Serving the energy industry for over 30 years
By - Jon Brown

Endangered Species Act, Wetlands, Stormwater & Floodplain Regulatory Compliance for Energy and Utilities
November 16-17, 2020 | Online :: Central Time

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Environmental permitting affects many utility projects in the United States. Often, these processes impose delays, constraints and additional costs that are not anticipated by the project team. The goal of this course is to provide attendees with a broad understanding of many of the commonly encountered permitting processes associated with construction, maintenance and operational activities. 

This course will strive to inform attendees of when permitting may be necessary and to provide an understanding of the process for navigating these permitting processes. Relying on experience working on hundreds of previous projects on these subjects, course instructors will provide case studies to highlight lessons learned and successful approaches. An additional goal of this course will be to provide attendees with tools to make environmental permitting a more efficient component of their organization’s project management. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify utility and energy project activities that are likely to “trigger” environmental regulation under Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and floodplain law
  • Discuss the basis and intent of these regulations
  • Develop approaches to minimize regulatory burden through project modification
  • Create permitting timelines for projects
  • Access resources that can help navigate environmental permitting
  • Engage in opportunities to influence regulations and policy
  • Discuss how to manage consultants assisting with regulatory compliance
  • Discuss in-depth the following regulations:
    • Clean Water Act (CWA)
    • Endangered Species Act (ESA)
    • Floodplain Regulations
  • Review case studies related to Sections 402 and 404 of the Clean Water Act and the ESA 



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.0 CEUs for this event.

Requirements for Successful Completion of Program 

Participants must sign in/out each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit. 

Instructional Methods

PowerPoint presentations will be used in this program. 


Monday, November 16, 2020 – Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. :: Log In

9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. :: Course Timing

12:30 – 1:15 p.m. :: Lunch Break

Endangered Species Act

  • Federal agencies administering ESA
    • US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)
    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • What it protects
    • Threatened species
    • Endangered species
  • Threatened and Endangered Species
    • Process for listing
    • Listing factors
    • Plants
  • Endangered vs. Threatened
    • Imminence of extinction
    • Significant Portion of Its Range
    • 2019 Regulatory Amendements
    • 4(d) rules
  • Critical Habitat Designation
    • Based on scientific information
    • Accounts for economic impacts
  • Reoccuring review
    • Change in listing status
      • Up-listing
      • Down-listing
      • Delisting
    • Change in identified critical habitat
  • Activities it regulates – ESA Section 9 Prohibition
    • Prohibits “take” of listed species
  • Section 7 Consultation Process
    • When is it required?
    • What is involved?
    • Jeopardy/Adverse Modification
    • Pitfalls
    • Benefits
  • Section 10 Incidental Take Permits and Habitat Conservation Plan
    • What are they?
    • What is involved?
    • Pitfalls
    • Benefits
  • Penalties for non-compliance and Section 11 Citizen-Suit Provision
      • Civil and Criminal Penalties
      • Lawsuits and injunctive relief
      • Citizen-suits
        • NOI
        • ESA vs. APA challenges
      • ESA Compliance
        • Identifying when ESA compliance may be a consideration
        • USFWS maintained species lists by county
        • Understanding habitat types used by listed species
        • Awareness of USFWS species profiles/guildelines for species that identify when project owners should coordinate with the USFWS
      • Case study or questions/quiz for attendees

National Historic Preservation Act

  • Define the NHPA and its key components
    • National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)
    • Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP)
    • State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs)
    • Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs)
    • Section 106
    • Section 110
    • Understand the Section 106 4-step process
  • Identify actions that trigger HP review
  • Identify potential historic properties
  • Identify actions that may cause adverse effects
  • Describe the purpose of a Memorandum of Agreement and Programmatic Agreement
  • State Historic Preservation Office and their regulations
  • Case study or questions/quiz for attendees

National Flood Insurance Act/Flood Disaster Protection Act

  • Floodplain regulations
  • Drainage and floodplain regulations
    • FEMA mapping
    • USGS StreamStats
    • Model resources

Clean Water Act

  • History of the Federal Clean Water Act
  • Significance/Applicable Sections

CWA – Section 402

  • National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
  • Typically administered by States
    • Construction Stormwater Permitting
      • When required
      • General vs individual permit
      • Inspection, monitoring, and docuementation
      • Terminiation
    • Industrial Site Stormwater Permitting
      • Permitting options and requirements
    • Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permitting
      • Types of MS4s
        • Cities/towns
        • Transportation right-of-ways
        • Non-standard MS4s
      • Components and requirements
    • Dewatering permitting
    • Groundwater
      • When required
      • Permitting process and monitoring requirements
    • Construction
      • Temporary in nature
      • Permitting process
    • Stormwater permitting resources
      • Site characterization
      • Template appendices
      • “Umbrella” approaches

CWA – Section 404

  • Federal agencies administering Section 404 program
    • US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
    • US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)
  • Jurisdiction: Geographic extent of Waters in the US
    • 33 CFR 328.3
    • Current revisions – aka Navigable Waters Protection Rule
    • Types of waters that may be Waters of the US
    • Open waters
    • Wetlands
    • USACE methodology
    • 2008 USACE/EPA guidance on jurisdictional extent of Waters of the US
    • 2015 Clean Water Rule defining the extent of Waters of the US
    • Migratory Bird Rule
    • US Supreme Court decisions in Rapanos v. US and SWANCC v US
  • Components of a regulated activity
    • Geographic extent – Waters of the US
    • Discharge of fill into Waters of the US
  • Authorization Opportunities for Regulated Activities
    • Discharges triggering Section 404 regulation
    • Below ordinary high water mark or in wetland area
    • Excavation – Tulloch Rule
    • Temporary vs. Permanent discharges
    • Consideration of non-discharge related impacts
  • Exempt activities
    • Agricultural and maintenance
  • Individual permits
    • Application process
    • Review process
    • National Environmental Protetion Act compliance
    • Public and interagency comment period
  • Mitigation of Impacts
    • Avoidance and Minimization
    • Onsite/Offsite
    • Mitigation Bank
  • Violations, Non-Compliance and Enforcement Actions
  • Nationwide permits (NWPs)
    • Overview of Nationwide Permit Program
    • Regional and State Specific Conditions

Nationwide Permit 12

  • What it is and what it does
  • Where it’s used
  • Special considerations for linear projects
  • General conditions
    • Endangered Species Act
    • National Historic Preservation Act
    • Pre-construction notification
  • Regional conditions
  • Case study or questions/quizzes for attendees

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 – Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. :: Log In

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: Course Timing


National Environmental Policy Act

  • NEPA History
  • NEPA Regulated Activities
    • Projects requiring federal action and NEPA review
    • Agencies that use NEPA reviews for planning and issuing permits
    • Kinds of projects
  • What are the requirements
    • Environmental Assessment (EA)
    • Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)
    • Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
  • NEPA Reform and CEQ’s Proposed Regulations
    • What’s changed
    • Greenhouse Gas Analysis
    • Cumulative Effects
    • Current Status and Risk Management

CWA – Section 401

  • June 2020 – EPA Finalized “Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule”
  • What it is and what it does
  • Beyond water quality
  • Kinds of projects that triggers it
  • Role of State Environmental Quality Act Law
  • Impact of denial of State Water Quality Certificate on projects

Coastal Zone Management Act

  • What it is and does
  • What’s included in a coastal zone
  • Finding that project is inconsisten with State’s Coastal Zone Management Act


Tom Russo, Principal, Russo on Energy

Tom Russo is an Energy and Environmental expert with unique FERC regulatory skills in siting hydropower, natural gas and liquefied natural gas infrastructure, NEPA environmental impact assessment and in how energy markets, prices and physical/cybersecurity affect infrastructure investments.

Prior to founding Russo on Energy LLC in May 2015, Mr. Russo worked for over 30 years as a Manager and Sr. Energy Industry Analyst at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). During that time, he amassed experience in hydropower licensing, NEPA environmental impact assessment of energy projects, business process reengineering, and natural gas and crude oil market oversight. Mr. Russo thoroughly understands the Natural Gas Act, Natural Gas Policy Act, Federal Power Act and Energy Policy Act as they apply to natural gas and hydroelectric projects. He is very active in hydropower and natural gas matters and writes an Energy and Environmental column for the Natural Gas and Electricity Journal. He also co-authored for the R Street Institute entitled “Ebbing the flow of hydropower red tape.”

Mr. Russo is a native of Brooklyn, New York. He earned a credential as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) in 2010. He also graduated with a MBA in Finance from the George Washington University and a MS in Biology from the University of Alabama.

Brooke Wahlberg, Partner, Nossaman

Brooke Wahlberg is a natural resources lawyer focused on powering the economy while maintaining compliance with environmental laws. She is go-to counsel for matters involving the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA), Clean Water Act (CWA) the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).

Brooke counsels some of the nation’s largest electric generation and transmission companies, wind, solar, and storage energy companies, pipeline companies, real estate developers, governmental entities, species conservation bankers, investment companies, and mining companies. She works with them on policy-level and project-specific issues arising under ESA, BGEPA, MBTA, CWA, and NEPA. She currently assists in the development of dozens of Habitat Conservation Plans and BGEPA permits, and several other ESA, BGEPA and CWA compliance efforts. These efforts span across several industries (wind energy, solar energy, electric transmission and distribution, water infrastructure, timber management) and occur within every region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Brooke assists wind, solar, storage, pipeline, and transmission line project developers with federal, state, and local environmental and land use permitting strategies. Brooke also advises clients on policy-level issues related to the ESA, BGEPA, MBTA, and NEPA and often represents her clients in Washington D.C. on related policy issues.

Karl Lotspeich, Senior NEPA / Impact Assessment & Permitting Manager, AECOM

Mr. Lotspeich is a Senior NEPA/IAP Project Manager with AECOM based in Arlington, VA.  Karl has over 32 years of experience as an executive level consultant in the natural and environmental industries and has supported private development interests, municipal/state/federal government, the energy sector, and individual property owners throughout the Southeast and internationally. His professional experience includes directing multi-disciplinary teams located in multiple states completing siting and final design studies for electrical and natural gas transmission projects in compliance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) criteria. Recognized by the courts as a qualified expert witness in wetland ecology, plant communities, and threatened and endangered species habitat with experience in regulatory review for new rule promulgation and extensive knowledge and experience with complimentary and supportive industries and disciplines.

Online Delivery

Our courses are designed to be the best possible use of your valuable time – get the information you need to improve your position in the market in an interactive, dynamic format.

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
  • Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
    • You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time.
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.


Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all registrants for three business days after the event

Event Standard RateAttendees
Single Connection - Endangered Species Act, Wetlands, Stormwater, and Floodplains Regulatory Compliance for Energy & UtilitiesUS $ 1295.00
Pack of 5 connectionsUS $ 5,180.00
Pack of 10 ConnectionsUS $ 9,065.00
Pack of 20 ConnectionsUS $ 15,540.00
Call us at 303.770.8800 if you have any specific questions on the volume discounts
* all other discounts do not apply to license packs

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Cancellation Policy

Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before October 16, 2020 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800

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