Environmental Protection

Former FEMA Director Michael Brown to Speak at AHMP Meeting

Michael D. Brown, who was the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency during President George W. Bush's administration and managed the government's initial response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, will speak at the general session of the 2009 National Conference of the Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals (AHMP) in San Diego next week.

This year's annual meeting will be held from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2 and will include environmental preservation, disaster preparedness, and chemical facility security under the theme: "EHS&S –Steering a Course for Sustainability."

Brown will speak about "Communicating in a Crisis," "Making Things Work When All the Wires Are Cut," and "Homeland Insecurity."

Several other notable Environmental Health Safety & Security speakers will highlight the conference:

  • Joe A. Garcia, president of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and chair of the All Indian Pueblo Council;
  • Laura Carlaine Selman, chief executive officer and founder of Reel Green Media;
  • Carlos Vazquez, commander of the Department of Homeland Security's Region 9; and
  • Jane C. Luxton, partner in the Environmental Practice Group of the Washington, D.C. law firm Pepper Hamilton, LLP.

Under Garcia's leadership, NCAI has used government environmental initiatives to help Indian tribes boost their economies while preserving the environment. The congress is the largest national Indian organization, representing more than 250 member tribal nations from throughout the United States.

Selman has been actively involved in the arts and the environment for more than a decade as producer, director, actress and an environmental coach. Working with several studios, production companies and film commissioners, she is committed to helping the entertainment industry become "green."

Vazquez, who will address the federal government's new "Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards," heads the Region 9 Inspections & Enforcement Branch of the Infrastructure Security Compliance Division of the Homeland Security Department. That region spans California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Guam and the Mariana Islands. Vazquez is HazMat certified and a domestic preparedness instructor.

Luxton's presentation will be "The Top Five Recent Environmental Law Developments of Note for Hazardous Materials Professionals." She is a member of her firm's Sustainability, CleanTech and Climate Change Team and concentrates her practice on environmental issues. Previously Luxton was general counsel of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The conference will include a realistic emergency-response scenario (Sept. 2) aboard the USS Midway in San Diego Harbor that will center around mock incidents involving a bomb, a chlorine spill and a Sarin gas release.

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