As a NEPA practitioner at AECOM, I get to go beyond a single aspect of a project or technical area and examine all facets of the physical, natural, and human environments.
I am big picture thinker who loves working with interdisciplinary teams to solve complex problems. In my roles as the Department of Defense (DoD) Leader and Mid-Atlantic Department Manager for the Impact Assessment & Permitting practice, I get to wear a variety of hats on any given day and touch all aspects of the business. One of the aspects I enjoy the most is working with AECOM’s exceptionally talented and diverse teams, along with our clients, to address complex client and community needs.
Currently, one of the biggest challenges in environmental work is staying ahead of regulation changes. In July 2020, the Council in Environmental Quality (CEQ) revised its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to implement regulations for the first time in 42 years! This set the stage to modernize and streamline the NEPA process and encouraged “electronic” innovations to improve stakeholder involvement and public participation. In response, AECOM pioneered two Digital NEPA technologies: digital (web-based) NEPA documents and virtual (web-based) stakeholder engagement platforms.
Working with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District, we recently published the first-ever digital Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the U.S. Treasury’s proposed currency production facility in the Washington, DC area. We also utilized our virtual stakeholder engagement platform to conduct the 45-day public review and virtual public meeting for the Draft EIS during the coronavirus pandemic. I’m really proud that our digital innovations have significantly improved the community engagement process for complex projects. Digital NEPA levels the playing field with accessibility. It allows a broader range of voices to identify solutions, which improves project outcomes.
When I joined AECOM, I knew I was committing to engaging work. My first role was as EIS lead for the Rebuild by Design (RBD) Meadowlands Flood Protection project following Hurricane Sandy. It was a fantastic introduction to the company and allowed me to instantly start building long-lasting internal relationships across numerous regions and disciplines. Working with the State of New Jersey, AECOM’s responsibility was to develop integrated flood protection solutions that reduce impacts to the natural environment and improve future social, environmental, and economic resilience in local communities. Our approach required a concerted effort by a multi-disciplinary team that included urban planners, ecologists, coastal hydrodynamic modelers, and other experts. The size, complexity, and significant mission of this project allowed me to see, first-hand, what AECOM can accomplish when leveraging our full suite of capabilities