#231 - Co-sponsored Sessions

ACS National Meeting
Spring, 2006
Atlanta, GA


SCHB - Dealing with Disaster: Planning and Recovery Issues for Businesses
Georgia World Congress Center C211
Alan Engel, Gianna Arnold, Organizers
9:00   Introductory Remarks
9:10 1 Impacts of hurricane Katrina on the environment of Louisiana
Chris M. Piehler, Clean Water Project Director, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 4312, Baton Rouge, LA 70821

Category 4 Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi on August 29, 2005. The resulting damage was felt in a broad swath of the northern Gulf of Mexico coast. Included in those effects in Louisiana were the flooding of the City of New Orleans, storm surge along the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and Mississippi Sound, the loss of many oil and gas exploration and production facilities in near-shore environments, and dramatic impacts to Plaquemines Parish. Environmental impacts included localized fish kills, large quantities of spilled oil, many square miles of land loss, and infrastructure damage to waste water treatment systems. Perceived, but dispelled impacts included the "Toxic Soup" discharges to Lake Pontchartrain, "Toxic Sediment" blanketing flooded New Orleans and "Toxic Mold" insidiously pervading southeast Louisiana yielding health effects known as "Katrina Cough". Findings of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality are discussed.

9:50 2 In the wake of Katrina
Sharon V. Vercellotti and John R. Vercellotti. V-LABS, INC, 423 N. Theard Street, Covington, LA 70433

V-LABS, INC., suffered virtually no physical damage during Hurricane Katrina. Its location was a virtual island in the middle of catastrophe; the surrounding community of Covington LA, north or New Orleans, seven miles from Lake Ponchartrain, suffered major wind damage from sustained wind speeds of 115-125 mph with gusts to 150 mph. Vercellotti was attending the ACS Meeting in Washington DC when the storm hit. The return to Louisiana and the recovery from Katrina is a chronicle of the recovery of all the support services upon which a small business depends.

10:30   Intermission
10:40 3 Natural disasters: What FEMA can and cannot do for you and your organization
Barbara H. Gallo, Epstein Becker Green, PC, Resurgens Plaza, 945 East Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA 30326

The Federal Emergency Management Agency ("FEMA") is tasked with responding to, planning for, recovering from, and mitigating against disasters. Through Public Assistance Contracts and Individual Assistance Contracts, FEMA helps public and private entities and individuals prepare for and deal with natural disasters and other emergency situations. This presentation is intended to explain what FEMA can and cannot do and to provide an environmental emergency management guide for business and industry.

11:20 4 Evolving insurance needs for the small business
Ronald J. Versic, Ronald T. Dodge Company, PO Box 41630, Dayton, OH 45441-0630

Planning for a disaster helps considerably in recovering from one. Properly selected insurance can protect from losses due to more than hurricane damage. In particular, insurance from losses due to tornados, water backup, water damage and earthquakes can be more important. This paper discussed the benefits of business interruption insurance among others. The Ronald T. Dodge Company will discuss the evolving purchase of insurance from the early years (1980's) of no insurance to today's insurance for a 16,000 sq ft manufacturing facility. Insurance coverage for buildings, building contents, machinery, employees and vehicles is discussed.

12:00   Discussion


SCHB - Dealing with Disaster: Planning and Recovery Issues for Businesses
Georgia World Congress Center C211
Gianna Arnold, Alan Engel, Organizers
2:00   Introductory Remarks
2:05 5 Negligent failure to plan
John C. Stivarius Jr. and Diane J. Romza-Kutz. Epstein Becker & Green PC, Resurgens Plaza, 945 East Paces Ferry, Atlanta, GA 30326

What happens when your company has not adequately planned for the inevitable disaster that can occur? Whether it is a natural disaster, product recall, tragic event or some third-party event completely out of your control that impacts your business, your company then suffers in its stock valuation and the employees and shareholders are impacted. What are the potential legal liabilities for the negligent failure to plan for these contingencies? This presentation examines these issues and provides recommendations to aid in anticipating the potential legal problems to directors and officers and possible shareholder suits, that could arise from the failure of companies and their board of directors and officers to adequately prepare for the formerly unforeseen consequences of events in today's world.

2:45 6 Negligent failure to plan
Barry Brager, Perception Partners, 768 Marietta St. NW, Suite 102, Atlanta, GA 30318

After a natural disaster, well protected intellectual property (IP) could be the most important remnant of a company. How can you manage your intangible assets so that their value is always maximized? What basic precautions can you take to protect IP from loss of value when a business faces catastrophe? The presenter will discuss a "Top Ten Tips" Survival Guide for IP.

3:25 6 Intermission
3:35 7 How to limit liability exposure during the first 24 hours after an environmental incident
William A. Ruskin, National Litigation Group, Epstein Becker & Green, P.C, 250 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10177-1211

How a chemical manufacturer responds to an adverse environmental event during the first twenty-fours can be crucial to the company's ability to effectively manage its potential liability. There are steps that should be taken (and some steps to be avoided) that can provide some assurance to stakeholders, including regulatory agencies, local officials, and affected homeowners and businesses, that their interests are recognized and being protected by the company.

4:15 8 Evaluation of federal environmental emergency response requirements in the wake of recent natural disasters and strategies for compliance
Daniel H. Sherman IV, Epstein Becker Green, 945 East Paces Ferry Road, Suite 2700, Atlanta, GA 30326

This program will provide a survey of the federal laws governing environmental emergency preparedness, spill response, and community right-to-know disclosures applicable to a wide variety of manufacturing, mining, and industrial entities; educational and healthcare facilities; energy production operations; agricultural concerns; and other members of the regulated community. Case studies involving environmental response and remediation activities associated with releases triggered by recent hurricanes impacting the southeastern United States will be discussed. The program will also offer practical strategies for developing and implementing environmental management systems and similar prevention and response programs intended to assure compliance with environmental laws, minimize the risk of accidental releases, and address environmental crises as they arise.

4:55   Discussion



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