Environmental Law & Eco Econ Leaders to Headline IEC Event

posted on Friday, September 30, 2016 in Council News


September 30, 2016

Katy Heggen, Iowa Environmental Council
515-244-1194 x 210, heggen@iaenvironment.org

Environmental Law & Eco Econ Leaders to Headline IEC Event

Links between environment, economy and community will be focus of annual conference

DES MOINES – Rob Bilott, a Cincinnati-based lawyer regarded as one of the best lawyers in America for his litigation and environmental practice, and Jon D. Erickson, a fellow at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics working at the forefront of his field, will be the featured speakers at the Iowa Environmental Council’s 2016 Annual Conference, ECOnomics: Dollars, Sense & Sustainability, on Thursday, October 6, at the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Ankeny Campus.

Bilott is best known for his work on an innovative, ground-breaking environmental class action suit involving tens of thousands of people alleging contaminated drinking water in West Virginia and Ohio. The case, which earned him the 2005 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from the trial Lawyers for Public Justice Foundation and the 2014 Clarence Darrow Award, was featured in The New York Times Magazine story, “The Lawyer Who Became Dupont’s Worst Nightmare,” published January 6, 2016. He is a partner at Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLC, where he represents a diverse range of clients on a wide variety of matters involving federal, state and local environmental laws and related litigation.

Erickson has published widely on a variety of topics ranging from environmental management to ecological economics theory and practice, and has led international research and education programs around the world. He has produced Emmy award-winning documentary films on water, energy and food system transitions, and founded and led numerous non-profit organizations including the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics, the Adirondack Research Consortium, Deportes para la Vida and Bright Blue EcoMedia. In addition to his work at the Gund Institute, Erickson is a professor at the Rubenstein School for Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont.

Erickson and Bilott will be joined by over a dozen dynamic speakers hailing from across Iowa and the Midwest, who will delve into how to seize opportunities to advance policies, programs and practices that offer ecological, economic and societal benefits.

WHAT: Iowa Environmental Council 2016 Annual Conference – ECOnomics: Dollars, Sense & Sustainability
WHEN: Thursday, October 6, 2016
WHERE: DMACC Ankeny Campus, FFA Enrichment Center, 1055 SW Prairie Trail Parkway, Ankeny, Iowa
RSVP: Tickets are available at iaenvironment.org. Discounted tickets are available for students. A limited number of scholarships are also available to students facing financial barriers.

The conference will also feature “Water in Iowa: Voicing the Lexicon,” an exhibition of 30 informational artworks that examine issues related to Iowa’s water quality. The artwork was created in the fall and winter of 2015 by students in the Bluestem Institute at Ames High School in partnership with Project Localize and the Lexicon of Sustainability.

Members of the media are invited to attend the conference. Bilott and Erickson are available for media interviews leading up to and at the event upon request. Contact Communications & Outreach Director Katy Heggen at 515-244-1194 x210 or Heggen@iaenvironment.org


The Iowa Environmental Council is an alliance of diverse organizations and individuals working together to protect Iowa's natural environment. Founded in 1995, it is the largest and most comprehensive environmental coalition in the state. Through education, advocacy and coalition building, the Council raises awareness, generates action and creates large-scale change that makes Iowa a better place to live, work and explore.