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2016 Fall Forum: Health and the Environment in North Carolina

Environmental Health Scholars Program at Duke University


27th to 28th October 2016


Durham, North Carolina
21C Museum Hotel

Mission Statement
Creative experts making great ideas happen.

The Forum will create functional interactions to bring about changes in the environment, make new connections both in the community and political front, find consensus and bring about a change in policies, and help make a change in the daily lives of North Carolina residents who are affected by adverse environmental factors.

Details of the 2016 Fall Forum

The Effects of the Clean Smokestacks Act on North Carolina Health and the Environment


North Carolina enacted the Clean Smokestacks Act (CSA) in 2002, as an adjunct to the federal Clean Air Act of 1970. The CSA was considered to be creative as well as innovative as the federal plan did not eliminate the older and dirtier fossil-fueled electric power plants. Fourteen years later the results are clear as emissions have decreased dramatically. This session will discuss the data describing the benefits of the CSA on the environment of North Carolina and the health of its residents, as well as look at present conditions and future trends and initiatives.

Environmental and Human Health Risks of Coal Ash Ponds in North Carolina


Multiple lines of scientific evidence suggest that coal ash ponds are leaking and causing surface water and groundwater contamination, posing environmental and human health risks in North Carolina. This session addresses the different issues associated with the regulations of coal ash ponds, different types of contaminants known to be enriched in in coal ash, and potential environmental and human health issues associated with the disposal and leaking of coal ash effluents. 

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations’ (CAFOs) Effects on North Carolina


As global meat consumption continues to increase, so do concerns about the impacts of intensive production of livestock, from antibiotic resistance and community health to emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change.  This session will examine the emerging science and the potential for changes in production and waste management practices to mitigate harm.

Conference Schedule

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm


1:00 pm - 1:10 pm

Introductions and Overview

1:10 pm - 1:50 pm

The 2002 Clean Smokestacks Act

William (Bill) Ross, Jr., J.D.
Brooks Pierce Law Firm

1:50 pm - 2:05 pm


2:05 pm - 2:45 pm

Improving Air Quality in North Carolina: Beyond Respiratory Health Effects

2:45 pm - 3:00 pm


3:00 pm - 3:15 pm


3:15 pm - 3:55 pm

Progress in Improving North Carolina Air Quality

Sheila Holman
NC Division of Air Quality, Department of Environment and Natural Resources

3:55 pm - 4:10 pm


4:10 pm - 4:30 pm

Next Steps

4:30 pm


8:00 am - 8:30 am

Registration/Continental Breakfast

8:30 am - 8:50 am

Overview on Coal Ash Risks

Avner Vengosh, Ph.D.
Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University

8:50 am - 9:10 am

Radioactivity of Coal Ash

Nancy Lauer
Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University

9:10 am - 9:30 am

Evidence for Coal Ash Pond Leaking to Water Resources

9:30 am - 9:50 am

Selenium Ecotoxicology in Freshwater Lakes Receiving Coal Combustion Residual Effluents: A North Carolina Example

Jessica Brandt, M.H.S.
Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University

9:50 am - 10:10 am


10:10 am - 10:30 am

Coal Ash Ponds: Could They Contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease Risk in Residential Populations?

10:30 am - 11:00 am

Protecting Clean Water in North Carolina

11:00 am - 11:30 am

Coal Ash Regulation in the U.S.: the National Perspective

11:30 am - 12:00 pm


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


1:00 pm - 1:15 pm

The Effect of CAFOs on North Carolina: Introductions and Overview

Michelle Nowlin, J.D., M.A.
Duke University School of Law

1:15 pm - 2:00 pm

Community-scale Impacts of CAFO’s in North Carolina

2:00 pm - 2:15 pm

The Food and Drug Administration’s Process for Regulating the Use of Antibiotics and Antimicrobials in Food Animal Production

Mae Wu, J.D., M.A.
Natural Resources Defense Council

2:15 pm - 2:30 pm

CAFOs in North Carolina: Hog farms and the Health of Residential Populations

2:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Technology Options for Capturing Greenhouse Gases and Destroying Pathogens in the Waste Stream

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Panel Discussion: The Duke University Carbon Offsets Initiative

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


4:00 pm - 4:15 pm

Environmental and Health Impact Analysis for Regulatory Livestock Programs

4:15 pm - 4:30 pm

Next Steps

4:30 pm



Pricing & Registration

Seating is limited so register early!


Students, College/University faculty, Government employees

Attendees who present valid I.D. will be admitted at no cost.


General Public

The 2016 Fall Forum of the Environmental Health Scholars Program is open to the public. A nominal attendance fee will be charged.

Sponsors & Partners

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Get in touch

  • Graphic river
  • Video hive
  • 3d ocean
  • Activeden

Location and Venue


21C Museum Hotel Durham

Located in the heart of downtown Durham and occupying the historic Hill Building, 21c Museum Hotel Durham is a 125-room boutique hotel, contemporary art museum, cultural civic center, and home to Counting House restaurant. As North America’s first museum devoted solely to art of the 21st century, 21c Museum Hotel is committed to featuring a rotating program of thought-provoking solo and group exhibitions that reflect the global nature of art today, as well as site-specific, commissioned installations.

21C Museum Hotel Durham

Conference Location

21C Museum Hotel,
111 North Corcoran Street,

Durham, NC 27701