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CBA-YLS Environmental Law Committee Meeting Features Robert Kaplan, Regional Counsel, U.S. EPA Region 5

Torrence_Allison_COLORBy Allison A. Torrence


The Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Environmental Law Committee held its first meeting of the bar season on Thursday, September 23rd. The meeting featured a presentation from Robert Kaplan, Regional Counsel, U.S. EPA Region 5.

Mr. Kaplan spoke about the role of the Office of Regional Counsel in U.S. EPA's environmental enforcement. Mr. Kaplan described U.S. EPA's national enforcement initiatives for fiscal years 2011 – 2013, which include:

  1. Keeping raw sewage and contaminated storm water out of our nation's waters
  2. Preventing animal waste from contaminating surface and ground waters
  3. Cutting toxic air pollution that affects community health
  4. Reducing widespread air pollution from the largest sources (e.g., coal-fired utility, cement, glass, and acid sectors)
  5. Reducing pollution from mineral processing operations
  6. Assuring energy extraction sector compliance with environmental laws

In addition, Mr. Kaplan explained the Office of Regional Counsel's role in recent headline-grabbing environmental events, such as Asian carp control and Midwestern oil spills in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. Mr. Kaplan also gave advice to young lawyers who hope to work for U.S. EPA or in the field of environmental law.

The Environmental Law Committee is co-chaired by Allison Torrence, David Scriven-Young, and David Johnson. Upcoming Environmental Law Committee events include a Careers in Environmental Law seminar on October 29, 2010 and a presentation on Legal Issues in Green Building on November 15, 2010. Click here for more information about the CBA-YLS Environmental Law Committee.