Tulane Law School
   HomeScheduleOnline RegistrationCLE AttorneysSponsorshipNews & MediaContact Us

Previous Schedule

19th Annual Summit on Environmental Law & Policy    


Friday, February 21     


Friday 8:30am - 9:50am  



Ethics are imperative to effective practice of law. This panel will look at the obligations attorneys have to their clients and each other.  

  • Robert S. Westley, Professor of Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility, Tulane University Law School  
  • William Boggs, Deputy Chief Defender, Public Defenders Office of New Orleans  
Welcome Address 10:00am-10:10am 

Friday 10:15am - 11:35am     


"Cancer Alley": Rethinking the Terminology     

"Cancer Alley" - the section of the Mississippi River corridor between Baton Rouge and New Orleans - is nationally and internationally infamous.  Nearly three decades after the term was first used, is it appropriate?  This panel will discuss the science behind the name and give an overview of legal issues stemming from the region.     

  • Dr. Charles Miller, PhD. Professor Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine     
  • Dr. Patricia Williams, PhD, DABT - Associate Professor University of New Orleans, Coordinator for Toxicology Research Laboratories of the Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences    
  • Damon Kirin (moderator) - Adjunct Professor Tulane Law School Toxic Torts, Partner at Diliberto & Kirin    
Gulf Coast Restoration: What's the Plan?       
The Louisiana Master Plan attempts to restore coastal Louisiana at a cost of $50 billion. How well does it respond to sea level rise, and what alternative measures may be necessary.   
  •  Ed P. Richards – Clarence W. Edwards Professor of Law, LSU Law Center        
  • David Muth – Louisiana State Director, NWF's Coastal Louisiana Campaign, National Wildlife Federation  
  • Tim Osborn – Central Gulf Coast Region Navigation Manager, NOAA  
  • Rob Moreau (moderator) – Instructor of Biological Sciences, Director of Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station, Southeastern Louisiana University  
Friday 11:35am - 1pm
Friday 1pm - 2:20pm        
Living With Water: the Urban Water Plan   
Greater New Orleans has a long history of water management techniques to overcome catastrophic realities. Outbreaks of mosquito-borne illness were a regular phenomenon, so the city built pumps to eliminate standing water.  Storm surges inundated streets and buildings, so levees were built.  Today, we face a sinking landscape and rising tides. The New Orleans Plan ushers in a new era of adaptive management. Our panelists will discuss what implementation looks like, the obstacles to overcome, and opportunities to navigate them.    
  • Gil Rogers – Senior Attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center         
  • David Waggoner – Architect for the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, Co-Founder of Waggonner Associates   
  • Robin Barnes – Executive Vice President and COO, Greater New Orleans, Inc   
  • Robert Miller – Deputy Executive Director, New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board  
  • Charles Allen, III – Director, Mayor’s Office of Environmental Affairs   
  • Harry Vorhoff (moderator)  - Senior Research Fellow, Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law & Policy


Hydraulic Fracturing and the Practicalities of Recyclable Waste Water    
Hydraulic fracturing, among other things, consumes enormous quantities of fresh water, millions of gallons per activity per day.  What are the alternatives?  Is recycling realistic?    
  • Ken Gelburd (moderator) – Attorney, Pennsylvania Federal Bar Association Section on the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources  
  • Liz Nolan – Assistant Counsel, Bureau of Regulatory Council, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection       
  • Dr. Barry Stevens, PhD – Founder and President of TBD America, Inc.   
  • Andrew Williams – State Regulatory and Legislative Affairs Manager, Environmental Defense Fund    
Friday 2:30pm - 3:50pm     
Montana Mining, Water and Hazardous Waste   
Mining law in Montana from the Copper Kings to today. American law, private fortunes, and a right with no remedy.     
  • Dr. Pat Munday, PhD – Department Head of Technical Communication at Montana Tech     
  • Dr. John Ray, PhD – Professor of political science and public policy at Montana Tech, president of Citizens Technical Environmental Committee   
  • Stan Millan (moderator) - Special Counsel, Jones Walker, Adjunct Professor,  Tulane University Law School  
Shark Finning: What's Next?     
U.S.federal law banned shark finning in US waters in the early 2000s. However, the selling of fins has remained legal and various states, especially on the west coast, have instituted their own bans. Does federal law preempt the states’ own initiatives?        
  • Dominique Cano-Stocco – Campaign Manager, Oceana     
  • Sergeant Adam Young – Enforcement Division, LA Fish and Wildlife Service   
  • Joel Waltzer (moderator)  – Attorney, Waltzer, Wiygul & Garside  
Friday 4:00pm - 5:20 pm    

Controlling Plastic Pollution through International Law and Extended Producer Responsibility   

Marine plastics are pandemic. This panel focuses on Extended producer responsibility programs as a way to address the problem. Papers from this session will be included in the next issue of the Tulane Environmental Law Journal.  

  • Lisa Boyle (Moderator) - Staff Attorney, 5 Gyres Institute    
  • Megan Herzog – Emmett/Frankel Fellow in Environmental Law and Policy, UCLA School of Law   
  • Mark Gold – Associate Director, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability   
  • Leila Monroe – Staff Attorney, Oceans Program, NRDC   
Menhaden Fisheries - the most valuable fish in the sea? 
Ever heard of menhaden? Commonly known as “pogies”, menhaden are caught throughout the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, ground up, and added to commercial feed for livestock and farmed fish, domestic pet food, and even human dietary supplements.  As importantly, menhaden are vital to the ocean life as a food source for larger fish, marine mammals and sea birds, and their life behaviors help keep cleanse pollution.   They are in trouble.  Now what? 
  • H. Bruce Franklin, PhD – The John Cotton Dana Professor of English and American Studies, Rutgers University—Newark, Author of The Most Important Fish in the Sea: Menhaden and America  
  • Marianne Cufone, Esq. –  Environmental Policy Advocacy Clinical/Environmental Program Manager, Loyola University of New Orleans School of Law, Executive Director: Recirculating Farms Coalition 
  • Captain Louis Skrmetta, Ship Island Excursions in Mississippi 
  • Andrea Jones Rogers (moderator) – JD Candidate, Loyola University of New Orleans School of Law  
Friday 6:00pm   
Keynote Plenary - Dr. Marcus Eriksen:  Dr. Eriksen is the co-founder of the 5 Gyres Institute, a research group dedicated to understanding and reducing plastics pollution through research and public awareness. He will speak about the role of plastics in our oceans and waterways, and how groups and individuals can work to reduce plastic pollution.   Watch the livestream here. 
Friday 7:30pm  
Saturday, February 22    
Welcome 8:50am - 9:00am  
Saturday 9:00am - 10:20am      

The Future of Civil Works: SMART Planning & NEPA Streamlining    
To better meet our nation's water resource needs, the planning process for water infrastructure projects is getting reworked both internally and externally.  Internally, the Army Corps of Engineers revised its approach in 2012 with the goal of increasing “efficiency.” Externally, Congress is working itself towards “streamlining” provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act. Our panelists will discuss the impacts of these changes on civil works planning and public participation, on which we all depend  
  • Theodore “Tab” Brown – Chief of Planning and Policy, US Army Corps of Engineers       
  • Harry Vorhoff  (moderator) – Senior Research Fellow, Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law & Policy   
  • Matt Rota - Senior Policy Director, Gulf Restoration Network  


Polar Bears, Species at Risk and Climate Change   

*Sponsored by Tulane Graduate Studies Student Association  

This panel focuses on the plight of species at risk in an era of climate change, including the well-known Polar bear and also smaller species found nearer to home.  It also addresses creative uses of the law to address the problem.  

  • Jason Rylander – Senior Staff Attorney, Defenders of Wildlife   
  • Dr. Karyn Rode – Research Wildlife Biologist, USGS Alaska Science Center   
  • Paul Hartfield – Invertebrate Biologist, Fish and Wildlife Service  
  • David A. White (moderator) – Professor of Biological Sciences, Loyola University of New Orleans  

The Elk River Disaster: Can It Happen Here?   

On January 9th, 2014 over 7,500 gallons of 4-methycyclohexane methanol spilled into the Elk River in West Virginia. The area is now a federal disaster area. Like Charleston, WV, New Orleans sits downriver from an array of industrial developments. Could it happen here too?   

  • Kevin Thompson, Esq. – Thompson Barney PLLC  
  • Anne Rolfes (moderator) – Louisiana Bucket Brigade  

Saturday 10:30am - 11:50pm    


Ocean Acidification: Can the Clean Water Act Help?   

 Ocean acidification is a global problem of a truly massive scale The Clean Water Act regulates ocean pH levels. Is the Act a useful tool for battling one of the most adverse effects of global climate change?    

  • Julia Roberson – Director for the Ocean Acidification Program, Ocean Conservancy    
  • Dr. Erica Ombres, PhD - NOAA Ocean Acidification Program  
  • Dr. Stephen Howden, PhD - Associate Professor of Marine Science, The University of Southern Mississippi  
  • Amy Stein (moderator) - Associate Professor of Law, Tulane University Law School   
Appalachian Uranium Mining: More Trouble in the Mountains   
The uranium industry is making a well-financed push to repeal a long standing mining ban in Appalachia so they can begin to excavate and process uranium, starting in Southside Virginia. Drinking water, human health, farmland, property values, wildlife and tourism across Virginia are at risk.   
  • Deborah Ferruccio – Grassroots Activist   
  • Andrew Lester – Executive Director, Roanoake River Basin Association  
  • Chris Pugsley, Esq. – Attorney, Thompson & Pugsley PLLC   
  • Dr. Brent Blackwelder, PhD – Professor of Environmental Sciences and Policy, Johns Hopkins University    
Hydro Power in China: Panacea or Problem?    
China's hydropower sector has boomed, as have adverse effects on aquatic life and systems. Both panelists have extensive backgrounds in dealing with Chinese history and its energy sector's growing dependency and insistence on hydroelectricity as a sustainable source of power. Is mitigation possible?   
  • Dr. Charlton Lewis, PhD – Professor of Chinese History, Yale Environment 360      
  • Dr. S. T. Hsieh, PhD – Director of the US/China Energy and Environmental Technology Center, Payson Center, Tulane University  
  • Siu Tip Lam (moderator) – Assistant Professor of Law, Program Director of US-China Partnership for Environmental Law, Vermont Law School       
Saturday, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Saturday 1:00pm - 2:20pm

Radical Environmentalism: Civil Disobedience?  

Environmental Law and policy has reached a plateau while new and larger threats appear. Recent arrests of protesters of mega-mines in Latin American and Asia, of deepwater drilling in the Russian Arctic, and of the Keystone XL pipeline make headlines, and dramatize these issues, But at what cost? Is civil disobedience an effective strategy for pursuing change?  

  • Dr. Brent Blackwelder, PhD (moderator)  – Professor of Environmental Sciences and Policy, Johns Hopkins University     
  • Randy Hayes – Co-Founder, Rainforest Action Network   
  • Todd Myers - Director, Center for the Environment, Washington Policy Center  
Lake Peigneur: A Region at Risk  
Underground salt caverns are used in Louisiana to store natural gas, butane, and propane. Some have experienced accidents. The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources has received a permit application to authorize expansion of an existing cavern storage operation through creation of two new caverns for storage of natural gas. Now what?  
  • Blake Hudson – Burlington Resources Associate Professor in Environmental Law, Edward J. Womac, Jr. Associate Professor in Energy Law, LSU Law Center         
  • Nara Crowley – President, Save Lake Peigneur, Inc.  
  • Paul Orr (moderator) - Communications Director, Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper  

Texas Whooping Crane   
*Sponsored by Louisiana Wildlife Federation  

As Texas and other western states allocate scarce water resources, how much is left for critically vulnerable species? The global population of Whooping Cranes has rebounded to approximately 200 individuals, but water rights in Texas may determine their future. Current litigation on behalf of this endangered species has the potential to dramatically alter environmental law and western water rights.  

  • Dr. Ron Outen, PhD (moderator) – Regional Director, Aransas Project    
  • Dr. Charles Irvine, PhD – Attorney, Blackburn & Carter, Aransas Project    
  • Andy Jacoby - Attorney, Jones, Swanson, Huddell, & Garrison, LLC  
Saturday, 2:30pm - 3:50pm   

Legislative Solutions to Plastic Pollution: From Plastic Bags to Microbeads     

Two plastics issues on tap: industry, New York’s proposed plastic bag ordinance, and the impacts of microplastics used in personal care products.  Each holds a piece of the answer.      

  • Lisa Kaas Boyle (moderator) – Staff Attorney, 5 Gyres Institute     
  • Rachel Doughty – Attorney, Greenfire Law       
  • Jennie Romer - Founder & Director, Plasticbaglaw.org    

Dead Zone: Litigation Needed?    

Each year the Mississippi Gulf dead zone increases. The costs to marine life, fisheries, and the overall viability of the coast, even state restoration plans, are large. Federal law requires that water quality standards be met by all states. They are not meeting them.  Can the law step in?  

  • Blake Hudson – Burlington Resources Associate Professor in Environmental Law, Edward J. Womac, Jr. Associate Professor in Energy Law, LSU Law Center    
  • Matt Rota – Senior Policy Director, Gulf Restoration Network    
  • Monica Reimer – Staff Attorney, Earthjustice    
  • Brett Korte (moderator) – JD Candidate, Tulane University Law School  
Levee Board Suit: THE CASE     
The New Orleans Levee Board’s pursuit of environmental damages against the oil industry for nearly a century of canal construction and wetlands degradation has captivated the state, and enraged the political establishment. Here’s what it’s about.
  • Mike Veron – Attorney, Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson     
  • Gladstone Jones –  Attorney , Jones, Swanson, Huddell & Garrison, LLC     
  • John A. Lovett – Associate Dean for Faculty Development, De Van D. Daggett, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law, Loyola University of New Orleans School of Law 
  • Bob Marshall (moderator) – Pulitzer Prize Winning Reporter at The Lens  
Saturday, 4:00pm - 5:00pm  
Stump the Chumps   
Saturday, 5:30pm  
Keynote Address Presented by Dr. Sylvia Earle 
Dr. Earle is one of the world’s foremost oceans experts. Her impressive career has arced between academia to founding multiple ocean conservation organizations. Most recently she founded Mission Blue, an alliance of ocean conservation groups created to support a global move towards increasing the number of marine protected areas.    
Saturday, 7:00pm   

©Tulane University Law School | Weinmann Hall | 6329 Freret Street | New Orleans, LA 70118 | 504.865.5939    Privacy Policy
Tulane University Home
admin login