Each year, Gunster is honored to have its attorneys tapped as industry leaders to present their insights at the largest environmental conference in the state. This year, the following Gunster attorneys will be leading various breakout and continuing education sessions:
Amy Brigham Boulris is an instructor for the Recent Developments in Property Rights session on Thursday, July 18.
This course discusses recent state and federal legal decisions, legislative proposals and enactments, and anything else of interest to those who deal with the nitty-gritty of public and private property issues, including the recent controversies surrounding the customary use of beach front property! It is intended for the seasoned practitioner; however, all are encouraged to attend.
Rick Burgess will serve as a panelist during the two-part series entitled Florida Brownfields: A Comprehensive Technical, Regulatory, and Legal Update on Thursday, July 18.
This panel will examine the current state of regulatory and financial incentives as well as market dynamics, financing considerations, and other concerns that help private developers and local governments collaborate to overcome the risk, limit the liability, and manage the cleanup costs associated with taking title to and redeveloping contaminated sites. Specific examples of successful and profitable projects and the community benefits they create will be discussed. A comprehensive discussion of applicable Florida and federal rules and best management practices will be presented by a leading panel of Florida experts who will also provide a replicable, scalable, and easy-to-follow path for private development principals, local government planners, lenders, and other brownfield stakeholders.
Lila Jaber is a panelist for the Energy Policy and Environmental Regulation Reform and Implications for Florida discussion on Friday, July 19.
David Cabrales, former general counsel for Energy Secretary Rick Perry while he was Governor of Texas, will discuss the partial deregulation of electric power in Texas which began more than fifteen years ago, and Lila Jaber, former Florida Public Service Commissioner, will explain what utility deregulation could mean for Florida in light of a recent ballot initiative. They will debate “deregulation” implications for energy costs, reliance on fossil fuels, infrastructure, and distributed and renewable energy. In other deregulation efforts, the Trump administration has initiated the reversal of dozens of environmental laws to create jobs, help businesses, and improve economic growth. Ken Kosky, who has helped with the environmental permits for many thousands of megawatts of power plants, will share his insights on EPA’s rollback of the Clean Power Plan, why carbon dioxide emissions continue to fall, whether air quality will be impacted by weakened environmental regulations, and whether the Green New Deal might be successful. The panel will also discuss EPA’s reduced enforcement activities and the resulting burden on states to pick up any slack, and EPA’s deregulation of wetlands, the apparent increased flexibility for states, and what this means for Florida and its water quality. You will not want to miss these cutting-edge and thought-provoking conversations about the trickle-down effects of deregulation.
Debbie Madden will participate in the following courses:
Panelist during the Comprehensive Watershed Management panel on Wednesday, July 17.
This panel will provide an in-depth examination of agency emphasis on watershed management as a means of comprehensively integrating a variety of planning and regulatory programs currently implemented by DEP and water management districts; these include TMDLs, stormwater, NPDES, PLRGs, Water Quality Credit Trading, and both structural and non-structural floodplain planning and management; practical considerations; organizing stakeholders; discussion of need for statutory changes as well as changes to current agency practices.
Panelist during the Wetland Jurisdiction Methodology: A State and Federal Update on Thursday, July 18.
This carefully designed panel discussion will analyze state and COE wetland jurisdictions, making use of comparisons and contrasts as appropriate; covers application of vegetation, soils and hydrologic indicators in determining presence of wetlands using state and COE methodologies; covers altered and non-altered sites; emphasis on practical application and dispute resolution; examples and case studies will be discussed. You will also hear the latest updates on wetlands law and regulation at the federal level, including the status of recent and ongoing legal challenges, any new guidance or policy put forward by the new Administration, and what they could mean for development in Florida.
Luna Phillips will participate in the following courses:
Moderator for the two-part series entitled Lake Okeechobee and the Estuaries: A Water Management Balancing Act on Wednesday, July 17.
This year, numerous developing issues are affecting the Lake, including current operations, and most importantly, the new lake schedule being developed now by the US Army Corps of Engineers. In this 2-part course, the panel will focus on these latest developments, as well as the Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation, endangered species, water quality, and the status of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan projects that affect the Lake. The panel represents a diverse cross section of government, private landowners, tribal entities, and environmental and agricultural interests. The panel will discuss how Lake management decisions affects their differing interests and obligations and the varying issues that must be balanced to make effective decisions.
Moderator for the Essentials of Obtaining an Environmental Resource Permit: The Nuts and Bolts of ERP Permitting course on Wednesday, July 17.
This course will provide a detailed and in-depth breakdown of all aspects and components necessary for the environmental professional to obtain an ERP permit in an efficient and effective manner. This course will take the audience through all the steps in the review and issuance of an ERP permit including an administrative permit challenge. In addition, the course will discuss how new and proposed rules and policies are affecting the permitting process. Learn from this highly-experienced panel all of the essential criteria and policies, including wetland and mitigation requirements, stormwater requirements, water quality and administrative and legal requirements critical to finalize a permit. This course is a must for environmental professionals who want to understand all aspects of ERP permitting to better represent their clients and deliver efficient results.
Beth Ross will instruct during the two-part panel entitled Emerging Water Supply Issues, Including an Update on the Central Florida Water Initiative on Wednesday July 17.
This will be an advanced discussion of multiple issues including emerging challenges in meeting future water demands; innovative water supply projects; meeting the conceptual costs of distribution and storage of reclaimed water; legal and policy issues regarding the control of reclaimed water for future public and private reuse; and regulatory challenges and innovative approaches to addressing these issues. One such approach is the Central Florida Water Initiative (CFWI). The CFWI area covers all or part of five central Florida counties, includes portions of three water management districts, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, as well as several regional public water utilities, landowners, local governments, agriculture and various other stakeholder interests. Part I of the course will explore innovative water supply projects that are emerging around Florida, including the CFWI, and the role of utilities and other significant water users now and into the future. Part II will explore how Florida will be meeting future water supply needs via new or alternate funding and public acceptance of new technologies: For example: How will recent developments in the implementation of the Florida Land and Water Conservation Amendment impact future water supply? How do we engage the public and improve awareness of future water supply needs?
For further details and information, please visit the Florida Environmental Network website.