Event Oct 20, 2014

The Business of Water and Environmental Lessons from Nuclear Disasters

International Bar Association

BB&K Partner Eric Garner was co-chair of “The business of water: key issues in investing in and financing of water and wastewater projects” at the International Bar Association’s annual conference in Tokyo, Japan. With water supply and treatment becoming pressing concerns worldwide, and with many types of infrastructure urgently needed to provide potable water and to treat water, this panel discussed methods that private companies are undertaking on their own efforts to protect water supplies essentials to their business models. The panel also discussed a variety of ways that companies and governments are working together to get projects financed and constructed.

In addition, BB&K Partner Michelle Ouellette, who is senior vice chair of the Environment, Health and Safety Law Committee, co-moderated “Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima: lessons learned and being learned.” This session explored the legal lessons that we have learned as a result of the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima incidents. In particular, it addressed how the legal community has responded to these incidents from a liability, regulatory and contractual perspective. It also addressed what additional legal/regulatory steps should be considered in respect to existing and future nuclear generating stations, to address any claims or consequences arising from nuclear incidents and to reduce or prevent future nuclear incidents from occurring.

Michelle was also the session co-chair of “The international environmental law consequences of natural resource and energy extraction.” As nations are increasingly looking to other countries and continents as a source of addressing rapidly growing demands for natural resource and energy commodities, triggering environmental law issues in both the domestic and foreign countries, as well as international obligations. Meanwhile, some nations are restricting trade of their own natural resources and energy commodities (including rate earth minerals). These developments are raising questions related to the environmental liability of organizations under domestic, foreign and international environmental laws. This session discussed considerations relevant to both multinational companies and foreign governments in pursuing trade and resource and energy development in other nations, as well as environmental and trade law implications of restrictions imposed by nations on the export of resources. The session was orientated toward any lawyers who work on issues pertaining to trade of energy commodities and natural resources and will not assume expertise in international environmental law.

Monday, Oct. 20

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