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The Corporate Role in the Environmental Protection Enterprise

February 2018

Citation: 48 ELR 10103

Issue: 2

Author: Benjamin Wilson, Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Cassie Phillips, Richard DeSanti, John Lovenburg, Todd Parfitt, Janet Peace, and Martha Rudolph

With real-time diagnostics, cutting-edge compliance management systems, and an underlying focus on sustainability as a good economic and reputational practice in many industry sectors, environmental compliance is increasingly self-policed and self-corrected by regulated entities. There is also much discussion about “cooperative federalism” and the need to ensure that program administration reflects the significant expertise and experience state agencies now have after decades of administering environmental protection laws. What would changes to the cooperative federalism model mean for the business community? More fundamentally, with private governance systems increasingly finding and solving compliance problems, how might the government role be re-envisioned in a way that aligns with, reflects, and harnesses this phenomenon? Last October, ELI’s 2017 Corporate Forum convened an array of experts to consider these and other questions. Here we present a transcript of the discussion, which has been edited for style, clarity, and space considerations.

Benjamin Wilson is Managing Principal of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. and Chair of the Board of Directors for the Environmental Law Institute (ELI). Alexandra Dapolito Dunn (moderator) was the then-Executive Director and General Counsel for the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS). Cassie Phillips leads the Private Environmental Governance Initiative at the Environmental Law Institute. Richard DeSanti is Chief Environment and Safety Counsel at Chevron Corporation. John Lovenburg is the Environmental Vice President for BNSF Railway. Todd Parfitt is Director of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. Janet Peace is Senior Vice President for Policy and Business Strategy at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. Martha Rudolph is Director of Environmental Programs at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

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