Texas State Bar to Host 20th Annual Environmental Superconference

The 20th Annual Texas Environmental Superconference will be held on Thursday and Friday — August 7-8, 2008 — as always, in Austin at the Four Seasons Hotel. This year’s theme, inspired by politics, is “Join the Party.” And, on this 20th anniversary, party we will. Continuing a tradition begun three years ago, there also will be a Wednesday evening program, “A Brownfields Toolkit,” with the political theme, “Digging up Dirt.” For further information about this year’s and past year’s conferences, including photos, go to www.texenrls.org.
Co-sponsored by the State Bar of Texas Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section, the Air & Waste Management Association – Southwest Section, the Water Environment Association of Texas, the Texas Association of Environmental Professionals, The Auditing Roundtable, and the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, the conference routinely draws in excess of 500 attendees, from both the public and private sectors, and this year has sold out even before its preregistration deadline. The conference is one of a kind. In addition to having a theme, the conference has skits, quizzes, and prizes–and this year, anniversary T-shirts.
Featured speakers this year include Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (“TCEQ”) Commissioner Bryan Shaw, Railroad Commission of Texas Chairman, Michael Williams, Carl Bauer, Director of the National Energy Technology Laboratory, and, from EPA Headquarters, Chief of Enforcement Granta Nakayama and Director of Solid Waste Matt Hale, in addition to many other distinguished representatives from TCEQ and EPA Region 6 and from the private and public sectors. Topics include air quality (“California here we come”), water quality (“Tippecanoe and Tyler too”), energy planning (“Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow”), climate change (“Change we can believe in”), Internal Investigations (“You ain’t seen nothing yet”), enforcement (“Speak softly and carry a big stick”), lobbying ethics (“The buck stops here”), and natural resource damages (“A chicken in every pot”). Other topics include: environmental and administrative case law updates, municipal sustainability initiatives, solid waste, and EPA in the Next Administration. This year we will be having a series of point-counterpoint discussions with Professors Tom McGarity of the University of Texas School of Law and Victor Flatt of the University of Houston School of Law, on a variety of intriguing topics, including biofuels v. food, wind power v. birds and bats, nuclear v. carbon-based fuels, and chemical security v. confidentiality and public information.
Unlike in prior years, the Wednesday evening session will not be a primer, but instead will entail “in-depth” discussions of key concepts relating to the remediation and development of contaminated properties in Texas. For those who like acronyms, this program will discuss a plethora of them, including the following: VCP, IOP, MSDs , TDCRP, USTs, and TRRP.

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