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Public Utilities

A San Francisco Study: Using CEQA to Support EPA Financing for Water Projects

Karen Frye, Jill Hamilton, and Alaina McCurdy

Monday, May 20
International Room
4:00 PM

About the Session

This case study will compare environmental requirements for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) and State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs to help finance a large, complex wastewater treatment project in a residential neighborhood. The panel will discuss the challenges of building the project within an archaeological site, historic district, San Francisco designated Air Pollutant Exposure Zone and socioeconomically disadvantaged community.

About the Presenters

Karen Frye

Karen Frye is a NEPA and CEQA Practitioner with over 25 years of experience. She has worked in both the private and public sector. As a Senior Environmental Project Manager with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Karen managed several CEQA projects for the SFPUC's Water System Improvement Project and is now the Environmental Manager responsible for overseeing environmental review on all of the SFPUC's Sewer System Improvement Program. Karen has a BS degree in the Political Economy of Natural Resources from UC Berkeley.

Jill Hamilton

Jill Hamilton, Principal Associate with Environmental Science Associates, has more than 25 years' experience as an environmental analyst and project manager in the preparation of environmental documents to meet NEPA and CEQA requirements. Her focus is on water resources plans and projects: water supply and water rights, water and wastewater infrastructure, flood protection, and restoration. Since joining ESA in 1990 she has managed all phases of environmental planning, including siting constraints, EIR/EIS preparation, permitting, and construction monitoring. She is currently an instructor in ESA’s Project Management training program, teaches introductory courses in environmental compliance to engineers in the public and private sector, and has taught seminars at UC Berkeley and Hastings College of Law on alternatives screening and assessment under CEQA and NEPA. Recently, Ms. Hamilton served as the Project Manager for the consultant team preparing the Biosolids Digester Facilities Project EIR.

Alaina McCurdy

Alaina is a part of EPA’s WIFIA Program. Her role in WIFIA program includes working on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and environmental cross-cutting authorities compliance for WIFIA projects, such as the National Historic Preservation Act and the Endangered Species Act. Before joining the WIFIA program in late 2017, Alaina was part of EPA Region 3’s Office of Environmental Programs, based in Philadelphia, PA, where she worked for more than eight years on the R3 NEPA Team. Alaina has reviewed Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements for major federal actions in multiple sectors, including mining, transportation, and natural gas pipelines; she has also spent several years working in the Clean Water Act Section 404 program. She holds a B.A. in Geology and Environmental Studies.