Water access and water quality challenges associated with Indiana’s riverways and watersheds are the focus of Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law’s seventh annual spring symposium on the environment, energy and natural resources.
The symposium, “Indiana Rivers: Water Access, Water Quality & Water’s Future,” will take place at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 28, in the Wynne Courtroom of Inlow Hall, 530 W. New York St.
Carol Comer, general counsel for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, will present “Indiana’s Water Priorities” as the keynote luncheon address at noon.
Recent events in West Virginia — where more than 300,000 people lost access to basic drinking water following a chemical release into the Elk River — and in Indiana — where almost two-thirds of assessed state waters have been designated as “impaired” under the Clean Water Act — show that even the most complex and carefully managed regulatory system can still fail, and that more can be done to address challenges to Indiana’s water system.
In addition to Comer’s address, panels of experts and leaders at the symposium will:
- Describe the state of water access and water quality law and challenges in Indiana.
- Examine recent efforts to protect water quality affected by coal combustion.
- Assess the measures that exist to prevent an Elk River-type disaster in Indiana.
- Explore water access and water quality as an Environmental Justice Concern.
Expert panelists include the co-director of Advocates for Environmental Human Rights in New Orleans; the managing principal of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., in Washington, D.C.; the water and ag policy director for Hoosier Environmental Council; the conservation director of Sierra Club’s Hoosier Chapter; and the executive director of the Conservation Law Center in Bloomington.
Speakers from the Indiana House of Representatives, the Indiana Senate, Earthjustice, Prairie Rivers Network, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, IU Maurer School of Law at IU Bloomington and the McKinney School of Law will also participate.
A detailed listing of symposium panelists and topics for discussion is available online.
Online registration is available for high school and university students, faculty, staff and non-profit employees; and for other attendees. The cost is $75 for attorneys registering for 6 hours of CLE credit; $25 general admission.
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