Wednesday, March 26, 1997

WRITER: Kathy R. Pharr, (706) 542-5172

CONTACT: Joe Vancura, ELA vice president


ATHENS, Ga. -- How will construction of the Mall of Georgia impact the environment? How can Atlanta's traffic congestion and water system comply with the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts? What will the proposed EPA ozone standard mean for Georgia businesses? These questions and many more will be examined during the ninth annual Red Clay Conference to be held at the University of Georgia School of Law on Friday and Saturday, April 4-5.

The conference, organized by the student Environmental Law Association (ELA), is sponsored by the Georgia Environmental Policy Institute and the Turner Foundation and is open to the public. Registration fees are $2 for students and professors, $5 for the general public, and $60 for attorneys seeking continuing legal education credit.

Carol Rose, the Gordon Bradford Tweedy Professor of Law and Organization at Yale Law School, begins the conference with the 86th Sibley Lecture, "Strategies for Conservation: From Ancient Hunting to Global Warming," at 1 p.m. Friday in the law school auditorium. A member of the Yale law faculty since 1989, Rose earned a bachelor's degree from Antioch College, a master's degree and law degree from the University of Chicago, and a doctorate from Cornell. She teaches in the areas of environmental law, land use planning and natural resources.

Panel discussions on air quality regulations, citizen suits for clean water, and environmental ethics will follow Rose's address. A joint Sibley/Red Clay reception will be held at 5:30 in the fourth floor reception area of Dean Rusk Hall.

The Sibley Lecture Series, established in 1964 by the Charles Loridans Foundation of Atlanta, is designed to attract outstanding legal scholars of national prominence to the law school. It honors the late John A. Sibley, a 1911 law school graduate who served for many years as chair of the board of the Trust Company of Georgia.

The second day of the conference begins at 8:30 a.m. with registration and complimentary breakfast. UGA ecology professor James Porter presents Saturday's keynote at 9:30 a.m., discussing environmental regulation with a particular focus on the Florida Everglades ecosystem. Porter, who earned his bachelor's and doctoral degrees from Yale, specializes in population ecology, marine biology, coral reef ecology, and marine consequences of global climate change.

Forums on green politics, mall sprawl, the Georgia Rivers Network, and innovative technologies in the field of environmental law follow at 11 a.m. Rick Parrish of the Southern Environmental Law Center will present the luncheon address at 12:15; tickets are $6. Afternoon panels at 1:45 and 3:15 will examine the Chattahoochee River, coastal zone management, the Georgia Rivers Network, eco-business, and changes to the Etowah River Basin.

Panelists include attorney Doug Haines of the Georgia Center for Law in the Public Interest, Georgia Senator Steve Langford (D-29th Dist.), former state representative Ken Poston of Ringgold, and representatives from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

"One of the goals of the Environmental Law Association is to bring together well-informed and interested citizens who want to learn more about critical environmental issues, such as clean air and water," said Joe Vancura, ELA vice president. "Great strides can be made in environmental protection when individuals know the issues, make their views known, and become active."

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, the corporate/business sector, and government and public interest groups is represented. Featured speakers are interspersed with panel presentations and informal question and answer periods in order to maximize informational exchanges.

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.