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Ohio Public Interest Environmental Law Conference to focus on environmental justice and equity for all

The Ohio Environmental Council will host the second annual Ohio Public Interest Environmental Law Conference on Sept. 13 in partnership with The Ohio State University’s Environmental Professionals Network. 

At the conference, attorneys, advocates and students will explore the intersection of environmental law and policy. Breakout sessions will focus on environmental justice and equity. 

“Despite many hard-fought environmental policy wins over the years, we know too many Ohioans experience environmental injustices daily: communities are plagued by poor air quality, contaminated drinking water, and lack of accessible greenspace,” said Chris Tavenor, Staff Attorney with the Ohio Environmental Council. “At the conference, attendees will have the opportunity to learn from environmental justice experts and discuss solutions to create a more just system to protect the environment for all people.” 

The conference’s keynote speaker is Tara Ramchandani, an attorney for Relman, Dane & Colfax in Washington D.C. In 2008, Ramchandani successfully represented a predominantly African-American community in Zanesville, Ohio, in their fight against the City of Zanesville and the East Muskingum Water Authority for denying water service on the basis of race. Her story demonstrates how environmental injustice, even in the present day, can occur through intentional mechanisms and local decision-makers. 

The Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) is the state’s most comprehensive, effective and respected environmental advocate for a healthier, more sustainable Ohio. The OEC develops and ensures the implementation of forward-thinking, science-based, pragmatic solutions to secure healthy air, land, and water for all who call Ohio home. The OEC is home to the William W. Ellis Environmental Law Center, the only center of its kind in Ohio, which supports environmental advocacy and legal action, provides citizens with valuable tools and guidance through the legal system, and educates tomorrow’s environmental law professionals.