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David B. Farer, Chair of the firm’s Environmental Department, will travel to Havana, Cuba to be a presenter at the 11th Annual International Convention on Environment and Development, which takes place July 3 – 7, 2017 at the Havana International Convention Center.  Over 700 delegates from 23 countries have confirmed their participation in this year’s conference.

Mr. Farer is one of two Fellows of the American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL) who will deliver a presentation on “Lessons Learned: Effective Environmental Regulation of Critical Infrastructure Development & Operation” as an extension of their work on behalf of ACOEL.  Mr. Farer, the Immediate Past President of ACOEL, was a member of an ACOEL delegation that visited Cuba in 2016 for four days of informal meetings in Havana. These meetings laid the groundwork for further discussions with Cuban environmental organizations and environmental governmental agencies about the potential for pro bono projects in Cuba, and was the result of almost two years of research, U.S. governmental interactions, and planning.  

Environmental controls over infrastructure development and operation in the U.S. have evolved and improved substantially over the last fifty years, and much has been learned in the process.  This presentation will focus on describing the benefits of lessons learned, particularly in the areas of air and water quality, water supply, waste management, sewage treatment, and remediation of contaminated media.  The discussion will include compliance and cleanup standards and mechanisms, including air, water, waste management and sewer quality controls, and use of engineering and institutional controls at contaminated sites. 

ACOEL is an association of preeminent U.S. attorneys who practice in all fields of environmental law.  The group is dedicated to improving the responsible and effective practice of environmental law within the U.S. and internationally.  ACOEL Fellows have provided pro bono legal services in China, are actively working to provide services to groups in eastern and southern Africa and Haiti, and have also been exploring the possibility of providing pro bono environmental law services on behalf of the Cuban people and certain institutions or environmental agencies in Cuba.