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2021 Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Law Section Program

8:25        Welcome and Introductions

8:30        Keynote Address by NCDEQ General Counsel

William F. "Bill" Lane, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Raleigh

This presentation provides an update on agency issues and an introduction to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality's new secretary, Dionne Delli-Gatti. Participants also have an opportunity for questions and discussion.

8:50        Break

9:00        Environmental Justice

Renee P. Kramer, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Raleigh
Kaitlyn S. Rhonehouse, Geosyntec Consultants of North Carolina PC, Wilmington (Moderator)
Sean M. Sullivan, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Raleigh
Chandra T. Taylor, Southern Environmental Law Center, Chapel Hill

Listen as presenters give an overview of the community mapping system and the department's approach to environmental justice during permitting and new facility siting and construction, followed by a panel discussion.

10:00      Break

10:10      State Environmental Update

Joy A. Hicks, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Raleigh

Receive an update on state legislative issues and policies of note.

10:50      Break

11:00      Federal Environmental Update

Kelsey V. Monk, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Raleigh
Fern A. Paterson, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Charlotte

Review the 2021 federal environmental law and explore what's to come in the future.

11:40      Break

11:50      Hot Topics

Kimberley C. "Kym" Hunter, Southern Environmental Law Center, Chapel Hill
Mary Katherine H. Stukes, Moore & Van Allen PLLC, Charlotte
Jeffrey B. "Jeff" Tyburski, Geosyntec Consultants of North Carolina PC, Raleigh

This session discusses the perspective on today's hot topics, including the latest developments with the National Environmental Policy Act and WOTUS Rule, and a new focus on methane assessment and mitigation under the NC Brownfields Program.

12:40      Adjourn

Thank you

Thank you for joining us for 2021 Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Law Section Program.


  • Joy A. Hicks

    Joy A. Hicks was named the Senior Director for Governmental Affairs at the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality in 2019 and oversees state and federal relations for the agency. She previously served for two years as the governmental affairs and legislative director at the N.C. Department of Transportation and nine years as legislative liaison and policy analyst at the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In addition, Hicks was a fiscal analyst for the N.C. General Assembly and Arizona House of Representatives.

    Joy is a graduate of North Carolina State University, earning her undergraduate degree in Agribusiness Management and a Master'

    Click here for more information about Joy.

  • Kimberley C. "Kym" Hunter

    Kimberley C. "Kym" Hunter is a Senior Attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center ("SELC") and the leader of SELC's Government Accountability program. Kym has practiced law at SELC for over ten years since she graduated cum laude from Georgetown Law School, where she was Editor in Chief of the Georgetown International Environmental Law Review and President of the Environmental Law Society.

    At SELC, Kym focuses on transportation, climate change, transparency and good government. Kym has litigated numerous NEPA cases on behalf of clients across the Southeast and is currently leading the first NEPA challenge in the country focused on sea level rise. Kym also heads up SELC's Defense of NEPA initiative. Currently, Kym is the lead attorney representing 17 environmental groups in a facial challenge to Trump Administration's 2020 NEPA regulations and is thus on the front lines of the fight to preserve NEPA on a daily basis.

    Kym lives in Chapel Hill with her partner, Graig Meyer, and their assorted Brady Bunch of children.

  • Renee P. Kramer

    Renee P. Kramer graduated from the University of Delaware in 2013 with a degree in Wildlife Conservation & Agriculture and Natural Resources. Upon graduation, she worked for a private consultant with wind energy conducting wildlife impact surveys. In 2015, Kramer continued her studies at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment for Ecosystem Science and Conservation, receiving her Master of Environmental Management and a certificate in community-based environmental management.

    Renee has been with the Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) in Raleigh since 2013 and serves as the Title VI and Environmental Justice (EJ) Coordinator. In this role, she acts as the liaison between the EJ and Equity Advisory Board and works with communities and staff to advance the Department's EJ programs across the state.

  • William F. "Bill" Lane

    William F. "Bill" Lane was named the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality's general counsel in February 2017, and is responsible for overseeing all legal matters for the agency. Bill is the first point of contact in litigation, acting as the service agent for all contested cases, tort claims and other lawsuits involving the department. He supervises the rulemaking coordination process and provides advice on new policy initiatives, legislation, contracts, conflicts of interest and dispute resolution.

    For the past 20 years, Bill has worked for Kilpatrick Townsend and Stockton in Raleigh, where he represented many business and governmental clients on issues related to energy, air quality, waste management and water quality. Bill is known as a team-oriented counselor with substantial experience in environmental regulatory programs administered by the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    Bill earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame, a master's degree in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Click here for more information about Bill.

  • Kelsey V. Monk

    Kelsey V. Monk's environmental practice, at Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP in Raleigh, includes representing manufacturers, real estate developers, renewable energy companies, and local governments in regulatory matters, land use and zoning issues, and civil litigation. Kelsey rounds out her litigation practice by assisting in professional negligence and other complex litigation matters.

    Kelsey earned her B.A. degree in Political Science from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA (2009) and her J.D. degree from Vanderbilt Law School in Nashville, TN (2018). While at Vanderbilt, Kelsey was the Managing Editor of the Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review. Between undergrad and law school, Kelsey served as a commissioned surface warfare officer in the United States Navy, and then worked on the Environmental Defense Fund's Natural Gas Campaign in pursuit of developing science-based, common-sense, best practices and regulations to limit ground, water, and air contamination during the natural gas lifecycle.

    When not practicing the law, Kelsey can be found at roller derby practice, where each day brings her closer to the ultimate goal of not injuring herself.

    Click here for more information about Kelsey.

  • Fern A. Paterson

    Fern A. Paterson is an environmental attorney at Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP in Charlotte. Fern's practice includes litigation, regulatory compliance matters, and business transactions for a wide variety of clients, including traditional energy, renewable energy (solar, wind, biogas, and biomass), chemical manufacturing, engineering, wood products, waste management, real estate development, and other commercial and manufacturing clients. Fern also assists in professional negligence and product liability litigation, including litigation alleging personal injury.

    Fern received a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from North Carolina State and, after working as a private environmental consultant focusing on technical air issues and, later, a chemical engineer for the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality – Division of Air Quality (DAQ), earned her J.D. degree from North Carolina Central University. Fern is a licensed professional engineer (P.E.) in North Carolina and is admitted to the North Carolina and South Carolina Bars.

    Click here for more information about Fern.

  • Kaitlyn S. Rhonehouse

    Kaitlyn S. Rhonehouse is a Principal Engineer with Geosyntec's Environmental Management group in Wilmington, North Carolina. She has more than 14 years of experience focused on the assessment and remediation of contaminated properties, property transaction environmental due diligence, compliance and permitting evaluations, valuation of environmental liability, brownfields negotiations and redevelopment, and vapor intrusion assessment and mitigation.

    A senior leader in Geosyntec's Environmental Management practice group, Kaitlyn has lead hundreds of environmental due diligence projects for property transactions located in many areas of the United States. Kaitlyn's expertise focuses on evaluating quantitative and qualitative risk factors associated with impaired properties. Kaitlyn assists commercial and attorney clients with cost-to-cure estimates, establishment of environmental escrows and financial reserves, and redevelopment planning for known or perceived contamination. She has experience with complex regulatory negotiations and has helped potentially responsible parties (PRPs) and prospective property owners and developers reduce or eliminate their liability through risk assessments, brownfields agreements, risk-based closure strategies, and the development and implementation of cost-effective remedial alternatives. Kaitlyn also assists clients with multi-media compliance evaluations and environmental permitting review and assistance

    Kaitlyn received her B.S. degree in Environmental Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2005.

    Click here for more information about Kaitlyn.

  • Lisa K. Rushton

    Lisa K. Rushton is a partner with Womble Bond Dickinson (U.S.P) LLP in Raleigh. She is an industry-leading environmental attorney, that guides corporate clients, including global, multi-national, and local corporations, real estate developers, financial institutions and investment funds on matters relating to federal, state, and local environmental, health and safety laws and regulations. Lisa was identified by Chambers as one of the leading environmental practitioners for business transactions. She serves as Co-Head of the firm's Energy and Natural Resources Sector and Head of the firm's Renewable Energy Subsector.

    Lisa has more than twenty years of experience representing clients in environmental litigation and overseeing the investigation and remediation of site conditions. She counsels clients on compliance obligations and the implementation of environmental management systems and assists clients in the defense of claims relating to environmental liabilities and allegations of non-compliance.

    Lisa received her B.A. degree from Bucknell University in 1989 and her J.D. degree, magna cum laude, from Tulane Law School in 1994.

    Click here for more information about Lisa.

  • Mary Katherine H. Stukes

    Mary Katherine H. Stukes practices environmental law at Moore & Van Allen in Charlotte, where she is co-head of the firm's Environmental practice. She advises clients on environmental issues involved in all types of business transactions, as well as regulatory compliance issues and environmental litigation.

    Mary Katherine holds an undergraduate degree from Duke University and a law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Mary Katherine.

  • Sean M. Sullivan

    Sean M. Sullivan's principal area of practice is environmental law at Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA in Raleigh. He advises clients throughout the country regarding all of the major federal environmental programs, with a particular emphasis on hazardous waste, Brownfields redevelopment, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and emerging contaminants like PFAS and 1,4-dioxane. He leverages his broad range of experience and his technical background in environmental science to find creative, cost-effective solutions for the most challenging environmental matters.

    Sean is a member of the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, Environmental Committee. He received his B.S. degree with honors from the University of Miami in 1998 and his J.D. degree, cum laude, from American University in 2001.

    Click here for information about Sean.

  • Chandra T. Taylor

    Chandra T. Taylor is a senior attorney in the Southern Environmental Law Center's Chapel Hill office specializing in water quality and environmental justice issues. Chandra first began her career at SELC in 2006, following years of practice as a consumer protections attorney. She also serves as an adjunct professor at University of North Carolina School of Law and on the board of the North Carolina Justice Center.

    Chandra has led work in North Carolina to force cleanups at contaminated industrial sites, stop water pollution threatening North Carolina communities, and shape transit and landfill policies. In 2007, she helped lead the overhaul of North Carolina’s Solid Waste Management Act, in order to protect lower-wealth communities and communities of color, as well as natural resources, from being disproportionately harmed from landfill-siting.

    A native of Kinston in eastern North Carolina, Chandra earned her undergraduate and law degree from the University of North Carolina, and she was a fellow with the Vermont Law School Environmental Justice Exchange Program between the U.S. and China.

    Click here for more information about Chandra.

  • Jeffrey B. "Jeff" Tyburski

    Jeffrey B. "Jeff" Tyburski joined Geosyntec's Raleigh, North Carolina office in August of 2019 as a Principal. Jeff has over 33 years of experience in the environmental consulting field.

    Through his career he has worked on a variety of projects in the public and private sectors. He has significant experience developing cost-effective solutions for Phase II ESAs, corrective action, vapor intrusion and facility decommissioning to mitigate risks associated with subsurface contamination. His primary area of expertise is supporting the redevelopment of urban infill / Brownfields sites. Through his experience, he has the ability to work with property owners, their site design and construction team, legal counsel, investment partners and regulatory agencies to develop an integrated approach to manage environmental risk through the site acquisition, redevelopment design and construction processes. He has been actively involved with regulatory stakeholder groups and initiatives to support development of new regulations and guidance.

    Jeff graduated from the University of Rochester with a Bachelor's degree in Geology in 1987.

    Click here for more information about Jeff.

  • Amy P. Wang

    Amy P. Wang leads the Environmental practice at Ward and Smith PA in New Bern with a focus on the environmental aspects of real estate and business transactions, including coastal development. She has built trust with her clients by providing practical business advice and strategies for regulatory compliance; conducting due diligence; remediating contaminated properties; meeting the requirements of coastal development and stormwater permitting standards; and, redeveloping contaminated properties through Brownfields and green building practices. Amy's philosophy of communication and teamwork allows her to establish, maintain, and leverage positive relationships with environmental technical experts and government regulators.

    Amy chairs Ward and Smith's Green Initiative to build and promote environmentally sustainable professional practices within the firm.

    Click here for more information about Amy.

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May 13, 2021
Thu 8:25 AM EDT

Duration 4H 15M

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