Conducting Federal-State/Tribal Regulatory Crosswalks for Clean Water Act Section 404 Assumption

Held Monday, March 22, 2021 - 3:00 – 4:30 pm Eastern

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INTRODUCTION

PRESENTERS  [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]

  • Heather Mason, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
  • Barbara Poage, Oregon Department of State Lands
  • Les Lemm, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources
  • Ken Powell, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

ABSTRACT

In the assumption planning process, states and tribes must complete a regulatory crosswalk. The purpose of the crosswalk is to examine any differences between state and federal standards and to provide insights into any gaps that may need to be filled. The regulatory crosswalk allows states and tribes to show that the final program, when ready for assumption, provides a no less stringent than federal regulatory program. This webinar discussed the basics of regulatory crosswalks and provide three different experiences from states that have completed or are in the process of completing a regulatory crosswalk as part of their assumption planning process. Presenters included staff from Florida (which recently assumed the 404 Program), Oregon which has completed the crosswalk but is still in the process of developing their assumption package, and Minnesota, which is in the early phases of conducting their analysis. Each presenter shared when in the assumption process they conducted their crosswalk, what process and format they used to conduct it, and any challenges they encountered. They shared what their crosswalk found/is finding, whether there were any gaps or inconsistencies that needed to be addressed and how they filled them. Each presenter shared lessons learned and tips for others planning to conduct a regulatory crosswalk. The webinar ended with a Q&A session with the presenters.

BIOS

Heather MasonHeather Mason is an Environmental Administrator at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, leading the Submerged Lands and Environmental Resources Coordination program’s training and rulemaking team. Her team is currently working on Florida’s 404 assumption effort. Her education includes an M.S. in Environmental Science and B.S. in Environmental Management. She is also a certified Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS). 

 

 

Barbara PoageBarbara Poage is a Hydrogeologist with 20+ years in environmental and hydrologic consulting for private sector, tribal, non-profit, industrial, and state and federal government. She has managed innumerable environmental investigation and remediation projects throughout the west coast, has served as a tribal Superfund (CERCLA) Program Manager in New Mexico, and has excelled in state and federal rule and statute application and interpretation throughout her career. She has worked for Oregon Water Resources Department in water rights for many years and is currently the Clean Water Act 404 Assumption Analyst for Oregon Department of State Lands. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from University of Idaho and a Masters in Hydrology from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. As well, Barbara is an instrument-rated pilot and FAA Part 107 Certified sUAS (drone) Pilot Operator and small business owner (Right Strut Aviation LLC).

 

Les LemmLes Lemm is the Wetlands Section Manager for the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources. He is responsible for overseeing implementation of the State Wetland Conservation Act, Minnesota’s comprehensive wetland protection law, including a robust wetland banking program. He has a variety of other experience, including working as a charter boat captain on Minnesota’s Lake of the Woods, a natural resource consultant, and the District Manager for the Lake of the Woods Soil and Water Conservation District. Les has a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s degree in Resource Economics from North Dakota State University.
 

 

Ken PowellKen Powell is the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act Operations Supervisor for the state’s wetland regulatory program. He has worked at the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources for the last 14 years and has been a practicing wetland scientist and policy specialist since 1992. He earned a B.S. in Wildlife from the U. of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and an M.S. in Biology from Kansas State University. 

 

 

  

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Part 1: Introduction: Brenda Zollitsch, Senior Policy Analyst, Association of State Wetland Managers; Presenters: Heather Mason, Florida Department of Environmental Protection; Barbara Poage, Oregon Department of State Lands; and Les Lemm, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

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Part 2: Panel Discussion

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Part 3: Panel Discussion

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Findings from ASWM’s Multi-Year Clean Water Act Section 404 Assumption Project

Held Tuesday, March 16, 2021 - 3:00-4:30 pm Eastern

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INTRODUCTION

PRESENTERS [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]

  • Kathy Hurld, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Brian Wolff, Indiana Department of Environmental Management
  • Laura Johnson, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy
  • Brenda Zollitsch, Association of State Wetland Managers

ABSTRACT

This webinar will share the findings of the Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) multi-year project on assumption of the Clean Water Act Section 404 Program. The webinar will outline the key elements of a complete assumption package, walking through project findings on each element from ASWM’s multi-year project on assumption. The webinar will introduce participants to new resources developed through the project, including a matrix of existing examples of assumption package components, a checklist of considerations for those exploring assumption, and many support documents, as well as how to access ASWM’s archived assumption webinar series. The webinar will include basics for each element, as well as key lessons learned from states that have explored or are working towards assumption. The webinar will end with discussion about the new forthcoming Clean Water Act 404(g) Rule and some of the important things to look for when it is published (expected 2021). The webinar will include time for participants to ask questions of the panelists.

BIOS

Kathy HurlsKathy Hurld is an Environmental Protection Specialist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, DC. Her nearly 30 years’ experience working on ocean, coastal, wetland, agroforestry and other environmental issues, has taken her throughout the U.S. and internationally as she worked on both the local and international level. Currently, Kathy is the EPA’s staff lead on Clean Water Act Section 404(g) and works to assist states and tribes pursuing assumption of the program. Kathy has a BS in biology from Hope College and a Master’s in Public Administration from American University.



ASWM’s Assumption Project Workgroup Members have been meeting monthly for more than two years. Comprised of state, tribal, federal and academic experts, ASWM’s Assumption workgroup has more than 30 members. Each month, the workgroup has tackled complex issues around assuming the 404 Program. These have included dialogue around conducting regulatory crosswalks, completing assumable waters analysis, developing memoranda of understanding, and more. Workgroup members will join in presenting key findings and lessons learned.

Brian WolffBrian Wolff, a member of ASWM’s project work group, has served as the Branch Chief of Surface Water, and Operations for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for the past 6 years. The branch covers Wetlands, Stormwater, MS4’s, and operational duties for all of the water quality division. Prior to joining Water Quality, Brian served 10 years as manager of the Special Projects Section in the Office of Air Quality, and for 5 years evaluated risk assessments in the Office of Land Quality. Brian has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Indiana University. 

 

Laura JohnsonLaura Johnson is the Clean Water Act 404 Section Supervisor for the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy managing the 401 water quality certification program and leads a 404 assumption team. She has been with the Department since 2012 and served as the Integrated Report and TMDL Coordinator for the first 7 years. Laura earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Natural Resources and Environmental Economics with a minor in Water Science from the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

 

 

Brenda Zollitsch, PhD, ASWMBrenda Zollitsch is Senior Policy Analyst at the Association of State Wetland Managers. Over the last two years, Brenda has led ASWM’s Assumption Project, coordinating the project workgroup, dialogues and research to develop the resources that will be presented during this webinar. At ASWM, Brenda conducts research and policy analysis on wetland and stream issues; works to analyze and respond to emerging wetland-related rules and regulations; manages projects; and designs, coordinates and evaluates training for wetland professionals. Brenda is also currently leading a multi-year national project on Wetland regulatory Capacity Building. Brenda earned a double Master’s degree in International Relations and Environmental Resource Management from Boston University and her PhD in Public Policy from the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service.

 

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Part 1: Introduction: Marla Stelk, Association of State Wetland Managers
Presenters: Kathy Hurld, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Brenda Zollitsch, Association of State Wetland Managers

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Part 2: Presenters: Brian Wolff, Indiana Department of Environmental Management and
Laura Johnson, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy

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Part 3: Presenters: Brenda Zollitsch, Association of State Wetland Managers and
Kathy Hurld, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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Part 4: Questions & Answers

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Understanding Alternatives: State Programmatic General Permits and Assumption of the § 404 Program

Held Friday, February 26, 2021 - 3:00-5:00 pm ET 

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INTRODUCTION

PRESENTERS

ABSTRACT

An increasing number of states are looking to create regulatory consistency and stability in their aquatic resource permitting programs. The Clean Water Act Amendments allow states to increase responsibility by assuming some administration of federal regulatory programs – State Programmatic General Permits (SPGPs) and 404 Assumption. While the options of developing general permits and assuming the § 404 program have been around for a long time, there remains confusion about what each option can offer and what some of the challenges and opportunities around them are. This webinar discussed the differences between developing a general permit and assuming the § 404 Dredge or Fill Permit Program, as well as some of the pros and cons for each. Panelists shared key questions that they recommend a state or tribe explore before making decisions and the importance of context and timing. The webinar ended with a discussion of developing a general permit as a stepping stone towards assumption and an opportunity for webinar participants to ask questions on the topic.

BIOS

Donna DowningDonna Downing is the Senior Legal Policy Advisor, Association of State Wetland Managers. Donna was the Jurisdiction Team Leader in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds. Donna worked on a variety of issues at EPA, with a focus in recent years on the geographic scope of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions. She also served as EPA’s staff lead for CWA section 401 water quality certification, and on wetland-related legal issues. Prior to joining EPA in 1998, Donna worked for the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment and in private law practice. She has a BA magna cum laude from Harvard University, an MPP from the University of California at Berkeley, a JD cum laude from Georgetown University Law School, and an LLM in Environmental Law summa cum laude from George Washington University Law School. Donna has been an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School since 1996, teaching environmental law. In what’s left of her time, she moonlights as a professional potter and an unprofessional horse trainer. Donna also enjoys traveling and has traveled by reindeer sled in the Swedish Arctic, gone winter camping with dog sleds in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Wilderness Area, and bicycled the Burma Road in China.

Eric MetzEric Metz, PWS, is the Principal of Marsh MD Wetland Consults based in Salem, Oregon. Most recently Eric was a Senior Policy & Legislative Analyst for the Oregon Department of State Lands and a senior manager in the Oregon State Removal-Fill Program. Earlier in his career, he was the Wetland Coordinator for the California Coastal Commission, for a combined total of more than 30 years of experience with two state wetland regulatory programs. Eric has also been a private wetland and environmental consultant in the Pacific Northwest and in Alaska and a wetland restoration project manager for the National Audubon Society. In 2014 Eric teamed up with Oregon Wetland Consultants and provided the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation a cost analysis for operating a state-assumed 404 program. Eric has a BA in geography with a minor in biology from Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, and a Master of Landscape Architecture with an Environmental Planning emphasis from the University of California, Berkeley.


Barbara PoageBarbara Poage is a Hydrogeologist with 20+ years in environmental and hydrologic consulting for private sector, tribal, non-profit, industrial, and state and federal government. She has managed innumerable environmental investigation and remediation projects throughout the west coast, has served as a tribal Superfund (CERCLA) Program Manager in New Mexico, and has excelled in state and federal rule and statute application and interpretation throughout her career. She has worked for Oregon Water Resources Department in water rights for many years and is currently the Clean Water Act 404 Assumption Analyst for Oregon Department of State Lands. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from University of Idaho and a Masters in Hydrology from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. As well, Barbara is an instrument-rated pilot and FAA Part 107 Certified sUAS (drone) Pilot Operator and small business owner (Right Strut Aviation LLC).  

 

Timothy RacTimothy Rach is a Program Administrator in the Submerged Lands & Environmental Resources Coordination Program at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). He has been with DEP for over 23 years in various management and supervisory positions. Most of his time has been in the Environmental Resources Permitting program regulating development in wetlands and surface waters. Tim is responsible for overseeing the statewide implementation of the ERP rules and regulations within the Department, Water Management Districts and local delegated programs. He holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Marine Biology from Troy University and a Masters of Science degree in Ecology from Old Dominion University. 

 

 

Denise ClearwaterDenise Clearwater has worked in Maryland’s wetland programs since 1986. She has a background in developing and implementing programs in wetland regulation, wetland training, and mitigation, as well as managing special projects for grants and program improvement and assisting in policy development. She has represented the Wetlands and Waterways Program in the Maryland Department of the Environment on numerous interagency work groups for regulatory, wetland monitoring, restoration, preservation and stream health and is a past co-chair of the Chesapeake Bay Program Wetland Work Group. She is also a member of the Society of Wetland Scientists. Denise has a B.S. in zoology from the University of Maryland and an M.S. in wildlife management from Frostburg State College (now University). 


 

 

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Part 1: Introduction: Brenda Zollitsch, Association of State Wetland Managers
Presenter: Donna Downing, Association of State Wetland Managers

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Part 2: Presenters: Barbara Poage, Oregon Department of State Lands and Eric Metz, Marsh MD Wetland Consulting

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Part 3: Presenters: Timothy Rach, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Denise Clearwater, Maryland Department of the Environment

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Part 4: Questions & Answers

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