Session B5

How Fast-Moving Trends in Environmental Justice/Equity Policy Impact Environmental Practice

Emily Gulick, CEP-IT

9:30 – 11:00 AM ET

About the Presentation

Over the past two years, environmental justice has received an unprecedented amount of attention, amplified by broader social and equity movements across the nation and globe. Since January 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration has made environmental justice a top federal priority, as demonstrated through Executive Order 13985 and 14008, which require a "whole-of-government" approach to advancing environmental justice. In response, all federal agencies and branches of government have been required to consider changes related to EJ. Even for a seasoned environmental practitioner, these new changes are rapid, complex, and overwhelming. Regardless of how political fortunes ebb and flow, it seems apparent that this trajectory will continue to accelerate in the private sector for years to come. Therefore, it is critical for the environmental practitioner to have an understanding and to distill the changes in this ever-changing environment.

The panelists will pull from their diverse backgrounds and experiences to discuss the critical changes to environmental justice policy and law that impact the full range of environmental disciplines. Topics will include NEPA reviews, enforcement defense, permitting decisions, and internal audits and environmental compliance efforts. Specific items for discussion may include:

  • Recent updates to the CEQ'S NEPA implementing procedures, including the Phase 1 revisions and (likely) proposed Phase 2 revisions
  • Anticipated changes to EO 12898 and federal definitions of various key concepts related to EJ policy and metrics
  • Implications of the White House Justice40 initiative
  • Trends in compliance and enforcement, including an uptick in Title VI Civil Rights Act reviews
  • Challenges of EJ analysis including, cumulative effects, health impact assessments, and defining boundaries
  • Utilization of new EJ screening tools
  • Complexities of analyzing benefits and burdens to EJ communities
About the Speaker(s)

Emily Gulick, CEP-IT
Environmental Planner

Emily Gulick is an Environmental Planner for Jacobs Engineering and has 4 years of industry experience. She primarily focuses on supporting large-scale and highly controversial NEPA projects for federal agencies, including NASA, DoD, and NSF and supports an internal community of practice for Environmental Impact Assessments, providing input on the latest industry trends. Emily is extremely passionate about the environmental industry and the trajectory of environmental justice. Emily also co-founded and leads the NAEP Environmental Justice Working Group. Emily holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a B.A. in Geography from the University of Colorado Boulder. Additionally, Emily has been a member of NAEP for her entire (albeit short) environmental career.

Fred Wagner
Venable, LLP

Fred Wagner focuses on environmental and natural-resources issues associated with major infrastructure, mining, and energy project development. Fred manages and defends environmental reviews under the NEPA or equivalent state statutes. He works with public agencies and private developers to secure permits and approvals from federal and state regulators under CWA, ESA, and NHPA. He served as Chief Counsel at the Federal Highway Administration (2010-2014), where he supervised enforcement and policy initiatives involving both EJ and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Fred is a regular NAEP lecturer on EJ/equity for Advanced NEPA Workshops.

Jennifer Marshall, PE
Director of Environmental Management
Florida Department of Transportation

Jennifer Marshall has over 20 years of experience in the transportation industry including planning, NEPA and project development, roadway design, construction and maintenance. She is a registered professional civil engineer and currently serves as the Director of Environmental Management for the Florida Department of Transportation. Jennifer has extensive experience working in both the private and public sectors.


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