Thanks for attending ERBA's 2020 Policy Conference!

Thank you to our 2020 sponsors and Partners!


2020 Agenda

Wednesday, March 4

4:00PM - 6:00PM

Opening Reception *featuring Welcome Remarks from Congressman Garret Graves*

The Monocle, Federal Room

107 D Street NE, Washington DC

Join ERBA members, ecological restoration professionals, policy makers, and Congressional and committee staffers for networking by Capitol Hill as we kick off our 4th Annual Policy Conference!  

Louisiana Congressman Garret Graves, member of House Transportation & Infrastructure and House Natural Resources committees, will provide welcome remarks at the event, so be sure to arrive early!  Congressman Graves will discuss upcoming legislative opportunities and the role our industry can play to support better resiliency policies for coastal communities.

Dress Code: Business Casual

Thursday, March 5


Registration Desk Opens

Outside the Metropolitan Ballroom, Washington Marriott Georgetown, 2nd Floor

8:30AM - 9:15AM

ERBA Membership Meeting

Thomas Salon

8:30AM - 9:30AM

Networking Breakfast

Exhibit Hall - Metropolitan Ballroom 1-2, Washington Marriott Georgetown, 2nd Floor

Enjoy breakfast while networking with attendees and exploring the exhibit hall.

9:30AM - 9:35AM

Opening Remarks

Exhibit Hall - Metropolitan Ballroom 3-5, Washington Marriott Georgetown, 2nd Floor

- James Parker, President (2019), ERBA Board of Directors

9:35AM - 10:35AM

Administration's Water Policy and Mitigation Priorities for 2020

Conference Hall

The Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency issued notice of a preproposal rulemaking in August of 2019 and are now expected to soon release a formal notice on amendments for the 2008 Compensatory Mitigation Rule. In this opening session hear from senior leadership at these important resource agencies regarding their joint policy priorities for 2020 and opportunities for stakeholder engagement, including the forthcoming 2008 Compensatory Mitigation rule-making, reissuance of nationwide permits, and other developments to improve the implementation of the Clean Water Act 404 and 402 programs. 

- Ryan A. Fisher, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works)

- Lee Forsgren, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Water, Environmental Protection Agency

- Moderator: Tim Male, Executive Director, Environmental Policy Innovation Center

10:35AM - 11:00AM

Networking Coffee Break

Exhibit Hall

11:00AM - 12:00PM

Water Quality Markets - Ecological Restoration as a Way to Increase Implementation

Conference Hall

EPA recently issued updates to and requested comment on possible changes to the Trading Policy. These actions were designed to increase discussion regarding the use of trading as a market-based approach to reduce pollutant loads and to incentivize greater implementation of land-based practices to address nonpoint source pollution. This moderated discussion will look at the current status of the Trading Policy and discuss possible ways ecological restoration can play a role in increasing the use of trading as a tool to more efficiently and effectively reduce pollutant loads.

- Allan Brockenbrough, Manager, Office of Permits, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

- Brooks Smith, Partner and Environmental Attorney, Troutman Sanders

- Kevin Weiss, Chief, National Program Branch, Office of Wastewater Management, US Environmental Protection Agency

- Moderator: Michael Hare, Director of Government Affairs, Business Development, & Corporation Communications, Resource Environmental Solutions

12:00PM - 12:30PM

Update on Corps Regulatory Activities

Conference Hall

Hear updates from the Chief of the Corps Regulatory program on successes and new initiatives over the past year for the mitigation program and others under the Regulatory branch’s jurisdiction. 

-Jennifer Moyer, Chief, Regulatory Program, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

-Introduction: James Parker, Owner and Partner, Clearwater Ventures

12:30PM - 2:00PM 

Networking Lunch

Exhibit Hall

Enjoy lunch while networking with attendees and exploring the exhibit hall.

2:00PM - 2:30PM

Reflections on WOTUS: Step Two for the Ecological Restoration Industry 

Conference Hall

Wetland law expert Professor Royal Gardner breaks down the latest changes to WOTUS after the Step Two Rule-making and outlines the state of ongoing WOTUS legal challenges. Professor Gardner will also share his thoughts on potential implications for the industry under the new WOTUS, and offer an update on his forthcoming research reports. 

- Professor Royal Gardner, Professor of Law and Director, Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy, Stetson University 

2:30PM - 3:15PM 

How Do We Scale Resiliency Solutions?

Conference Hall

Communities large and small across the country are preparing for the stronger impacts of natural disasters.  Deploying green infrastructure solutions that reinforce communities' natural defenses is an important component of achieving resiliency goals, but challenges still exist including funding mechanisms and the right policy incentives.  In this panel segment, hear different perspectives on approaches to to putting resiliency projects in the ground and policy changes that would support increased investment in these project models.

-Justin Ehrenwerth, President and CEO, The Water Institute

-Matthew Fuchs, Officer, Flood Prepared Communities, PEW Charitable Trusts

-Moderator: Kyle Graham, Senior Program Manager, Ecosystem Investment Partners

3:15PM - 3:45PM

Networking Coffee Break

Exhibit Hall

3:45PM - 4:30PM 

Investor’s Circle: Ecosystem Services as an Asset Class

Conference Hall

What policy environment are investors looking for in the ecological restoration marketplace?  Join us for a discussion between industry leaders on different investment models that maximize financing for environmental outcomes, how policy can influence investment decisions, and considerations investors weigh before investing in a new green market. 

-Elliott Bouillion, President & CEO, Resource Environmental Solutions

-Aaron McCrady, Director, Public Investment Team, Hannon Armstrong 

-Ken Mehlman, Partner, Global Head of Public Affairs & Co-Head of KKR Global Impact

-Moderator: Adam Riggsbee, President, RiverBank Conservation

4:30PM - 6:30PM 

Networking Reception 

Exhibit Hall

Join attendees and exhibitors for an evening of drinks, snacks, and networking!

Dress Code: Business Casual

Friday, March 6


Registration Desk Opens

Outside the Metropolitan Ballroom, Washington Marriott Georgetown, 2nd Floor

8:30AM - 9:30AM

Networking Breakfast

Exhibit Hall

Enjoy breakfast while networking with attendees and exploring the exhibit hall.

9:30AM - 10:00AM 

A New NEPA: Streamlining Reviews and Utilizing Mitigation 

Conference Hall

At the start of the year the Administration proposed the first major changes to the National Environmental Policy Act in over three decades.  Hear from senior leadership at CEQ with an overviewof the proposed changes, including more efficient processes for review analyses and a greater role for mitigation considerations.

- Mary Neumayr, Chairman, White House Council on Environmental Quality

- Introduction: Tim Male, Executive Director, Environmental Policy Innovation Center

10:00AM - 10:30AM 

Our Agricultural Partner: Banking and Conservation with the NRCS

Conference Hall

Agricultural providers are often a natural fit as a partner for restoration companies.  Chief of the NRCS joins us to share remarks on opportunities to collaborate on water quality objectives, changes to the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, and the agricultural banking program.

- Matthew Lohr, Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture 

- Introduction: Travis Hemmen, Vice President, Business Development, Westervelt Ecological Services

10:30AM - 11:00AM 

Understanding the Client: Permittee Perspectives on Flexible Mitigation Delivery

Conference Hall

Project developers face a maze of regulations and they turn to third party mitigation providers to help them efficiently resolve their wetlands and species impacts. ERBA has engaged with industry groups over the past year to better understand their challenges and opportunities for members to work together. Hear from a senior counselor working with permittees on their policy concerns for 2020, including implementation of the new WOTUS Rule and pending litigation impacting the industry.

- Karen Bennett, Partner and Co-Chair of the Environmental and Administrative Law Practice, Lewis Brisbois

11:00AM - 11:30AM

Changes to Implementation Regulations of the Endangered Species Act

Conference Hall

The Fish and Wildlife Service recently rolled out the first changes in years to the implementation regulations for Sections 4 and 7 of the ESA. In this segment join an ESA legal expert for an analysis of those recent changes, implications for restoration practitioners and permittees, and thoughts on how mitigation considerations could potentially play a role in improving implementation. 

- Alexander Horning, Environmental Attorney, Beveridge & Diamond


A View from the Hill 

Conference Hall

In this closing session, hear insightful remarks from congressional staffers on committees of jurisdiction regarding upcoming legislative opportunities for the industry. Moderated and facilitated by ERBA’s policy advisors.

- Navis Bermudez, Majority Professional Staff, House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee 

- Annie D'Amato, Professional Staff, Senate Environment & Public Works Committee

- Mark Mendenhall, Professional Staff, Senate Environment & Public Works Committee 

-Moderators: Michael Powelson & Garrett Durst, Natural Resource Results


Conference Adjourns and Boxed Lunches Available

Exhibit Hall

Grab a boxed lunch on your way up to the Hill!

1:00PM - 5:00PM

Individually-Scheduled Hill Visits

ERBA encourages all conference attendees to take advantage of their time in Washington and arrange for meetings with the Offices of their Congressmen. ERBA is happy to help attendees identify the scheduler for your Congressional Office and provide some industry talking points. 

Dress Code: Business Casual

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