Since 2001, the University of Toledo College of Law has hosted an annual Great Lakes Water Conference that brings together leading academics, policy makers, and legal practitioners to explore the range of legal issues facing the Great Lakes. I almost always make the trip down to Toledo for the conference, as it has become a reliably useful and productive forum to debate issues and exchange ideas. The strong tradition has continued since Professor Ken Kilbert joined the faculty, and this year’s conference on November 14 should be excellent.
Sam Speck, recently appointed as commissioner with the International Joint Commission, will be giving the opening keynote address. Dr. Speck was formerly the director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and chaired the Council of Great Lakes Governors working group that negotiated and drafted the Great Lakes compact. Other panels and speakers will discuss Ohio’s recently passed Constitutional amendment protecting groundwater rights and next steps for implementing the Great Lakes compact. I’m moderating a panel on U.S.-Canadian transboundary pollution disputes, focusing on the recent criminal case in an Ontario court against DTE Energy for mercury pollution that harms Canadian fisheries. For the full agenda and registration information, see the conference brochure.