2020 PAST SECTION 404 ASSUMPTION PROJECT WEBINAR SERIESClean Water Act Section 404 Assumption Webinar 


Webinar #5 – Documenting Assumable Waters for Assumption for the CWA § 404 Program

Held Friday, November 6, 2020 - 3:00-5:00 pm ET 

INTRODUCTION

PRESENTERS

ABSTRACT

While the new 404(g) assumption rule has not yet been released by EPA, this webinar provided food for thought as states consider assumption before formal guidance is provided in the form of the new rule. This webinar began with an introduction to assumption and assumable waters: What are assumable waters and what role do they play in an assumed program? What does a state or tribe gain through managing assumable waters? The webinar continued with discussion of the different roles states, tribes, the Corps and EPA play in determining assumable waters and discuss what needs to be done to determine assumable waters for the assumption process. The webinar then shared the work of three different states currently engaged in different phases of the assumption process: Florida, Oregon and Minnesota. State agency staff will share their approaches to analysis, discuss how they have been working with the corps, and share information about their GIS layers, as well as any lessons learned.

PRESENTERS

Eric MetzEric Metz is a Senior Policy and Legislative Analyst in the Director’s Office of the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) (currently retired but working part time). Eric is a Certified Professional Wetland Scientist (Emeritus). He has worked as a state wetland regulator in both Oregon and California, 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.

Randy SounheinRandy Sounhein has a master's degree in Environmental Science from Washington State University, a bachelor's degree in Geology from Central Washington University, and more than 30 years of hands-on experience with geospatial technologies and Esri products. He worked as a senior groundwater quality/GIS analyst for the State of Idaho from 1990 to 1997. He is currently the GIS coordinator for the Oregon Department of State Lands in Salem, Oregon.

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).

 

Camille BeasleyCamille Beasley is an Environmental Consultant at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. She works in the Submerged Lands and Environmental Resources Coordination program as a wetland delineation trainer, grant manager, and technology liaison. She has an M.S. in Forest Resources and B.S. in Environmental Science and Zoology.


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. 



Webinar #4 - Florida's Assumption Process - Planning, Decisions and Lessons Learned

Held Wednesday, November 4, 2020 - 3:00-5:00 pm ET

INTRODUCTION

PRESENTERS

ABSTRACT

Representatives from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection talked about their path to submittal of a complete assumption package to EPA. The webinar began with an overview of the agency’s structure, existing Environmental Resource Permitting (ERP) program, and state wetland delineation rule. Next, Flordia's staff discussed Florida’s assumption history, reasons for assuming, and rulemaking. Next, staff shared the contents of Florida's assumption package. They shared their efforts preparing to implement their assumed program (if it is approved). The webinar concluded with sharing of lessons learned and insights and details regarding decisions that were made.

BIOS

Timothy RachTimothy 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.

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). 

 

         

Part 1: Introduction: Brenda Zollitsch, Association of
State Wetland Managers
Presenters: Tim Rach, Florida Department of
Environmental Protection and Heather Mason, Florida
Department of Environmental Protection 

      Part 2: Presenter: Heather Mason, Florida
Department of Environmental Protection
       
               
Part 3: Questions & Answers        


Webinar #3 – Mitigation Banking Considerations for States and Tribes Exploring Assumption of the CWA Section 404 Program

Held Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - 3:00pm-5:00pm Eastern

INTRODUCTION

PRESENTERS

ABSTRACT

This webinar is the third webinar in ASWM’s Assumption Webinar Series. The webinar addressed considerations states and tribes should explore when considering assuming the Clean Water Act Section 404 Program. The webinar started with basics of mitigation banking and how it fits into assumption, as well as the role of assumption in streamlining permitting processes and mitigation creation. It explored the benefits and challenges around mitigation banking and discussed how these affect the various parties involved. Next, the webinar moved to the state perspective, describing the different state scenarios under which assumption of mitigation banking may occur. What is at stake when states assume mitigation banking and what should be on their checklist of considerations? The webinar concluded with discussion of some of the more complex issues associated with the topic, including emerging legal considerations.

BIOS

Joe WilliamsJoe Williams works as Assistant Director of Markets for Ecosystem Investment Partners, working with developers to develop mitigation banks. Prior to Joining EIP, Joe was the director of operations for Meritract, a nationwide mitigation banking company. Joe served two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, focusing on agroforestry, environment, business, and education initiatives. Joe earned a BS from James Madison University and a master of environmental management, master of forestry, and a graduate certificate in international development from Duke University.

Less 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.

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).

Chris TannerChris Tanner has served in positions in the state and federal government, including most recently at the Southwest Florida Water Management District, where he focused on legal issues related to water, wetland mitigation, and the environment. Prior to working at the District, Chris served as Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs at the Department of Financial Services and then as Senior Cabinet Aide to Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, advising on matters pertaining to acquisition, management, and disposition of state lands, including sovereignty submerged lands; challenges to local comprehensive plans; land use regulation; community development districts; and the supervision of state deemed “areas of critical state concern.” Prior to attending law school at Florida State University, Chris served as an intern at the White House, which ultimately led to a position as assistant to the President’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor.

         

Part 1: Introduction: Brenda Zollitsch, Association of
State Wetland Managers
Presenter: Joe Williams, Ecosystem Investment
Partners

      Part 2: Presenters: Heather Mason, Florida
Department of Environmental Protection and 
Les Lemm,
Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources – Wetland
Section Manager
       
               
Part 3: Presenter: Chris Tanner, Manson, Bolves,
Donaldson, Varn
       Part 4: Questions & Answers

Webinar #2 – Data Management for Assumption of the 404 Program

Held Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - 3:00-4:30 pm EST

INTRODUCTION

PRESENTERS

Andy Robertson, Saint Mary's University [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]
• Anne Garwood, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]
• Chad Fizzell, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]
• Heather Mason, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
• Eric Metz, Oregon Department of State Lands [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]

ABSTRACT

States working towards assuming the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 Program have a lot of data management needs and requirements. This webinar  shared approaches to data management for assumption from multiple states currently assumed or preparing to assume. As EPA prepares to release the new 404(g) rule, the Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) is working with states and tribes to help them explore potential opportunities for assumption and identify needs and opportunities to provide technical assistance. Data management is a common theme among needs discussions. The webinar opened with an introduction of the data issues and followed with presentations by states that have developed different systems to manage data critical for assumption work. Pleas note: This webinar did not provide any official guidance to states and tribes. Such guidance is forthcoming from EPA in the forms of a new CWA 404(g) Rule and any associated EPA guidance.

BIOS

Andy RobertsonAndy Robertson is currently Executive Director of GeoSpatial Services at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. In this role, Andy is responsible for oversight and management of all GeoSpatial Services projects, activities and staff. GeoSpatial Services is engaged in a wide variety of projects across the Lower 48 and Alaska including: wetland inventory; National Hydrography Dataset updates; spatial data development; and natural resource condition assessments. GeoSpatial Services has been a key partner of the USFWS and has been working for over 18 years to update legacy National Wetland Inventory data across the nation. Andy is a steering committee member for the ASWM Wetland Mapping Consortium, an ASWM Board Member and is past-chair of the Alaska GeoSpatial Council Wetland Technical Working Group.

Anne GarwoodAnne Garwood is the Supervisor of the Wetlands, Lakes and Streams Unit for the Water Resources Division in the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. Michigan is an assumed state. Anne works on program development, guidance and training development, and supports administration of Michigan’s Section 404 Program. The Wetlands, Lakes and Streams Unit also works on wetland mitigation banking, wetland identification, wetland monitoring, stream restoration and mitigation, and inland lakes projects. Anne previously worked in the EGLE regulatory wetlands program, and also served as the EGLE coastal wetland ecologist, prior to accepting her current position in 2019.

Chad Fizzell, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and EnvironmentChad Fizzell works as a GIS Specialist in the Wetlands, Lakes, and Streams Unit within the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Chad is the Department expert in the Landscape Level Assessment of Wetlands, Wetland Inventory, and Remote Sensing. Chad was also the lead in developing and adapting the NWI+ methodology and LLWFA process in Michigan, and applying these concepts to watershed management in the State.

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).

Eric Metz, Oregon Department of State LandsEric Metz is a Senior Policy and Legislative Analyst in the Director’s Office of the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) (currently retired but working part time). Eric is a Certified Professional Wetland Scientist (Emeritus). He has worked as a state wetland regulator in both Oregon and California, 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. 

 

   

Part 1: Introduction: Brenda Zollitsch, Association of
State Wetland Managers
Presenter: Andy Robertson, Saint Mary's University

    Part 2: Presenters: Anne Garwood, Michigan
Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy
and Chad Fizzell, Michigan Department of Environment,
Great Lakes, and Energy
   
     
Part 3: Presenters: Heather Mason, Florida
Department of Environmental Protection and Eric Metz,
Oregon Department of State Lands
     

 
Webinar #1 Assumption 101: Introduction to Assuming the CWA Section 404 Program

Held Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 3:00-5:00 pm EST

 

INTRODUCTION

PRESENTERS:

ABSTRACT

This webinar is the first in ASWM’s Assumption Webinar Series. The webinar began with an introduction the concept of assumption, share EPA’s current efforts to encourage assumption and review the basic steps in the assumption process and requirements. Next two states that have already assumed the program will share their experiences as assumed states and what the benefits and challenges have been. Next, the webinar covered alternatives to assumption. Finally, ASWM introduced its new assumption project and the planned dialogues, webinars and products that will be available to wetland managers as a result of the project.

BIO

Kathy Hurld, EPAKathy Hurld is an Environmental Protection Specialist with the Environmental Protection Agency 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 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. She is co-leading the revision of the assumption regulations with Ms. Ruth Chemereys. Kathy has a BS in biology from Hope College and a Master’s in Public Administration from American University.

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.

Anne GarwoodAnne Garwood is the Supervisor of the Wetlands, Lakes and Streams Unit for the Water Resources Division in the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. Michigan is an assumed state. Anne works on program development, guidance and training development, and supports administration of Michigan’s Section 404 Program. The Wetlands, Lakes and Streams Unit also works on wetland mitigation banking, wetland identification, wetland monitoring, stream restoration and mitigation, and inland lakes projects. Anne previously worked in the EGLE regulatory wetlands program, and also served as the EGLE coastal wetland ecologist, prior to accepting her current position in 2019.

Susan LockwoodSusan Lockwood has worked for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for 36 years. She worked in NJ’s Freshwater Wetland program when it first began in 1987, worked on wetland regulations for 17 years beginning with the first amendments in 1989, and prepared and guided to success the State of New Jersey’s assumption application in the early 1990s. Since that time, she has become a resource for States considering assumption, attending stakeholder meetings, participating in phone conferences, and answering numerous questions about New Jersey’s assumed program. In 2016-2017, she represented New Jersey on the EPA’s Federal Advisory Committee on assumption. She is currently the Supervisor of the Mitigation Unit in the Division of Land Use Regulation.

 

   

Part 1: Introduction: Brenda Zollitsch, Association of
State Wetland Managers
Presenter: Kathy Hurld, US Environmental Protection
Agency

    Part 2: Presenters: Heather Mason, Florida Department
of Environmental Protection and Anne Garwood,
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
   
     
Part 3: Presenters: Susan Lockwood, New Jersey
Department of Environmental Protection and Brenda
Zollitsch, Association of State Wetland Managers
     

 


Future Assumption Webinars