Local environmental issues focus of talk April 2 at Ripon College

“Addressing Local Environmental Issues” will be the focus of talk presented April 2 at Ripon College. The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Kresge Little Theatre, East Hall. It is sponsored by the Center for Politics and the People.

In the United States, the regulation of business activities provides one approach to certain basic environmental goals that address the quality of air and water, including drinking water, and the safe management of solid waste. The regulatory structure in these areas is federal, with distinct roles for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and for State and local governments.

Ripon alumnus David Schwarz ’65 of Washington, D.C., and attorney and Ripon College adjunct professor Steven Sorenson will outline these roles. Discussion topics will include an overview of the EPA’s and the State of Wisconsin’s Clean Water Act (CWA) programs to control industrial and other wastewater discharges and runoff to lakes, rivers and streams; the Midwest Environmental Advocates, which has a petition pending with the EPA to withdraw federal authorization for the Wisconsin CWA program based on cited deficiencies; and how agencies carry out their statutory and administrative roles, using the frac sand mining industry in Wisconsin to demonstrate how the cooperative efforts of the mining industry and the regulators has worked well despite some of the press and misinformation from activists groups.

Schwarz worked for the Environmental Protection Agency for 30 years in various influential capacities, including managing regulatory development and promoting the use of electronic reporting by regulated industries to federal, state and local environmental agencies.

He holds a B.Phil. in logic and metaphysics from the University of St. Andrews and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of California-Berkeley. He taught philosophy at Mount Holyoke College, the University of Connecticut and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. He also has published a book and several journal articles about the philosophy of language.

Sorenson is a widely known attorney who provides counsel on corporate law, business succession planning and estate planning. He also represents municipalities in regard to real estate, land use, zoning, smart growth, water front litigation and nonmetallic mining. He has served in several roles with the State Bar of Wisconsin; was president of the National Conference of Bar Presidents (2007-2008); and a member of the American Bar Association House of Delegates.

He is a member of several area municipal and health organizations, and a frequent lecturer on legal ethics, real estate law and waterfront rights.

(Photo: David Schwarz, left, and Steven Sorenson)


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