Environmental Law Symposium to Explore Megaquakes

posted Dec 19, 2016

Though their potential has been known for some time, a wave of attention following the popular 2015 essay "The Really Big One" put megaquake risks in the spotlight. This year’s Environmental Law Symposium will explore the environmental harms associated with large earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest, with particular focus on the megaquake scenario in the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

The day-long event will first examine the reasons our region is susceptible to megaquakes, the impacts of various quake scenarios and strategies for resilience and recovery, as well as the recent megaquake preparedness exercise, "Cascadia Rising." The discussion then turns to a wide-ranging exploration of laws that apply to both the private and public sector in the event of a large quake: what is an "act of God" under the law? How do emergency exemptions to environmental laws operate in a disaster? What can we learn from the recent Oso landslide disaster with regards to legal liability for harm?

The Environmental Law Symposium, hosted by the UW Environmental Law Program, is cosponsored by the M9 (Magnitude 9) Project of the UW College of the Environment and the Washington Journal of Environmental Law & Policy. Attorneys, planners, public interest advocates and engineers or scientists with an interest in the law and policy aspects of large-scale disasters should find the comprehensive program equally appealing.

Register for the symposium