National Enforcement Conference
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
See below for a full schedule of events; please check back for updates.
Registration Opens and Continental Breakfast
Welcome and Opening Remarks
8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
EPA’s National Compliance Initiatives: Understanding EPA’s Enforcement Priorities in 2020–2023
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) focuses its enforcement and compliance resources on the most serious environmental violations by developing and implementing national program priorities called National Compliance Initiatives (NCIs). For the 2020–2023 NCI cycle, EPA has added three new initiatives, modified a fourth, left two the same, and returned four previous initiatives to the core enforcement program. These significant changes to the NCIs warrant close attention. This session will discuss each of the 2020–2023 NCIs and touch on the status of core enforcement efforts for previous NCIs. Attendees will learn about the noncompliance that led to the selection of these NCIs, EPA’s goals for the NCIs, and the use of the full range of enforcement and compliance assurance tools in these NCIs to foster compliance and correct noncompliance.
John Cruden, Beveridge & Diamond PC, Washington, D.C.
Rosemarie Kelley, Director, Office of Civil Enforcement, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.
Lauren Tozzi, Attorney-Advisor, Air Enforcement Division, Office of Civil Enforcement, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.
Patrick Traylor, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.
10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
The Evolution of Environmental Enforcement: EPA Policy, Cooperative Federalism, Monitoring Technology/Citizen Science, and Citizen Suits
The approaches to environmental enforcement evolve over time depending upon the administration’s views, the status of state-federal relationships, changes in monitoring technology and citizen involvement, and the emphasis on citizen suits. Each of these areas have been significantly impacted under the current administration resulting in important developments that directly relate to the how, why, when, and what is considered in environmental enforcement. This panel will provide attendees with a picture of the factors influencing enforcement today and potential methods to identify them and respond effectively, no matter who the client might be.
Kathleen Johnson, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.
Aileen Nowlan, Senior Manager, EDF+Business, Washington, DC
John Pendergrass, Vice President, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C.
Nancy Stoner, President, Potomac Riverkeeper Network, Washington, D.C.
11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Will EPA’s CERCLA Reform Yield a New Super (fund) Power?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Superfund Task Force” was launched by the current administration in May 2017 to restructure, incentivize, accelerate, and generally reinvigorate its Superfund Program. In August 2019, the Task Force plans to release its culminating report. This panel, featuring leading perspectives from the administration, private practice, and state government, will provide in-depth analysis of progress made and opportunities missed by the reform efforts. The panel will also touch on critical lessons learned from some of the nation’s largest and most complex mega-sites, along with the challenges presented by emerging contaminants, such as perfluorooctanesulfonic acid—PFOS—and perfluorooctanoic acid—PFOA. This first-hand account of the critical developments in the legal landscape from leading Superfund experts will prepare attendees to handle nation’s most challenging sites.
*Bonnie Barnett, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Philadelphia, PA
*Cyndy Mackey, Director, Office of Site Remediation Enforcement, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.
Thomas A. Mariani, Jr., Chief, Environmental Enforcement Section, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.
Mike McLaughlin, Senior Vice President of Environmental Services, SCS Engineers, Reston, VA
12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Drawing a Line: When Should Violations of Environmental Law Trigger Criminal Prosecution?
Federal environmental statutes create a wide range of scenarios where criminal liability may arise more than any other statutory contexts. The Clean Water Act, for example, authorizes federal law enforcement agencies to pursue criminal penalties for “negligent” discharges not otherwise authorized by a duly-issued permit. The same is true for “negligent” releases of air emissions under the Clean Air Act, while the Migratory Bird Treaty Act has been viewed as creating criminal sanctions on a strict liability basis. In addition to situations with traditional criminal mens rea, environmental prosecutors have often targeted their efforts toward conduct that creates a serious risk of danger, causes serious environmental effects, or involves dishonest conduct, among other factors. Drawing from the experience of environmental prosecutors and white collar criminal defense attorneys, this session will illuminate factors used in environmental enforcement cases to determine whether criminal punishment should be pursued. The panel will discuss past cases where criminal liability arose, as well as the evolving policies at the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other environmental agencies that impact prosecution decisions.
Nadira Clarke, Baker Botts LLP, Washington, D.C.
Brent Fewell, Chairman, Earth & Water Law Group, Washington, DC
Mike Fisher, Director, Legal Counsel Division, Office of Criminal Enforcement, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.
Deborah Harris, Chief, Environmental Crimes Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.
David Uhlmann, Professor & Director of the Environmental Law and Policy Program, University of Michigan Law School
2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
The Judiciary and Environmental Enforcement: New Precedents, Pending Cases, and Trends in the Courts
Recent decisions across the federal judiciary are impacting the environmental enforcement landscape. From the meaning of key statutory provisions and penalty assessments to the application of statutes of limitations and beyond, the case law related to environmental enforcement continues to evolve and develop in important ways. The environmental bar is also watching the U.S. Supreme Court closely, with recent and upcoming decisions on topics such as agency deference, Clean Water Act compliance, and CERCLA liability set to play a role in the future of environmental enforcement. This experienced panel will share valuable insights and perspectives on recent and anticipated decisions at the Supreme Court and elsewhere across the federal courts, providing attendees with a roadmap to navigate potential environmental enforcement issues related to specific client and/or stakeholder matters.
Sara Colangelo, Director of the Environmental Law and Policy Program and Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown Law, Washington, D.C.
Jennifer Neumann, Assistant Section Chief, Appellate Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.
Timothy Sullivan, Principal, Beveridge & Diamond PC, Baltimore, MD
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closing Keynote Address
Susan Bodine, Assistant Administrator, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.
Jeffrey Clark, Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.
* invited speakers