3-14-2017 1-13-38 PM_editI am pleased to announce that both Christian Marsh and I will be participating in panel discussions at the Association of Environmental Professionals’ 2017 State Conference, entitled “Bridging the Gap” and taking place in San Francisco from May 18 through May 21 (view schedule of events).  As stated by AEP, “the conference seeks to ‘bridge the gap’ between CEQA practitioners and the technical experts they rely on, between CEQA and planning, and among other related local, regional, statewide, and national environmental issues.”

Christian will be a panelist in a discussion of “Biological Resources Sections Dissected,” taking place at 1:45 p.m. on Friday, May 19.  He is joining David Wolff, Principal Ecologist at Sage Institute, Inc., and Emily Bacchini, Environmental Management Specialist with the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District, representing diverse views from the legal, consultant, and lead agency perspectives.  The session will provide a brief overview of the base informational requirements for CEQA documents and then delve into the evidence and site-specific analysis needed to address impacts to sensitive species and habitats (e.g., wetlands), including strategies for significance thresholds, mitigation, findings, and the lead agency’s administrative record.  The panel will also briefly touch upon the interrelationship between CEQA and other species-protection laws (e.g., federal and state Endangered Species Acts, state Fully Protected Species laws, the Coastal Act, and common law public trust doctrine).

I will be moderating a panel on “Sea Level Rise and Shoreline Adaptation – Lessons From the Bay Area,” on Saturday, May 20, at 8:45 a.m., which will include Marc Zeppetello (Chief Counsel for the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission), Lina Velasco (Senior Planner at City of Richmond), Matt Brennan, Ph.D., P.E. (Senior Engineering Hydrologist at Environmental Science Associates), and Christy Herron, M.C.P., AICP (Senior Managing Associate at Environmental Science Associates).  I and the other panelists will provide our varying perspectives—those of regulator, local planner, coastal engineer, CEQA consultant, and attorney for lead agencies and project applicant—regarding issues that must be addressed at the planning level when conducting environmental review and permitting of shoreline development, in light of our collective experience with Bay Area projects.

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Discounted early registration for the AEP conference ends on March 31, and the regular registration cut-off is April 14.  Please click through to the AEP conference website for registration information.  We hope to see you at the conference!