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March/April 2023

52nd Spring Conference on Environmental Law

Manisha Patel


  • Addresses how we must reckon with the decisions of our past while shaping a vibrant, sustainable future for all that achieves productive harmony between humans and our environment.
  • Urges members to join SEER at the 52nd Spring Conference on environmental law in Denver, Colorado.
52nd Spring Conference on Environmental Law
Brad McGinley Photography via Getty Images

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We are at an inflection point. Collectively, we must reckon with the decisions of our past while shaping a vibrant, sustainable future for all that achieves productive harmony between humans and our environment. How will we respond to the realities of climate change, the legacy of pollution, and environmental injustices in a precarious world economy? Will the legal profession shape the solutions or be shaped by them? Who are we and what impact will we have on the world? How do our personal lives impact our professional choices—and vice versa? Such existential questions abound in our post-pandemic world.

To explore potential answers and discuss how the lessons we have learned over the last several decades illuminate the possibilities for the years ahead, the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) welcomes everyone to idyllic Denver, Colorado, for the 52nd Spring Conference on Environmental Law from April 26–28, 2023! As the snow melts to feed gorgeous spring blooms cradled in stunning panoramic views of the majestic Rockies, come join us to hear from preeminent thought leaders as they grapple with the top issues and latest developments in environmental, energy, and resources law.

Once again, SEER’s Spring Conference planning committee has assembled an outstanding slate of programming and speakers for a thought-provoking exchange of ideas and information. The opening plenary session on Thursday will highlight key provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act and its historic investment in the evolution of the production and distribution of energy. Friday morning’s plenary session will examine the jurisprudence of Denver-native Justice Neil Gorsuch, as the Supreme Court appears poised to revisit the fundamental underpinnings of environmental regulation. Additionally, the conference proffers insights and valuable practice tips from senior government officials and leading practitioners on a range of environmental, energy, and resources law topics, including:

  • The Less Obvious Implications of PFAS
  • The Twenty-Year Drought in the West
  •  Massachusetts v. EPA at Sixteen Years
  •  Unexpected Adversaries in the Clean Energy Transition
  • Preserving Environmental Protections with Expedited Permitting
  • Best Practices in Post-Closing Obligations
  • The Future of Managing Public Lands
  • Tribal Climate Adaptation: Building New Strategies and Capacities
  • Striving for Environmental Justice through EPA’s Clean Air Act Programs
  •  The Interface between Bankruptcy and Environmental Law
  • Ethics: The Evolving Role of Citizen Lawyers

As always, these anything-but-mundane CLE panels will be complemented by a host of locally inspired social and service events. The conference starts on Wednesday with an afternoon of public service and an evening welcome reception. The entire conference will be replete with networking and social events to rekindle and grow personal and professional connections. We also are featuring a special lunchtime presentation about two significant Superfund sites in Colorado—the Rocky Mountain Arsenal and the Rocky Flats Plant—to illustrate how environmental remedies can be designed to serve communities and the environment for years to come. By now, we all have recognized that virtual connections, as valuable as they are, just don’t compare to the exuberance and good cheer of in-person conferences.

ABA SEER’s Spring Conference is one of the most significant and well-attended environmental law conferences of the year. It fosters a diverse community of professionals committed to inclusion, awareness, innovation, service, and leadership. This conference is a must for anyone who is a part of, supports, uses, or is impacted by the legal profession (that’s everyone, right?!). I look forward to seeing you in Denver to learn, share, and make memories!