intrusion Litigation
June 28, 2018
Lawyers and experts involved in vapor intrusion litigation must react and adapt to regularly changing programs at the state and federal level. This webinar addressed the latest in vapor intrusion litigation and featured panelists Jon Rohrer, PG, of Roux Associates, James Ray of Robinson & Cole LLP, and Michael Goodstein of Hunsucker Goodstein. They discussed issues related to conflicting guidance and regulatory programs, changing toxicity data and target levels, the presence of other contaminant sources, and how these matters impact personal injury and property damage claims.
Summer Program: Crisis Mode: What do you do when it all hits the fan?
June 14, 2018, Bath Township
The SBM ELS held a Council meeting and hosted a summer program at the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy’s Bengal Wildlife Center. The program consisted of a discussion among panelists Scott Sinkwitts of Consumers Energy, Daniel Cherrin of North Coast Strategies, Tom Heiden of Latham & Watkins, and Herschell Fink of Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss. This broad team of individuals with varied skill sets discussed how they address high-profile crisis situations. The panelist identified effective (and ineffective) coordination and response efforts.
A recording of the webinar and Joint Conference materials can be found under in the Section Library.
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