Skip to main content

Spencer Fane Team Presents at Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference

November 10, 2023

Spencer Fane attorneys A.J. Ferate, Paul Jacobson, Jessie Merrigan, and Jim Price each spoke at the 2023 Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference (MECC) on September 26 and 27 in Overland Park, Kansas. The firm also served as a sponsor for the event.

During his panel presentation, Making Sense of Recent Case Law and the Impact on EHS Management and Environmental Law, A.J. discussed the impacts of recent and upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decisions on state and federal agencies and EHS management. The panelists answered questions that included the impact of the Supreme Court’s Major Questions Doctrine and the potential effects of the Supreme Court’s college admissions Title VI decision on the Environmental Protection Agency’s environmental justice initiatives.

Paul was a solo speaker for his session, RMP and PSM Are Changing – What You Need to Know. Paul discussed recent and upcoming developments in EPA and OSHA regulations governing the management of highly hazardous chemicals, specifically EPA’s Risk Management Plan program and OSHA’s Process Safety Management program. He also discussed how regulated facilities should adapt to recent changes and plan for more changes on the horizon.

For her session, Environmental Justice and its Impact on EHS Management, Jessie and her fellow panelists dove into a few of the seminal issues from the first two years of the Biden Administration, including discussing the need for direction from the EPA, the legal framework for EJ, the cost of complying with EJ requirements, permitting challenges, changes to inspections and enforcement, gathering effective community input, and what the massive increases in EJ funding mean going forward.

In his session, PFAS – We Found It, What Now?, Jim and a co-panelist outlined the regulatory, technical, and legal challenges for addressing PFAS on-site. Jim summarized the upcoming regulatory requirements that will apply to PFAS as EPA implements its PFAS Roadmap collection of regulatory initiatives and discussed how facilities and their advisors should plan for those requirements in light of the ubiquitous nature of PFAS compounds. He discussed difficult choices ahead for the regulated community and the roles of lawyers and other advisors in this process.

MECC is hosted by a regional team that advise businesses and manufacturers on environmental matters in the Midwest and is well-attended by the EPA and state agencies. The annual environmental conference provides an insider perspective on key regional issues and offers current information on rapidly changing areas of environmental regulation and law.

In his role at Spencer Fane, A.J. utilizes a multifaceted background in the areas of law, policy, energy, campaigns and elections, appellate litigation, and defense.

Paul helps businesses manage their environmental and workplace safety legal challenges. He frequently interacts with the EPA, OSHA, and state environmental quality and workplace safety agencies.

Jessie co-chairs the Spencer Fane Environment and Energy Practice Group. She counsels clients on environmental matters regarding regulatory requirements and represents them in litigation of environmental claims, including contribution claims under the federal Superfund law.

Jim serves as co-chair of the Environment and Energy Practice Group. He concentrates on environmental regulation and compliance, environmental litigation, and business transactions involving environmental issues.