38th Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School


July 16, 2024 – July 19, 2024 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm


JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort

400 South Collier Boulevard
Marco Island, FL 34145

A team of Gunster attorneys will once again present key industry insights at the 38th Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School, taking place July 16-19, 2024, in Marco Island.

Hosted each year by the Florida Environmental Network and the Florida Chamber Foundation, the conference is attended by more than 1200 attorneys, consultants, engineers, state and local government officials, developers, landowners and others with a strong interest in environmental issues in Florida. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to gain key takeaways on the latest environmental, energy and growth management laws, rules and programs affecting Florida.

Below are the Gunster attorneys who will be leading various breakout and continuing education sessions:

Gunster attorney Amy Boulris

Amy Boulris will be an instructor for Private Property Rights – Hot Topics and Recent Developments. This course will cover the latest court decisions and legislative actions affecting private property rights in Florida, takings jurisprudence, the Bert J. Harris, Jr. Private Property Rights Protection Act, and other government actions that affect private property. For both public and private parties, this course will discuss ways to avoid property rights litigation. Read more.

Gunster attorney Rick Burgess

Rick Burgess will be a panelist in the two-part series Florida Brownfields: A Comprehensive Technical, Regulatory, and Legal Update.

Part I 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.

Part II is 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.

Read more: Part I | Part II

Gunster consultant Alex Kernan

Alexandria Kernan will be an instructor for the two-part series Florida’s Environment, Water Policy, The 2024 Legislature and Beyond.

Parts I & II: Absolutely the most current and reliable information available on what the 2024 Legislature passed (or considered but failed to pass) and why; assessment of Florida’s changing political landscape with respect to environmental and water policy issues; comprehensive preview of what’s expected with respect to the implementation of 2024 legislation with a look ahead to the 2025 session and beyond.

Read more: Part I | Part II

Gunster Attorney Debbie Madden

Debbie Madden will be an instructor for the following sessions:

Wetland Jurisdiction Methodology: A State and Federal Update Part I & II

This course is updated every year to address recent rule and policy changes at the state and federal levels. Learn about how wetland jurisdiction is determined, and the subtle and not so subtle differences between Florida’s uniform statewide wetland methodology and Federal wetland methodology, and how these differences may or may not apply to your project after the state assumption of the Federal 404 program. 

Read more: Part I | Part II

Comprehensive Watershed Management
The panel of experts 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. Read more.

Gunster attorney Greg Munson

Greg Munson is an instructor for the following sessions:

 New Developments in Florida’s Air Quality Regulations
This panel will provide an overview of major federal and state air quality legislation, rules, litigation, and initiatives, with focus on how your normal business operations in Florida will be affected. Read more.

Florida MS4 and NPDES Update 
The panel of experts will provide a timely update on procedural and substantive considerations in permitting under the NPDES program. Read more.

Gunster attorney Eric Olsen

Eric Olsen will be an instructor at the following sessions:

WMD Planning, Regulatory, and Policy Update Part I & II
An excellent course designed to provide insight into the regulatory, planning, and water supply development programs of Florida’s five water management districts.

Read more: Part I | Part II

Aquifer Recharge, Aquifer Storage and Recovery, Underground Injection Control and Potable Reuse This panel will discuss the current status and issues involving Florida’s underground injection control (UIC) regulatory program that authorizes the injection of fluids into underground formations and aquifer recharge projects. Read more.

Gunster attorney Michael Petrovich

Mike Petrovich will be an instructor for the following sessions:

Florida Solid Waste Regulation Update
Florida has long been one of the nation’s leaders in effective waste management and recycling programs. Hear this panel of experts address these topics and a wide range of other waste management regulatory issues and forecasts, including industrial solid waste disposal developments and “recycling” of former waste disposal areas into productive land uses. Read more.

Hot Topics/Emerging Issues in Waste Management
The last few years have seen a cascade of changes in contaminated media management, site cleanup, and closures, as well as site redevelopment. The round-table format discussions will involve the latest in policy changes and several other hot topics that are sure to capture the audience’s attention. Read more.

Gunster attorney Luna Phillips

Luna Philips will be an instructor for the two-part session Lake Okeechobee and the Estuaries: A Water Management Balancing Act.

Part I will include a panel that focuses 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.

Part II will discuss how Lake management decisions affect their differing interests and obligations and the varying issues that must be balanced to make effective decisions.

Read more: Part I | Part II

Gunster attorney Timothy Riley

Timothy Riley will be a panelist for Emerging Extraction Industry Challenges and Opportunities.

Topics such as banning hydraulic fracturing, expanding phosphate mining, reopening old oil fields, searching for solutions at legacy sites, and a host of new and old challenges and opportunities for the extractive industries will be discussed and debated by a diverse panel of experts and practitioners. Read more.

Gunster attorney Beth Ross

Beth Ross is a panelist for Central Florida Water Initiative Update.

This panel of experts will cover emerging challenges in meeting future water demands, the delivery of innovative water supply projects, meeting the conceptual costs of distribution and storage of reclaimed water, and regulatory challenges and innovative approaches to addressing these issues. The panel will explore innovative water supply projects and policies that are emerging around Florida, including the CFWI, and the role of utilities and other significant water users now and into the future. Be ready to participate in this “must-attend” course. Read more.

Gunster attorney Phil Sliger

Philip Sliger will be an instructor for The Essentials of Obtaining an Environmental Resource Permit: The Nuts and Bolts of ERP Permitting Part I & II.

This two-part 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. 

Read more: Part I | Part II

Mario Garcia-Serra

Mario Garcia-Serra will be attending the conference with the team. Mario serves on the Gunster’s board of directors and focuses his practice on local government law, particularly land use and zoning. He represents major developers before local government boards and regulatory agencies. He has wide ranging experience with the governments of Miami-Dade County and with nearly all of the municipalities within Miami-Dade County, as well as regional agencies such as the South Florida Regional Planning Council and the South Florida Water Management District.

Gunster attorney Robert Manning

Robert Manning will also be attending the conference with the team. A native Floridian, Robert, has been practicing environmental law for nearly three decades. He advises utilities and private businesses on issues involving air quality, including policy development, legislation, rulemaking, permitting and enforcement. Although his practice often focuses on issues affecting the electric utility industry, he also represents other industrial and municipal clients involved in phosphate, solid waste management, oil and gas, chemical, fuel distribution and cement.


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