Webinar #1: Improving the Information Pipeline: Working with Consultants During Oil and Gas Pipeline Permitting Processes

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at 3 pm ET


  • Clifford Brown, West Virginia Department of Natural Resources
  • Brenda Zollitsch, Association of State Wetland Managers
  • Evan Hansen, Downstream Strategies, LLC


This webinar provides insights about how wetland and other aquatic resource regulators can improve working relationships with consultants who serve as intermediaries for energy companies working on oil and gas pipeline development projects.  This webinar will share insights from state permit reviewers on some of the common challenges, ranging from different understandings of permitting processes, points of access, pipeline terms and use of language.  The webinar will discuss helpful ways of working together to establish common understanding, share key concerns about impacts to aquatic resources and incorporate best practices to address those impacts.  The webinar will present a new resource developed by ASWM to help guide more productive conversations and relationships between regulators and consultants, focusing on creating transparency, common understandings, and strong relationships that facilitate both efficient permit review processes and protection of aquatic resources.


Evan Hansen is Principal of Water and Energy Programs for Downstream Strategies, LLC a consulting firm in West Virginia.  Evan’s work focuses on resource and environmental problems and solutions in three areas: water, energy, and land. He manages interdisciplinary research teams, performs quantitative and qualitative policy and scientific analyses, provides litigation support and expert testimony, develops computer tools, provides training, and performs field monitoring. He is engaged in ongoing source water protection activities and works with watershed organizations and agencies on Clean Water Act and Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act issues such as permits, TMDLs, antidegradation, and watershed-based plans. Evan has his M.S. in Energy and Resources from the University of California, Berkeley and his B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Evan is a Switzer Environmental Fellow and has worked with ASWM on this project through a Network Innovation Grant from the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation.

Clifford Brown has worked for West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Section, since 1989 and currently serves in the DNR Environmental Coordination Unit as the lead for oil and gas related activities. Responsibilities include review of Section 401 applications, coordination with WVDEP and USEPA for mitigation and restoration associated with administrative orders and consent decrees, coordination with USFWS related to the National Wildlife Refuge System, Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, coordination with the USFS for oil and gas projects on the Monongahela, George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in West Virginia, and serves on the AFWA Energy and Wildlife Policy Committee and the agency coordinator for review of FERC projects in West Virginia. He holds a B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from the Pennsylvania State University.

Brenda Zollitsch, PhD is a Policy Analyst at the Association of State Wetland Managers. Brenda conducts research and policy analysis on wetland and stream issues. Brenda has recently completed a national status and trends/state summaries project analyzing 50 state wetland programs across the United States and a national stream identification, delineation and mitigation study, a communications case study project and a wetland training needs assessment and enhancement project. She currently leads projects focused on increasing access to high quality wetland training and improving energy permitting to protect wetlands. In addition to her work for ASWM, Brenda is a Switzer Environmental Fellow, serves as adjunct faculty at the University of Southern Maine teaching courses in public policy and sustainable communities and assists water resource collaborations as a professional facilitator. Brenda holds her PhD in Public Policy from the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service and a double Master’s degree in International Relations and Environmental Resource Management from Boston University. 

A Certificate of Participation to be used toward Continuing Education Credits will be available for this Webinar. Free Certificates of Participation are a benefit of ASWM membership. More Information can be found here.

Webinar #2: Cumulative Adverse Effects of Pipeline Development on Wetlands and Other Aquatic Resources

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 at 3 pm ET


  • Wing Goodale, Biodiversity Research Institute


Energy projects, particularly pipelines, affect a range of aquatic resources, including wetlands. Impacts to wetlands from pipeline activities range from both short- and long-term destruction and disruption of wetlands and other aquatic resources to water quality impacts, habitat loss, increasing invasive species and compromised quality of critical areas. The adverse effects of a pipeline on a single wetland are important, but of equal or greater concern is the effect of pipelines that cross multiple watersheds and multiple wetlands. A single pipeline can cross hundreds of wetlands and streams, which can lead to cumulative adverse effects (CAE).

This webinar will provide an introduction about how CAE can be conceptualized, the language used to discuss CAE, and the legal basis for CAE. The presentation will discuss a framework for considering adverse effects, including a review of general approaches for CAE assessments and ways to address these effects. The webinar will conclude with the presentation of a thought-provoking approach to conducting simple assessment of CAE that could be adapted for use by wetland professionals as they work to identify and address CAE for projects they are planning and/or permits they are reviewing. The webinar will end with information about the Association of State Wetland Managers’ recent pipeline permitting project and forthcoming resources on CAE that will be available on ASWM’s website.


Wing Goodale is Senior Deputy Director for the Center for Ecology & Conservation Research and Director for the Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) in Maine.  He is a NSF IGERT fellow in the UMass Offshore Wind Energy Program. Goodale has worked at BRI since 2000 and is now the deputy director. At BRI, he has raised or helped manage over $7.5 million of funds for more than 60 conservation biology projects. Goodale has served on municipal committees, environmental nonprofit boards, professional boards, and college boards, including the governor appointed Maine Board of Environmental Protection.  Wing is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Environmental Conservation at University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  He also has his Master of Philosophy in Human Ecology from the College of the Atlantic and his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Colorado College.

A Certificate of Participation to be used toward Continuing Education Credits will be available for this Webinar. Free Certificates of Participation are a benefit of ASWM membership. More Information can be found here.

ASWM Energy Project Webinar Series