Continuing Education – Evening Lecture
Environmental Law for Chemical Engineers
Presenter: Mary Ellen Ternes, B.E. ChE, J.D.
Partner, Earth & Water Law, LLC
5:30pm-6:30pm – Presentation
6:30pm-6:45pm – Q&A Session & Closing Remarks
PDH Credit: 1 credit
Location: Due to COVID, this will be an online presentation only
$10 each for attendees
Chemical Engineers are critically impacted by environmental policy in almost all aspects of their work, because the substance of the profession involves material that is regulated, at some point, by international, national, state, tribal and local law. For this reason, chemical engineering professionals benefit from a basic understanding of existing environmental legislation as implemented by administrative agencies such as, in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency, and delegated state agencies and tribes. United States federal legislation, such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, set parameters for manufacturing plant design and operation. For examples, chemical engineers should consider potentially strict application of air pollutant emission and water pollutant discharge limits based on set environmental quality thresholds, as well as limits on allowable releases of hazardous substances as broadly defined, and risk associated with public water supplies, should pollution not be properly managed. With this session, Mary Ellen Ternes, AIChE Fellow and President of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, will briefly review the primary U.S. environmental statutes, chief programs relevant to chemical engineers, basic manner of program implementation, and how this legal authority arises in practice, as well as associated liability for noncompliance. Attendees are urged to review the articles distributed in advance of the presentation both for background and so that attendees can prepare questions for Ms. Ternes to address during the question and answer session following the presentation.
Mary Ellen Ternes, Esq. is a partner with Earth & Water Law, LLC, and a former chemical engineer for EPA and industry in hazardous waste remediation, treatment and air emission permitting. Mary Ellen represents manufacturing, recycling industrial and municipal clients regarding regulatory programs, especially the Clean Air Act (“CAA,” addressing air pollutant emissions), the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA,” addressing hazardous waste generation, treatment and disposal), the Clean Water Act (“CWA,” addressing pollutant discharges to navigable waters), the Safe Drinking Water Act (“SDWA,” addressing maximum contaminant concentrations in public water supply) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA” or “Superfund,” addressing releases of hazardous substances to the environment). Mary Ellen specializes in issues arising under these statutes in the context of complex permitting, compliance, enforcement defense, remediation, litigation and transactions. Among her specific areas of expertise pursuant to these statutes are the authorized scope of a governmental agency’s exercise of discretion as well as the permissible scope of legally defined activities such as: “modification,” “construction,” “point source,” “ambient air” pursuant to the CAA; “release” and “environment” pursuant to CERCLA; “recycling and reuse,” including the scope of “legitimate recycling” in the context of “continued use” or “beneficial use,” “treatment” versus “disposal,” “storage” including “speculative accumulation,” and “product” versus “waste,” all pursuant to RCRA; and “point source” and “non-point source” pursuant to the CWA.
Mary Ellen is a Fellow and Life Member of AIChE, and also a Fellow and President of the American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL). Mary Ellen is founder and past chair of AIChE’s Chemical Engineering and the Law Forum, a Founder and Past Chair of the Public Affairs and Information Committee and co-chair of the 2010 Spring Meeting. Mary Ellen also served the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy and Resources (SEER) as committee chair for the Air Quality Committee, the Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Ecosystems Committee, the Ethics Committee, the Special Committee on Year-in-Review (2013-2017), and the 2004 Annual Conference on Environmental Law.
Mary Ellen is a frequent speaker and author, and serves on the editorial boards for both the AICHE’s Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy (Wiley) and the ABA SEER’s Natural Resources and Environment (ABA Press). Mary Ellen contributes frequently to AIChE’s Chemical Engineering Progress, the ABA SEER’s Natural Resources and Environment as well as Trends, and the ACOEL Blog. Her book publications include: Co-Author, Air Pollution Control Technologies (2nd Edition), CRC Press; Co-Author, Chapter 6, New Source Review, Clean Air Act Handbook (2nd, 3rd and 4th Editions), ABA Press; Co-Author, Chapters 9, 10 and 11, Environmental Aspects of Real Estate and Commercial Transactions (5th Edition), ABA Press.
Mary Ellen is listed in Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, The Best Lawyers in America©, Oklahoma Super Lawyers and the International Who’s Who of Environment Lawyers and 2021 Lawdragon 500. She received her J.D. (high honors) from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law (1995), where she clerked in the EPA’s Office of General Counsel Summer Honors Program with the Air and Radiation Division. Mary Ellen earned her B.E. (ChE) from Vanderbilt University School of Engineering (1984). Mary Ellen is admitted to practice law in Arkansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and the District of Columbia.
Please register no later than Wednesday, September 15 at 12 noon. Cancellation requests received by the registration deadline will be fully refunded.
Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Cynthia Tarun at firstname.lastname@example.org, 832-341-4960 (Mobile).