Tuesday, March 21, 2000

WRITER: Kathy R. Pharr, (706) 542-5172, pharr@arches.uga.edu

CONTACT: Chris Sinclair, ELA President, ela@arches.uga.edu


ATHENS, Ga. -- The twelfth annual Red Clay Conference, an environmental law symposium sponsored by the University of Georgia School of Law's Environmental Law Association (ELA), will focus upon "Striking a Balance Between Urban Growth and Rural Preservation" in a day-long seminar to be held Friday, April 7 at Dean Rusk Hall. The conference is open free to the public. Complimentary lunch is offered to those who pre-register via the law school web site (www.lawsch.uga./~redclay).

"Growth-related issues are at the forefront of local, state and national politics," said third-year law student Chris Sinclair, ELA president and Red Clay organizer. "They are real concerns that impact our quality of life. This year's Red Clay Conference has a joint goal: to inform the general public about environmental issues affecting them and how their voices can be heard; and to provide attorneys with knowledge of legal tools involved in development and conservation efforts."

The Red Clay conference begins with a welcome from Athens Mayor Doc Eldridge at 9:30 a.m. Four segments of panel discussions follow at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:45 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. Topics include political action to curb sprawl, transportation and air quality, environmental justice, economics of sprawl, local issues in Athens, the governor's greenspace program, and zoning issues. Speakers include representatives from the Sierra Club, The Georgia Conservancy, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta Regional Commission, The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), Chattowah Open Land Trust, the University of Georgia, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Environmental Protection Agency, among many others.

Robert Bullard, Ware Professor of Sociology and Director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University, will deliver the luncheon keynote on racism and the environment at 1 p.m. For more than a decade, Bullard's scholarship has focused on areas of urban land use, community development, industrial facility selection processes and environmental quality, and he is regarded as one of the leading experts on environmental justice. His books, Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality and People of Color Groups Directory 1994-95, have both become standard texts in the environmental and social justice field. He is one of the planners of the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit and served on President Clinton's transition team in the Natural Resources and Environment Cluster (Departments of Energy, Interior, Agriculture and EPA). Bullard currently serves on the U.S. EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) where he chairs the health and research subcommittee.

Attorneys attending the Red Clay sessions may earn up to 5 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) credit, including 1.25 hours of ethics credit. Payment for CLE credits earned will be collected at the end of the conference.

UGA's Red Clay Conference was the first annual law school-sponsored environmental symposium in the eastern United States. Each year, a full spectrum of views from the private legal sector, corporate/business sector, government and public interest groups is represented.

The Environmental Law Association is a non-profit student organization of the University of Georgia School of Law whose members are concerned about promoting environmental awareness.