Advanced NEPA Workshops

About | Date & Time | Pricing & Registration | Workshop Session Outline

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About NEPA Workshops


The target audience for this workshop would include experienced NEPA planners, managers, decision-makers, environmental engineers/scientists/ specialists, consultants, regulators, applicants and attorneys who require an in-depth understanding of NEPA law, policy, and project management within their area of environmental expertise, especially those who serve on NEPA interdisciplinary teams, work with NEPA planners, or those who review/edit NEPA documents. This workshop will also benefit those professionals who work in related natural resource disciplines who work with federal land management or real estate transactions, federal agency projects or permitting, and transportation or other infrastructure projects with a NEPA review component.

Public Materials:

Thank you to our Advanced NEPA Workshop Committee!

Marie Campbell, Michael Drummond, Pam Hudson, Lisa Mahoney, Chuck Nicholson, Michelle Rau, Michael Smith, Laura Thorne, and Fred Wagner 

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Dates & Time

The time will be the same for each workshop, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, and will correspond to the time zone for each workshop.

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Pricing & Registration

  • NAEP Member: $225
  • Non-Member Government: $275
  • Non-Member Chapter-Only Member: $315
  • Non-Member: $350
Based on the schedule of topics and to enhance the engagement during the workshop,
we are asking in the registration form to provide any questions you would like answered from the presenters. 

The registration for the 2021 workshops has concluded.
More opportunities will be open early next year,
starting with our first workshop in May 2022.

Workshop Session Outline 

For a general overview of what will be covered in each workshop, please see the sample agenda below. Topic order for each workshop will vary pending speaker availability and will be sent out in the Know Before You Go email. The time will be the same for each workshop and will correspond to the time zone for each workshop. 

*Session outline subject to change based on speaker availability. 





Introduction by Moderator

Marie CampbellSapphos Environmental, Inc.

8:15 AM – 8:30 AM

Topic 1: Update to the Status of Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act

Ted Boling, Perkins Coie LLP (former Counsel and Associate Director for NEPA at the Council on Environmental Quality)
Michael Drummond

Interested in staying up-to-date on the latest developments on NEPA? This session of the NAEP Advanced NEPA Workshop will provide an overview of CEQ’s 2020 final rule updating its NEPA implementing regulations, updates on the lawsuits challenging that rule, expert analysis of Biden Administration actions which will affect the state of play for NEPA practitioners, project sponsors, lawyers, and advocacy organizations. The curriculum for this session will be updated as warranted based on developments in on-going litigation and as policy decisions from the Biden Administration are announced.

8:30 AM – 10:00 AM


10:00 AM – 10:15 AM

Topic 2: Public & Stakeholder Engagement 

Michele Rau, Jacobs Engineering

Stakeholder engagement is arguably the most important factor in determining a project’s success during the NEPA process. We will go over methods for effective stakeholder engagement during the NEPA process; including approaches for dealing with stakeholders at all levels. Specific consideration will be given to interactions with the public, outside agencies, elected officials and environmental justice communities. 

10:15 AM – 11:15 AM 


11:15 AM – 11:30 AM

Topic 3: Alternatives Analysis

Chuck Nicholson, HDR
P.E. "Pam" Hudson, DON OGC

The Revised CEQ NEPA Regulations that went into effect on September 14, 2020 made changes to the alternatives analysis conducted during the NEPA process.  In the new Rule, CEQ included a new definition of "reasonable alternative" clarifying that agencies need only consider alternatives that are "technically or economically feasible," meet the purpose and need for the proposed action, and meet the applicant's goals (if applicable). This session will compare the changes in the Rule to existing case law and practice. It will summarize recent key federal court decisions involving alternatives and describe how they relate to the current revisions. 

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM 


12:30 PM – 1:00 PM



Topic 4: Effects and Significance Determinations 

Michael Smith, WSP USA
P.E. Hudson, Esq.  Counsel, DON OGC

The Revised CEQ NEPA Regulations that went into effect on September 14, 2020 made substantial changes to the definition of impacts/effects and to how significance is determined in agency NEPA analyses from the previous 1978 version of the regulations. These changes include removing the terms and definitions for indirect and cumulative effects, adding new parameters for how agencies determine whether effects need to be analyzed, and decoupling the concept of significance with the definition of a “major federal action.” The changes have engendered controversy and numerous lawsuits, and a number of federal agencies have issued informal and formal guidance on how NEPA practitioners should handle the changes. This session will provide a detailed overview of the changes, and will also summarize recent key federal court decisions on impacts/effects analysis and significance and how they relate to the related revisions made in 2020 CEQ NEPA Regulations.

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM


2:00 PM – 2:15 PM

Topic 5: Environmental Justice

Fred Wagner, Venable LLP

Since an executive order issued over 30 years ago, the federal government has been tasked with analyzing the impacts of its proposed actions on disadvantaged communities. Since then, environmental justice (EJ) analyses have become an essential part of NEPA reviews. The Biden administration has made equity and social justice a main policy priority.  As a result, NEPA EJ reviews will receive even greater attention. This session will focus on how to perform meaningful EJ analysis consistent with the highest aspirations of the original executive order.

2:15 PM – 3:15 PM 


3:15 PM – 3:30 PM

Topic 6: GHG Guidance and Climate Resiliency 

Rich Walter, ICF

This session will focus on resources for NEPA practitioners, including GHG accounting tools,  and best to characterize and evaluate greenhouse gas emissions and climate resiliency in NEPA documents, during a period of transition for related guidance. On February 19, 2021, pursuant to Executive Order 13990, Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis, CEQ rescinded its 2019 Draft NEPA Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and is reviewing, for revision and update, the 2016 Final Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in NEPA Reviews.

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM


 4:30 PM – 4:45 PM 

*Session outline subject to change based on speaker availability. 

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Workshop Archives

Thank you to all who attended our 2020 Virtual Advanced NEPA Workshop Series!

Presentation recordings are available for all workshop attendees, and those who were not able to attend will have the ability to purchase these recordings soon.

View 2020 Recordings

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