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Climate Resiliency

California Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) White Paper Best Practices in Climate Action Planning

Bill Halligan, Michael Hendrix, Brian Schuster, Rich Walter

Monday, May 20
Baltimore Theater
9:30 AM

About the Session

In this session, Bill Halligan, Michael Hendrix, Rich Walter, and Brian Schuster will take turns to provide an overview of AEP, the AEP Climate Change Committee and their white paper, and national examples of CAPs and how the conclusions of the AEP White Paper resonate in places outside of California.

About the Presenters

Bill Halligan

In over 30 years of both public and private sector planning experience, Bill has prepared environmental documents for a diverse range of projects, including small-scale residential and large planned communities, high-rise commercial office, industrial, and mixed use. Specific key projects include the The Ontario Plan EIR, Anaheim General Plan and Zoning Code Update, General Plan Amendment and Zone Change EIR for the Northern Sphere Area in Irvine, and the LA County General Plan Update EIR. In addition, Bill was involved in extensive discussions and negotiations with the State Attorney General’s office regarding the analysis of greenhouse gas emissions in project EIRs.Bill earned a Juris Doctor degree specializing in environmental and land use law from the Chapman University School of Law. He is an active member of the Orange County Bar Association, and serves as President of the Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP).

He is a frequent guest lecturer on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and associated case law for AEP’s CEQA Workshop Series, UC Irvine’s Graduate School of Management Program, UC Riverside, and Cal Poly, Pomona. In addition to CEQA documentation, Bill also provides third-party review for legal adequacy of EIRs prepared by other consultants. His diverse background provides him with a unique understanding of planning and zoning law, CEQA, and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). As a member (and former chair) of AEP’s Legislative Review Committee, Bill works directly with AEP’s lobbyist and the State Legislature on proposed legislation related to CEQA. The committee provides analysis, prepares comment letters, and conducts direct lobbying on legislative bills relating to CEQA. This includes meetings with Sacramento legislators and staff, major regulatory officials, and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. He recently taught a “CEQA Basics” class at the capitol for legislators and staffers. With Bill’s input, environmental documents prepared by PlaceWorks can continually withstand legal challenge

Michael Hendrix

"Michael Hendrix is one of the California’s leading climate change and air quality scientists. He is the recent recipient of the Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) ""Professional Achievement Award”. AEP specifically recognized that “his commitment to balancing the need for industrial, commercial and residential development projects in Califronia with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution is evident through his dedication to air quality evaluations and mitigation that significantly reduce air pollution generated by the expansion of these markets.”

Michael regularly meets with various California regulatory agencies including the California Air Resources Board (ARB), the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), and the Attorney General’s Office providing guidance in how to affectively analyze and plan for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions. Mr. Hendrix is the current Chairperson for the AEP Climate Change Committee. In that capacity, he provides leadership within AEP on the issue of climate change and analysis of greenhouse gas emissions."

Brian Schuster

Brian has over 10 years of project management and technical air quality and greenhouse gas (GHG) experience. He has developed, planned, and implemented Climate Action Plans (CAPs) for public and private agencies throughout California. He has authored many environmental impact reports and analyses in compliance with CEQA and NEPA guidelines. In his CAP work, Brian designs comprehensive GHG emissions inventories, evaluates GHG emission reductions from a wide variety of measures, authors planning documents, and engages stakeholders through outreach.

As Project Manager, Brian led CAP projects for the counties of San Bernardino, Sonoma, Marin, and Los Angeles, and for the City of Ontario. Brian also has experience conducting pollutant dispersion modeling using AERMOD and CALINE and has prepared many health risk assessments for complex development projects. He has extensive emissions modeling experience using CalEEMod, EMFAC, OFFROAD, WARM, and ClearPath (Brian is on the SEEC technical advisory committee). He has also designed a number of interactive excel models for clients, including GHG inventorying tools, a lifecycle GHG waste tool, a health risk assessment screening tool, and multiple GHG reduction measure planning and implementation tracking tools.

Rich Walter

"Rich Walter has 26 years of experience in environmental planning, compliance strategy, permitting, and mitigation development and implementation. Rich has led ICF’s California Municipal Climate Action Planning practice which supports local and regional agencies on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate adaptation since 2006.

ICF’s municipal climate action planning team has developed municipal and community climate action plans across California, GHG inventories for hundreds of communities across the U.S., general plan policies addressing climate change, cost-benefit analyses of emission reduction strategies, studies of adaptation to sea level rise, as well as numerous California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents addressing GHG emissions and adaptation. Rich was also a key author for Association of Environmental Professionals white papers on best practices in climate action planning and CEQA compliance concerning climate change as well as California Air Pollution Control Officer’s Association (CAPCOA) white papers on CEQA and Climate Change and on Climate Change and General Plans. Working with the Climate Change Committee of the California Chapter of the Association of Environmental Professionals, he publishes white papers and speaks at conferences on various climate action planning issues."