This page contains the breakout sessions at-a-glance (right), the daily schedule (below) followed by the detail for all the breakouts by session.

2019 Environment Virginia Symposium Program (high-quality print version):

Visit the ABOUT page to download the program booklets from past conferences.

A mobile-friendly, small file will be included as a download link in the mobile app.

2019 Environment Virginia Breakout Sessions at a Glance
2019 EV Breakout Sessions at a Glance

Conference Schedule

8:00 a.m.  Registration

11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Pre-Conference Workshop – “Instituting Modern Environmental Data Governance Systems”

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. DEQ Updates

3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Breakout Session A

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Breakout Session B

5:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Remarks by Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring and Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew Strickler

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Welcoming Reception with Cash Bar

Dinner On Your Own

7:00 a.m. Registration / Hot Breakfast Bar

7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Exhibit Hall Open (Hall of Valor)

9:00 a.m. Opening Ceremony (Gillis Theater)

9:15 a.m.  – 10:15 am   Report on the Governor’s Initiatives (Breakout Session C, no concurrent sessions)

11:15 a.m.    Keynote Speaker –  Governor Ralph Northam

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Careers in the Environment

11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Lunch (available across two sessions – plan accordingly)

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Breakout Session D

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Breakout Session E

2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Breakout Session F

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Breakout Session G

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Light Refreshments (Hall of Valor)

5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. 5-Star Reception (Invitation Only)

Dinner On Your Own

7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Registration / Hot Breakfast Bar

7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Women in the Environment (WINE) Breakfast

7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. 5K Run / 1-Mi. Walk (Sign up)

7:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Exhibit Hall Open

8:45 a.m. Plenary Speaker – Dawone Robinson, NE/Mid-Atlantic Director, Energy Affordability Natural Resources Defense Council

9:30 a.m. Erchul Award Presentation and Group Photo of Past Recipients

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Breakout Session H

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Ticketed Lunch and Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards Ceremony (select with online registration)

2019 Breakout Sessions Descriptions (see Sessions-at-a-Glance above)

PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2019

Instituting Modern Environmental Data Governance Systems

11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
12:30 – 1:00 p.m. – break/lunch served (lunch included with registration fee)


  • Patrick Hecht, Senior Staff Engineer, and AECOM certified Project Manager, Raleigh, NC Office
  • Sara Schultz, Implementation Consultant, AECOM

Environmental data management has evolved into a critical component of successful business continuity and a consequence is that companies are embracing software applications designed to provide environmental data governance, processing, and reporting. This workshop addresses selection, purchasing and implementing these environmental software packages as a project.

Workshop Syllabus:

The goal of this workshop is to help attendees make well-informed decisions, understand inherent project benefits and limitations and prepare them to lead a successful environmental software project.

The workshop will provide a strategic overview of the key elements of the selection process including optional approaches to both the project structure and to the selection process itself – options that take into account existing conditions, business drivers, company cultures, and available resources. Discussions on tactics, as well as common pitfalls, to help buyers accurately and realistically evaluate vendor offerings and to make a “best fit for purpose” selection.  The session will cover information gathering techniques, tricks, and tips. Participants looking to purchase a solution will leave the session better equipped and more comfortable in making their selection.

The workshop will then address the core project elements necessary in implementing the selected software. Successful approaches and tools are outlined and their merits and potential risks discussed. We will provide R realistic budgeting, scheduling, and resource requirements for the project. Common mistakes and ways to overcome them are explained.

AECOM will also provide examples of systems implemented for existing clients (demo).

Special Sessions

Introduction/Address TBD

Location: Gillis Theater, Marshall Hall
MODERATOR:  Jeffery Steers, Director of Central Operations/Acting Director of Enforcement Division

  • David Paylor, Director, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
  • Melanie Davenport, Director, Water Permitting Division
  • Jutta Schneider, Director, Water Planning Division
  • Justin Williams, Director, Land Protection and Restoration Division
  • Chuck Turner, Director, Air Quality Monitoring Office

Location: Boardroom, Marshall Hall

Led by Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute alumni, supported by the Institute for Engagement & Negotiation at the University of Virginia, your input will be captured, synthesized and and report provided to appropriate entities for consideration. Topics  came out of this year’s General Assembly results.


  1. Equity and inclusion in Virginia’s policymaking, communication, and engagement. Client: Secretariat of Agriculture and Forestry 
  2. Outdoor interests in Virginia. Client: Department of Game & Inland Fisheries 
  3. ConserveVirginia and values-based land conservation. Client: Dept. of Conservation & Recreation

Location: Auditorium, Nichols Engineering Building

MODERATOR: LTC Ammad Sheikh, Ph.D, Directors, Office of Career Services, Virginia Military Institute

  • Blaine Loos,  Development Manager, Apex Clean Energy, Inc.
  • Hector Rivera, Director of Human Resources, Virginia Department of Forestry
  • Valerie Thomson, DEQ Director of Administration
  • Mark Williams, Environmental Manager, Luck Companies

This session is geared toward students interested in learning more about careers in the environmental sector. Interested college students are encouraged to attend.

Location: Gillis Theater, Marshall Hall

MODERATOR: Elizabeth Andrews, William & Mary Law School and Director of the Virginia Coastal Policy Center

  • Matt Strickler, Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources

(Pre-Registration Required)
Location: Activities Room, Moody Hall

An informal gathering of women working in the environmental sector for breakfast and networking.

Session A
Tue., 3:15 – 4:15 p.m.

The Impacts of Institutional Traps on Coastal Resilience

MODERATOR: Tanya Denckla Cobb

  • Elizabeth Andrews, Director of Virginia Coastal Policy Center at William and Mary Law School
  • Tanya Denckla Cobb, Director, Institute for Engagement and Negotiation\
  • Donna Croushore, Town of Saxis

The Resilience Adaptation Feasibility Tool (RAFT) is a collaborative tool developed to help Virginia’s coastal localities improve resilience to flooding and other coastal storm hazards while remaining economically and socially viable. The RAFT was developed by an academic interdisciplinary collaborative, the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia, the Virginia Coastal Policy Center at William & Mary Law School, and the Old Dominion University/Virginia Sea Grant Climate Adaptation and Resilience Program. The RAFT features three key components: (1) a Scorecard, a comprehensive assessment of the locality’s resilience; (2) a workshop to create a one-year Resilience Action Checklist, and (3) Implementation Assistance. The RAFT scorecard was developed in conjunction with an expert advisory committee and was reviewed by a series of focus groups, including locality users and experts in social equity. The RAFT was piloted in 2017 in three communities of different jurisdiction types and in different coastal regions of the state: a city, a town and a county. All of the communities prioritized outreach/education as critical to the success of resilience action and requested assistance in green infrastructure planning. The rural communities identified management of their roads and associated stormwater infrastructure as a significant barrier to their resilience, particularly because the state is responsible for rural roads and is not always responsive to the changing flood situation at the community level. Using the lessons learned from the pilots, a regional approach focused on capacity building across the Eastern Shore was initiated in 2018 in 7 localities.

MODERATOR: Ellen Graap Loth

Private Landowners’ Attitudes towards Land Conservation in Stafford County, VA

  • Ranjit Singh, Associate Professor, University of Mary Washington

Stafford County, Virginia is a fast-growing locale, facing strong development pressures. County officials acknowledge a need to find ways to preserve rural and open areas via land conservation. Nongovernmental groups are also targeting the region as a strategic priority for conservation efforts. Despite increasing interest in this “hotspot” area, little is known about private landowners’ attitudes towards conservation. In the spring of 2018, Singh began conducting interviews with dozens of private landowners in Stafford, including farmers, established families, and new arrivals, and landowners who have and have not participated in conservation efforts. This research-in-progress is intended to provide improved knowledge of the human and social dimensions that are vital to the success and sustainability of any land conservation initiatives.

Closing the Deal With Rural Landowners

  • Eric Eckl, Founder of Water Words That Work, LLC

Although landowners have access to financial and technical assistance to implement conservation practices, most programs are falling short of their acreage goals. To improve the success of these programs, we have explored the strategies and tactics that the most successful field staff use in their outreach to landowners. We started by exploring landowners’ perspectives on working with conservation professionals. We conducted a literature review and three focus groups with Michigan farmers. Then we focused on conservation field staff’s perspective on working with rural landowners. We identified more than 100 top field staff (“mentors”) in four states, and we mined their experience with two online surveys and three focus groups.

Our top conclusions were:

  • Our mentors believe it’s more important for rookies to develop active listening skills and network in the community than to develop subject matter expertise
  • Our mentors believe that as field staff progress in their careers, managing the workload becomes an ever-more important skill to master
  • The mentors strive to pitch conservation practices as a solution to problems that waste the landowner’s time or money first and believe rookies are inclined to focus on conservation values first
  • The mentors believe that careful pre-visit preparation and post-visit follow-up are key to successful results



Sustaining Natural Resources on Academic Campuses

  • Doug Deberry, Senior Scientist, Associate Professor, The College of William and Mary
  • Chris Senfield, Senior Environmental Scientist, VHB

Natural resource-related sustainability initiatives are integral components of sustainability plans for colleges and universities. Encompassing foundational concepts include: 1) ecological integrity, and 2) the human context. The former relates to the health of natural systems and captures the overall condition of natural habitats at all levels of biological organization, from organisms to populations to communities to landscapes. The latter recognizes the importance of the human context in natural resource management, and the primacy of the human dimension in the evolution of ecosystems over time. For many academic institutions, “the human context” includes a categorical directive to increase opportunities for students, faculty, staff, affiliates, and neighbors to experience natural settings unencumbered by the perceived intercession of the built environment. The synergistic connection between these two concepts – ecological integrity and the human context – can be manifested with proactive sustainability goals within natural areas and “green corridors,” and coupled with a commitment to integrate sustainability programs into curriculum development for academic programs. Opportunities for achieving this type of vision in the context of natural resources include ecological restoration; conservation of sensitive species, development of “living labs”; and improvement of natural resource access. Sustaining natural resources also opens collaborative avenues for public outreach and education, and can define institutions as responsible stewards of the natural environment.

 Organic Waste Solutions on Campus

  • Devin Lattimore, Student, Bridgewater College

The purpose of the Campus Composting Intern is to improve and promote the current composting program. I was responsible for estimating a cost-benefit analysis of the program and communicate information to the student body. The internship focuses on decreasing food waste on campus. To inform the student body, I had to research the concept of composting and what importance it has. The urgency of the message often led back limited space landfills and harmful emissions that come from them. Consequently, most of the advertising was focused around decreasing food waste. Since our dining services stay open from early morning until midnight, the bins used for pre-consumer waste are filled by lunch time each day. One aspect of my internship was connecting the four stakeholders: Black Bear Composting, the Office for Sustainability, Parkhurst Dining Services, and Facilities. I found that Bridgewater College and Parkhurst are currently cost sharing the program. A considerable amount of time was spent identifying the factors related to starting the composting pilot program at Bridgewater College. I was able to contact representatives at the Department of Environmental Quality to confirm that a simple pilot program would fall under an education exemption. The next step was to find a location on campus for constructing where a compost pile. With the help of the head of the grounds department, we were able to find an area at the edge of campus. However, the college will defer the in-house composting until we may further assess cost .

Broadening the Understanding of Sustainability on a Micro-level in Higher Education Contexts

  • Allison Wisecup, Director of Center for Social and Cultural Research, Radford University
  • Mya Murphy, Senior, Radford University

Recently, Radford University adopted a strategic plan that explicitly recognizes the importance of sustainable practices of the university community and the future of the institution. Specifically, the plan states: “We are committed to integrating sustainable practices into all aspects of our operations and engage students across the curriculum to learn, discover, and contribute to positive current and future environmental solutions.” Out research leverages this new commitment and is a collaboration between students, faculty, the Office of Sustainability, and Facilities Management Individuals. The goal of the project is to determine the relative efficacy of different recycling strategies in multiple university contexts (academic, residential, and administrative buildings on campus) and to use the policies, practices, and materials at Radford University. As part of a larger the quasi-experimental approach to improving the diversion rate and decreasing the rate of cross-contamination, we will present our findings regarding how, often overlooked, gatekeepers in the recycling process can inform and identify inefficiencies in the process. Our research presents a unique approach to improving diversion rates in higher education through collaboration across usually disparate units in higher education. Much of the research on recycling in higher education fails to incorporate the perspective of gatekeepers (i. e. facilities management or housekeeping personnel) to identify opportunities for improvement. The adoption of a more inclusive approach allows us to develop a more holistic approach to improving the diversion rate. Those who also contributed to this project are Scott Holt and Shayna Gutcho.

MODERATOR:  Jessica Greene

Insights into EISA 2020: A Gradual Decline or a Steep Cliff?

  • Kyle Kichura, Lighting Channel Manager, Franklin Energy

Utility program changes due to EISA lighting standards are no surprise. It’s been a hot topic on the mind of utilities, implementers and evaluators alike. And while the long-term impacts will mean diminished savings from traditional “go-to” sources, the near-term effects are yet to be determined. The new standards are set to go into place in 2020 (depending on who you talk to), raising baselines associated with screw-in LED technology, however, not all utilities are taking the same path. EISA standards are still somewhat undefined and other extraneous factors such as shifts in the demand curve, manufacturing specifications, and technical resource manual updates, complicate the movement toward adoption. To better understand the issues in play for adopting EISA standards, the movement toward new baselines and other major program updates, research is currently being conducted to understand these topics. An evaluation of TRMs, current program plans and surveys with manufacturers, other vendors, evaluators, and utilities will provide a starting point for program changes and the movement toward market transformation.

Virginia Energy Sense: Value Your Power

  • Andy Farmer, Information Resources Manager, State Corporation Commission

Virginia Energy Sense (VES), the state’s energy education program under the State Corporation Commission, seeks to educate Virginians about the value of saving energy and motivate them toward helping Virginia achieve its goal of reducing electric energy use by 10 percent below 2006 levels by the year 2022. Seeking to further educate Virginians in all parts of the state about the value of reducing electric energy consumption, VES launched a targeted campaign focusing on individual communities across the state. We worked with our community partners and leveraged their personal relationships within their communities to share our materials and drive people to our website. In an effort to reach a more targeted audience of teachers in local communities across Virginia, VES developed the Virginia School Energy Curriculum in 2017, approved by the Virginia Department of Education in early 2018.


Insulation, Air Sealing, and Ventilation: Three Elements We Can’t Ignore in New Residential Construction

  • Dustin Derrick, Branch Manager, Creative Conversation

As environmental professionals, there are three elements we can’t ignore in new residential construction: insulation, air sealing, and ventilation. This presentation will compare existing methods of insulation to new and improved methods within the industry, discuss the interconnected role of air sealing and ventilation in homes within our region.

Fisheries and Climate change in Virginia: Opportunities and Challenges.

MODERATOR:  Ellen Bolen


  • Angela King, Assistant Director of Virginia Coastal Policy Center at William and Mary Law School
  • Pat Geer, Deputy Chief of Fisheries, Virginia Marine Resources Commission
  • Mary Fabrizio, Professor of Marine Science, Fisheries Science Department Chair, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

As climate change affects fisheries distributions, managers and scientists will need to respond to new opportunities, while managing existing fishery populations.  This panel will discuss how managers, scientists, and policymakers can prepare and respond to climate change impacts on Virginia’s fisheries.

MODERATOR:  Dave Gunnarson

In this session, you will learn how successful voluntary environmental programs foster collaboration and actions to improve environmental performance beyond what is required by regulation or other requirements.


Businesses for the Bay – Collaboration is Key to a Cleaner Chesapeake

  • Kate Fritz, Business Partnership Management, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

DEQ’s Voluntary Pollution Prevention Programs (VEEP, Virginia Green & Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards)

  • Meghann Quinn, Office of Pollution Prevention, VA DEQ

Leveraging Voluntary Program Benefits to Enhance Environmental Performance

  • Dave Gunnarson, Senior Staff Environmental Engineer, Lockheed Martin

Session B
Tue., 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

MODERATOR: Joshua Saks, Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources


    • Colonel Patrick V. Kinsman, Commander, Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
    • Cindy Schulz, Field Office Supervisor, Virginia Ecological Services, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    • Cecil Rodrigues, Deputy Regional Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 3 – Mid-Atlantic

MODERATOR: Adrienne Kotula

  • Darryl Glover, Director, Division of Soil and Water Conservation
  • Ann Swanson, Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Commission

This session will provide attendees with an update on the work that is happening to meet our 2025 goals for the Agricultural Sector in the Chesapeake Bay TMDL. First, we will hear an update on the 2018 Federal Farm Bill, followed by an update on progress in addressing technical assistance needs throughout the watershed. This will be followed by a detailed update on the process for updating Virginia’s Agricultural Cost Share Program.



Building Virginia’s Fast Charger Network

  • Marcy Bauer, Director of Programs, EVgo

In 2015-2016, VW was found to have employed deceptive practices in the handling of their diesel vehicle emissions compliance and marketing of those vehicles. They were sued by various entities as a result of that finding. A settlement was reached in which VW agreed to various remedies, including funds distributed to all affected states to be spent on various air quality improvement measures, including EV charger deployment. In 2018, after a highly rigorous process, EVgo was selected to build the nation’s first statewide fast charger network using funds from Appendix D of the VW Settlement – for the Commonwealth of Virginia. EVgo will describe the plan and progress towards building that network, and the benefits of having a statewide EV fast charger network.

Overcoming Barriers to Transportation Electrification

  • Erick Karlen, Greenlots

Nationally, transportation accounts almost one-third of total greenhouse gas emissions. Internal combustion engine vehicles contribute to the urban heat island effect, exacerbating impacts of climate change. Public health impacts associated with poor air quality include increased asthma attacks and cardiac arrest. The U.S. today spends $81 billion annually protecting overseas oil reserves – which does not include the human cost associated with this military effort. As a result, it is within our best interest to leverage EVs to address environmental challenges. There are two driving barriers hindering EV adoption – the vehicle price and a lack of public charging infrastructure. While both are important, the deployment of increased infrastructure is truly in the national spotlight. Greenlots, as a leading provider of electric vehicle charging software and services, is ideally positioned to introduce this topic and relevant policy solutions at the Environment Virginia Symposium. In particular, the deployment of smart charging technology can help realize the complete value of EV charging deployments. This technology, which connects stations to the internet through charging management software, allows site hosts to charge a fee to EV drivers, analyze utilization, and shift vehicle charging to off-peak times, among other capabilities. By working with utilities, charging infrastructure can be deployed in a comprehensive and strategic manner that prioritizes EV equity and access for all potential drivers. However, the gains needed for EV adoption and public infrastructure will not occur without significant policy and regulatory engagement – which will be explored in this presentation.

Revolutionizing Transit with Battery-Electric Buses

  • Eric Reynolds, Proterra, Regional Sales Director

Public transit is on track to go 100% electric before any other vehicle sector and transit agencies across the country have embraced the EV trend. Transitioning to a zero-emission fleet provides economic and environmental benefits to transit agencies of all sizes. Advancements in electric vehicle battery and drivetrain technology, as well as charging infrastructure services, have made the transition to 100% electric possible. This presentation will look at the state of the EV transit industry, progress happening with electrifying public transit in Virginia and throughout North America, and discuss technology and services that are enabling widespread adoption.

Initiatives to Support Electric Vehicle Adoption

  • Kate Staples, Power Delivery Renewable Energy Program Manager, Dominion Energy

Dominion Energy’s is committed to increasing electric vehicle adoption and offering solutions for customers as they transition to electric transportation.  Our comprehensive strategy focuses on internal initiatives to demonstrate our commitment and external initiatives to facilitate electrification. This includes best practices in education and advocacy, off-peak charging, fleet electrification, and workplace charging, and streamlining the interconnection process for fast charging.

MODERATOR: Tina Bickerstaff, OBG, part of Ramboll


Environmental Permitting – Best Practices

  • Eric Lasalle, Director of Environmental Affairs, Smithfield Foods, Inc.

Industry tips on navigating permit applications for success.

Virginia DEQ Permit Applications and Compliance: Recommendations to ease the challenge

  • Tom Faha

Insight from DEQ staff on how best to prepare permit applications and comply with permit conditions.

Clean Water Act Compliance: Connecting the Dots from Plans to Implementation

  • Christine Ng, Senior Managing Consultant, Ramboll Inc

Many industrial facilities subject to the Clean Water Act are required to obtain permits and plans to comply with stormwater discharge and oil spill prevention regulations.  However, once the required permits and plans are in place, routine compliance requirements, such as monitoring, training, and recordkeeping, may fall off the radar. The presentation will identify common compliance challenges from the plant floor to the corporate office, and offer best practices from a wide range of industries for staying on track.

MODERATOR: Tanjina Afrin


Applications of the UN Disaster Resilience Scorecard

  • Claire Still, Sustainability Specialist, AECOM

This presentation will provide an overview of the United Nations Disaster Resilience Scorecard that was developed by IBM and AECOM and a specific application of the Scorecard conducted in New Orleans, LA. The Scorecard is a uniform evaluation tool for city resilience and can easily be modified to be applied to different groups; such as businesses, schools, and healthcare facilities. For the New Orleans project, the Scorecard was modified to assess the resilience of small- to mid-sized businesses to disasters and climate change. The project team interviewed 200+ businesses, assessed the results, and provided tailored recommendations to the city and to the businesses to improve their resilience.

Regional Planning Approaches to Addressing Climate Change

  • Andrea Sweigart, Associate Principal, AECOM

Regional planning is an effective way for local governments and communities to identify and address projected climate change impacts. The presentation will take a look at this approach with a deep dive into the Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) AECOM is leading among the Cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the four (4) Navy installations. As a regional study covering both Norfolk and Virginia Beach, the JLUS is focused on evaluating the present and future impacts of flooding on the facilities and infrastructure that support the Navy, and developing actions that the Cities could potentially take in response to flooding issues that could reduce or eliminate both short- and long-term risks for the military.

Leveraging Available Data to Understand and Mitigate Loss during Extreme Storm Events

  • Lisa Jeffrey, Senior Associate, Hazen and Sawyer

This presentation will provide an approach to leverage readily available data during storm events to better understand potential consequences, mitigate impacts and enhance public safety. There is currently a great deal of emphasis on establishing municipal resiliency plans, understanding risks and vulnerabilities. This approach shifts the focus to informed decision making during a storm event, making use of large amounts of historical and real-time available data. As reported in the daily news, municipal leaders are being called on to make educated decisions regarding public safety during storm events. This decision support framework can be used to draw from the available data sources both internal to the municipality (historic, repetitive flood loss data, tidal flooding levels, roadway elevations) and external public sources of data (FEMA flood maps, NOAA rain gages, USGS rain and flood stage data etc.). Using a business intelligence framework, leaders can draw on these data sources to enhance public safety. This methodology represents another tool for municipalities facing increased frequency and intensity of storm events.

The Impacts of Institutional Traps on Coastal Resilience

  • Zane Havens, Graduate Coastal Resilience Fellow, Virginia Sea Grant/Clark Nexsen

Rising sea levels and frequent storm events have made flooding a real threat for coastal communities. Despite the increasing intensity and frequency of these catastrophes, flood preparation and mitigation efforts are still lacking in many areas, and the institutions responsible are often criticized for these shortcomings. This presentation aims to identify within the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Flood Insurance Program several “institutional traps”, or self-reinforcing processes that limit an institution’s ability to cope with and prepare for a disturbance event. Using three case studies (amphibious foundations, the Resiliency Adaptation Feasibility Tool, and Hurricane Florence), this presentation will spotlight instances where these obstacles have stifled innovations in flood mitigation, as well as illustrate successful attempts to circumvent these traps and to make real progress in the field of floodwater management.

Session C
Wed., 9:15 – 10:15 a.m.

Location: Gillis Theater, Marshall Hall

MODERATOR: Elizabeth Andrews, William & Mary Law School and Director of the Virginia Coastal Policy Center

  • Matthew Strickler, Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources

Session D
Wed., 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

MODERATOR: Tammin Younos


In Virginia, 4,730, 951 people, nearly 60 percent of Virginia population lives in coastal areas. As a result, a multitude of water-related problems is facing coastal Virginia. These include but not limited to significant water demand and consumption; saltwater intrusion into coastal aquifers; impact of agricultural runoff, urban stormwater runoff, and industrial effluent discharge on the coastal ecosystem; offshore drilling impacts; and sea level rise attributed to climate change. All of the above concerns demonstrate the need for a paradigm shift toward integrative and sustainable water management in coastal Virginia. Panelists will focus on 3 themes related to water management in coastal Virginia:

Groundwater Recovery Planning for Virginia’s Coastal Plain Aquifers

  • Scott Kudlas, Office of Water Supply, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Sea Level Rise and Adaptation Strategies in Eastern Virginia

  • Molly Mitchell, Center for Coastal Resources Management, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

The Need and Potential for Alternative Water Supplies in Coastal Virginia

  • Tamim Younos, Green Water-Infrastructure Academy

MODERATOR: Roy Hoagland

Urban Land Trust Partnering with Coastal Communities: Building Resilience to Sea Level Rise Through Conservation


  • Mary-Carson Stiff, Director of Policy, Wetlands Watch
  • Robb Braidwood, Deputy Coordinator, Office of Emergency Management
  • Jeremy Sharp, Principal Planner, City of Norfolk

Wetlands Watch is working on a project to pioneer the use of land conservation as a tool for sea level rise adaptation, converting frequently flooded residential areas to healthy wetlands. This project includes collaboration with an urban land trust and two local governments to pilot trailblazing programs that will work alongside an existing local framework: acquisition funding through the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grants program in one community and a resilient zoning ordinance in the other. We are working to develop these complicated and first of their kind programs into routine conservation transactions with predictable and replicable outcomes. Our goal of this initiative is to develop two exemplar pilot sea level rise adaptation programs, grounded in land conservation and wetlands creation, that are exportable to other coastal communities.

MODERATOR: Tanya Denckla Cobb

Evolving a company’s commitment to community engagement and environmental justice


  • Greg Mathe, Electric Transmission Communication Consultant, Dominion Energy
  • Ruth Prideaux, Director of Generation Construction, Dominion Energy

Continuous improvement and innovation come in many forms. Environmental, social and governance activities are no exception. There continues to be increasing public attention to infrastructure projects across the country and the potential disproportional effects on certain communities. To proactively address these concerns, Dominion Energy has created an Environmental Justice (EJ) team to explore options for enhancing the company’s focus on EJ when it comes to siting and operating our energy infrastructure. As organizations think about how they can meet society’s expectations in this regard, expectations regarding environmental justice are not as prescriptive as some may think. The EJ Team’s objectives fell into two general efforts. First: to build an understanding and awareness of what EJ is and stakeholders’ expectations of companies, generally, and Dominion Energy in particular. Second: to review current Dominion Energy business practices that might meet society’s expectations and to identify any gaps in meeting those expectations. By definition the major tenets of environmental justice are ones the company already embrace, however, they are also ones that require constant evaluation to appropriately address evolving social expectations. This presentation will provide an overview of the process the company took to better understand its role in addressing EJ concerns and the outcomes that resulted from the working group’s findings and recommendations.

  • Janet Phoenix, Assistant Research Professor in the Departments of Health Policy and Management in the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University

Some residents in the state of Virginia are more vulnerable to adverse impacts from environmental conditions. Whether it is higher rates of allergic diseases like asthma that are exacerbated by longer spring and summer seasons, exposure to lead in deteriorated housing, or poor air quality from living close to a highway, low income people and people of color suffer more from environmentally related health conditions. It is important to include consideration of the health impacts of our environmental decision-making, (especially for more vulnerable citizens) as we plan programs and craft public policies. To do this effectively we must consult effectively and coordinate planning efforts to include those with health and expertise and those who are members of populations who may suffer an unintended consequence.

  • Karen Campblin, Virginia Environmental Justice Chair, NAACP

MODERATOR: Adrienne Kotula


Identifying the most Cost-Effective BMPs for Improving Water Quality and Maximizing Co-Benefits

  • Olivia Devereux

Best management practices (BMPs) must be implemented to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment loads in order to meet the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). To support these efforts, we developed estimates of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment reduction effectiveness and cost per unit reduced for each BMP using CAST. CAST is the Chesapeake Bay Program Phase 6 model. Using a series of BMP “isolation” model scenarios, we determined the pounds of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment reduced for each BMP. The design of the scenarios isolates the load reduced from each BMP while including the interaction effects of other BMPs, and is useful for assessing relative differences among BMPs. The annualized cost per pound reduced per year may then be calculated using available estimates of unit cost per BMP. This information can enable the targeting of the most effective BMPs at the lowest cost. Co-benefits of implemented BMPs were explored using qualitative impact scores developed for the Chesapeake Bay Program to support integrated implementation for multiple Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership management strategies. The ability to tie the same action, or BMP, to multiple objectives facilitates program and funding prioritization and may result in a greater likelihood of implementation. Using a small watershed, we illustrate the potential to reduce costs, improve nitrogen and phosphorus reductions, and impact co-benefits.

Leveraging and Upgrading Private BMPs for Mutual Public/Private Benefit

  • David Hirschman, Principal, Hirschman & Environment, LLC

Previous studies have demonstrated that retrofit of existing BMPs is one of the most promising and cost-effective approaches to achieving TDML pollutant reduction goals. While many retrofits have taken place on public land, it is much more challenging to implement retrofits of privately owned BMPs. However, in Albemarle County, as well as many other Bay jurisdictions, these private BMPs represent many more facilities and many more acres treated than a public-only approach to retrofitting. Under a NFWF grant, Albemarle County and the Center for Watershed Protection piloted a system to identify and prioritize the retrofit of private BMPs, examined methods to reach out to and engage private BMP owners, developed concept plans for private BMP retrofits to be constructed as part of implementing a County private BMP retrofit program, and fed into the eventual implementation of two retrofits – a bioretention retrofit of a dry detention pond, and a stream restoration that spanned a municipal boundary and offered a shared and split pollutant removal credit scenario. The workshop format will be a mix of presentation, small group and interactive activities, and whole group discussion. We will cover the prioritization method, landowner outreach, implementation methodology, the results (in the presentation), and perhaps most importantly, lessons learned including (but not limited to) managing expectations with a lot of uncertainty, and leveraging partnerships.

Evaluating Opportunities for Public/Private Partnerships with Non-Profit Organization Property Owners to Increase Stormwater Management in a Fully Developed Municipality

  • Doug Fritz

The City of Falls Church, Virginia is expected to meet the stormwater pollutant load reductions identified in Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay WIP as defined in VPDES MS4 permits. The City has implemented an annual Stormwater Utility (SWU) fee to fund these efforts. The National Fish and Wildlife Federation provided GKY a technical assistance grant to evaluate the interest in forming public/private partnerships (P3) between non-profit organizations (NPO) and the City. GKY identified 19 NPOs who own 27.8 acres (19.6 acres impervious). NPO owners of 18.5 acres (13.0 acres impervious) expressed interest in participating in the study. Site evaluations determined that retrofit opportunities were limited due to 1) the intense density of existing development; 2) the shallowness of the receiving public stormwater infrastructure; and, 3) the relatively small drainage areas associated with potential retrofits. The opportunities that were identified represent annual pollutant reductions to the Chesapeake Bay of 53.35 lbs. for nitrogen; 7.83 lbs. for phosphorus and 4,442.65 lbs for sediment. The estimated design and construction costs for the identified retrofits totaled $2,959,251, with the costs per pound of pollutant removed averaging $55,479 for nitrogen; $377,938 for phosphorus; and $666 for sediment. NPO savings from the potential annual SWU credits ranged from $47 to $1,332. In implementing a P3 that is effective at attaining pollutant reduction while operating cost-efficiently, the City’s P3 must: 1. Provide substantive incentive packages for participants; 2. Take advantage of the economy of scale; and, 3. Maximize benefits to the City.

Moderator: Tom Smith


  • Jason Bulluck Director VA Natural Heritage Program, DCR

ConserveVirginia represents a new, data driven approach to land conservation that builds upon work already underway here and in other states. Virginia’s first in the nation strategy takes the next step in identifying how and where to achieve the best conservation outcomes.  This strategy meets the Governor’s directive to prioritize the most important lands from a statewide perspective, focus limited resources toward those areas, and measure the progress we make toward achieving multiple conservation goals.  ConserveVirginia’s central feature is a living “smart map” that creates a roadmap for land conservation across Virginia for years to come.  This presentation will provide an overview of ConserveVirginia’s purpose and methods.

Land Management using Scenic assets


  • Lynn Crump, Environmental Programs Planner, Va-DCR
  • Leighton Powell, Executive Director, Scenic Virginia

Beginning in the 1960s when the national focus went to the idea of protecting ‘Our Natural Beauty’. This was part of the push by President Johnson for a Great Society. The White House Conference on Natural Beauty brought together 100’s of conservationists to talk about what should be done. As a result of that effort, many Acts of Congress were developed to help the environment over the next several decades. The Organic Act, the Highway Beautification Act, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the Clean Water Act, and so on. Since that time there have been great strides made to clean up our air and waters. However, along the way, the value of the beauty of scenic assets of our land have been left aside. Although the federal agencies have a requirement to plan for scenic assets, and they do a good job, the state and local communities have for the most part NOT taken into account the scenic attributes and the sense of place first introduced in the 1960s. It is our goal with this session to share some insights into the benefits of including scenic asset analysis in planning and to show that it also reflects the values of clean air, water and other more precisely regulated resources of our Virginia Landscape.

Session E
Wed., 1:15 – 2:15 p.m.

Exploring Virginia’s Plan to Restore the Chesapeake Bay

Virginia agency experts, facilitated by the Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources, will present an overview of the Draft Phase III Watershed Implementation Plan for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, including review of the BMP input deck and proposed state initiatives.  The pending public comment period and outreach events will be highlighted.  The session will include time for questions but attendees will also be encouraged to continue the discussion with agencies throughout the Environment Virginia conference.


  • Ann Jennings, Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources
  • James Davis Martin, Chesapeake Bay Coordinator, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
  • Jutta Schneider, Director, Water Planning Division, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
  • Melanie Davenport, Director, Water Permitting Division, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
  • Dr.  Jewel Bronaugh, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • Russ Baxter, Deputy Director, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
  • Darryl Glover, Director, Division of Soil and Water Conservation, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
  • Lance Gregory, Director, Division of Onsite Sewage and Water Services, Virginia Department of Health
  • Ray Tighe, Chesapeake Bay TMDL Coordinator, Virginia Department of Health

MODERATOR: Danielle Simms, Virginia League of Conservation Voters


Reaching Virginia’s Hispanic Community

  • Kenny Fletcher, Virginia Communications Coordinator, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Spanish speakers are a rapidly growing demographic in Virginia that spends a significant amount of time outdoors but often are not a focus for outreach by environmental organizations in the Commonwealth. In early 2016, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation launched a pilot effort to work with the Hispanic community in the Richmond area. Successful events since then include regular appearances on a Spanish-language radio show, tree plantings, boat trips, gardening workshops, and other events with dozens of Spanish speaking participants. CBF has also developed Spanish language social media, web pages, and flyers. This presentation details successes, challenges, and lessons learned through photos, stories, quotes, and descriptions.

The Face of Environmental Justice in Virginia

  • Kendyl Crawford, Director, Virginia Interfaith Power and Light

Exploring what environmental justice (EJ) looks like, what constitutes an EJ community and amplifying voices of frontline, vulnerable communities. NIMBY!

MODERATOR: Jessica Greene


  • Demetra McBride, Bureau Chief, Office of Sustainability and Environmental Management, Arlington County
  • Susan Elliot, Climate Protection Program Manager, City of Charlottesville
  • Carrie Webster, Henrico County, Energy Manager

Energy and sustainability leaders from three Virginia localities will hold an interactive presentation and panel discussion demonstrating the diversity of local government energy/climate programs and policies, and their capacity for innovative design, persuasive outreach, and measurable results in advancing statewide energy objectives and goals.  This cross-section will feature performance-based programs for government buildings, benchmarking, climate and emissions reductions approaches that reduce impacts despite increased population and emitting sources, and how to design policies and financing to drive a pivot toward high-performance buildings.

MODERATOR: Tamim Younos, Green Water-Infrastructure Academy


Virginia Coastal Groundwater Management

  • Scott Kudlas, Director, Div of Environmental Enhancement

This presentation will provide up-to-the-minute information on activities being undertaken to characterize and manage coastal groundwater, new compliance activities and efforts to broadly engage stakeholders.

Developing Sustainable Groundwater Use on the Eastern Shore of Virginia

  • Britt McMillan, Principal Geologist, Eastern Shore of Virginia Groundwater Committee / Arcadis

The Eastern Shore depends entirely on groundwater for all potable and most non-potable supplies such as irrigation water. Because the peninsula is surrounded by large bodies of saltwater, groundwater becomes brackish at relatively shallow depths, and the total available groundwater supply is very limited. This has led to the USEPA designation of the Columbia – Yorktown-Eastover Multi-aquifer System as one of only two Sole Source Aquifers in Virginia, effective 1997. The Eastern Shore of Virginia Groundwater Committee is a bi-county committee formed in 1990 by Accomack County and Northampton County to support sustainable use. An important component is increasing use of the far more sustainable Columbia (surficial) aquifer. However, about 90% of actual use is from the far more limited Yorktown-Eastover aquifer. This has resulted in localized saltwater intrusion. A recent challenge for the Shore is a large number (57) of unpermitted withdrawals. Much of the water will be used for cooling: a prime use for the surficial aquifer. However, less than 2% are proposing to use the surficial aquifer. Principal reasons given have been statements such as: “the surficial aquifer does not yield water of sufficient quantity or suitable quality.” Available use and water quality information does not support this statement. While the DEQ moves forward to address these users through a Consent Order, the Groundwater Committee is taking steps, as will be discussed in this presentation, to increase the use of the surficial aquifer for these and future groundwater users.


History and Accomplishments of the Virginia Department of Forestry’s Water Quality Program


  • Robert Farrell, JobVirginia Department of Forestry, State Forester

This presentation will seek to explain the overall process the agency uses to assist silvicultural operators in implementing voluntary BMPs on the landscape, particularly in the arena of timber harvesting. The various components of the program, including outreach, education, and enforcement, will be explained. Analysis of the success rate over several decades will be provided with commentary on how that was achieved and is maintained. Opportunities for improvement and application to other areas will be provided.

Forest conservation and active management: a natural partnership

  • Heather Richards, Virginia State Director, Program Manager, Mitigation Solutions

Through our work with working forests, The Conservation Fund actively works to demonstrate that conservation and economic growth are mutually reinforcing concepts. Keeping our forestland productive from an economic standpoint is critical to keeping our forests healthy and intact.  This session will discuss how conservation and forest management, including harvests, work together to keep our forests intact for water quality, recreation, wildlife habitat, and recreation.

A Forest Industry Perspective on Sustainable Forestry

  • Aaron Plaugher, Fiber Sustainability Manager, WestRock

This presentation reviews the importance of sustainable forestry to the forest industry in Virginia and looks at ways the forest industry has positive influence on sustainable forestry.  This industry, which employs more than 100,000 and has more than a $20 Billion economic impact in the state, relies on a sustainable supply of wood from Virginia’s forests.  Markets for wood products give economic returns to landowners which serves as an incentive to keep their lands in forests.  The forest industry also helps landowners with forest certification and funds forestry research, landowner outreach, and logger training.  All of these efforts have a positive impact on the sustainability of Virginia’s forests.


Future of Recycling


  • Mark Caldwell, Recycle Fiber Supply Regional Manager, MidAtlantic
  • Ann Malleck, Albemarle County Supervisor
  • Kim Hynes, Executive Director, Central Virginia Waste Management Authority

Changes in the global marketplace have created challenges for recyclers, localities, and industry. This session will feature presentations and discussion about the future of recycling in Virginia from the perspectives of impacted groups.

Session F
Wed., 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.

MODERATOR: Donnie Seward

Solar for Local Governments

  • Richard Street, Sr. Environmental Engineer, Spotsylvania County VA
  • Jonah Fogel, Program Manager, University of Virginia’s Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI)
  • Ron Meyers, Research Assistant Professional, Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Lecturer, School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia Tech

We are going to follow the solar site theme and we will explain all of the resources available in VA to help and show concerns and hurdles with a massive solar site with over 180 million panels with at least 400 acres under construction at one time.

Utility-Scale Solar in Virginia: Decommissioning

  • Jon Hillis, President, SolUnesco, LLC

SolUnesco’s ongoing decommissioning research provides a comprehensive review of the requirements imposed by counties in Virginia related to the decommissioning of solar- generating facilities. SolUnesco identified zoning ordinances and approved permits from dozens of counties and evaluated the trends seen throughout those counties in Virginia regarding decommissioning requirements. SolUnesco’s research showcases the history and trends of decommissioning requirements in Virginia counties – or lack there-of – including; a decommissioning plan, decommissioning costs to be secured by an adequate surety, and salvage value in the decommissioning cost estimates. SolUnesco’s research communicates the understanding of local community concerns driving costly and potentially low-value decommissioning requirements, helps understand why salvage value has become a contentious issue and the associated price volatility, and understand the types of financial security and the advantages and disadvantages from the developers and from the local governments’ perspectives. Hear first-hand about some of the concerns of solar developers regarding decommissioning plan and cost requirements and recommendations to alleviate these issues.



  • Ruth Debrito, Coordinator, Smithfield
  • Tom Handler, Senior Manager, Business Process Excellence, STIHL
  • Tim Denning, Director, Environmental Services and Safety

One of the more complex issues facing businesses today is transition of projects, files and responsibilities from one person to another.  Regardless the reason for the change, today’s workforce contains the most complex diversity of communications ever, and just as varied, the skillsets and comfort of the people using them. Some of the reasons this is needed includes the number of retiring individuals, promotions, terminations, divestments, acquisitions and changes in management.  While this may seem part of doing business, a critical part of keeping compliant, avoiding unnecessary spending and keeping customers happy is continuity.  In this session, we will look at the core problem with the communications and explore some techniques to avoid losing continuity and keeping a business moving forward.

Conversation on Implementing the Governor’s Priorities

This panel will examine the impact and impletmentation of the Governor’s environmental priortiesfrom the nonprofit viewpoint.

MODERATOR: Joe Maroon, Virginia Environmental Endowment

  • Ellen Shepard, Board Member, Virginia’s United Land Trusts
  • Will Cleveland, Staff Attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center
  • Rebecca Tomazin, Virginia Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
  • Mary Rafferty, Executive Director, Virginia Conservation Network



  • Kimberly Reece, Professor of Marine Science, Chair Department of Aquatic Health Sciences, VIM
  • Todd Egerton, PhD. Marine Science Supervisor
  • Tish Robertson, Water Quality Standards Scientist, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Virginia waters, including the Chesapeake Bay, have experienced significant degradation as a result of nutrient loads which cause dead zones which have been widely described.  These pollutants also enhance the growth of toxic species of algae, referred to as Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) on which research has more recently expanded our understanding.  Several partners across Virginia including world renowned academics, federal and state agencies, municipal works and NGOs have been working to improve our ability to understand and manage these issues to protect aquatic life and human health.  This session will include a description of what HAB species have been observed in Virginia, examples of documented negative effects and finally management actions underway to address these issues.  Panel members will discuss how Virginia can continue to move forward to manage these issues and consider other issues such as climate change which present emerging challenges.

A lively panel discussion with representatives from several disciplines will discuss a five-year effort to envision and build a sustainable environmental program. Ms. LeRose will share the city’s motivation for becoming the first municipality to voluntarily develop an integrated approach to water management, the challenges it faced, and how, in the last year, the City has begun partnering with organizations and other municipal departments to implement the plan. Ms Bourne will share the engineering firm’s key concerns, along with the metrics used to prove the course of action. Ms. Mitchell will share key strategies for communicating with the broader public. Ms. Denckla Cobb will share challenges and strategies for engaging stakeholder organizations meaningfully. An additional panelist – Peggy Sanner from Chesapeake Bay Foundation – will discuss challenges from the perspective of a stakeholder participant and community partner.


  • Susan Mitchell, Account Director, West Cary Group
  • Tanya Denckla Cobb, Director, UVA Institute for Environmental Negotiation
  • Grace LeRose, Program Manager for Environmental Compliance and Regulatory Affairs, Department of Public Utilities
  • Heather Bourne, Senior Environmental Scientists, LimnoTech

Session G
Wed., 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

MODERATOR: Kateri Shreve

Offshore Wind: Experience from the New York State Master Plan

  • Janine Whitken

In January 2017, New York State announced its intention to facilitate development of 2.4 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind resources?enough to power 1.25 million homes?as part of the State’s strategy to meet its Renewable Energy Vision (REV), which calls for half of New York’s energy to come from renewable resources by 2030. To achieve this ambitious goal, NYSERDA?the lead agency coordinating offshore wind opportunities in New York State?embarked upon a comprehensive master planning process designed to best inform offshore wind development. E & E supported NYSERDA in executing 11 studies and review of 9 others to ultimately produce 20 robust studies. These studies, alongside our robust fisheries outreach program and development of a strategic outreach and engagement plan?were crucial to developing an offshore wind master plan that can effectively guide New York State and others in achieving offshore wind energy goals

 Virginia Offshore Wind Research Opportunities in Metocean and Environmental Sciences

  • William Payne, Chief Deputy, Virginia’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy
  • George Hagerman, Senior Project Scientist, Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography, Old Dominion University

 The offshore wind energy market is just emerging along the U.S. East Coast, with 1.74 million acres of Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) between Cape Cod, MA, and Cape Hatteras, NC, now under lease for commercial development.  This corresponds to a potential build-out of at least 21,000 MW of installed capacity (approximately 3,000 turbines) on the Mid-Atlantic OCS over the next decade. The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) holds the nation’s first and only renewable energy research lease on the OCS.  This presentation describes plans for integrating the research lease into a national Ocean Test Bed for metocean and environmental research projects that can reduce risk and lower the cost of offshore wind energy.


Science, Money and the Law: Making Environmental Compliance A Priority for Management

  • Anthony Gartell, Department of Finance Division of Risk Management, Prince William

Environmental programs have historically been seen as feel-good programs that are nice to do when there are extra funds. The goal of this presentation is to discuss ways to make environmental programs relevant and in-line with overall management goals so the program is respected, funded, promoted and embraced by management. Prince William County has done this by focusing on projects that have the greatest impact by focusing on money, science, and the law. Examples: Pollution prevention saves money because we buy fewer materials and handle them less. Recycling universal waste reduces regulatory reliability when compared to disposal; improper management of the waste can lead to serious fines and damage to the County’s reputation. Using sound science to identify less hazardous cleaning products reduces employee exposure, OSHA HazCom requirements, waste management costs, and wear and tear on our facilities. These kinds of conversations make management sit up and take notice of what was once considered a non-critical program that focused on activities that made people feel good for participating, rather than having any true impact. The result of this strategy for Prince William County was tripling of the number of personnel assigned to the program and a continually increasing budget and management focus on compliance.

The Benefits of Asset Management to Environmental Services for Compensatory Mitigation Projects

  • David Hurst, Program Manager, Asset Management
  • Chris Senfield, Senior Environmental Specialist, VHB

Recent advances in data management technology have increased public and private opportunities to utilize asset maintenance practices in the environmental services industry.  In 2019, environmental services depend on an efficient, data-driven workflow to achieve project goals, share results effectively, and demonstrate environmental compliance. Establishing asset management programs and purposefully aligning them with environmental service goals ensures a more reliable, understandable, and consistent project life-cycle. This alignment brings stability and continuity to services that involve short and long-term needs for data collection, analysis, performance measurement, risk assessment, project prioritization, and more. Asset management principles can be applied to any number of environmental service assets, such as natural resource data, project planning, regulatory compliance, technical documentation, marketing, and business development. In this example, compensatory mitigation project assets pertaining to site selection, project design, data collection, reporting, and credit analysis are highlighted to show the benefits of asset management programs toward improving efficiency, project workflow, and regulatory compliance.

Virginia joined the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI) in September 2018. This panel will discuss what it means for VA to be a member of TCI and look at options for the Commonwealth to reduce carbon emissions in the transportation sector. The panel will have a particular focus on policies related to smart growth / urban solutions.

MODERATOR: James Bradbury, Georgetown Climate Center


  • Trip Pollard, Director, Land and Community Program
  • Chris Bast, Deputy Director, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
  •  Maggie Gendron, Strategic and Government Relations

MODERATOR: Tina Bickerstaff

Know Your SWPPP:  Being Prepared for Inspections


  • Matthew Stafford, Compliance Coordinator, DEQ

Presentation will address the requirements for a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) under the General VPDES Permit for Discharges of Stormwater from Construction Activities (CGP).  In addition, what are some common pifalls that operators may face and steps they can take to be prepared for a review of SWPPP documents and field inspection.

SPCC Lessons Learned

  • Chris Konen, Project Engineer, OBG

Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans are a common requirement for many industrial sites. Methods of achieving and maintaining compliance with the regulations vary depending on each site’s specific operational needs. This presentation will identify lessons learned from SPCC Plan implementation for a variety of clients in various industries.

Introduction to Pollutant Minimization Plans

  • Rachel Burris, Project manager, OBG

VPDES permits may include a requirement to develop a Pollutant Minimization Plan (PMP). This session will provide an overview of PMPs, what to include in a PMP, lessons learned, and how to implement your plan.

Are you new to the environmental fields?  This session is for you to make new connections with like-minded professionals who are bringing fresh energy into their areas of expertise and perhaps struggling with some of the same issues. We’ll include a presentation and some fun networking activities with some time to mingle before joining the conference-wide networking reception.

The Proper Care and Feeding of Environmental Professionals

  • Christine Ng, Senior Managing Consultant, Ramboll

Today’s environmental professionals are expected to be adept in multiple roles – problem solver, trusted advisor, project manager, decision maker, mentor – all while staying abreast of scientific, regulatory, market, and policy changes affecting their field.  Drawing on personal experiences and observations while working in the environmental consulting field, the presentation will explore factors affecting professional success and personal fulfillment. This presentation will highlight important skills for development and share practical approaches to professional development.  Note that the views expressed in this presentation are those of the speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of her organization.

Session H
Thu., 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

MODERATOR: Angela King, Assistant Director, Virginia Coastal Policy Center


  • Samantha Beers, Director, Office of Communities, Tribes and Environmental Assessment
  • Lauren Fox, Director, Tribal Resource Center, Pamunkey Indian Tribe
  • Ashley Spivey,  Ph.D., Pamunkey Indian Tribe
  • Sharon Baxter, Director, DEQ Division of Environmental Enhancement
  • Chief Atkins, Chief, Chickahominy Indian Tribe

Over the past two years, Virginia went from having no federally recognized tribes to having seven: the Pamunkey, Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Upper Mattaponi, Rappahannock and Nansemond tribes and the Monacan Indian Nation.

In addition, the Commonwealth recognizes four other tribes, the Mattaponi, the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway), Nottoway of Virginia and the Patawomeck.

This session will explore the challenges and opportunities that arise as some of the tribes change their relationship with the Commonwealth and the federal government, especially in the areas of environmental regulatory programs, funding/partnering opportunities, and natural resource priorities.

MODERATOR: David Gunnarson, Lockheed Martin Corporation


A Message in a Bottle

  • Jessica Barthel, Undergraduate Student, Roanoke College

Global plastic consumption is untamed and ever increasing. Plastic is the primary component of litter and aquatic debris resulting in 8K tons of plastic entering oceans each year (Lytle, 2017). With predictions that there will soon be more plastic particles in the oceans then fish by weight (Mathuros, 2016). Research has focused largely on the prevalence of plastic in the oceans. However, information about plastics in rivers and streams, the main contributors to ocean pollution, is lacking. The role of these smaller systems needs to be addressed to better understand and combat the issue of plastic pollution, primarily to reduce inputs into the larger system and prevent further degradation. This study focuses on gaining a greater understanding of the prevalence of plastic pollution within stream systems of the Roanoke and New River Valleys of Virginia to develop approaches for reducing plastic inputs. Three stream reaches were chosen along an urban gradient to assess the quantity of plastics in and within the respective floodplain to understand the impact of development. Plastics were collected for count and categorization, with the usage of bedload traps to capture microplastics and calculate plastic loading. The data will provide insights into the local plastic pollution issue to inform educational and policy initiatives to reduce plastic debris. This information will also be foundational in campus and community efforts, including a Roanoke College plastic audit and various outreach efforts including the surrounding community during the spring of 2019 to raise awareness and reduce plastic debris entering local waterways.

Optimizing for Ethanol Blending in Gasoline: Better Fuel Efficiency and Fewer Emissions

  • Kevin Frautschi, Student, James Madison University
  • Salar Haji, Student, James Madison University
  • Cordell McCurry, Student, James Madison University

Blending ethanol into gasoline is common practice in the United States as part of a government initiative to reduce dependency on foreign oil, reduce environmental impact, and reduce the cost of fuel. Unfortunately, most internal combustion engines are not properly tuned to run on ethanol or ethanol blends. This creates a significant waste of energy and fuel. The objective of this study was 1. To increase the fuel economy (MPG) on 10% ethanol blends (E10) and 2. To reduce CO2 emissions by re-tuning the vehicles onboard computer. Tests were carried out using a modern, fuel-injected 2011 Harley Davidson Sportster engine. Results were measured using a 5-gas analyzer and Dynojet 250i dynamometer. Preliminary data shows a 5% improvement in fuel economy (MPG) and a 5% reduction in CO2 emissions when our custom tune was compared to the stock tune when running a 10% ethanol fuel. The electronic control unit (ECU) was reprogrammed to advance spark ignition timing and adjust O2 sensor target voltages using DynoJet’s Powervision software. The improvements in fuel economy and emissions reduction were made by reprogramming the engine’s electronic control unit and can be easily replicated and applied to other fuel-injected, spark ignition vehicles. If applied throughout Virginia and Nationwide, this simple re-tuning strategy would yield significant fuel savings and substantial reductions in harmful exhaust gas emissions.

Counting Carbon: A Greenhouse Gas Assessment of Roanoke College

  • Ryan Duregger, Student, Roanoke College

Rapidly changing environmental, social, and economic conditions have presented an incredibly difficult problem to both current and future environmentalists. Proposed solutions that lean heavily on ideas of resilience, mitigation, and adaptation have become increasingly popular. A key component to a successful response is the carbon footprint, and countless organizations have begun to actively monitor and lower theirs. The purpose of this project is to determine the greenhouse gas emissions of Roanoke College by utilizing all available College records and compiling them into the Sustainability Indicator Management and Analysis Platform (SIMAP), a tool that assists colleges with measuring, calculating, and reporting carbon footprints. This assessment builds on two prior assessments (2009, 2011), but distinguishes itself in three key ways: (1) having a third data point allows for trend analysis; (2) over the past seven years there has been extensive construction on campus; (3) the college now has an energy management program. A greenhouse gas assessment can serve as a baseline for implementing sustainable change. By identifying the what, how, and where of the emission problem, it becomes much easier to craft strategies to mitigate these emissions and improve energy and economic efficiency. For Roanoke College, calculating its carbon footprint opens a whole new avenue of possibility. The carbon footprint will reveal areas of inefficiency, which presents the opportunity to save money and help the environment simultaneously.

MODERATOR: Chris Stone, ClarkNexen


Integrating Climate Adaptation Measures into VDOT Structure Design Decisions

  • Bridget Donaldson, Associate Principal Research Scientist, Virginia Transportation Research Council
  • Lewis Lloyd, Research Scientist, Virginia Transportation Research Council

Virginia has become increasingly active in efforts to understand and manage the impacts of the changing climate. The need to adapt infrastructure to accommodate these changes is one of several areas of focus in the state. Existing transportation infrastructure, such as bridges and culverts, were typically not designed to accommodate the expected increases in sea level, precipitation intensity, salinity, and temperature. Transportation departments are becoming increasingly aware of the need to make climate-based design decisions, but large ranges in climate projections can make such decisions difficult. The Virginia Transportation Research Council, the research division of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), conducted a study to provide VDOT’s Structure and Bridge Division with information that will help guide decisions on the design of more resilient culverts and bridges given climate projections specific to Virginia. Most of the information was collected from the literature, but state DOTs, subject matter experts, and authors of climate change studies were also contacted. This presentation will (1) provide examples of measures adopted at the national and state transportation levels to accommodate the impacts of climate change, (2) summarize climate projection research in Virginia, and (3) describe guidance provided to VDOT for selecting a climate-based approach and creating projection-based design standards. Conference attendees will learn how climate change research is influencing road structure design decisions in Virginia. This information will be of particular interest to those who research climate change and those responsible for guiding or implementing climate-based decisions.

Regional Approaches to Coastal Resiliency in Hampton Roads

  • Benjamin McFarlane, Senior Regional Planner, Hampton Roads Planning District Commission
  • Ashley Gordon, Coastal Analyst, HRPDCVA

The Hampton Roads region is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of flooding and sea level rise due to its coastal location, relatively low-lying topography, and a significant level of residential, commercial, and industrial development. In response, the HRPDC has identified coastal resiliency as a focus area for its work program, including the establishment of an official staff-level advisory committee and a commission subcommittee to guide the HRPDC staff’s work and advise the commission. Over the past year, the HRPDC staff has focused on several specific efforts related to resiliency. One is the development of a regional assessment of local resiliency projects, plans, and policies that have been recently implemented, are underway or are in planning. This will help the region convey a comprehensive assessment of the work that is being done and the need for future work and assistance. Another effort underway is the development and adoption of regional policy and approach to incorporating sea level rise into local planning and infrastructure design efforts. A common policy and approach will help directly with projects of regional concern and will also help reduce confusion for residents, developers, staff, and decision-makers. A third effort is the development of estimates of the first floor elevations of residential structures. This is a key data gap for local resiliency planning, and a regional analysis will both reduce the cost of developing the data and help with local and regional planning efforts.

Flooded Roads: Sensors to Avoid Them, Policies to Improve Them

  • Whitney Katchmark, Principal Water Resources Engineer, Hampton Roads Planning District Commission

Hampton Roads Planning District Commission is working on a simple approach to minimizing the impact of roadway flooding by providing information to drivers about which roads are flooded. The agency is also working with VDOT to improve future roadway designs that incorporate sea level rise and changes in our precipitation patterns. A new initiative has been launched to estimate the congestion caused by various flooding scenarios.

Hazardous Waste Regulatory Changes

  • Leslie Romanchik, Hazardous Waste Program Manager, Office of Financial Responsibility and Waste Programs, DEQ

The presentation will cover four main areas: 1) an overview of the Generator Improvements Rule (GIR) that became effective in Virginia on April 8, 2018 with more detailed information on certain new regulatory provisions including those that provide additional flexibility for hazardous waste generators; 2) a brief overview of the Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule, potential impacts, and timeline for adoption; 3) common areas of non-compliance with the Virginia Hazardous Waste Management Regulations; and 4) suggestions for ways to keep on top of regulatory requirements and changes in the hazardous waste program to maintain compliance.

MODERATOR: Harry Godfrey, Virginia Advanced Energy Economy


Integrating Renewables with a Single-Variable Consumer-Facing Information System

  • Scott Hoppe, Founder/CEO, Sabreez PBC

Renewable energy production in California and many other markets follow a natural pattern of electric-power generation that is out of sync with consumer energy demand to a varying extent by hour of the day, day of the week and seasonally. Solar power is only on when it’s sunny. Wind power can be on at any hour but is generally stronger at night in a number of markets. Solar and Wind complement each other, but not perfectly, leading to a phenomenon known as the “duck curve.” As more markets switch to solar and wind, addressing the morning and evening peaks in net energy demand is a huge issue that consumers can help address if information is provided in a consumer-friendly, actionable format. The cost of renewable energy resources has decreased significantly in recent years, resulting in accelerated development of clean energy resources. Concurrently, home solar, electric vehicles, and smart home technologies have been adopted by consumers. As solar and wind development increases in select markets, utilities, and other stakeholders need to communicate when energy is cleaner to consumers, and are offering time-variable rates. Stakeholders need to use more than just rates to engage consumers, however. The utilities can also show when energy is cleaner to motivate load shifting. Our presentation will illustrate the natural production of energy and methods used to produce a compelling value proposition to consumers that creates a sustainable behavior change.

Grid Modernization in the Public Interest — A Guide for Virginia Stakeholders

  • Paul Alvarez, Wired Group

In this session, Paul Alvarez, grid modernization expert and co-author of a widely-read GridLab whitepaper with the same name, will discuss how the electric grid can be a tool in the fight against climate change.  He will describe how the grid can be made more reliable, more resilient to extreme weather, and more supportive of clean distributed generation.  He’ll also discuss the challenges of doing so in a cost-effective manner, focusing on utility regulation and associated recommendations for stakeholders.

Grid Transformation Plan – Dominion Energy

  • Derek Wenger, Manager, New Technology and Renewable Programs, Power Delivery Group, Dominion Energy

Smart meters and other grid transformation investments will help integrate new technologies like private solar and electric vehicle charging stations into the grid. Investments in intelligent grid devices, smart meters, and automated control systems will enable a “self-healing” grid which will speed the restoration process by quickly identifying and isolating outages. New construction and material standards will improve grid resiliency and reduce outages caused by weather and other events. Additional measures will be taken to protect the grid against the growing threat of both physical and cyber-attacks. These measures include hardening substations serving critical facilities and the deployment of new intelligent devices and control systems which help energy companies detect and recover from events more quickly.

MODERATOR: Ted Henifin, General Manager, HRSD


  • Dan Holloway, Project Manager, Jacobs
  • Kurt McCoy, Hydrologist, USGS
  • Charles Bott, Director of Water Technology and Research, HRSD

The SWIFT Research Center began recharging the Potomac Aquifer System with SWIFT Water in May 2018. As of September 2018, nearly 60 million gallons of SWIFT Water have been recharged into the aquifer. HRSD has been gathering significant data on the water treatment process that produces SWIFT Water (water that meets drinking water standards) from HRSD effluent at their Nansemond Treatment Plant, stabilizing and optimizing the treatment process to ensure SWIFT Water can be produced consistently and efficiently. Additionally, HRSD has been gathering data on the impact of SWIFT Water on the native groundwater at the point of recharge and from monitoring wells at the Research Center. Finally, the USGS is monitoring the impact of SWIFT Water on land subsidence and water levels in the aquifer at their extensometer, 500 yards from the SWIFT recharge well. All of this data is advancing the knowledge base regarding managed aquifer recharge in Virginia and the most current data will be presented at the symposium – nearly a full year’s worth. The presentation will include a panel of HRSD researchers and USGS staff.

The presentation will be delivered in 3 parts, with a speaker and presentation on the advanced water treatment data, a speaker and presentation on the groundwater quality data and a speaker and presentation on the land subsidence and water level data.

2019 Co-Hosts and Supporting Organizations