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Environmental Operations Manager
San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco, CA
Jennifer Acton has spent more than a decade serving San Francisco International Airport protecting water quality. She has supported SFO in achieving its environmental compliance obligations while stretching to meet SFO's 5-year, bold strategic plan goals to design and operate a water balanced and zero waste campus. During her tenure, Jennifer has grown her role from a chemist, focusing on protecting campus-wide water quality, to overseeing the Airport's Bay Pollution Prevention, Integrated Pest Management, Green Business and NPDES permit compliance programs as the Environmental Operations manager. Leading sustainability for the Facilities Division, Jennifer is tasked with ensuring SFO meets its high operational standards for recycled water use, facility and construction storm water compliance, spill management, emerging pollutant preparedness and material diversion. For the past year, Jennifer has acted as SFO’s first Facilities - Utility Systems Director, expanding her responsibilities to also direct the infrastructure upgrades, maintenance, repair and operational activities of the Airport’s Sanitary and Industrial Waste Treatment Plants and associated pump stations all while continuing oversight of the Environmental Operations Unit.
City of Chicago
Mort Ames is a Senior Counsel in the Aviation, Environmental, Regulatory & Contracts Division of the City of Chicago Department of Law. His practice focuses on environmental matters for multiple City departments including the Chicago Department of Aviation. His aviation-related responsibilities include airport compliance with local, state and federal environmental laws and regulations for water, air and solid/hazardous waste, including responses to spill incidents.
Joel D. Bacon
Executive Vice President, Government & Public Affairs
Joel Bacon serves as Executive Vice President of Government and Public Affairs for AAAE. In his current role, Joel lead’s the Association’s advocacy and public affairs operations with oversight of legislative and regulatory affairs, transportation security policy, communications, press, public relations, and Airport Magazine. Joel joined AAAE in 2000 and played a key role for well more than a decade in the development and implementation of the Association’s legislative program, focusing on security, budget, and appropriations issues. Prior to joining AAAE, he served as senior manager of legislative affairs with the National Business Aviation Association. Joel began his professional career in the office of Kansas Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum where he held positions as legislative assistant and press secretary. He also worked for the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee during Senator Kassebaum's term as Chairman. Joel served as the first district director for then-Representative Jerry Moran, who now serves in the United States Senate. Joel and his wife, Amy, have two children and live in Alexandria, Virginia.
Tim J. Bahr, P.G.
Director, Division of Waste Management
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Justin T. Barkowski
Vice President, Regulatory Affairs
Justin Barkowski is Vice President, Regulatory Affairs for the American Association of Airport Executives. In his role, Justin represents and advocates for AAAE's members before the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies overseeing the U.S. aviation industry. Prior to joining AAAE, Justin managed regulatory and policy issues at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), particularly airmen certification, aircraft certification, and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Justin served on the Drone Advisory Subcommittee, the Unmanned Aircraft Safety Team, and co-chaired the 26 Coalition for UAS Safety, which brought over 20 aviation associations together to collaborate on safe UAS integration. While at AOPA, Justin also handled a number of airport compliance issues under the FAA's Airport Improvement Program. Justin began his career practicing law in California, defending aircraft part manufacturers, pilots, mechanics, airports, and others in over a dozen fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft accidents across the country. He is also an avid writer, having authored a book on aviation legislative history and articles involving federal preemption of aircraft product liability and the Next Generation Air Transportation System. Justin is an instrument-rated commercial pilot. He is a native of Southern California, but currently resides in Washington, D.C. He also loves to travel, especially visiting national parks around the country.
Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP
Tom Bloomfield advises public and private clients on complex environmental disputes involving administrative law, public policy, and litigation. He routinely negotiates and drafts consent decrees, environmental cleanup documents, and other environmental settlements. For more than 25 years, he has successfully represented his clients on major Superfund and other contamination cases, liability risk transfers, energy issues, ozone and regional haze rulemakings, and oil and gas matters. Tom has played a pivotal role representing clients in the most significant air quality and climate change rulemakings in Colorado. These accomplishments include the first statewide rules to control methane from oil and gas operations; the groundbreaking Clean Air Clean Jobs Act rulemakings that integrated energy planning and environmental regulation to address regional haze, climate change and public health; the Colorado Regional Haze State Implementation Plan; and the state’s adoption of low emission vehicle standards. Representative clients include industrial and public entities, counties, cities and towns, utilities, the state of California, and several California state agencies. Prior to joining Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell, Tom served as an attorney with two other law firms and as an Assistant Regional Counsel for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in San Francisco. While at U.S. EPA Region 9, Tom litigated and resolved some of the most significant, high profile CERCLA cases in the region. Tom has been recognized as a leading national expert on financial assurance issues, environmental insurance, fixed-price contractual arrangements, and alternative financing approaches for public projects.
Director of Planning, Eng & Env
Connecticut Airport Authority
Windsor Locks, CT
Aviation Environmental Specialist
Ivan A. Cooper, PE, BCEE
National Water/Wastewater Practice Leader
Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.
Mr. Cooper is the Water and Wastewater Practice Lead and PFAS subject matter expert for PFAS for Civil & Environmental Consultants. He designed over 100 leachate, industrial, and municipal wastewater treatment plants. He has a BSCE from Union College and a Master’s in Civil Engineering from Northwestern University. He is a PE in 19 states, and is a BCEE with a Wastewater Treatment Specialty. He is chair of SWANA’s Leachate and Landfill Liquids Management Committee. He serves on the Water Environment Federation’s Industrial Waste Committee, and is a contributing author to WEF’s new book on PFAS. He received the 2017 Roy F. Weston Award – for contributions in solid waste technology and management, and the 2019 Distinguished Individual Achievement Award from the Solid Waste Association of North America. He served as a subject matter expert on wastewater and solid waste for the US State Department in the Palestinian West Bank and in Morocco.
Samantha Cummings, C.M.
Development Specialist, Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities
State of Alaska
Sammy Cummings began her career with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) at the Fairbanks International Airport as the Business Development and Communications Manager from 2015 to 2018. Mrs. Cummings was promoted to the department’s PFAS Program Manager and transitioned to DOT&PF’s Statewide Aviation section in 2018 where she primarily focuses on project management and community relations for PFAS contamination at airports. Mrs. Cummings attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Media Studies with concentration in Integrated Marketing Communications. In 2016, Mrs. Cummings passed her Certified Member exam to obtain her C.M. credentialing through the American Association of Airport Executives. She serves on the DOT&PF statewide communications team and participates in many statewide and national aviation and PFAS committees. She is a born and raised Alaskan, an avid runner and a proud beagle mom.
Emerging Contaminants Coordinator
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
James Elwood, A.A.E.
Jackson Hole Airport
Jim came to the Jackson Hole Airport in 2014. Before coming to Jackson, Jim was the director of Aspen/Pitkin County Airport in Aspen, CO. While in Aspen he had significant accomplishments in improving the environmental stewardship of the airport. Prior to working in Aspen, Jim served as the Airport Manager in both Eagle County Airport and Pueblo Airport in Colorado. His many accomplishments in the industry include serving as Chair for the American Association of Airport Executives in 2008.
Meg Anne Jenkins, PIO
Communications Manager, PIO
Jackson Hole Airport
Meg Jenkins is the Communications and Customer Experience Manager as well as the Public Information Officer at the Jackson Hole Airport. During her decade at JAC, she has grown the Airport Host Program and created a Junior Ambassador Program. Meg is passionate about collaborating with staff members on a variety projects and has played an intricate role in a suite of environmental initiatives that have set policy and expectations for sustainable business. She is one of two certified Advanced Public Information Officers in Teton County and is a certified Wildland Firefighter.
Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP
Polly Jessen’s practice focuses on the range of contaminated property redevelopment issues, including environmental due diligence, negotiating purchase and sale agreements, cleanup plans, development agreements and environmental insurance policies, obtaining Brownfield grants and state tax credits, severed mineral interests, mine reclamation, and professional service and construction contracting. Polly advises and represents clients before regulatory agencies regarding remedy selection, administrative orders, cleanup standards, institutional controls, redevelopment, and community relations activities under voluntary cleanup agreements and regulatory orders. She has drafted ordinances governing solid waste management and development standards for areas of statewide interest. Polly also has drafted comments to regulatory agencies regarding wetlands permits and endangered species issues and has prepared briefs and other pleadings in environmental and natural resource litigation and mediation proceedings. Polly’s clients include municipalities and quasi-governmental entities, as well as private developers, lenders, and other private entities involved in complex remediation and redevelopment projects. She speaks and publishes frequently on contaminated property redevelopment issues, construction, and the environmental and land use issues associated with severed mineral interests.
Noah J. Karberg, A.A.E., ACE
Assistant Airport Manager
Nantucket Memorial Airport
Noah Karberg holds a BS in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan and an MS in Forestry from Michigan Technological University. He began his career as an Ecologist with the USDA Forest Service, where his work was published in Nature, Oecologia, and Biological Invasions. Noah left his research to follow a girl to Nantucket, which is still the best decision he ever made. Eventually discovering Airports, he began with ACK as their Environmental Coordinator. Now Assistant Airport Manager Noah still oversees environmental programming, and has also found a place for himself applying data-driven analytics into operational and business decision making.
John A. Lengel, Jr., P.E., ENV SP
John understands the successful airport management is achieved considering safety, costs, environmental impacts, operational implications, development, management of assets, tenants and customer satisfaction. The intricacy of airport management is now further complicated by changing weather patterns, rising sea levels, and frequent severe events, causing uncertainty. John continues to provide tailored adaptation guidance to many airports including TPA, PHL, RDU, IND, Tyndall AFB, and helped to development industry guidelines presented in ACRP Report 147: Climate Change Adaptation Planning: Risk Assessment for Airports and ACRP Report 188: Using Existing Airport Management Systems to Manage Climate Risk. John also leads ACI’s World Environment Standing Committee (WEnSC) Task Force on Climate Adaptation and is an ACI representative to ICAO Working Group 2 Climate Adaptation Tasks 6 and 7 helping to develop aviation-specific guidance.
Wendy Linck, PG, PMP
Senior Engineering Geologist
California State Water Resources Control Board
Wendy has spent her professional career spanning 28 years in environmental protection, either in private consulting or with the State of California. After 26 years in the private consulting industry, she joined the State Water Resources Control Board in the Oil and Gas Monitoring Unit and soon thereafter was promoted into the UST & Site Cleanup Programs. She is part of leadership team at the State Water Board regarding the state-wide investigation of Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Her scholastic background is based in geology. She holds a Professional Registration in Geology with the State of California and a certification as a Professional Project Manager with the Project Management Institute.
Emerging Contaminants Technical Coordinator
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Jason has been the Technical Operations Coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s (DNR) Office of Emerging Contaminants (focusing on PFAS) since February 2020. Jason was also the agency’s Spills Response Team Leader and/or EPA Superfund Site Assessment Team Leader from 2012 to 2020. Jason has approximately 20 years of environmental remediation-related experience. He is also a Wisconsin-licensed Professional Geologist (P.G.), holds an MS in Geohydrology from Illinois St. University and a BA in Geology from Lawrence University.
Melinda McCoy, PG
Environmental Resources Manager
John Wayne-Orange County Airport
Costa Mesa, CA
Sara V. Mogharabi
Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP
Sara Mogharabi has extensive environmental regulatory and litigation experience, with a focus on matters relating to project development, contamination and hazardous wastes, and product stewardship. Sara has represented clients in the mining, waste, recycling, and energy sectors. She has advised clients on regulatory compliance matters under a broad array of federal environment statutes, including the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act; the Clean Water Act; the Clean Air Act; the Endangered Species Act; the Safe Drinking Water Act; and the National Environmental Policy Act. Sara also has expertise in compliance counseling under specific state statutes, such as California’s Proposition 65 and state-level product stewardship laws. As part of her regulatory practice, she has represented clients before federal and state agencies. Sara’s litigation experience includes conducting document reviews, managing expert witnesses, taking and defending depositions, working with joint defense groups, drafting motions and briefs, and preparing cases for arbitration and jury trials. She has represented clients with matters in federal and state courts as well as before agency tribunals. She has performed internal investigations and assisted in settlement negotiations on behalf of clients. In addition to her environmental regulatory and litigation expertise, Sara has transactional environmental experience performing due diligence reviews and marking up agreements. She has also assisted companies undergoing corporate mergers and re-brandings with permit transfers and name changes. When her workload permits, Sara represents pro bono clients in immigration court. Prior to joining the Firm, Sara worked as an associate at an environmental boutique and as a senior associate at a large, global law firm. During law school, she served as a law clerk at the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Civil Enforcement, at the Department of Justice in the Appellate Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division, and for the Environmental Defense Fund's Climate and Air Program.
Shannon & Wilson, Inc.
Marcy has been heavily involved in per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) assessment projects since 2014. She manages three groundwater-plume projects involving impacted drinking water wells, including the City of Fairbanks Regional Fire Training Center and Fairbanks International Airport. These ongoing projects involve fast-paced response, distribution of short-term alternate water source, community relations, and extensive private-well search and sampling efforts. She has also overseen source area characterization, fire training pit remediation, and monitoring well installation and sampling. Frequent stakeholder coordination has allowed our project team to respond quickly and appropriately to regulatory changes. Marcy’s field experience includes soil, groundwater, surface-water, and water-treatment system sampling; monitoring well installation; spill release assessment; and site reconnaissance for Phase I ESAs. She is also experienced in soil classification and ArcGIS mapping.
Herbert Nelson, Ph.D.
Director, SERDP & ESTCP
U.S. Department of Defense
Dr. Herbert H. Nelson is currently the Executive Director of the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), which is planned and executed jointly with the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Director of the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Environment. Acting on behalf of the SERDP Council and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment, Dr. Nelson is responsible for the overall direction and prioritization of topics in the two programs which support over $120M annually in research, development, and demonstration projects addressing DoD’s environmental and energy resilience requirements. Dr. Nelson also is the primary interface between the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the environmental research programs of the Military Departments and other federal agencies working on environmental problems that impact DoD’s mission. Dr. Nelson has nearly 40 years’ experience in the DoD Science and Technology arena. He began his career as a National Research Council Postdoctoral fellow in the Chemistry Division of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington D.C., moving on to staff scientist and then group leader positions. During this time, he authored over 60 papers in the archival literature and over 300 presentations to professional society meetings, Universities, and DoD audiences. In 2005, while still at the Naval Research Laboratory, Dr. Nelson began working with SERDP and ESTCP managing a program demonstrating technologies for wide-area assessment of former bombing and training ranges. He moved full time to SERDP in 2008 as the Program Manager for Munitions Response. In 2016, he assumed the positions of Executive Director of SERDP and Director of ESTCP. Dr. Nelson received a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Chemistry from Tulane University in 1975 and a Ph. D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1980.
Jeff O'Keefe, P.E.
Supervising Sanitary Engineer, Division of Drinking Water
California State Water Resources Control Board
Sioux Falls, SD
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