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Environmental Law Forum 2020 - Day Two

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PA Environmental Hearing Board Roundtable
Presenting from the “Forum Bench,” this panel of five discuss a series of ethics topics, including case management, protective orders, and judges and social media.  Topics also include recent EHB decisions on attorney fees.

RGGI & PA: Pennsylvania’s Participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
In October 2019, Governor Wolf signed an Executive Order directing PADEP to develop a rulemaking under the Air Pollution Control Act to implement Pennsylvania’s participation in the northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a multistate market-based regulatory regime addressing CO2 emissions from power plants. PADEP is slated to present a proposal to the Environmental Quality Board by July 2020, and PADEP has initiated consultations with relevant advisory boards. This panel will cover how RGGI functions and key policy and legal issues raised by the pending rulemaking.

Federal Regulatory Change
This session will focus on recent and impending changes to federal environmental regulations, including changes that affect industrial, development, and energy activities. The session also will address ways in which the Commonwealth’s environmental laws and regulations may be affected by federal regulatory changes. 

The Environmental Rights Amendment Right Now
This panel will examine the current state of the law and practice surrounding the Environmental Rights Amendment (or Article 1, Section 27).  The panelists will discuss how Commonwealth and local agencies have responded to developments in the jurisprudence.  They will also discuss pending matters involving Article 1, Section 27 and ways that the amendment may be invoked in the future. And they will offer differing perspectives on a number of Article 1, Section 27 issues that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has yet to resolve.

Section 401 of Clean Water Act Explained
Section 401 of the CWA requires that any applicant for a federal license or permit that may result in a discharge to navigable waters obtain a water quality certification from the state or states in which the discharge will originate. To address delays, the Trump Administration in 2019 issued an Executive Order to promote energy infrastructure and economic growth. A few months later, the EPA issued an updated guidance document providing additional recommendations to federal agencies, states and authorized tribes to promote early collaboration and coordination through the 401 certification process.  Join this panel as them explore these changes to the certification process. 

Ethics: Privilege and Confidentiality
The attorney-client privilege and attorney work product privilege are central to a lawyer’s ability to communicate frankly with her client.  It is important for the attorney and the client to understand the scope of these privileges and how easily they can be inadvertently waived.  Failure to properly protect these privileges also can be a violation of the attorney’s duty to preserve the confidentiality of information pursuant to R.P.C. 1.6.

Recorded in July 2020.

Practice Areas


Joel C. Beauvais Esq. Exelon Corporation (PEPCO Holdings)
Hon. Steven C. Beckman PA Environmental Hearing Board - Erie
Hayley L. Book PA Department of Environmental Protection
Terry R. Bossert Esq. Marcellus Shale Coalition
Hon. Michelle A. Coleman PA Environmental Hearing Board (Hbg)
Brendan K. Collins Esq. Ballard Spahr LLP (Phila)
Prof. John C. Dernbach Widener University Commonwealth Law School
Anthony R. Holtzman Esq. K & L Gates LLP (Hbg)
Hon. Bernard A. Labuskes Jr. PA Environmental Hearing Board (Hbg)
Hon. Richard P. Mather Sr. PA Environmental Hearing Board (Hbg)
Margaret O. Murphy Esq. PA Department of Environmental Protection
Robert A. Reiley Esq. PA Department of Environmental Protection
Hon. Thomas W. Renwand PA Environmental Hearing Board (Ptbg)
Diana J. Stares Esq. (Ret.) PA Department of Environmental Protection
William D. Wall Esq.
Faculty may vary by location.
PBI reserves the right to substitute speakers at all programs.
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