The GEC Steering Committee proudly presents the 2023 program as follows:
Wednesday 23 Aug 2023
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM Early Session
ES1 Student Research Presentations
Moderator: Scott Anderson, Haley & AldrichRoom 1/2
The invited Student Scholarship finalists will present their posters and research, with brief time for Q&A.
ES2 Pre-Planning and Post-Disaster Building Health Science Response for Portfolio Property Owners and Managers
Moderator: Larry Malizzi, Ramboll; Presenters: Kevin Aikman, Ramboll; Brian Reilly, CK Associates; Adam Martin, RambollRoom 4/5
With 14 named storms in 2022, to include the destructive Hurricane Ian, and predictions of increasing number of storm events into the future, owners and managers of property portfolios need to be prepared to respond to post-disaster building health science concerns. This 1.5-hour workshop presents strategies and considerations when preparing and deploying response teams brought in to address post-disaster building environmental condition, such as, indoor air quality, drinking water, water damage, mold, ACMs, lead paint, PCBs, and legionella. Response teams may be brought in to address insurance claims or determine building conditions for safe re-occupancy. In either case, responses present planning, operation, and technical challenges for the teams, such as, licensing, training, management, staffing, scaling, mobilization, logistics, health and safety, and security. Experts will present practical advice and lessons learned from previous disaster responses in an interactive format. We will present perspectives from client representatives responsible preparing for a response and deploying teams to effected sites; field managers balancing licensing requirements with staffing, and logistical needs, as well as, reporting and quality control; and field staff working in potentially dangerous conditions immediately after a storm to collect data and samples so clients can resume operations as soon as possible.
ES3 Myth Busting: Can I Really Reuse an Old, Abandoned Gas Station?
Speakers: Saralyn Stafford, University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute; Miles Ballogg, ENCORE Services; Susan Cremering, S E K Consulting; Camilla Warren, US EPA Region 4; Mallory Miller, US EPA Region 4 Underground Storage Tank Program; David Hayes, US EPA; Luebn Raytchev, Georgia Conservancy; Jay Kemberling, GA Environmental Protection Division; Allen Booker, Glynn County Commission; Felicia Harris, City of Brunswick, Father Bill Barton, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, DarienBen Porter Salon
Numerous abandoned gas stations dot the landscape along US Highway 17, which runs the length of the Atlantic Coastline. While millions of travelers and tourists take Interstate Highways, locals prefer the “old” Hwy 17. However, what is missing is the commercial and other services needed by small and remote communities. Many continue to solve this problem by using former gas stations, also known in the environmental world as Underground Storage Tanks or UST sites. Two Roundtable Sessions will address first, what is most needed by a rural community: Quality Health Care, Jobs, Shopping and Services, Ways to address Environmental and Health Concerns, and second, defining the specific steps to determine if a site such as a UST/abandoned gas station or other “Brownfield” qualifies for no-cost technical assistance to begin a reuse scenario to address community needs.
1:15 PM - 2:30 PM : Breakout Session 1
1.1 EPA Region 4 Air Update and Upcoming Changes: Legal Perspective
Presenters: Tony Toney, EPA Region 4; Grady Moore, Balch & Bingham; Mack McGuffey, Troutman PepperRoom 11
EPA Region 4 Air and Radiation Division update, with updates to air regulations from a legal perspective, as well as an explanation of key differences between major and minor air permitting, a summary of recent efforts by EPA and environmental groups to more closely scrutinize minor air permits, and tips on how to minimize the risk of challenges and delays in applying for and obtaining a minor air permit.
1.2 Trends in Solid Waste Management in Georgia and Beyond
Moderator: Kathleen Bowen, Impact Public Affairs; Presenters: Suki Janssen, Athens-Clarke County; Andrew Bielecki, Sansom EquipmentRoom 4/5
Join this discussion with solid waste experts as they discuss emerging collection technology, state of recycling, composting, reuse initiatives, staffing, and so much more. Participants will leave with a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges in solid waste management.
1.3 Sustainability Considerations for Brownfield Redevelopment
Presenters: Doug Maddams, Geosyntec; Rebecca Davis, Arnall Golden Gregory; Rich Glaze, Barnes & ThornburgRoom 7/8
This presentation will include an overview of corporate sustainability, or ESG, and how these nontechnical issues may affect the siting and implementation of brownfield projects including the impact of risks from proposed development and proposed redevelopment. It will look at measures companies should use to identify, mitigate and manage risks, such as identifying and engaging with associated stakeholders to avoid delays and increased costs by using governance and ESG risk management processes. The presentation will also address the growing "anti-ESG" sentiment and how it may affect the success of risk management processes.
1.4 Gopher Tortoises: Rehoming for Renewable Energy
Moderator: Allen Jacks, Southern Company Gas; Speakers: James Hunt, Georgia DNR; Jesse Brown, Burns & McDonnellRoom 3
Siting and operation of utility scale PV projects require avoiding, minimizing, and mitigating for impacts to wildlife. Presenters share results from a recent case study and the latest insights on solar and gopher tortoise interaction, regulatory guidance, research opportunities, and development strategies for solar projects in Georgia.
1.5 Brunswick and Coastal Brownfields
Moderator: Camilla Warren, US EPA Region 4; Presenters: Luben Raytchev, Georgia Conservancy; Mallory Miller, US EPA Region 4 Underground Storage Tank Program; Jay Kemberling, GA EPD; David Hayes, US EPABen Porter Salon
This is a continuation of Early Session #3 with a more in-depth discussion of the Norwich Corridor where GA Conservancy has supported City of Brunswick with Community Engagement and Technical Assistance to evaluate revitalization options. Participants from Early Session #3 will have an opportunity to ask questions about site eligibility for EPA Targeted Brownfields Assessment. Community First Planning Commission Leaders invited: Glynn County Commissioner Allen Booker; City of Brunswick Commissioner Felicia Harris; Pastor Darren West, Charlene Thompkins, Dr Kavanough Chandler, and Father Bill Barton, St Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Darien, GA.
1.6 Ethics for Environmental Professionals
Moderator: Patrick Krechowski, Balch & Bingham; Presenters: Leif Palmer, US EPA Region IV; Will Medlin, Woodard & CurranRoom 9/10
This session will cover general ethics requirements and guidelines for both legal and non-legal practitioners with a focus on public-private interactions. We will examine how environmental professionals can best navigate ethical delimmas and reporting requirements by using case studies/examples from local, state, and federal jurisdictions as teaching tools.
1.7 The Maui Case and the Clean Water Act: What You Need to Know
Moderator: Dawn Santoianni, Haley & Aldrich; Speaker(s): Thomas Casey, Balch & Bingham; Chris Jones, Haley & Aldrich; Kiel Sims, Fisher ArnoldRoom 1/2
This session will provide an overview on the implications of the SCOTUS decision which now defines groundwater which flows into surface water as a potential “point source” discharge. A review of the legal implications, updates on case law since the decision, and a review of the seven functional equivalents will be provided.
3:00 PM - 4:15 PM : Breakout Session 2
2.1 The NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)
Moderator: Cliff Lewis, GA EPD; Speaker: Krisha Whiting, Natural Resources Conservation ServiceRoom 3
The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) protects the agricultural viability and related conservation values of eligible land by limiting nonagricultural uses which negatively affect agricultural uses and conservation values, protect grazing uses and related conservation values by restoring or conserving eligible grazing land, and protecting and restoring and enhancing wetlands on eligible land. ACEP Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) and Wetlands Reserve Easements (WRE) help private and tribal landowners, land trusts, and other entities such as state and local governments protect croplands and grasslands, and protect, restore and enhance wetlands which have been previously degraded due to agricultural uses. The benefits, eligibility, and the process will all be presented.
2.2 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) Implementation Challenges, Lessons Learned, and Success Stories
Moderator: Danny Daws, Nestle Purina; Speakers: Amy Bruce, Nestle Purina; Christine Mayo, Burns & McDonnellRoom 11
In this session, we will discuss recent ISO 14001 EMS implementations at an industrial facility in north Georgia, a McCain Foods appetizer plant in Nampa, Idaho, and a Nestle Purina pet food plant in north Georgia. While many facilities are already considering or even performing elements of an EMS prior to implementation of a formal system, the process to establish and certify a system can be fraught with challenges including regulatory, logistical, and cultural considerations. We will discuss the similarities and differences between these facilities’ implementation processes, and detail the challenges, successes, and lessons learned along the way.
2.3 Extended Reality and the Conceptual Site Model: The Future is Now
Moderator: Ben Chandler, Haley & Aldrich; Presenters: David Heicher, GeoImaging; Ben Rivers, Federal Highway Administration; Nick Machairas, Haley & AldrichRoom 4/5
Environmental remediation is an inherently complex, spatial problem. Environmental practitioners are challenged to effectively understand, make decisions, and communicate issues using abstract representations of traditional 2-D media. To overcome these challenges, progressive environmental practitioners are beginning to leverage real-time, 3-D media like extended reality (XR) to provide them with the super-powers needed, like time travel and x-ray vision, to spur stakeholder engagement and positive outcomes. This session will overview the XR landscape of virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality solutions available to environmental practitioners, and feature use cases and proofs of concept demonstrating how XR can help you make more effective decisions in remediation.
2.4 Public Utility Infrastructure: The Environment and Permitting
Moderator: Flynt Barksdale, Pond; Presenters: Patrick Winnubst, Southern Company Gas; Kevin Mullinax, MEAG; Jennifer Cannon, Georgia Power CorporationRoom 9/10
Meeting the energy demands of growing areas presents numerous challenges. Ensuring that new and upgraded infrastructure meet current regulatory requirements and are implemented utilizing sound stewardship techniques is critical to a successful projects. Join our panelists in a discussion of the varying ways that utilities can meet these challenges in an environmentally sustainable way, and explore their challenges and successes with environmental management of their assets.
2.5 EPD Brownfield Program Update/Case Study: Redevelopment of High-profile, Complex, Former Industrial Property
Moderator: John Spinrad, Arnall Golden Gregory; Presenters: Shannon Ridley, Georgia Environmental Protection Division; Leonard Diprima, United Consulting; James Coughlin, Camden County Joint Development AuthorityBen Porter Salon
An update on the Georgia Environmental Protection Division Brownfield Program to include new staff structure, project trends, and the increased complexities and challenges of properties entering the program. Also presented will be an advanced brownfield project case study, “Brownfield 4.0,” of an approximately 900-acre former coastal industrial complex that incorporates current program trends, and the economic opportunities the property creates for the community.
2.6 Using Groundwater Transport Models to Determine the Effects of River Infiltration/Exfiltration on CCR Saturation Levels
Presenter(s): Brian Hennings, RambollRoom 1/2
Flooding of rivers adjacent to Coal Combustion Residual (CCR) impoundments may result in short-term increases in groundwater levels and present the potential for groundwater to contact and/or saturate CCR which is typically located above the water table. This session presents a case study for use of a groundwater flow and transport model for evaluation of intermittent CCR saturation from river flooding and changes in boron concentrations in groundwater which may result.
2.7 PFAS Regulatory Roadmap Session
Moderator: Monique Latalladi, WSP; Speakers: Brian Smith: EPA Region 4 Water Division; Frannie Nilsen, NC Department of Environmental Quality; Jennifer Welte, Georgia Environmental Protection Division; Tamaria McAlpin, Alabama Department of Environmental ManagementRoom 7/8
The panel discussion will feature representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4, Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GEPD), Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), and North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) who will present their perspectives on the status of PFAS regulations as well as ongoing and future action plans.
4:30 PM - 5:45 PM : Breakout Session 3
3.1 Utilizing Horizontal Directionally Drilled Wells for a Variety of Remediation Applications
Moderator: Brian Jeffers, Geo Lab Drilling; Presenter(s): Brian Shinall, Ellingson-DTD; Kyle Carlton, Geosyntec; Craig Divine, ArcadisRoom 1/2
Application of cutting-edge technologies associated with Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) requires a basic understanding of the various methodologies available, their physical capabilities and limitations, and the numerous considerations to be given for their selection as a site remediation strategy. This session will discuss these concepts and highlight case studies showing the benefits of HDD technologies for large-scale and small-scale remediation efforts. A case study will be presented showcasing the utilization of HDD wells for hydraulic control and freshwater injection beneath Coal Combustion Residual (CCR) ponds, and an in-depth look at the The Horizontal Reactive Treatment Well (HRX Well) for In-Situ cVOC and PFAS mass flux/discharge reduction will be presented.
3.2 Investigation and Prosecution of Environmental Crimes: a Looming Threat
Moderator: Larry Lamberth, US EPA; Presenters: Rich Glaze, Barnes & Thornburg; Deborah Harris, DOJ Environmental Crimes Section; Chuck Carfagno, EPA Criminal Investigation DivisionRoom 9/10
With a an enhanced budget from the Biden Administration, the EPA Criminal investigation Division and Department of Justice have received a “shot in the arm” and the number of investigations and prosecutions are growing. This session will provide an overview of environmental criminal enforcement, including the primary federal environmental crimes, the personnel who enforce and prosecute these matters, the consequences of prosecution and conviction to businesses and individuals and how EPA’s mission is augmented by state and local enforcement. Top Department of Justice and EPA CID officials will be joined by experiences criminal defense counsel to address these issues and answer questions from the audience.
3.3 Plastic Recycling in the Circular Economy
Presenter(s): Eric Hartz, Nexus CircularRoom 3
Advanced Recycling is a necessary complement to mechanical recycling to expand the lifecycle of plastics, accelerate the plastics circular economy and achieve the goal of eliminating plastic waste from our environment. Advanced Recycling extracts value from harder-to-recycle plastics by converting them into their original building blocks which are then used as feedstocks to create new virgin-quality plastics, decreasing the dependence on fossil-fuels. Hear how a commercial leader in advanced recycling has taken a unique approach to develop an end-to-end comprehensive, circular solution to return plastics to productive use and address difficult-to-recycle plastics, especially films and flexible packaging that are typically landfilled or leak into the environment. You will learn how to successfully scale a pyrolysis-based advanced recycling facility to ensure a viable, economical and energy-efficient process with minimal environmental impact.
3.4 USACE Regulatory Update
Moderator: William Rutlin, USACE; Presenters: Jason O’Kane, Shaun Blocker Sarah Wise, and Justin Hammonds, USACERoom 4/5
United States Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District Regulatory Division will provide an update on current and anticipated permitting trends as well as technical updates regarding Regulatory Division. The organization as a whole, the regional regulatory center, larger commercial permits, and the status of mitigation in Georgia will be discussed.
3.5 Industrial Stormwater General Permit Update
Moderator: Monique Latalladi, WSP; Speaker(s): Veronica Craw, GA EPD; Dominic Weatherill, Georgia Power; Warren Howe, Woodruff & Howe Environmental EngineeringRoom 11
This session will provide an overview of GAEPD's updated 2022 Stormwater Industrial General Permit (IGP). A varied panel of experts consisting of regulators, consultants, and industry will discuss changes to the permit and implementation requirements.
3.6 Optimizing Data Management on a Statewide Energy Program with Technology
Moderator: Chris Fleming, Ecobot; Presenters: Fawn Armagost, Burns & McDonnell; Olivia Haney, EcobotBen Porter Salon
Present a case study of Burns & McDonnell's use of Ecobot and Esri's products to collect, organize, deliver, and present large amounts of field data across a statewide project. Highlight the use of technology encouraging standardization, modernization, and data integrity. Conclude with a look ahead to how environmental workflows on energy projects can utilize technology to further optimize the permitting process.
3.7 PFAS MDL Update
Moderator:Jonathan Wells, KMCL; Speakers: Tiffany Thomas, Haley & Aldrich; Jennifer Simon, KMCLRoom 7/8
Despite several big and small settlements in advance of the first planned AFFF MDL bellwether trial in June, the overwhelming majority of actions in the MDL remain unresolved. This panel will discuss the scope of the proposed settlements to date, what issues remain, and the ramifications for the parties in the MDL as well as inother current or potential litigation. This will include an overview of some of the central technical and legal arguments as well as the limitations of the current state of the science as it applies to the execution of forensic evaluations, treatment options, and the toxicological risk assessment.
Thursday 24 Aug 2023
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM : Breakout Session 4
4.1 Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission Conservation and Agricultural Best Management Practices Programs
Moderator: Cliff Lewis, GA EPD; Speaker: Ben Hyer, Georgia Soil & Water CommissionRoom 3
Georgia Soil & Water Commission conservation programs and best management practices (BMPs) seek to conserve and enhance soil and water resources on private lands through the use of BMPs, funded yearly by the federal Farm Bill and delivered through the state's soil and water conservation districts. Farmers and landowners help build sustainable Georgia agriculture by voluntarily implementing conservation BMPs on their lands to reduce soil erosion and other non-point source pollutants from agricultural land managed by the state's 40,000 agricultural producers.
4.2 GA EPD Air Protection Update
Presenters: Jim Boylan and DeAnna Oser, GA EPDRoom 1/2
Regulatory updates from GA EPD's Air Protection Branch.
4.3 Public and Private Sector Water Reuse Trends: Challenges and Opportunities
Moderator: David Bell, Jacobs; Speaker(s): Huiet Joseph, Cox Enterprises; Bob Salvatelli, NextEra; Jennifer Heymann, Water Plan; Danny Johnson, MNGWPDRoom 11
This session will focus on trends related to water reuse in the public and private sector. A diverse panel of speakers will discuss challenges and opportunities related to corporate water stewardship, ESG commitments, and implementing public-private partnerships focused on water reuse projects.
4.4 Vapor Intrusion Mitigation in New Construction
Presenters: Zarah Thanasides, EAI Inc.; Jeffery Entin, SLR Consulting; Matt Geary, CETCOBen Porter Salon
This session will provide guidance on addressing vapor intrusion at remediation and redevelopment of new construction sites. Presented case studies will demonstrate the processes that include screening, investigation, remediation and mitigation of the vapor pathways. Expert panels will review and discuss various vapor mitigation techniques.
4.5 Major Industrial Site Development in Coastal Georgia: Real Estate Trends and Wetland Permitting
Moderator: Will Medlin, Woodard & Curran; Speakers: Trip Tollison, Savannah EDA; Alton Brown, Resource & Land ConsultantsRoom 9/10
As large-scale industries seek to do business along the Atlantic Coast, that often entails a robust due diligence and competetive site selection process among several locations. Wetlands and other natural resource constraints can pose challenges and opportunities for companies as they look to expand their operations. A strategic environmental permitting approach coupled with excellent state and local incentives may serve to help Georgia win industrial investment in the future. This session will discuss some of the primary reasons to locate a business in Coastal Georgia, as well as help identify some of the environmental challenges associated with development.
4.6 Economy: Environmental Infrastructure Billions
Moderator: Nicole Stuhr, Geosyntec; Speakers: Stephanie Owen, Geosyntec Consultants; Bill Gaffigan, Geosyntec ConsultantsRoom 4/5
This presentation will explore the intersection of the economy with spending on environmental programs and infrastructure. Economists Bill Gaffigan and Stephanie Owen will start by providing a macro-level take of the national and Georgia economies by looking at key economic indicators. Then, they will dive into an overview of Georgia’s environmental outlook considering climate change and other environmental factors. Lastly, they will meet at the intersection of the economy and environment by exploring the billions being allocated at the federal and state levels to environmental programs and infrastructure projects.
4.7 PFAS Destruction Technology Workshop
Moderator: Monique Latalladi, WSP; Speakers: Dora Chiang, WSP; Yifei Wang, UGARoom 7/8
The workshop will review PFAS destruction technologies that are currently under research, development, and demonstration. The workshop will also discuss the potential benefits and limitations of each destruction technology for scale-up water treatment systems.
4.8 Plenary Follow On: Data Quality and Scientific Integrity
Speakers: John Blevins, US EPA Region 4; Katherine Moore, GA Conservancy; Mark Risse, UGA; Lee Lance, Ecobot; Philip Seagraves, Middle Tennessee State University; Lucas Barroso-Giachetti, S&MEExhibit Hall
Round Table Discussion with Plenary Speakers and other industry experts to further discuss EPA Scientific Integrity Policy in greater detail following the Thursday morning Plenary Session. Topics will include scientific integrity and data quality from environmental sampling plans to decision making where environmental data is used, ranging from wildlife habitat and human exposure, to land use decisions related to agriculture and real estate. Data analysts and users are encouraged to attend.
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM : Breakout Session 5
5.1 Management of Pollinator Habitat Along Right-of-Way Corridors and a Case Study: Jekyll Island Causeway
Moderator: Will Medlin, Woodard & Curran; Speakers: Raina Singleton, Woodard & Curran; Warren Wagner, Georgia Power Company; Yank Moore and Joseph Colbert, Jekyll Island AuthorityRoom 9/10
Biodiversity is critical to sustaining life on earth and helping to mitigate many of the effects of climate change. Consequently, it is important for organizations to consider how their actions affect the various communities and forms of life on earth. This session will focus on the importance of pollinators, their habitat, and how to manage for pollinator habitat along infrastructure corridors. The session will also include a special case study describing how Georgia Power Company partnered with the Jekyll Island Authority to enhance over five miles of pollinator habitat along the Jekyll Island Causeway following a transmission line upgrade project.
5.2 Land Protection Branch Update
Moderator: Beth Blalock, Gilbert Harrell Sumerford and Martin; Speakers: Chuck Mueller, Sarah Visser and Jason Metzger, GA EPDBen Porter Salon
This session will provide updates from the Georgia EPD Land Branch, including branch-wide updates to regulations, guidance and program staffing in addition to highlights from past year and upcoming changes.
5.3 Applications, Production, and Use of Renewable Transportation Fuels
Moderator: Frank Morris, Clean Cities Georgia; Speakers: Chris Coan, Municipal Gas Authority; Carl Garofalo, Southern Company GasRoom 3
This panel will focus on the emissions reductions and benefits of Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), biodiesel, renewable propane, and hydrogen for fleet vehicles. RNG is being introduced into natural gas pipeline systems from sources such as landfills, wastewater treatment facilities, and agricultural waste digesters. Biodiesel, renewable propane and hydrogen generated from renewable resources is also available. Fleets can now purchase renewable fuels for their vehicles thereby further reducing their carbon footprint and generating credits under various federal and state programs that encourage the development of renewable transportation fuels. This panel will also include an assessment of the potential opportunities to develop renewable fuels here in Georgia from the agricultural sector.
5.4 Focusing on the "S" in ESG: Community Engagement Practices to Address Environmental Justice Concerns
Moderator: Dawn Santoianni, Haley & Aldrich; Speakers: Dionne Delli-Gatti, EDF; Pamela Fann, Clean Cities Georgia; Rachael Thompson, Glynn Enviornmental CoalitionRoom 1/2
Environmental justice (EJ) is reshaping the ways companies engage with their employees, communities, and stakeholders. This panel will explore the ways in which EJ is fundamentally changing public input process for remediation projects, clean energy development, and corporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies. As EJ is considered in the development of state and federal environmental policies and regulatory programs, organizations can take actions now to understand EJ concerns in the communities where they operate.
5.5 Technologies to Remove or Reduce the Presence of PFAS in Wastewater and Water Treatment Plants
Moderator: Monique Latalladi, WSP; Presenters: Yifei Wang and Gary Hawkins, UGARoom 7/8
PFAS or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are present in almost everything we have used in the past few decades and is one of the current emerging contaminates of concern. Researchers at UGA and Georgia Tech are working to evaluate and improve eight different technologies which may be potentially used in water and wastewater treatment plants for Rural Communities to remove PFAS for the protection of their citizens. This presentation will present information on the eight technologies being researched, how they perform, and how these different technologies could be used in treatment trains in rural communities to remove PFAS. The presentation will also include ways the information is being shared with various groups including the local government officials to help better inform them of technologies being used to remove these emerging contaminates of concern to protect public health.
5.6 Water Law Roundup: The Sacket Case and Water Caselaw in the Southeast
Moderator: Shelly Ellerhorst, KMCL; Speaker(s): Jonathan Wells, KMCL; April Lipscomb, SELC; Elizabeth Holden, Jones FortunaRoom 11
This session will provide an overview on the implications of the 2023 Supreme Court decision to limit the definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulated under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Additionally, this session will focus on both national and southeastern water caselaw and Georgia water law developments.
5.7 Debris and Waste Materials Management in Post-Storm Disaster Recovery
Moderator: Lawrence Malizzi, Ramboll; Presenter(s): Shane Thompson, Cirba Solutions; Joe Shearn, Miller Environmental Group; Brian Reilly, CK Associates; Don Rigger, Kemron; Matthew J. Huyser, US EPD Region 4Room 4/5
The frequency of storms has been increasing over time with NOAA predicting 12-17 named storms and five to nine hurricanes this year. The subsequent disposal of debris and other wastes has become a post-storm challenge. Private and public entities need to have plans in place for managing this waste, to include Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM), Electric Vehicle (EV) Batteries, and other hazardous wastes and construction debris. This panel will share lessons learned from recent storm responses.
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM : Breakout Session 6
6.1 Managing PFAS in Stormwater
Moderator: Tim Fitzpatrick, SGS AXYS Analytical Services; Speaker(s): Jaana Pietari, RambollRoom 7/8
Management of PFAS can be challenging as sources, pathways and release mechanisms of PFAS are not all well understood. Compounded with the lack of criteria for some environmental media, such as stormwater, management of may require efforts beyond those sufficient for other sites. This presentation will describe a case study of an industrial facility that spray-applied fluoropolymer coatings onto medical devices for over 40 years. Stormwater runoff from the facility roof was identified as one of the sources of PFAS in the soil and groundwater at the facility. The case study will discuss comprehensive source identification approach, development of a stormwater threshold, and mitigation of PFAS in stormwater.
6.2 Advancing Sustainability Through Industrialized Construction Practices
Moderator: Ben Chandler, Haley & Aldrich; Speakers: Stacy Scopano, JE Dunn; Nathan Bessette, Southface Institute; Jeff Kudrick, Blue Ocean TechnologiesRoom 9/10
As the global push for development continues, sustainable construction and low embodied carbon buildings will be needed to tackle climate change. Industrialized construction (IC) is a potential hot bed for innovation and sustainability, already reaping benefits such as improved quality, reduced labor costs, safer working conditions, and decreased construction time. Integrating sustainability with IC requires a whole-systems approach that considers the life cycle of building materials, the energy used in construction and maintenance, and the impact of the built environment.
6.3 Georgia EPD Watershed Protection Branch Updates
Moderator: David Bell, Jacobs; Speaker(s): Anna Truszczynski, GAEPD; Jennifer Welte, GAEPDRoom 4/5
This session will provide an overview of the latest regulatory updates from GAEPD's Watershed Protection Branch.
6.4 Brownfield Rails-to-Trails Drives Economic Development in Gainesville, GA: Planning Bites
Moderator: Andrew Montgomery, Geosyntec; Speakers: Tom Wurzinger and Amy Dzialowski Geosyntec; Jessica Tullar, City of Gainesville; Tasha Hall-Garrison, City of College Park; Derek Street, StantecBen Porter Salon
In 2008, the City of Gainesville acquired a Georgia Recreational Trails Grant from GA DRN, and subsequently purchased a former rail line from CSX Transportation (CSXT) in conjunction with CSXT’s rails-to-trails program. The former rail line was subsequently enrolled in the Georgia EPD’s brownfields program and identified impacts were remediated as necessary. This former rail corridor was then developed as part of a 14-mile walking trail and park system. This brownfields/rails-to-trails project was the catalyst to over $300 million of private/non-City government investments in the area. This success to the community has encouraged the City of Gainesville to purchase an additional connecting former CSXT rail line which is also enrolling in the brownfields program. How a community can leverage an EPA brownfield grant to align brownfield site reuse with local economic, infrastructure, social, and environmental conditions. When it comes to brownfield redevelopment projects and their funding, timing is critical and projects need to be logically sequenced to maximize benefit and momentum. Small wins early on can be unduly valuable in building stakeholder support, demonstrating organizational capacity, and leading to bigger wins. With every community having its own unique revitalization goals, successful brownfield redevelopment comes in many forms. To successfully move a brownfield site toward reuse, you must introduce your project and vision to potential partners early on in the process and take into the account a myriad of factors that affect reuse.
6.5 Up in the Air: Environmental Justice's Evolving Role in Permitting
Moderator: Jonathan Wells, KMCL; Speaker(s): Kate Hopkins, KMCL; Alex Trachtenberg, Hummingbird; Jennifer Whitfield, SELCRoom 11
In addition to US EPA’s recent focus on environmental justice nationally, environmental justice is becoming more prominent in Georgia as well, with a recent challenge to an EPD air permit based on environmental justice concerns, as well as a complaint filed with US EPA Region IV alleging that Georgia is not complying with environmental justice regulations in its air permitting program. Learn about these and other environmental justice issues as they relate to siting and permitting facilities under the Clean Air Act.
6.6 Properly Handling Your Problem Child: The Multifaceted Approach to Tackling Large Site Cleanup
Moderator: Adria Reimer, Geosyntec; Presenter(s): Brendan Gerber, Geo Lab Drilling; Jacques Smith, SiREM; Jennifer Tilton, ArcadisRoom 1/2
Large complex sites with co-contaminated plumes often require a robust strategy to achieve site-specific remediation goals. The objectives of in situ treatment must take into consideration limitations of inhibition, geochemistry, soil/bedrock matrices, and numerous other factors which make optimizing remediation necessary. This session discusses improved remedial performance using advanced injection strategies and passive sampling techniques, demonstrating through two case-studies, various approaches for knocking out Chloroform-contaminated groundwater that won't put you to sleep!
6.7 ASTSWMO 101 and Lithium Battery Recycling in Georgia
Moderator: Tim Richards, WSP; Presenters: Dania Rodriguez, ASTSWMO; Holly Nelson, GA EPD; Eric Frederickson, Call 2 RecycleRoom 3
An introduction to the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO), Georgia’s experience with Lithium Ion battery recycling, and environmental and economic differences between end-of-life management of traditional combustion engines and EV batteries, including identifying issues that could lead to costs being absorbed by states/municipalities.
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM : Breakout Session 7
7.1 PFAS Methodologies for Wastewater and Solid Waste Professionals and Review of PFAS in Air: What Are the Concentrations?
Moderator: Tim Fitzpatrick, SGS AXYS Analytical Services; Speaker(s): Lindsay Boone, PACE Labs; Julia Roth, SGS North AmericaRoom 7/8
The PFAS Strategic Roadmap outlines the EPA’s core objectives to research, restrict, and remediate PFAS. The Strategic Roadmap contains a section that specifically speaks to biosolids. This section states that the EPA will be finalizing its risk assessment for PFOA and PFOS in biosolids by winter 2024. This risk assessment will impact wastewater treatment plants as well as solid waste facilities such as municipal landfills and beyond. It is of the upmost importance for impacted facilities to determine the level of PFAS in their biosolid and sludge. This presentation will be a deep dive into the analytical methodologies available to determine PFAS levels. We will cover both speciated PFAS methods such as EPA 1633 and Total Oxidizable Precursor Assay (TOPS) as we as non-speciated organic fluorine methods (TOF, AOF, EOF, TF).Per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in air have recently received more research focus in the environmental field leading to many new publications. As more data becomes available it can be difficult to evaluate based on the different sampling and analytical methods, including different analyte lists. This review will cover studies that have evaluated PFAS in indoor and outdoor air with a focus on PFAS compounds identified in air for each of the sampling and analytical methods.
7.2 Stormwater Management Challenges for Solar Development Projects
Moderator: Nicole Stuhr, Geosyntec; Presenters: Jared Eubanks, Geosyntec; Kimberley Hale, KMCLRoom 11
Solar farm developments have increased within Georgia as we diversify our energy sources to include more green energy. These developments have unique characteristics with regard to stormwater management and erosion control, including impervious solar panels laying on top of grass pastures. Design and construction of solar farms have the potential to negatively impact natural resources such as streams, lakes, and wetlands when these unique circumstances are not adequately balanced. This session will discuss changes in regulatory requirements, best practices in design and construction, and innovative collaborations with agriculture to keep the environmental preservation heart of green energy integrated at all levels of the project.
7.3 In-Situ Strategies and Approaches for Establishing Your Path to Site Closure: Why MORE is Less
Moderator: Brian Jeffers, Geo Lab Drilling; Presenter(s): David Heicher, GeoImaging; Shandra Justicia-Leon, Arcadis; Jim Depa, J&HRoom 3
Evaluating the variability in mass flux and transport at strategic locations along the length of chlorinated volatile organic compound (CVOC) plumes, identifying storage zones in low permeability soils and assessing contaminant distributions across various lithologic units is not accomplished with a minimal number of data points. A cocktail of high resolution site characterization, confirmation sampling and 3-D modeling aide in developing a remedial strategy that effectively shortens the duration of cleanup times at your contaminated site. This session showcases these various technologies and highlights a case-study at Moody Air Force Base located in Valdosta, GA.
7.4 Planning for Climate Change: How Extreme Weather and Climate Variability Are Influencing Remediation and Sustainable Development
Moderator: Susan Jackson, Haley & Aldrich; Speakers: Jane Campbell, Santee Cooper; Nathan Bessette, Southface Institute; Nicholas Tucci, Haley & AldrichRoom 4/5
Climatic shifts create the potential for more frequent and stronger storms, greater natural variability in site conditions, and increasing risks to the built environment and operations. Climate considerations touch all aspects of environmental planning and design. Utilities are incorporating climate resilience in their long-term plans to provide reliable service, developers are designing buildings to be more resilient, and companies across sectors are accouting for shifting environmental conditions in remediation and compliance strategies. Speakers will share real world experiences on climate considerations in coal generation retirements and replacement capacity, sustainable development, hurricane planning and response, and how to account for dynamic site conditions driven by climatic events. Assessing site risks associated with a changing climate includes modeling these changes across a range of remedial approaches, applying sustainability principles to best management practices, and optimizing environmental and social benefits.
7.5 Brownfields Redevelopment with Solutions for Complex Hydrogeologic Conditions
Moderator: Daniel Grogan, WSP; Presenters: Gerald Pouncey, Morris Manning & Martin; Neven Kresic, Independent Groundwater Consultant; Craig Zeller, EPABen Porter Salon
Many Brownfields sites face numerous challenges when groundwater contamination occurs in challenging hydrogeologic conditions. While state and federal regulations allow risk-based and technical impracticability approaches to groundwater remediation, the practice shows that such approaches are rarely successful even when the site conditions are very favorable for implementation. Two case studies will address the regulatory and hydrogeologic challenges to groundwater remediation at Brownfields sites including the role of quantitative conceptual site models (CSMs), risk assessment, contaminant fate and transport (F&T) groundwater modeling, and technical impracticability (TI) waivers.
7.6 Solid and Hazardous Waste Update
Moderator: Leslie Miller, WSP; Presenters: William Cook and Holly Nelson GA EPD; Larry Lamberth, US EPARoom 1/2
Legislative and enforcement updates from GA EPD and US EPA.
7.7 Coastal Resiliency and Restoration
Moderator: Susan Stutts, Balch & Bingham; Presenters: Luben Raytchev, Georgia Conservancy; Bradley Ennis, Balch & Bingham; Valerie Alley, Mississippi DEQRoom 9/10
The South Atlantic Salt Marsh Initiative (SASMI) is a multi-state, non-regulatory effort to protect 1M acres of salt marsh through migration, restoration and conservation. Georgia Conservancy will review new findings of likely Georgia marsh migration pathways following their early 2023 analysis of a six-county area, as well as marsh migration findings from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. To further the multi-state perspective on evolving coastal resilience and restoration opportunities, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality will provide an overview of current coastal resiliency and restoration projects in Mississippi and across the Gulf of Mexico, and Balch & Bingham, LLP will provide an overview of legal issues and considerations pertaining to the development and implementation of coastal resiliency and restoration projects.
Friday 25 Aug 2023
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM : Breakout Session 8
8.1 Federal Funding Availability for Clean Sustainable Transportation Projects
Moderator: Frank Morris, Clean Cities Georgia; Speakers: Dale Aspy, EPA; Ian Skelton, Southern Company Gas; TBD, Georgia Environmental Finance AuthorityRoom 11
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) a.k.a. the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) passed November 5, 2021 and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed on August 12, 2022 has provided unprecedented levels of funding, tax credits and other incentives for the transportation sector over the next several years. This session will focus on the opportunities for alternative fuel vehicles which include electric, hydrogen, natural gas and propane. In particular, the $5.0B National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program, $2.5B Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) grants for communities and interstate corridors, the EPA Clean School Bus rebate program, the EPA Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program, and the FTA Low or No Emissions Grants for transit buses. Join us to hear how both public and private entities can collaborate to leverage these opportunities to elevate clean, sustainable transportation in your organization or community.
8.2 Educating a Diverse Environmental and Sustainability Workforce
Moderator: Rich Glaze, Barnes & Thornburg; Presenters: John Travis Marshall, Georgia State University; Mindy Goldstein, Emory University; Laura Evans, Georgia Public BroadcastingRoom 7/8
Attracting and training the next generation of sustainability professionals requires connecting traditional environmental and law educational programs to the issues that high school and college students care deeply about, including climate change, natural resources, and biodiversity. By providing hands-on experience, access to experts, and project examples, students learn how careers in environmental disciplines can be applied to sustainability. This distinguished panel of educators will discuss how they've used environmental topics and engaging activities to excite and attract students to environmental careers, and foster career opportunities tied to sustainability.
8.3 How to Speak the Same Language: Navigating PPP Brownfield Projects with Multiple Stakeholders
Presenter(s): Dan Nedvidek, TerraconBen Porter Salon
Successful Brownfield projects depend on clear lines of communication between diverse groups of stakeholders. Developers, landowners, consultants, regulators, municipal staff and officials, and public groups all must be on the same page when it comes to navigating and understanding the processes and benefits of Brownfield designations. This presentation covers common issues with communicating complex ideas to groups who may have the same end goals but completely different ideas and institutional knowledge pertaining to how to achieve them. We will cover real-life examples (with names changed to protect the innocent) of strategies used to build consensus between public and private groups and discuss strategies for making sure each group understands the Brownfield designation process. We will also cover how to compare the benefits and process of Brownfield designation to other similar redevelopment incentive strategies in order to make the program and process more relatable and tangible. Those with experience tend to forget how to relate to those with less experience, knowledge, or differing applications of the subject matter. This discussion will help to reprogram this thought process and strengthen your communication around Brownfields.
8.4 The Greening of Green Tech: The Role and Challenges of Recycling in the Clean Energy Transition
Presenter(s): Bryan Moore, Balch & BinghamRoom 4/5
Renewable energy and electric vehicle technologies are key to a clean energy future. But these green technologies are not free of environmental and sustainability concerns. From the legal perspective, this session will examine the role and challenges of recycling solar panels, wind turbines, and EV batteries to achieve the full “green” potential of these technologies.
8.5 Searching for Clean Air: Part 2
Presenters: Erin Lebow-Skelley, Emory Prevention Research Center; Heather Hussey-Coker, Groundwork Atlanta; Jake Carpenter, US EPARoom 9/10
This session is a continuation of the 2022 session in which we explored how various organizations support the organization of communities who are searching for cleaner air. We will discuss the barriers that communities face such as transparency/accessibility to information, regulatory knowledge, and collecting/maintaining data. We will also review some specific planned projects and how air quality monitoring can be incorporated into major restoration/rejuvenation projects. We will hear from how EPA plays a part in all of this and some of the tools being worked on to lessen the challenges of communities.
8.6 Myth Busting: Can I Really Reuse an Old, Abandoned Gas Station? (Roundtable 1)
Moderators: Saralyn Stafford, UGA Carl Vinson Institute; Camilla Warren, US EPA Region 4; Speakers: Miles Ballogg, ENCORE Services; Susan Cremering, SEK Consulting, Inc.; Luben Raytchev, GA Conservancy; Community Participants: Allen Booker, Glynn County Commissioner; Felicia Harris, City of Brunswick CommissionerRoom 1/2
Numerous abandoned gas stations dot the landscape along US Highway 17, which runs the length of the Atlantic Coastline. While millions of travelers and tourists take Interstate Highways, locals prefer the “old” Hwy 17. However, what is missing is the commercial and other services needed by small and remote communities. Many continue to solve this problem by using former gas stations, also known in the environmental world as Underground Storage Tanks or UST sites. Roundtable 1 will address what is most needed by a rural community: Quality Health Care, Jobs, Shopping and Services, Ways to address Environmental and Health Concerns. Roundtable 2 (starts @ 11 am in Breakout Session 9.4) will define the specific steps to determine if an old abandoned gas station, such as a UST/abandoned gas station or other “Brownfield” qualifies for no-cost technical assistance to begin a reuse scenario to address community needs.
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM : Breakout Session 9
9.1 Changing Your Culture Through a Multi-site EMS
Presenter(s): Leslie Hubble, MARTARoom 11
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) has a multi-site ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System (EMS) registration that covers 11 different sites. These sites include 3 heavy rail maintenance facilities, 1 light rail maintenance facility, 5 bus and mobility maintenance facilities, and 2 administrative facilities. This session will discuss how MARTA’s multi-site EMS has contributed to shifting our environmental culture from the executive suite to the shop floor, the advantages of expanding to a multi-site EMS program, and lessons learned. The session will also discuss how departments outside of EHS are starting to take ownership of environmental conditions at their respective sites.
9.2 Don’t Throw That Out! Envisioning the Future of Packaging Design and Innovation
Moderator: Dawn Santoianni, Haley & Aldrich; Speaker: Jennifer Boggs, Crown HoldingsRoom 7/8
Modern packaging takes design and convenience to new levels and enhances sustainability. Chemical stewardship, renewable or recycled content, reduced energy, water, and emissions during manufacturing must all be considered to create sustainable packaging. This session will explore how technologies, sourcing programs, product preservation, and eye-catching design changes to reduce single-use packaging and get us closer to a circular economy.
9.3 Water Funding
Moderator: Monique Latalladi, WSP; Speaker(s): Amanda Carroll and Lisa Golphin, GEFA; Brooke Pine, US EPA Region 4; Lisa Bechini, Northbridge Environmental Management ConsultantsRoom 4/5
This session will provide an overview of new and expanded water funding opportunities enacted by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
9.4 Myth Busting: Can I Really Reuse an Old, Abandoned Gas Station? (Roundtable 2)
Moderators: Saralyn Stafford, UGA Carl Vinson Institute and Camilla Warren, US EPA Region 4. Speakers: Mallory Miller, EPA Region 4 Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program; Jay Kemberling, Georgia EPD UST Program; David Hayes, US EPA Brownfields ProgramRoom 1/2
Numerous abandoned gas stations dot the landscape along US Highway 17, which runs the length of the Atlantic Coastline. While millions of travelers and tourists take Interstate Highways, locals prefer the “old” Hwy 17. However, what is missing is the commercial and other services needed by small and remote communities. Many continue to solve this problem by using former gas stations, also known in the environmental world as Underground Storage Tanks or UST sites. Two Roundtable Sessions will address first, what is most needed by a rural community: Quality Health Care, Jobs, Shopping and Services, Ways to address Environmental and Health Concerns, and second defining the specific steps to determine if a site such as a UST/abandoned gas station or other “Brownfield” qualifies for no-cost technical assistance to begin a reuse scenario to address community needs.
9.5 Community Engagement Workshop: Focus on Federal Resources and Technical Assistance
Speakers: (invited) Nick Deffley, Director Federal Resources, Southeast Sustainability Directors Network; Jay Bassett, Tetra Tech; (invited) Daniel E Gogal, US EPA Office of Environmental Justice, Program Development and Learning Division/Interagency Interfaith Collaboration for Vulnerable CommunitiesBen Porter Salon
Federal Agencies and national nonprofits are set up to assist communities with evaluating and determining which resource is available for their community needs. Two Coastal Georgia communities, Brunswick and Darien, have experienced a variety of Federal Assistance. Funding from recent legislation in the past two years focuses on identifying community needs for underserved communities. This workshop will share a number of available resources and additional technical assistance for making grant applications and identifying no-cost technical assistance. Federal agency representatives and related National Nonprofit Organization will discuss specific options.