Climate Change and Alternative Energy Under NEPA and its State Counterparts

May 27, 2010

BNA and the Association of Climate Change Officers Examine Climate Change Initiatives Across the Country

Thursday, June 10, 12:00pm – 1:30pm ET

ARLINGTON, Va., May 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — As federal and state government agencies explore various approaches to regulating climate change and energy, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and its state counterparts are increasingly playing a key role in the debate.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090105/56509LOGO)

A recent statement issued by Council on Environmental Quality Chairwoman Nancy Sutley suggested that while greenhouse gas emissions could not be regulated under the NEPA, “NEPA compels Federal agencies to consider environmental effects before undertaking significant actions or policies [and that] CEQ sees no basis for excluding greenhouse gas emissions from that consideration.” Additionally, high profile alternative energy projects have been held up in the courts and in the permitting process as part of the environmental impact analyses under NEPA and state counterparts. The controversial Cape Wind project exemplifies one of such matters.

On June 10, BNA and the Association of Climate Change Officers will host a forum – Climate Change and Alternative Energy Under NEPA and its State Counterparts – featuring leading NEPA practitioners who will discuss recent NEPA and state counterpart activity related to climate change and alternative energy.

During the 90-minute presentation, the panelists will:

  • Review how environmental impacts related to climate change are being considered under NEPA and state counterparts, such as the California Environmental Quality Act
  • Analyze recent high-profile alternative energy projects affected by challenges under NEPA and discuss how future alternative energy project siting may be impacted
  • Address whether impending legislation and regulation at federal and state levels will impact current interpretations of NEPA and state counterparts related to climate change and alternative energy

BNA is the leading independent publisher of print and electronic news and information for professionals in business and government, producing more than 300 news services, including the highly respected Daily Environment Report, International Environment Reporter, and Daily Report for Executives.

The Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) was founded in August 2008 and incorporated in Washington, DC in January 2009 as a 501(c) (6) non-profit corporation. ACCO’s mission is to advance the knowledge and skills of those dedicated to developing and directing climate change strategies in the public and private sectors, and to establish a flexible and robust forum for collaboration between climate change officers. ACCO members work to assist in developing, promoting and implementing best practices and standards in the private and public sectors regarding climate change strategies; and educate industry and government on the importance of employing qualified professionals, developing sound organizational structures and inducing culture change at all levels. For more information about ACCO, please visit http://www.ACCOonline.org


Norman F. Carlin is a partner with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. He practices environmental and land use law, with a focus on environmental impact review and permitting, under California and federal law, for energy, transportation, and commercial projects. He also advises clients on compliance with federal, state, and local regulatory requirements for protection of the environment, and in particular of water quality and wetlands. He represents industry and public agency clients in permitting and rulemaking proceedings, administrative appeals and litigation, and assists in preparation of environmental impact documents and comments on proposed agency actions, regulations, and legislation. Mr. Carlin is a past chair of the SEER Environmental Impact Assessment Committee.

Geraldine E. Edens is a partner with McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP. She practices in areas involving environmental litigation, regulatory matters, and issues regarding law and science. She counsels clients on environmental compliance, the law and science of chemical regulation, as well as on a wide variety of Clean Air Act issues (NESHAPs, mobile source regulation, Title V permitting, etc.), food additive approvals under the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, Toxic Release Inventory issues, and issues regarding the Mine Safety and Health Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act. She has an extensive background in health, the biological sciences, and statistics. Ms. Edens has a broad base of litigation experience with a particular emphasis on litigating issues under the National Environmental Policy Act and related statutes, including the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act. She has defended the adequacy of environmental analyses for major economic development projects, interstate pipeline right-of-way approvals, and off-shore oil development projects (including the high-profile Cape Wind project), as well as challenged NEPA compliance prepared for a large scale commercial development adjacent to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park.

Fred R. Wagner is a principal in the Washington, D.C. office of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., and is chair of the firm’s Land Use Practice Group. His practice involves counseling and litigation in a wide variety of land use, environmental impact analysis, and public lands matters. Mr. Wagner’s practice focuses on the National Environmental Policy Act and related federal natural resources statutes, such as the National Historic Preservation Act, Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and the Endangered Species Act. While with Beveridge & Diamond, Mr. Wagner has assisted private parties and public agencies in their NEPA compliance efforts nationwide. For example, he has served as Special Counsel to the Ohio and Maryland Departments of Transportation regarding the defense of major transportation projects, and as a Special Assistant Attorney General to the State of North Dakota Water Commission. He currently serves as Counsel to the City of New Orleans in its efforts to develop a new medical center complex. He works with companies in both the traditional and alternative energy sectors seeking federal approvals for major exploration and development projects on and offshore. He has partnered with clients on successful projects such as the Americana Bayside development in Sussex County, Delaware; the Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C.; and large land exchanges in Arizona for a leading copper mining company.

Howard Learner is an experienced public interest attorney who serves as the Executive Director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center – the Midwest’s leading environmental legal advocacy and eco-business innovation organization. Mr. Learner is responsible for the overall strategic leadership, policy direction and financial platform of this public interest organization, which works to promote clean energy development solutions to global warming problems, improve the Midwest’s environmental quality, and preserve the region’s natural resources and heritage. ELPC puts into practice its core sustainability principle that environmental progress and economic development can be achieved together. Mr. Learner previously served as the General Counsel for Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, where he specialized in complex environmental, energy and community economic development litigation and policy development. Mr. Learner is an (Adjunct) Professor at Northwestern University Law School and University of Michigan Law School, teaching advanced seminars on environmental/energy law and climate change policy. He serves on the Board of Directors of the American Council for Renewable Energy and of Friends of Israel’s Environment (Chair), and has served on the Executive Committee of the Board of the Environmental Law Institute.


Source: newswire

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