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Here’s What You Missed at SGA’s Technical Conference on Environmental Permitting & Construction 2017


Stacey Atella from POWER Engineers speaking at SGA's Technical Conference on Environmental Permitting & Construction 2017.

SGA’s Technical Conference on Environmental Permitting & Construction met at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina last week. More than 275 natural gas professionals gathered to dig deep on pipeline design and construction. This conference helps paint a better picture of the complicated permitting process and NEPA-related activities, specifically for environmental professionals. If you were unable to make the conference, here are some key takeaways from this year’s presenters:

Building a Better Future with Natural Gas

“Be proud of what you do. Your hard work not only ensures that critically needed energy infrastructure is built, operated and maintained in a safe and reliable manner but also advances our nation’s drive toward energy independence.”

Stanley Chapman, III, senior vice president and general manager, TransCanada Corp., U.S. Pipelines

The Future of Tribal Consultation in Energy Infrastructure Projects

“Working through Section 106 of the NHPA has many opportunities to trip up a project if/when it is not done well.  As we all know, missteps can lead to schedule impacts and cost overtures. Project applicants should engage with folks uniquely familiar with the regulations early.  When engaging with tribal nations, respectful communication early and often is required to start projects off on the right foot. Communication no longer consists of just mailing a letter and checking a box; successful project proponents are increasingly realizing that engaging in dialogue with THPOs and SHPOs must be a priority. The draft guidance from FERC is a must read for all project teams.”

Brian Benito, senior compliance permitting specialist, Kinder Morgan

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Update

“The changes to the Corps of Engineers 2017 Nationwide Permits were mainly ‘clarifications’ from previous guidance and regulations. However, environmental practitioners should pay close attention to the revised General Conditions and each states’ forthcoming Regional Conditions and Section 401 Water Quality Certifications.”

Matt Stahman, principal, SWCA Environmental Consultants

Social Ecology: Knowing the People & Community Dynamics of the Industry

“In order to avoid formalized methods of citizen engagement which tend to polarize and give undue influence to more extreme voices, it is more useful to ‘match the culture’ at the community level. That means we want to get into the routines of the community, to identify and work with informal networks that operate everyday for routine survival and to communicate about the project within that mode. Finding the ‘caretakers’ and ‘communicators’ – those people whose names come up often with the question, ‘Who else should I talk to about this?’ grounds you in the local culture and gives you assurance that you won’t be surprised later. Responding to emerging citizen issues, when they are the cheapest and easiest to resolve, is the single best way to build a ‘moderate middle’ capable of forestalling the influence of opposition groups.”

Kevin Preister, executive director, JKA Group

See the highlights from the conference below, and mark your calendar for next year’s conference on February 20-22 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

SGA would like to especially recognize the following companies for their time and support to help make the 2017 Technical Conference on Environmental Permitting & Construction such a success:

Participating Sponsors


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