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Environmental Law and Public Health Conference

Thursday, September 26, 5:00-7:00 p.m. and Friday, September 27, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

For conference schedule and more information go to http://www.law.umich.edu/centersandprograms/environmentallaw/lecturesandforums/conference/Pages/default.aspx#.

 Welcome to the fourth environmental conference presented by Michigan Law's Environmental Law and Policy Program and Environmental Law Society.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is delivering the keynote address for our 2013 conference.

This year's conference will focus on the relationship between environmental protection and public health. The substantial public health benefits of environmental regulation—with millions of lives saved and billions in health-care costs averted—often are lost in the rhetoric pitting the environment against the economy. The primary mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect public health and the environment from the harmful effects of pollution, and there is no disputing that the EPA has been extraordinarily successful in its public health efforts.

In this conference we hope to explore more deeply the relationship between environmental protection and public health and how it should inform our efforts to become better stewards of the environment. We will begin with a panel discussion about environmental values and whether the extent to which we focus on public health issues under our environmental laws strikes the right balance in meeting our broader obligations to maintain a healthy planet. Should environmental laws focus even more than they already do on public health benefits, so that we might reclaim bi-partisan support for environmental protection efforts? Or have we focused on human health to the detriment of preserving bio-diversity and healthy ecosystems?