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Colo. governor, EPA and DOJ officials to speak at ABA environmental law conference in Denver


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Colo. governor, EPA and DOJ officials to speak at ABA environmental law conference in Denver

By John Glynn

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2016 — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper,  Norman C. Bay, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Avi Garbow, general counsel for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and John Cruden, assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, will be among the speakers at the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources 24th Fall Conference, Oct. 5-8 at the Westin Denver Downtown in Denver.


Top environmental, energy and resources authorities will discuss priorities for the next presidential administration; the environmental impacts of marijuana cultivation; updates and developments on the Clean Power Plan; America’s drinking water infrastructure problems; climate change; and expanding clean water act authority.

24th Fall Conference
Sponsored by the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources

Oct. 5 – 8

Westin Denver Downtown
1672 Lawrence St
Denver, Colo., 80202-2010

Program highlights include:

“Environment, Energy and Resources: What the Next President Needs to Know — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Norman C. Bay, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, will discuss the top priorities on the nation’s agenda for the environment, energy and resources, and offer the next administration a primer on the key issues that it will encounter upon taking office in January 2017.

Thursday, Oct. 6, 8:30 - 10a.m.

“Cutting Through the Haze: Marijuana and the Environment —  Panelists Mark Bolton, senior deputy legal counsel to the Colorado Office of Governor;  Rob Bonta, California state assemblyman; and John-Paul Maxfield, founder and CEO of Waste Farmers, will address the unique issues and challenges of the legalization of adult use and medicinal marijuana. The panel also will offer a mix of perspectives on how states and the marijuana industry can use market and regulatory controls to drive sustainability in marijuana cultivation. In November, 14 states will vote on whether to join 23 other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing some form of marijuana.

Thursday, Oct. 6, 2:15 - 3:45 p.m.

“Future of Energy Markets in the West — Panelists will discuss the legal and regulatory challenges, as well as the opportunities of creating regional electricity markets, and address the implications that come with such a transition. Speakers include: Joshua B. Epel, chairman of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies’ Public Utilities Commission; Loretta M. Lynch, former president of the California Public Utilities Commission; and Delia Patterson, general counsel of the American Public Power Association.

Thursday, Oct. 6, 2:15 - 3:45 p.m.

“Clean Power Plan: Litigation and Implementation Update — Panelists will provide an update on Clean Power Plan developments, and offer differing perspectives on next steps for transforming the nation’s energy grid, one state at a time. Speakers include: Avi Garbow, EPA’s general counsel; Elbert Lin, West Virginia solicitor general; and Vickie Patton, general counsel of the Environmental Defense Fund.

Thursday, Oct. 6, 4:15 - 5:45 p.m.

“The Next Generation of Environmental Litigation” — Panelists, including Lisa Jones, deputy assistant attorney general of the Department of Justice’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division, will discuss the litigation of the Obama administration’s landmark Clean Power Plan and address the implications on future enforcement actions taken by EPA that go well beyond just climate change; as well as how other recent developments could change core issues in environmental litigation.

Friday, Oct. 7, 8:30 - 10 a.m.

A Glass Half Empty – Flint, Environmental Justice, and America’s Drinking Water Infrastructure Problem” — Panelists will use the Flint, Mich., drinking water crisis  to address the catastrophic results of public water mismanagement and discuss the concerns for America’s aging drinking water infrastructure and the ability of financially strapped governments to protect public health.

Friday, Oct. 7, 10:30 a.m.- noon

“Looking Beyond Paris: What’s Next for Lawyers and Climate Change Law?” —This panel will discuss where domestic and international leaders have gone and will need to go in order to realize the goals of Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change through new laws and policies, and how private party and NGO legal challenges may aim to achieve emission reductions and remedies beyond the agreement. Speakers include: Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation; and Matthew Rodriquez, California's secretary for environmental protection.

Friday, Oct. 7, 10:30 a.m.- noon

“Resolving Conflicts Over Natural Resource Damages (NRD) ” —The panel will Speakers, including Ginny Brannon, director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety addressthe recent mine remediation spill into the Animus River and will discuss the impact on how to assess, adjudicate, and resolve emerging contamination issues in the years ahead.

Friday, Oct. 7, 10:30 a.m.- noon

“Murky Waters: State Deference or Increasing Federalism?” — Speakers Ramsey Kropf, Deputy Solicitor for Water Resources at the U.S. Department of the Interior, and Martha E. Rudolph, director of environmental programs at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will be among the panelists to discuss recent changes in federal regulation to water rights, such as federally reserved rights to groundwater, and the implications for water lawyers, holders of water rights, and state authorities as to state versus federal jurisdiction.

Friday, Oct. 7, 2:15 - 3:45 p.m.

A complete agenda can be found online.

This event is open to members of the press. For media credentialing, please contact Maria Frausto at 202-662-1091 or

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