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The Week Ahead

Law firms are holding post-election outlook events this week to debate how President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will overhaul environmental and energy policy. Meanwhile, former Obama EPA chief Gina McCarthy will discuss the agency’s 50th anniversary and its future.

Election Impacts

Law firm Beveridge & Diamond plans a post-election outlook on what industry can expect in the areas of environmental and natural resource law, policy and litigation. The Nov. 10 webinar will feature former Obama Justice Department official John Cruden and former EPA Region 10 Counsel Allyn Stern.

Sidley Austin plans to host a webinar discussion Nov. 10 titled “Environmental Policy After the 2020 Election: Dawn of a New Era?” Panelists, who include former Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), will discuss how the election’s outcome may influence the course of environmental law.

Arnold and Porter will hold a Nov. 10 webinar that includes a general session on post-election impacts across various sectors of public policy, followed by breakout sessions including one featuring the energy and environment arena.

Hunton Andrews Kurth will sponsor “A Post-Election Analysis: What to Expect in Energy and Environmental Law” webinar on Nov. 11, featuring Matthew Leopold, who recently left his post as EPA general counsel, and Frederick Eames, who has represented utilities on energy and environmental issues for over 20 years.

The Environmental Council of the States, which represents many state environmental agencies, and Energy Communities Alliance, which represents local governments around DOE facilities, will analyze the impact of the election on DOE issues in a Nov. 12 webinar.

The Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs on Nov. 12 will host “Conversations on Climate Change and Energy Policy: A Virtual Forum from the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements,” exploring the implications of the election on energy and climate-change policy.

EPA at 50

Indiana University will feature Obama EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, now president and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council, in a Nov. 12 webinar titled “EPA at 50.”

Tribal EJ Policy

EPA will host a Nov. 10 webinar for federally recognized tribes and indigenous peoples to learn about EPA’s policy on integrating environmental justice (EJ) principles when it works with federally recognized tribes and indigenous peoples and EPA’s EJ financial assistance programs.

Climate Change

Law firm Gowling WLG will host a Nov. 12 webinar with environmental lawyers discussing cross-border issues in a low carbon world, including greenhouse gas regulation, offset programs and carbon disclosure.

At the “California Bioresources Alliance Symposium 2020: Building the Regenerative Carbon Economy in California,” EPA Region 9, California Air Resources Board and others in a Nov. 12 virtual symposium will bring together municipal organic waste reduction and climate managers, facility developers and operators, regulatory agencies and other stakeholders to discuss making use of organic waste byproducts.

Resources for the Future on Nov. 13 will host a webinar discussing the future of direct air capture technologies in mitigating carbon emissions.

Fuels & Vehicles

The Environmental Law Institute will host a Nov. 10 webinar titled, “State Clean Transportation Initiatives: Stepping Towards Success for High EV Adoption.” The forum will look at the impacts of state initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector.

GTI is hosting a Nov. 10 “Tech Talk” webinar that looks at creating liquid transportation fuels from carbon dioxide, natural gas or renewable natural gas.

Water Quality

The Building Industry Association of Southern California and the California Building Industry Association Nov. 10 will sponsor a webinar titled “The Challenges of Completing 401 Water Quality Certifications,” as part of a series on water quality issues.

Automotive Sector

As part of a series on environmental developments in the automotive sector, Morgan Lewis law firm will hold a virtual forum Nov. 11 to discuss the impact of a federal national compliance effort to halt the manufacture and sale of aftermarket defeat devices on vehicles and engines, and recent initiatives to phase out fossil-fuel vehicles.


The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will sponsor an online workshop, “Air Permitting Options for the Oil and Gas Industry,” on Nov. 12, covering the use of the following New Source Review (NSR) permitting mechanisms: permits by rule, standard permits, and case-by-case NSR permits.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will conduct a rulemaking to integrate DEQ’s air toxics programs: Cleaner Air Oregon and the Oregon State Air Toxics Program. DEQ has appointed an advisory committee to review issues related to the Cleaner Air Oregon/Air Toxics Program Alignment rulemaking, with virtual committee meetings taking place Nov. 10 and Nov. 17.

Sierra Club New York City Group is sponsoring a Nov. 12 webcast titled, “Renewable Energy in New York State, Actual and Potential,” to discuss various on and offshore wind and solar renewable energy projects in New York state, actual and potential.

Nuclear Waste

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute will host a live webcast Nov. 13 to discuss pending nuclear waste legislation, including amendments to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act and other bills, which EESI says would “radically alter the way radioactive waste from civilian nuclear power plants is handled and stored.”

Extended Producer Responsibility

The Product Stewardship Institute, International Solid Waste Association and Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance on Nov. 10 are holding the fourth in a series of master classes to explain the concept of extended producer responsibility, its application for various waste streams and in various countries, and will discuss hot topics.

Agricultural and Environmental Matters

As part of its annual Agricultural and Environmental Law Conference this month, the University of Maryland Agriculture Law Education Initiative will host two online sessions Nov. 9 featuring one on the Conowingo Dam settlement, and a second one on the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, et al. v. EPA case, which charges the agency failed to require Pennsylvania and New York develop implementation plans to meet 2025 Chesapeake Bay restoration goals.

EPA Nov. 12-13 will host a virtual public meeting of its Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Advisory Committee, a board that offers policy advice and makes recommendations to EPA on a variety of environmental issues related to agriculture and rural communities. Topics will include water reuse and excess nutrient pollution, food waste and sustainable management of food, and pesticide management.

Environmental Law Bootcamp

The Environmental Law Institute on Nov. 12 will continue the second day of its three-day “Eastern Boot Camp,” offering immersion in environmental law for both new and seasoned professionals.

Energy Solutions

The Washington Post and The Rockefeller Foundation are sponsoring a Nov. 9 live-stream event dubbed “The Future Reset: Powering Equitable Opportunity,” which will feature former Secretary of State and Sen. John Kerry and other leaders in a discussion on disparities in energy access and efforts to eliminate energy poverty, with a look at energy options such as scaling distributed renewable solutions.