Air quality is theme of 20th annual Wallace Stegner Center Symposium at University of Utah

Annual event this year focuses on air quality as Utah debates public policy to curb air pollution.

Feb.27, 2015 —Across the nation, great strides have been made addressing air pollution over the last several decades, especially following adoption of the federal Clean Air Act in 1970.  Nevertheless, in the West and elsewhere, air quality remains a vexing environmental, economic and public health dilemma.  Families in polluted areas face asthma and other health risks, businesses choose not to locate because of air quality concerns and the overall quality of life is diminished.

Exploring these issues will be at the heart of the 20th annual Wallace Stegner Center Symposium at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law. The symposium, Air Quality: Health, Energy and Economics, will examine the multifaceted problem of air pollution, with panels and speakers addressing its causes, health and environmental impacts, tensions with energy needs and economic development, its relationship with social structures and ethics and possible legal and regulatory solutions.  The symposium is interdisciplinary, with speakers from the sciences and social sciences, academia, government, industry and the legal profession.

One of the highlights of the symposium will be the Wallace Stegner Lecture on March 4 from 12:15-1:30 p.m. at the Sutherland Moot Courtroom at the S.J. Quinney College of Law. The lecture, “Why America’s Century-Old Quest for Clean Air May Usher in a New Era of Global Environmental Cooperation,” will be delivered by Robert V. Percival, the Robert F. Stanton professor of law and the director of the Environmental Law Program at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law.

Percival is internationally recognized as a leading scholar and teacher in environmental law. For more than two decades he has been the principal author of the country’s most widely used casebook in environmental law, “Environmental Regulation: Law, Science & Policy,” now in its seventh edition. He is the author of more than 100 publications that focus on environmental law, federalism, presidential powers, regulatory policy and legal history. Percival has taught as a visiting professor of law at Harvard Law School in 2000 and 2009 and at Georgetown University Law Center in 2005 and 2011. He received the University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Collaborative Teaching in 2005 and in 2007 he was named the university’s Teacher of the Year. In 2014 Percival received the Senior Distinguished Education Award from the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law in recognition of his outstanding teaching and contributions to the field of environmental law.

Percival’s lecture is free and open to the public. Other events require a registration fee.

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