NEWS RELEASE: Climate Action Plan for Town of Red Hook to be developed by Pace Law School’s Energy and Climate Center

Pace Law School’s Energy and Climate Center will be developing an action plan for the town of Red Hook. Municipalities elsewhere are also waking up to the benefits of local climate improvement for their citizens and the planet.

Climate Action Plan for Town of Red Hook to be developed by Pace Law School’s Energy and Climate Center

Municipalities elsewhere also waking up to the benefits of local climate improvement for their citizens and the planet

WHITE PLAINS, NY, March 25, 2011 –Like a growing number of municipalities in New York and around the country, the small Dutchess County town of Red Hook is thinking proactively about climate change. Town officials recently signed a contract with Pace Law School’s Energy and Climate Center (PECC) to develop and implement a Climate Action Plan.

Red Hook has already taken the first step in its journey: taking stock of the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases it emits.

Joining a proactive trend

As energy consultants, PECC staff will follow internationally recognized milestones from ICLEI, an association of over 1,200 local governments around the globe that promotes sustainable development. The PECC consultants will set a greenhouse gas reduction target for Red Hook, and develop an action plan to achieve that goal.

In seeking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, Red Hook joins the ranks of other local communities that are taking action. Last year, 14 municipalities in Northern Westchester County formed the Northern Westchester Energy Action Consortium. Its goals: reduce reliance on fossil fuels, save money for residents and businesses, increase energy efficiency, enable renewable energy generation and increase economic activity.

Seven of those communities were awarded grants from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to develop climate action plans.

“The real action is local”

The plan will address the residential, commercial and transportation sectors of the Red Hook community, among others, and include a timeline, description of financing mechanisms, and assignment of responsibility to departments and staff. Community input and involvement will be sought throughout the process.

James Van Nostrand, PECC executive director, said, “We have been very involved at the state and regional levels in addressing climate change issues, but the real action is at the local level to implement the strategies necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Through this work, we will effectively carry out the policies we have been promoting to help local governments and their constituents reduce their energy bills and follow more sustainable practices.”

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with the Town of Red Hook on this project,” he added.

The $52,000, one-year contract is funded by a grant from NYSERDA. Anne Marie Hirschberger, Climate Change Law and Policy Advisor at PECC and a graduate of Pace Law School’s J.D. and Climate Change LLM programs, will serve as project manager. She will collaborate with PECC staff and interns.

Hirschberger said, “Addressing climate change at the local level is a critical element in achieving meaningful greenhouse gas reductions, and the Town of Red Hook has already demonstrated its leadership in this area. I look forward to working with the Town over the coming year to build upon its current programs.”

Sue Crane, Town Supervisor of Red Hook, said, “The Town of Red Hook is delighted to be associated with the impressive resources of the Pace Energy and Climate Center through this NYSERDA funded program. For years the Town Board and our volunteer Conservation Advisory Council leadership have pursued efforts to raise awareness, provide education and demonstrate our commitment to sustainable programs and projects. With Anne Marie Hirschberger’s experienced management skills, together with the expertise of PECC consultants, we look forward to joining in creative, practical, replicable climate change programs that will help residents reduce their energy usage.”

Contact:

Lauren Rubenstein
Manager, Media Relations
(914) 422-4389
cell (914) 329-8680
lrubenstein@law.pace.edu

Anne Marie Hirschberger
Ottinger Energy Research Fellow
Pace Energy and Climate Center
(914) 422-4126
ahirschberger@law.pace.edu

Founded in 1976, Pace University School of Law has over 7,000 alumni throughout the country and the world and is consistently ranked among the nation’s top four programs in environmental law. It offers full- and part-time JD programs on its White Plains, NY, campus and offers the Master of Laws degree in Environmental Law and Comparative Legal Studies, and a Doctor of Laws in environmental law. The School of Law is part of Pace University, a comprehensive, independent, and diversified university with campuses in New York City and Westchester County. www.law.pace.edu http://www.pace.edu/environment/

Crain’s New York Business: Pace’s Lubin School moves up 15 places in US News ranking

The graduate business program at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business has moved up 15 places in the U.S. News Media Group’s rankings. It is now tied with the program at Fordham University.

Pace University’s Lubin School of Business has moved up 15 spots to 97th, tying with Fordham University in U.S. News Media Group’s 2012 ranking of the best business graduate schools.

Officials at U.S. News, which has been publishing these rankings for 22 years, said job prospects for the graduates in these programs were improving. The number of MBA graduates who found jobs after three months of graduation jumped 4.9% for the class of 2010 from the previous year.

“After two brutal recessionary years, signs are showing a positive outlook for prospective graduate students and graduates this spring,” said Brian Kelly, editor of U.S. News & World Report.

Gotham Gazette: Cuomo Gets Settlement From ExxonMobil for Greenpoint

Law students and professors from Pace Law School’s Environmental Litigation Clinic, acting as lawyers for Riverkeeper, achieved a landmark settlement of federal litigation against ExxonMobil for oil contamination of a large section of Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Law students and professors from Pace Law School’s Environmental Litigation Clinic have been representing Riverkeeper, which recently  joined New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and residents of Brooklyn’s Greenpoint community to announce a landmark settlement of federal litigation against ExxonMobil for oil contamination of a large section of Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

From the article:

Riverkeeper has been represented since the lawsuit’s inception by dedicated law students, supervised by law professors, at Pace Law School’s Environmental Litigation Clinic in White Plains. “We are thrilled for Greenpoint, and for everyone who will ultimately use and enjoy Newtown Creek, that our litigation has concluded, and that the cleanup of the contamination will now move forward in earnest,” said Professor Daniel Estrin, one of the Supervising Attorneys at the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic. “After decades of inaction by prior administrations to hold Exxon legally accountable, and to responsibly address one of the worst petroleum-contaminated sites in the history of this country, we now have a binding settlement in which Exxon acknowledges its legal responsibility to remediate all of the contaminated media on, and emanating from, the site. We applaud Attorney General Cuomo and the DEC for ultimately filing their own lawsuit, which helped to finally bring this unfortunate chapter for Greenpoint and Newtown Creek to conclusion.”
“Now that our lawsuit has been resolved, the next phase of restoring the community and the Creek begins” said Phillip Musegaas, Hudson River Program Director at Riverkeeper. “Riverkeeper is fully committed to supporting the community throughout this process; we will continue to monitor the cleanup to make sure that it goes according to plan and on schedule.”

Read the full article here.

Hudson Valley Business Journal: Regional Foodshed Conference Draws College Students, Educators, Officials, Farmers and Restaurateurs

Farmers and restaurateurs joined NY State officials and academic experts in new thinking about the regional “foodshed” at a conference organized by the Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges & Universities on Oct. 15 and 16 at Rockland Community College.

Farmers and restaurateurs joined New York State officials and academic experts in new thinking about the regional “foodshed” at a conference organized by the Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges & Universities on Oct. 15 and 16 at Rockland Community College.

The goal of the two-day seminar was for teachers and students interested in sustainable agriculture to learn how to preserve farmland, get the community interested in buying local, and to even to create their own gardens, whether on campus or at home. Another goal was to encourage college students to consider farming as a career.

From the Hudson Valley Business Journal article: “Members of academia and students from Bard, Pace, Marist, Sarah Lawrence, Rockland Community College and others converged on RCC’s Suffern campus on Oct. 15th and 16th to talk about food: where it comes from, how it gets here, and how New Yorkers can partner with state farmers to make agriculture a more integral part of their daily lives.”

“Students came from all over the Hudson Valley – from Sarah Lawrence, Marist, College of New Rochelle and others, with the event co-sponsored by Rockland Community College and Pace University.”

Read the full article.

Pace Law School Hosting 2nd Annual Entertainment Law Program

To keep students abreast of changes in the entertainment industry, Pace Law School adjunct professor and alumnus, Vernon Brown (left), is convening the second annual entertainment law panel, “Where Do I Sign.” The entertainment industry’s biggest execs and labels, including Cash Money Records, and top sports lawyers and agents, will give students a true insiders’ look at how the industry operates from the legal perspective.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Cathy Lewis, Director of Marketing and Communications, Pace Law School, 914.422.4128 – cdreilinger@law.pace.edu

“Where Do I Sign” to Feature Music and Sports Execs

White Plains, N.Y., November 1, 2010 – To keep students abreast of changes in the entertainment industry, Pace Law School adjunct professor and alumnus, Vernon Brown, is convening the second annual entertainment law panel, “Where Do I Sign.” The entertainment industry’s biggest execs and labels, including Cash Money Records, and top sports lawyers and agents, will give students a true insiders’ look at how the industry operates from the legal perspective. The program is open to faculty, law students and Pace University undergraduates, as well.

Professor Brown, who graduated Pace Law School in 1996, is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of V. Brown & Company, Inc. Located in New York City, the company represents recording artists, film producers, fashion models, actors and sports stars. His Entertainment Law classes are very popular because he provides a real-life, hands-on approach. “Instead of teaching only through lectures, he gives students the opportunity to hear from his clients and colleagues,” remarked one student.

“Where Do I Sign”
Tuesday November 2, 2010
7:00PM- 9:00PM
Moot Court Room – Pace Law School
Moderator:

Michael Reinert, Executive VP Business Affairs of the Universal Music Group

Panelists (partial list):
Professor Vernon Brown
Bryan “Birdman’ Williams, Owner, Cash Money Records
Tracy Lartique, Sports Agent, CAA Sports

For more information about the panel discussion, please contact Beryl Brown, Adjunct Faculty Liaison, at 422-4264 or at bbrown@law.pace.edu.

Pace University School of Law has over 7,000 alumni throughout the country and the world, and is consistently ranked among the nation’s top four programs in environmental law. On its White Plains, NY, campus, it offers JD programs and the Master of Laws degree in Environmental Law, including the nation’s first graduate level programs in Climate Change and Land Use and Sustainable Development, and Comparative Legal Studies, and a Doctor of Laws in Environmental Law. The School of Law is part of Pace University, a comprehensive, independent, and diversified university with campuses in New York City and Westchester County. www.law.pace.edu.

NEWS RELEASE: The Pace Energy and Climate Center Received Award for Work on Clean Energy and Sustainability

For its work as a “tireless advocate” for clean energy, the Pace Energy and Climate Center received the Outstanding Outreach Partner Award from the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY) at its annual meeting in Albany this afternoon.

Receives Outstanding Outreach Partner Award at ACE NY Annual Meeting

WHITE PLAINS, NY, October 28, 2010 – For its work as a “tireless advocate” for clean energy, the Pace Energy and Climate Center received the Outstanding Outreach Partner Award from the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY) at its annual meeting in Albany this afternoon.  Presented by ACE NY’s Executive Director, Carol Murphy, this award recognizes exemplary leadership and outstanding work done on behalf of clean energy and sustainability in New York State. She praised Pace’s “dedicated efforts at the Legislature, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), and other state agencies and regulatory bodies, which help further positive policy developments for clean energy technologies.”

The Outstanding Outreach Partner Award is given to the individual, company or organization deemed most helpful in promoting the goals of ACE NY and sustainable energy through activities such as membership outreach, participation in public affairs and advocacy efforts, and government affairs.

“We are very pleased to receive this award, and to be recognized for our work in Albany promoting a clean energy agenda in New York State,” said Jamie Van Nostrand, executive director of the Energy and Climate Center. 

The Center’s work for alternative energy solutions in New York State includes:

  • Ensuring that the State meets its “15 by 15” energy efficiency target (achieving a 15 percent reduction in projected energy usage by 2015) through involvement in proceedings at the Public Service Commission;
  • Promoting solar energy in New York by proposing enactment of a target of 5000 MW of solar power capacity by 2025;
  • Representing environmental interests on the various stakeholder committees at the NYISO; and
  • Promoting demand response and energy efficiency as a means of avoiding investments in additional generating capacity.

 “These are critical times for laying the foundation of New York’s energy future, and we have made a significant investment in our Albany presence to advance a clean energy agenda focusing on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Van Nostrand, adding, “It is gratifying to have these efforts recognized by ACE NY.”

The Center opened a full-time office in Albany in January 2010, and hired Jackson Morris as its senior policy advisor to work on legislative issues and to interact with key state agencies and other organizations involved in energy issues. These include the Public Service Commission, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the NYISO.  According to Van Nostrand, “this award is due largely to Jackson’s tireless efforts in Albany,” with assistance from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which provided valuable support for the opening of the Albany office.  Van Nostrand also noted the contributions of Dr. Laurence DeWitt and Sam Swanson in providing assistance to Jackson’s efforts in Albany.

Van Nostrand indicated that Pace will continue to collaborate with ACE NY in the future in order to further our collective goals.  “As we welcome a new administration in Albany in 2011, it will be essential that we continue building on our important relationship with ACE NY and other key players in the energy and environmental community,” Van Nostrand stated.

ACE NY is a nonprofit organization coalition dedicated to promoting clean energy, energy efficiency, a healthy environment, and a strong economy for New York State.  Its mission is to promote the use of clean, renewable electricity technologies and energy efficiency in New York State, in order to increase energy diversity and security, boost economic development, improve public health, and reduce air pollution.

The Pace Energy and Climate Center is an integral part of Pace Law School’s Environmental Law Program, which is consistently ranked among the nation’s top four programs in environmental law.  For over 20 years, the Energy and Climate Center has been a leading multi-disciplinary organization in the areas of environmental research and advocacy on energy issues in New York and throughout the Northeast, while training law students in these areas.

Pace University School of Law has over 7,000 alumni throughout the country and the world, and is consistently ranked among the nation’s top four programs in environmental law. On its White Plains, NY, campus, it offers JD programs and the Master of Laws degree in Environmental Law, including the nation’s first graduate level programs in Climate Change and Land Use and Sustainable Development, and Comparative Legal Studies, and a Doctor of Laws in Environmental Law. The School of Law is part of Pace University, a comprehensive, independent, and diversified university with campuses in New York City and Westchester County. www.law.pace.edu.

Contact: Cathy Lewis, Director of Marketing & Communications, (914) 422-4128                                                              cdreilinger@law.pace.edu

NY1: College Students Learn Budget Lessons With Combo ID-Debit Card

Pace students and staff were interviewed by NY1 about the use of the Pace Higher One card.

From NY1:

By: Tara Lynn Wagner

Debit cards are replacing cash and ID cards on some college campuses. NY1’s Money Matters reporter Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.

When it comes to doling out student loans, college administrators across the country are choosing plastic over paper. During orientation, students at Pace University are issued a “Higher One” card, which serves as both their student ID and, when activated, a debit card for their loan money.

“The grants and loans that are left over from my tuition are transferred immediately onto my Pace card, usually by the second week of the semester,” says Pace student Edward Grant.

Students can still choose to receive a paper check, but that check is also issued by Higher One, saving the university time and money.

“It’s cost avoidance for us. We no longer have to produce thousands of paper checks, which is great savings. We no longer have to produce the plastic ID cards,” says Mary Lieto of Pace University.

On campus, the card can be swiped at the bookstore, the library and the cafeteria. Since it bears a MasterCard logo, it can also be used off-campus, such as the local mall or when studying abroad.

It is not a credit card, so students cannot run up a debt, but they may learn soon to budget.

“It’s a tool that will help them to manage their finances and teach them a little bit more about financial literacy,” says Lieto.

Of course, plastic does come with some pitfalls. For one thing, people do not tend to be as conscious of their spending as they are when they are using cold hard cash.

“I don’t really think of it as money. I just kind of blindly swipe my card,” says Pace student Alexandria Tribble.

In addition, consumer advocates from New York Public Interest Research Group say students are being hit with an array of fees that chip away the value of their student loan.

“If you use the card and you swipe it and choose to use debit instead of credit, you’re charged 50 cents. If you use an outside bank and you withdraw money, it’s $2.50,” says NYPIRG campus supervisor Megan Ahearn.

There is also an abandon account fee of up to $19 after nine months of inactivity. Higher One points out that to date, only 1 percent of the 4.8 million students they serve have been subject to this penalty, and say the other charges are either avoidable or common in the banking industry.

Still, with more and more lenders looking to tap into the collegiate market, Ahearn warns administrators to do their homework.

“Campuses should definitely look into the contracts that they’re making with any company, whether it’s Higher One, whether it’s another bank,” says Ahearn. “And they should do so with an eye on their students’ interests at the forefront.”

Watch the video.

NEWS RELEASE: Ripening Food Movement to Harvest Ideas at Conference Oct. 15 & 16

From global to gritty, current issues in food supply will be explored at the seventh annual meeting and conference of the Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges and Universities all day Friday and Saturday morning, October 15 and 16 at Rockland Community College in Suffern, NY.

Small farmers, state officials, restaurateurs, academics gather to focus on “Our Foodshed”

Factory farms and food recalls are making news. Are small family farms part of the solution? Can higher education help?

WHITE PLAINS, NY, October 8, 2010 – With food recalls making regular headlines and large factory farms getting the blame, the public is increasingly turning to farmers’ markets and small, family farms for sources of local, fresh food.  A recurring question is whether the regional foodshed – the geographic areas that feed population centers – can realistically supply the region.

Michelle Land of Pace University says, “A sustainable food revolution is upon us.  Industrial agriculture’s large-scale production and dependence on long-distance transportation of product is significantly contributing to concerns of climate change, water pollution and consumption of unhealthy food.  Advancing the concept of a well-functioning foodshed requires an interdisciplinary analysis of how to combine traditional local and regional self-reliance with new thinking to address the distributional and consumptive challenges.  Through this conference, we hope to explore such issues for the Hudson River Watershed.”  Land, director of the Environmental Consortium and the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, serves as the conference planning chair.

From global to gritty, current issues in food supply will be explored at the seventh annual meeting and conference of the Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges & Universities all day Friday and Saturday morning, October 15 and 16 at Rockland Community College in Suffern, NY.

The conference will bring together a colorful array of people including small-scale, family farmers, chefs and restaurant owners, agricultural policy experts, New York State officials, representatives of non-profit organizations, and academic researchers.  Conversations will focus on policy, culture, justice, as well as the roles of higher education in all facets, including integrating more local food in campus dining.

Media admission by press pass. Early responses appreciated.

The conference is open to the public. The rate for people affiliated with institutions in the Consortium is $25 for students ($35 for non members), $125 for members ($150 for non-members).  The fee includes admission to conference days, meals and breaks, Friday reception, dinner and documentary film screening, exhibitor expo, poster session, and a field trip.

Speaker Lineup and Documentary Screening Friday

Ways of evaluating an area’s capacity for local food production will be taken up in the opening keynote by Christian Peters, an Assistant Professor in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. He is the lead author of the 2009 published paper “Mapping potential foodsheds in New York State: A spatial model for evaluating the capacity to localize food production” (Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems).  His areas of research include local and regional food systems and the impact of dietary preferences on land use.

Other conference speakers and presenters are:

·         Polly Armour, Co-Founder and Farmer, Four Winds Farm

·         Jacquie Berger, Executive Director, Just Food, NYC

·         Stephanie Boyd, Director, Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives, Williams College

·         Heath Braunstein, General Manager of Pace University Dining Services, Lackmann Culinary Services

·         Cara Cea, President, Suffern Farmers’ Market Board

·         Jean-Paul Courtens, Farmer, Roxbury Farm
·         Jennifer K. Grossman, Vice President for Land Acquisition, Open Space Institute, Inc.

·         Susan Grove, Executive Director, Poughkeepsie Farm Project

·         Daniel Guenther, Farmer, Educator and Activist, Brook Farm Project

·         David Haight, Director, New York Chapter, American Farmland Trust

·         Peter Hoffman, Chef and Owner, Savoy Restaurant

·         Jill Isenbarger, Executive Director, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

·         Michael Mascarenhas, Assistant Professor, Science & Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

·         Ann McMahon, Coordinator, NYS Council on Food Policy, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets

·         Kenneth Oldehoff, Director of Marketing and Sustainability for Campus Dining, Vassar College

·         Fabio Parasecoli, Coordinator, Department of Food Studies, The New School

·         Andrew C. Revkin, Dot Earth blogger, The New York Times, and Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding, Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, Pace University

·         Tom Sleight, Executive Director, New York Farm Viability Institute

Friday’s events will finish with a special preview screening of the upcoming documentary on the new generation of young farmers, “The Greenhorns.”   The film is named for the non-profit (www.thegreenhorns.net) led by Severine von Tscharner Fleming, director of both the organization and the film.  The mission of The Greenhorns is to recruit, promote and support the new generation of young farmers in this ample and able 21st century America.

The guest speaker Friday, following the film, is Benjamin Shute, co-owner and farmer of Hearty Roots Community Farm.

Breakout sessions will address policy, culture, justice, the roles of restaurants, farmers, individuals,

and higher education. The conference will also include an interdisciplinary session of poster presentations and discussions on food and other environmentally related topics involving the Hudson watershed, an exhibitor expo, and a book table. It will culminate with a field trip to the Pfeiffer Center for Biodynamics and the Environment in Chestnut Ridge, NY, a demonstration and training center with 70 garden beds, an apiary, an oven, and an orchard.

Full details and registration information are at www.environmentalconsortium.org.

Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges & Universities

The Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges & Universities was established in 2004 to advance understanding of the cultural, social, political, economic, and natural factors affecting the Hudson River Watershed and currently has 55 member institutions. The Consortium’s mission is to harness higher education’s intellectual and physical resources to advance regional, ecosystem-based environmental research, teaching, and learning through interdisciplinary, collaborative programs and information sharing.

Spearheaded and hosted by Pace University, the Consortium is headquartered within the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies in White Plains, New York. Among the Academy’s goals is applying the University’s strengths to local and global environmental problems. As a testament to its commitment to interdisciplinary pedagogy, scholarship, and service, the Academy provides essential administrative support for the Consortium’s programs.

The Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies

The Academy is the first of several centers envisioned by Pace University’s President, Stephen Friedman, to promote high-level collaborative and interdisciplinary programming in key thematic, academic areas throughout the University. The Academy is a freestanding institute that renews and deepens the University’s long-standing commitment to environmental research, scholarship, and service.

The Academy for Environmental Studies builds on its predecessor, the Pace Academy for the Environment, created in 2002 and known for regional leadership spearheading the formation of the Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges & Universities and serving as the incubation office for the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, which concentrates on applied technological innovation.

The current breadth and depth of Pace University’s environmental programming is evidenced by globally recognized undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs augmented by related curricular, co-curricular, experiential, and service programs centered on the environment. The Academy recently created the Pace Environmental Gateway, an online clearinghouse and integrated network of the environmental offerings across the University.

Contact:

Donna Kowal, Environmental Consortium, (914) 422-4077, info@environmentalconsortium.org

NEWS ADVISORY: Attorney to Lecture on Hydro-Fracking, Alien Tort Claims & Torture Victim Protection, Wed. Sept. 29, 7PM

Pace Law grad Peter Cambs will lecture on hydro-fracking, the Alien Tort Claims Act and the Torture Victims Protection Act. Hydro-fracking is the controversial gas drilling process exposed as a public health threat by this year’s award-winning documentary “Gasland.”

Public health threat hydro-fracking exposed this year by award-winning documentary “Gasland”

Pleasantville, NY, September 29, 2010– Peter J. Cambs, a Pace Law graduate and an attorney with Parker Waichman Alonso LLP, will present a lecture on hydro-fracking litigation, the Alien Tort Claims Act and the Torture Victims Protection Act on Wednesday, September 29, at Pace University.

Cambs will address the controversy surrounding the gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or hydro-fracking, which was exposed by this year’s award-winning documentary “Gasland.” Hydro-fracking involves the injection of millions of gallons of chemically treated water underground to release natural gas that is trapped in rock formations. The process causes chemical additives, heavy metals, radioactive material and other toxic substances to leach into the water supply, posing a public health threat.

Cambs’ presentation will begin at 7:00pm in the Butcher Suite, at the Kessler Student Center, Pleasantville campus, 861 Bedford Rd., Pleasantville, NY, entrance 3. The event is free and open to the public.

The Department of Environmental Conservation is reviewing the environmental impact of drilling in upstate New York, where natural gas companies seek to tap the rich gas reserves of the Marcellus Shale. Cambs and his law firm, Parker Waichman Alonso LLP, recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of 13 Pennsylvania families whose well water has allegedly been contaminated by hydro-fracking fluids.

According to a September 22 article in “The Nation,”Gasland is one of the most important American films in years, exposing this threat to drinking water and public health. The film shows toxic streams, ruined aquifers, dying livestock, brutal illnesses, and kitchen sinks that burst into flame. Winner of the Special Jury Prize for Documentary at Sundance, where it premiered in January, Gasland aired on HBO in June and it is now showing in select theaters nationwide.

Legislation aiming to repeal the exemption for hydraulic fracturing in the Safe Drinking Water Act that would require the energy industry to disclose the chemicals it pumps underground in the hydraulic fracturing process has been proposed – the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act.

Cambs will also discuss aspects of the Alien Tort Claims Act and Torture Victims Protection Act and how these laws afford the possibility of relief to victims of the most serious types of human rights abuses, including crimes against humanity, torture, and extrajudicial killing.

Contact: Cara Cea, 914-906-9680, ccea@pace.edu

USA Today – Prosecuters’ Conduct can Tip Justice Scales – Prof. Gershman

Law professor Bennett Gershman was quoted in a USA Today investigation of misconduct by federal prosecutors, saying it revealed “glaring misconduct” that is only “the tip of the iceberg.”

Law professor Bennett Gershman was quoted in a USA Today investigation of misconduct by federal prosecutors, saying it revealed “glaring misconduct” that is only “the tip of the iceberg.”

The story that was also picked up in many other daily newspapers nationwide. Here’s an excerpt:

“Federal prosecutors are supposed to seek justice, not merely score convictions. But a USA TODAY investigation found that prosecutors repeatedly have violated that duty in courtrooms across the nation. The abuses have put innocent people in prison, set guilty people free and cost taxpayers millions of dollars in legal fees and sanctions.

Judges have warned for decades that misconduct by prosecutors threatens the Constitution’s promise of a fair trial. Congress in 1997 enacted a law aimed at ending such abuses.

Yet USA TODAY documented 201 criminal cases in the years that followed in which judges determined that Justice Department prosecutors — the nation’s most elite and powerful law enforcement officials — themselves violated laws or ethics rules.

In case after case during that time, judges blasted prosecutors for “flagrant” or “outrageous” misconduct. They caught some prosecutors hiding evidence, found others lying to judges and juries, and said others had broken plea bargains.

USA TODAY found a pattern of “serious, glaring misconduct,” said Pace University law professor Bennett Gershman, an expert on misconduct by prosecutors. “It’s systemic now, and … the system is not able to control this type of behavior. There is no accountability.”

He and Alexander Bunin, the chief federal public defender in Albany, N.Y., called the newspaper’s findings “the tip of the iceberg” because many more cases are tainted by misconduct than are found. In many cases, misconduct is exposed only because of vigilant scrutiny by defense attorneys and judges.

Prosecutors’ conduct can tip justice scales – USATODAY.com.

Prof. Gershman was also interviewed by News 12 on August 27 on potential criminal charges for purgery for New York State Governor David Paterson. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXwbVHrAy4w