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Future of Forever Chemicals in Colorado: Keynote & panel w/ Rob Bilott

Special Events
Bunker Auditorium, Green Center
Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020 at 7:00 PM (MT) to Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020 at 9:00 PM (MT)

NOTE: No tickets are needed for the “Dark Waters” movie screening Jan. 28. The tickets on this page are for the Jan. 29 keynote and panel with Rob Bilott.

The environmental lawyer who The New York Times called “DuPont’s worst nightmare” and the inspiration for the movie “Dark Waters,” now in theaters, will speak about his real-life experiences representing communities whose water has been contaminated by persistent fluorinated chemicals.

Rob Bilott, author of the new book “Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer’s Twenty-Year Battle against DuPont,” will give the keynote speech at the Herbert L. and Doris S. Young Environmental Issues Symposium, a free two-day community event focused on the future of “forever chemicals” in Colorado and beyond.

Following Bilott’s talk will be a panel discussion featuring Bilott and Colorado experts on PFAS contamination, health impacts, clean-up and community activism, moderated by Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner of CPR News.

  • Dr. Christopher Higgins, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Colorado School of Mines
  • Dr. John Adgate, professor and chair of environmental and occupational health at the Colorado School of Public Health
  • Mark A. Favors, military veteran and member of the Fountain Valley Clean Water Coalition
  • Tracie White, remediation program manager for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Following the panel discussion, Bilott will be signing copies of his book, "Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer’s Twenty-Year Battle against DuPont."

The “forever chemicals,” so-called because of their failure to break down in the environment, include poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) found in firefighting foam, nonstick cookware, pizza boxes, popcorn bags and more.

PFAS groundwater contamination is a serious, growing concern in Colorado and across the country, impacting communities both big and small including Fountain, Widefield and Security south of Colorado Springs and parts of South Adams County in the Denver metro area. An emerging body of evidence shows PFASs can cause cancer and developmental, endocrine, renal and metabolic problems.

Robert Bilott is a partner in Taft's Environmental, Litigation, and Product Liability and Personal Injury groups. For more than 29 years, Rob has handled a wide variety of highly complex environmental matters and related toxic tort litigation for a diverse array of clients, including the nation’s first cases involving PFAS drinking water contamination. To date, Rob has secured benefits in excess of $1 Billion for clients impacted by PFAS contamination, including through key leadership positions in the nation’s first class action, personal injury, medical monitoring, and multi-district litigations and trials. In 2017, Rob received the international Right Livelihood Award, also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize,” for his decades of work on PFAS issues. Rob is the author of the book, “Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer’s Twenty-Year Battle against DuPont,” and his story is the inspiration for the new motion picture, “Dark Waters” from Participant Media and Focus Features, starring Mark Ruffalo as Rob. His story is also featured in the documentary available on Netflix, “The Devil We Know.” Rob is a graduate of New College in Sarasota, Florida and has a Juris Doctor degree from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

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