2009 AMERICAN COLLEGE OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAWYERS ANNUAL MEETING

Posted on August 11, 2009 by Rachael Bunday

Portland, Maine - October 1-3, 2009

****THIS MEETING OPEN TO MEMBERS ONLY****

It's finally that time of year! The American College of Environmental Lawyers is having its Annual Meeting in Portland, Maine, October 1-3, 2009 at The Portland Regency http://www.theregency.com. Conference fees may be paid online below.  Please note that dress attire is business casual. The agenda is as follows:

THURSDAY

6 PM: Welcome Reception hosted by Bernstein Shur at the Portland Museum of
Art. Open to College members and their spouses/significant others.

 
FRIDAY

7:30-9:00 AM: Breakfast at the hotel (For members and spouses/significant others, in a large room)

9:00 - 9:15: Presidential Welcome and other announcements

9:15 - 10:30: Round the room member introductions: a quick 20 seconds of  info and humor to introduce yourself and describe what you do in the area of environmental law.
 
10:30 - 10:45: Break

10:45 - 11:50: Business Meeting: 1) Election and Induction of New Fellows (5 minutes); 2) Discussion and Vote on by-law changes (5-10 minutes); 3) Election of Officers and Board of Regents (5 minutes); 4) Plans for 2009-10 from incoming President (15 minutes); 5) Announcement of Committee Chairs and Duties of Committees—Nominating and Membership, Program and Education, Website, and Policy Committees; (5 minutes); 4) Committees each break into separate rooms have a preliminary meeting; those who have not previously selected a Committee can sit in on any meeting (45-50 minutes)

12:00 PM: College lunch at the hotel, guest speaker former Maine Governor Angus King

1:30-4:30: College member presentations/program

 

Session 1:

Climate Change Legislation and Regulation

Panelists:

Carol Dinkins – Vinson & Elkins, LLP

Bradley Marten – Marten Law Group PLLC

Stephen Ramsey – Yale Law School and Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Moderator:

David Farer – Farer Fersko

Session 2:

Climate Change Litigation

Panelists:

Linda Bullen – Lionel Sawyer & Collins

John Cruden – U.S. Department of Justice

Michael Gerrard – Columbia University Center for Climate Change Law

Jeffrey Thaler – Bernstein Shur

Moderator:

Karen Crawford –Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

 

Friday Excursion to Freeport

For those not attending the conference, enjoy a half-day trip to Freeport, Maine. Freeport is home to L.L. Bean’s famous flagship store, several dozen designer factory stores (Burberry, Coach, and Cole Haan to name a few), cafes, and a quaint historic district. Also nearby is Wolfe’s Neck State Park for anyone wanting to hike mild trails and enjoy the foliage, or possibly a stop in at the Delorme Map Store and visit “Eartha” the world’s largest to-scale and revolving globe

Cost $40 per person, minimum of 8 people needed

http://www.freeportusa.com/index.html

Saturday Lobster Bake

Take a short scenic ferry trip across Casco Bay to Peak’s Island. Once there, you will take a short walk to the historic Fifth Maine Regiment for a classic New England Lobster Bake, including fresh Maine lobsters, steamers, corn on the cob, blueberry cake, and more. The Fifth Maine Regiment sits atop Peak’s rocky coast, overlooking Cushing Island,  with quaint garden featuring breathtaking views, and  a wraparound porch (weather permitting) or dining hall. After the lobster bake, you can explore the island and return to Portland at your convenience (or come early and explore!); ferries run hourly through the evening. The bake will start at 12:30, so you’ll want to make the 11:15 (or earlier) ferry from the Casco Bay Ferry Terminal.

Cost $75 per person, minimum of 25 people needed

 
HOTEL

We have reserved a block of rooms at The Portland Regency, http://www.theregency.com, (207) 774-4200. There are a limited number of rooms still available. Please make sure to mention you are with the American College of Environmental Lawyers to get our discounted rate.

 

REGISTER HERE - http://acoel.eroievent.com/

 

PAY HERE - 
To add multiple items you will need to select one item at a time, add to your cart, then select "Continue Shopping".

 

ACOEL Meeting Fee and Optional Additions

 Friday and Saturday Night Dinner Options

Portland is Bon Appetit’s  2010 Foodiest Small Town (article here), and Food & Wine’s Kate Krader has written that Portland’s culinary scene is “all-around terrific.” While there is no shortage of great restaurants in Portland, most of the dining venues are small and intimate. For Friday night's No Host Dinner, we have secured reservations at the most talked (and written) about restaurants in Portland that are within walking distance of The Portland Regency (the conference hotel). Please e-mail acoel@bernsteinshur.com with your first and second choices for Friday (and Saturday, if applicable) night’s dinner. Please have your selection in no later than September 23.

 

555

Five Fifty-Five classifies its cuisine as modern American and New England fare. Chef Steve Corry changes the menu frequently, but keeps some signature dishes on the menu year-round, such as truffled lobster mac n’ cheese, pepper crusted diver scallops with butter and vanilla emulsion, and Bangs Island mussels.

http://fivefifty-five.com/

Reservations: Availability for 30 at 8:00

 

Hugos

Hugo’s chef/owner Rob Evans is this year’s recipient of the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Northeast. Hugo’s passion lies in its love for creative food, good wine and wholesome Maine ingredients. The culinary team at Hugo’s, under Rob’s direction, delivers regional cuisine that is both unexpected yet ultimately familiar. The menu will be a blind tasting menu (prix fixe, $85 per person).

http://hugos.net/

Reservations: 2 tables of 4 at 6:15

1 table of 4, 1 table of 6 at 6:30

 

Fore Street Grill

Fore Street’s menu changes daily is founded upon the very best raw materials from a community of Maine farmers, fishermen, foragers, and cheesemakers, who are also our friends and neighbors. Most of these Maine foods are organically grown or harvested wild, each brought to us at the peak of its season. Fore Street was one of five national finalists for the James Beard Outstanding Restaurant category.

http://www.forestreet.biz/en/Home

Reservations: 2 tables of 10 at 6:00; 1 table of 10 at 9:00

 

Street & Company

Street & Company specializes in fresh, local seafood dishes and is considered by many to be Portland’s best seafood restaurant. In fact, they serve only seafood based dishes. It is a local’s favorite that is in its 20th year of operation. Like most of the menus on this list, it changes daily, but there are a few specialty items that are always available.

http://www.streetandcompany.net/home

Reservations: 2 tables of 6 at 8:00

 

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre serves “old school” Northern Italian cuisine, using produce grown on its owners’ farm. They were named in the “Top Ten Farm-to-Table Restaurants in the U.S.” by epicurious.com.

http://www.cinqueterremaine.com/main.html

Reservations: 2 tables of 10 at 6:30

 

Vignola

Vignola is the sister restaurant to Cinque Terre, and also serves Italian cuisine, in a more relaxed and casual atmosphere. It has an extensive beer and wine menu. Like Cinque Terre, the produce is grown by the owners for farm-to-table freshness.

http://www.vignolamaine.com/

Reservations: 2 tables of 10 at 6:30

 

Emilitsa

Emilitsa boasts a contemporary and casual atmosphere and brings a wide array of Mezethes (small plates), Megala Piata (large plates), and pristinely fresh seafood to the seacoast area. They take pride in honoring the breadth of traditional cuisine from all regions of Greece and prepare their dishes with as many local, fresh, organic, and natural ingredients as are available.

http://www.emilitsa.com/index.htm

Reservations: 16 seats at 7:00

 

Grace

Portland’s newest fine dining establishment is housed in a breathtaking restored church. The eclectic menu draws inspiration from all parts of the globe, using seasonal local ingredients.

http://www.restaurantgrace.com/

Reservations: 1 table for 10 at 7:00

 

For those of you staying for the weekend, also have the following reservations for Saturday night. Please note Saturday and your first and second choices in your response.

 

Fore Street Table for 10 at 6:00

Hugo’s Table for 6 at 8:30

Grace Table for 10 at 6:30

555 Table for 10 at 6:00

Stormwater Discharges From Construction Activity: What Next From EPA?

Posted on August 10, 2009 by Seth Jaffe

Construction and development companies praying for an economic recovery next year have something else to worry about: pending new EPA regulations regarding stormwater discharges from construction activities – and claims from environmental groups that EPA’s proposal isn’t stringent enough.

EPA issued a proposal on November 28, 2008. That proposal is complex, but the aspect of it that has received the most attention is the requirement that certain construction sites greater than 30 acres meet numerical turbidity limits (specifically, 13 nephelometric turbidity units (NTUs), which I had to include in this post just because it sounds so cool). Developers have opposed the numeric limits; the National Association of Home Builders estimates that the cost to comply would be $15,000 to $45,000 per acre.

On the other hand, the NRDC and Waterkeeper Alliance have threatened to sue EPA if EPA does not revise the propose rule to include post-construction controls as part of the rule. EPA has stated that it is not planning to do so. It’s not obvious that NRDC and Waterkeeper Alliance have the better of this specific debate, but the argument regarding post-construction controls is similar to the ongoing discussion in Massachusetts and elsewhere regarding the need for ongoing stormwater controls at properties other than industrial facilities that are already regulated.

The issue is not going to go away.  EPA is under a deadline to issue the rule by December 1, 2009.

MIXED RESULTS FOR OREGON CLIMATE CHANGE LEGISLATION

Posted on August 3, 2009 by Rick Glick

In my February 23, 2009 posting, I described Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski’s ambitious agenda for state action to reduce green house gases (GHG). But then the tumbling economy got in the way and GHG lost its position at center stage. Still, some things did get done in the session that ended last month.

 

Oregon had already adopted renewable energy portfolio standards (RPS) for its electric utilities, adopted California automotive emissions standards and had the nation’s most generous business energy tax credit (BETC). This year the plan was to add a GHG cap and trade program and establish fuel standards, among other things.   Some of it passed, some didn’t, and the Governor has said little as to which he will sign into law.

 

SB 80 would have established the cap and trade program, in line with the Western Climate Initiative, but failed. The principle reason seems to be that a federal bill may be imminent. That legislation, the Waxman-Markey bill (HR 2454) passed the House on June 26 by a razor thin vote along party lines (219-212). The bill includes a provision pre-empting state legislation. Its fate is in the Senate, where it will need at least 60 votes to survive a filibuster, and the final shape of the bill is anyone’s guess. If it appears a federal cap and trade bill is not achievable or indefinitely delayed, SB 80 is likely to be reintroduced in Oregon in some form.

Other climate bills did pass. 

 

  • SB 38 authorizes a rulemaking to require registration and reporting for import to the state of electricity or fossil fuels. 
  • SB 101 establishes a GHG standard for electricity generation and prohibits utilities from long-term financial commitments for resources that do not meet the standard, effectively banning import of coal fired plant output. 
  • HB 2186 calls for development of a standard to reduce GHG emissions from transportation fuel 10% by 2020 and to conduct a study on retrofitting of trucks to make them more efficient; this element was proposed as mandatory, but a compromise calling for the study was adopted. This provision is intended to piggy-back on a California study of improving existing truck efficiency. HB 2186 also established a task force to look at reducing GHG emissions through integrated land use and transportation planning. 
  • HB 3039 promotes solar energy and provides a 2:1 RPS credit for each kWh produced from a qualifying facility operational before January 1, 2016 and that generates at least 500 kW. The bill sets a limit of 20 MW of capacity for the RPS credit. 

 

  • HB 2940 allows RPS credits for biomass facilities in place before 1995, capped at 100 MW. There are 8 biomass plants and one garbage burner in the state. This controversial bill was not proposed by the utilities, rather it was driven by the Oregon forest products industry in the interest of maintaining jobs and to provide a source of income for declining mills. Thought the bill had broad bi-partisan support among legislators, many observers see it as inappropriate to give RPS credits to old generating plants, predicting that existing hydropower will be right behind. The concept behind RPS for many is to offer an incentive for new development of renewable resources, not to reward existing ones. As of this writing the Governor has not acted on the bill but is known to be considering a veto.

 

  • HB 2472 modifies the BETC to include manufacture of electric vehicles among the industries eligible for the credit, along with renewable energy facilities and manufacturers of equipment for renewable energy production. The BETC was reduced to match budget concerns, and the Governor is also considering a veto of this bill in the interest of keeping Oregon competitive to attract clean tech business.

All eyes now shift to the U. S. Senate to see if there will be federal GHG controls enacted. It may take a while, these things take time.

MIXED RESULTS FOR OREGON CLIMATE CHANGE LEGISLATION

Posted on August 3, 2009 by Rick Glick

In my February 23, 2009 posting, I described Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski’s ambitious agenda for state action to reduce green house gases (GHG). But then the tumbling economy got in the way and GHG lost its position at center stage. Still, some things did get done in the session that ended last month.

 

Oregon had already adopted renewable energy portfolio standards (RPS) for its electric utilities, adopted California automotive emissions standards and had the nation’s most generous business energy tax credit (BETC). This year the plan was to add a GHG cap and trade program and establish fuel standards, among other things.   Some of it passed, some didn’t, and the Governor has said little as to which he will sign into law.

 

SB 80 would have established the cap and trade program, in line with the Western Climate Initiative, but failed. The principle reason seems to be that a federal bill may be imminent. That legislation, the Waxman-Markey bill (HR 2454) passed the House on June 26 by a razor thin vote along party lines (219-212). The bill includes a provision pre-empting state legislation. Its fate is in the Senate, where it will need at least 60 votes to survive a filibuster, and the final shape of the bill is anyone’s guess. If it appears a federal cap and trade bill is not achievable or indefinitely delayed, SB 80 is likely to be reintroduced in Oregon in some form.

Other climate bills did pass. 

 

  • SB 38 authorizes a rulemaking to require registration and reporting for import to the state of electricity or fossil fuels. 
  • SB 101 establishes a GHG standard for electricity generation and prohibits utilities from long-term financial commitments for resources that do not meet the standard, effectively banning import of coal fired plant output. 
  • HB 2186 calls for development of a standard to reduce GHG emissions from transportation fuel 10% by 2020 and to conduct a study on retrofitting of trucks to make them more efficient; this element was proposed as mandatory, but a compromise calling for the study was adopted. This provision is intended to piggy-back on a California study of improving existing truck efficiency. HB 2186 also established a task force to look at reducing GHG emissions through integrated land use and transportation planning. 
  • HB 3039 promotes solar energy and provides a 2:1 RPS credit for each kWh produced from a qualifying facility operational before January 1, 2016 and that generates at least 500 kW. The bill sets a limit of 20 MW of capacity for the RPS credit. 

 

  • HB 2940 allows RPS credits for biomass facilities in place before 1995, capped at 100 MW. There are 8 biomass plants and one garbage burner in the state. This controversial bill was not proposed by the utilities, rather it was driven by the Oregon forest products industry in the interest of maintaining jobs and to provide a source of income for declining mills. Thought the bill had broad bi-partisan support among legislators, many observers see it as inappropriate to give RPS credits to old generating plants, predicting that existing hydropower will be right behind. The concept behind RPS for many is to offer an incentive for new development of renewable resources, not to reward existing ones. As of this writing the Governor has not acted on the bill but is known to be considering a veto.

 

  • HB 2472 modifies the BETC to include manufacture of electric vehicles among the industries eligible for the credit, along with renewable energy facilities and manufacturers of equipment for renewable energy production. The BETC was reduced to match budget concerns, and the Governor is also considering a veto of this bill in the interest of keeping Oregon competitive to attract clean tech business.

All eyes now shift to the U. S. Senate to see if there will be federal GHG controls enacted. It may take a while, these things take time.