College of Law

Great Lakes Water Conference

22nd annual great lakes water conference

The 22nd Annual Great Lakes Water Conference on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022 focused, through the lens of law and science, on threats to public health posed by various contaminants in our waters and by lack of access to clean water. 

Titled "Public Health and Water,"  this half day conference featured panels of experts addressing multiple water-based public health problems: harmful algal blooms and the key toxin they produce in Lake Erie and beyond; per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), so-called "forever chemicals" which are widespread in surface and ground waters; a new federal regulation governing lead in public drinking water; and lack of access by some communities to public drinking water systems.

The conference was sponsored by The University of Toledo College of Law and its affiliated Legal Institute of the Great Lakes.

The Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Continuing Legal Education approved the conference for 3.0 hours of CLE credit as a live interactive webinar. 

Registration for the conference was free for the public and $55 for attorneys seeking 3.0 hours of Ohio CLE. 



  • 9 a.m. - WELCOME/OPENING
  • 9:10 a.m. – PANEL ONE: ALGAE 
    • Moderator/Speaker:
      • Prof. Kenneth Kilbert, University of Toledo College of Law (Toledo, Ohio): Law Re Exposure to and Sources of Harmful Algal Blooms & Microcystin
    • Speaker:
      • Prof. David Kennedy, University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences (Toledo, Ohio): Human Health Impacts of Harmful Algal Blooms & Microcystin 
  • 10:10 a.m. – FIRST BREAK
  • 10:15 a.m. – PANEL TWO: PFAS 
    • Moderator:
      • Prof. Evan Zoldan, University of Toledo College of Law (Toledo, Ohio)
    • Speakers:
      • Abigail Hendershott, executive director, Michigan PFAS Action Response Team, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (Lansing, Mich.): Michigan's Strategic Approach to PFAS
      • Erica Bloom, toxics campaign director, Ecology Center (Ann Arbor, Mich.): PFAS and Public Engagement
  • 11:15 a.m. – SECOND BREAK
    • Moderator:
      • Prof. Kenneth Kilbert, University of Toledo College of Law (Toledo, Ohio)
    • Speakers:
      • Suzanne Novak, senior attorney, Earthjustice (New York, N.Y.): New Lead & Copper Rule Under the Safe Drinking Water Act
      • Prof. Michele Okoh, Lewis & Clark Law School (Portland, Ore.): Lack of Access to Public Water Systems
  • 12:20 p.m. - CLOSING

CLE Materials

Previous Conferences

Historically, water law has been the province of lawyers and policymakers in the arid western United States. In recent years, however, lawmakers in the Great Lakes region have come to recognize the critical role that water management plays in securing a healthy and vibrant society over the long term. In recognition of this development, the College of Law and the Legal Institute of the Great Lakes sponsor annual conferences each fall on water issues of importance to the Great Lakes region and the nation. For more information, explore the conference brochure links below.

Last Updated: 11/1/22