NAEP President's Letter

Greetings NAEP Members,

The National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP) has been abuzz with activity, in the four months since the 2018 conference. NAEP is responding to advance notice of proposed rulemaking related to the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act. Since the last newsletter, NAEP has added an additional affiliated Chapter, retained a new association management company, implemented the Advanced NEPA workshop pilot project, hosted two additional webinars, advanced planning for the 2019 conference, selected locations for the 2020 and 2021 conference, and adopted a new Code of Ethics. Please share this newsletter with another environmental professional and encourage them to join us.

NAEP Response to Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

NAEP Chair of the NEPA Practice Group, Mr. Chuck Nicholson spearheaded the response (included in this newsletter) to the June 20, 2018, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) titled “Update to the Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act.” Comments are due to CEQ on August 20, 2018.

NAEP Chair of the NEPA Practice Group, Mr. Chuck Nicholson, with support from Minnesota AEP Director, Michael Mayer; and North Carolina AEP President, Ward Marotti are organizing a response to proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration proposed revisions to three sections of the ESA: Section 4, Section 4D, and Section 7:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2018-15812.pdf

https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2018-15810.pdf

https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2018-15811.pdf

Interested members are invited to provide their input during regularly schedule meetings of the NEPA Practice Group in August 2018 or via email to Chuck Nicholson (at [email protected]) and/or Michael Mayer (at [email protected]). At the time of publication of this newsletter, the comments are due on September 24, 2018 at 11:50 EST.

Seventeen (17) Affiliated Chapters

NAEP continues to expand the ranks of affiliated chapters. Most recently, Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Professionals (PAEP) voted to reaffiliate with NAE. PAEP’s request for reaffiliation was unanimously approved at the July Board meeting. There are 27 NAEP members that are located in Pennsylvania, including NAEP Treasurer, Joseph Musil, and NAEP Chair of the Chapters Committee. Joe also serves as the President of PAEP. PAEP’s mission is committed to promoting environmental education, research, planning, assessment, review, and management. NAEP looks forward to affiliating with PAEP.

Chapter development activities are ongoing in Idaho, New York, and Louisiana. Please contact Bill Plumpton at [email protected], if you are interested in establishing in a new Chapter or reaffiliating a State AEP Chapter.

New Association Manager: SBI

SBI Association Management (Ms. Krystina Toscas will serve as Executive Director for NAEP) was unanimously approved as the new Association Manager for NAEP. SBI is based in Seattle, Washington. NAEP appreciates the contributions provided by Meetings eXceptional (Lynne Bynder and Candace Bynder) during the 2017/2018 year. NAEP Treasurer prepared the request for proposal (RFP), that ultimately resulted in the submittal of 12 proposals. The Executive Committee completed a quantitative evaluation of the submitted proposals. NAEP Vice-President, Betty Dehoney, and NAEP Secretary, Stacy Woodson interviewed the two top candidates. Please note the new contact information for NAEP. There is an article later in this newsletter that provides a more thorough introduction.

Advanced NEPA Workshop for Chapters: Pilot Program

The Advanced NEPA workshop, that was conducted at the Annual Conference in Tacoma, was reformatted to focus on “lessons learned” from the 2017 NEPA cases. NAEP VP, Betty Dehoney; California AEP NAEP liaison, Michael Smith; NAEP member, Pam Hudson; Tyler Welti of Vennable LLP; and I served as instructors. The Advanced NEPA Workshop addressed project descriptions, purpose and need, description of alternatives, categorical exclusions; indirect and cumulative impacts, and adaptive management. The pilot program was conducted at two locations hosted by the California AEP: Los Angeles and San Jose. The program was very successful and over 40 people participated in each workshop. The reviews were very positive. Several affiliated chapters have expressed interest in hosting the Advance Workshop in 2019.

Webinars

NAEP Education Chair, Shannon Stewart and committee continued opportunities for distance learning to support environmental professional as they work on the compressed timelines associated with Executive Order 13807, Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure Projects with two related webinars: (1) June 27, 2018, NEPA Best Practices; and (2) August 1, 2018, Exceptional Public Involvement in the Era of Streamlining. The Education Committee has three addition webinars planned for 2018: October 17, 2018, Project Management for NEPA Practitioners; November, 2018, NEPA Compliance for Emergency Actions; and December 12, 2018, Ethics Training for Environmental Professionals. There are two upcoming APU webinars: August 23, 2018, Environmental Projects and the Clean Air Act; and (2) October 25, 2018, Environmental Projects and the Endangered Species Act. 

Upcoming Conferences

Although it’s only been five short months since the amazing conference in Tacoma, Washington, Permanent Conference Chair, Rona Spellecacy the committee have lined up locations for the next three conferences. The Mid-Atlantic Region of Environmental Professionals is hard at work preparing for the annual conference on May 19 to 23, 2019, in Baltimore, Maryland. The Call for Papers, sponsorship opportunities, and lodging information is on the NAEP website, and registration will be open in late summer/early fall. The NAEP Board is excited to announce that the Florida AEP will host the conference in 2020, and Arizona AEP will host in 2021.

New Code of Ethics

NAEP Board of Directors has revised the Code of Ethics to make absolutely clear that the organization has a zero tolerance for discrimination or sexual harassment (please see revised Code of Ethics presented in this Newsletter). There is unanimous commitment to this position by elected at-large board members; however, it is important to acknowledge that the NAEP Board was motivated to reexam the Code of Ethics in light of a complaint made by a participant at the 2018 annual conference who experienced unwanted and uninvited sexual advances by two meeting participants. Kudos to her for setting this process in motion.

Yours in Service,

Marie Campbell
NAEP President

(Updated Aug 26, 2018 by Reid Walley)