by
Emilie Rusch

Attorney who inspired movie “Dark Waters” to speak Jan. 29 on Mines campus

Rob Bilott will be the keynote speaker at the Herbert L. and Doris S. Young Environmental Issues Symposium, a free 2-day event focused on the future of “forever chemicals” in Colorado
Rob Bilott

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An Evening with Rob Bilott: Keynote and panel discussion
7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29
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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 on Wednesday, Jan. 29 on the Colorado School of Mines campus.

Rob Bilott, a partner in Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP in Cincinnati and 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.

A free screening of the movie “Dark Waters” will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28 followed by Bilott’s keynote and a Colorado-focused panel discussion at 7 p.m. on Jan. 29. Joining Bilott on the panel are some of the foremost experts in Colorado and the nation on PFAS contamination, health impacts, clean-up and activism:

  • Christopher Higgins, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Colorado School of Mines
  • 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

Moderating the panel will be Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner from CPR News.

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."

Before the Jan. 29 event, community members are also invited to attend a poster session from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., where they can chat with Colorado researchers and industry members and learn more about the specific work being done locally to fight “forever” chemicals.

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.

“Dark Waters” Movie Screening

When:            7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28

Where:           Bunker Auditorium, Colorado School of Mines

                        909-1011 15th St., Golden, CO 80401

Cost:               Free (no tickets needed)

An Evening with Rob Bilott: Keynote and panel discussion

Keynote talk from Rob Bilott and panel discussion with Colorado experts on PFAS contamination, health impacts, clean-up and community activism. Moderated by Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner of CPR News.

When:            7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29 (poster session from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.)

Where:          Bunker Auditorium, Colorado School of Mines

Cost:              Reserve your free tickets at mines.universitytickets.com

About Rob Bilott

Robert Bilott is a partner in Taft Law’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.

Emilie Rusch

Emilie Rusch

Public Information Specialist
303-273-3361
About Mines
Colorado School of Mines is a public research university focused on science and engineering, where students and faculty together address the great challenges society faces today - particularly those related to the Earth, energy and the environment.