3rd Annual Cal Desal Conference, October 6-7, 2014 — Featuring the Education Session IV – Interface of Science and Policy for Desalination

3rd Annual Conference
October 6 & 7, 2014 – Portola Hotel& Spa, Monterey, CA


What constitutes “Best Available Science” and how do decision-makers separate reality from rhetoric when considering complex environmental issues, particularly in the face of incomplete or imperfect data? Learn how the process and substance of environmental decision making is influenced by science and scientific data, and see how scientific experts are consulted in developing policy and shaping decisions related to seawater desalination by hearing from our panelists on the front line of these issues. Specific illustration will be provided through discussion of CEQA documentation, permitting, the Ocean Plan Amendment Process, and California Coastal Commission science panel processes.

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Moderator Joe Monaco 

Vice President of Dudek, has over 27 years of professional environmental planning experience in both the public and private sectors. Mr. Monaco specializes in management of complex CEQA/NEPA documentation, including development of policy and regulatory framework, management of technical analyses, permitting, and coordination with diverse stakeholder groups and regulatory agencies.  He has been involved with environmental clearances and permitting for large scale seawater desalination projects for over ten years, including the following:

  • Carlsbad Seawater Desalination Plant EIR and permitting support, Carlsbad, California
  • Huntington Beach Seawater Desalination Plant Subsequent EIR and permitting support, Huntington Beach, California
  • City of Santa Barbara Desalination Plant Reactivation, Santa Barbara California
  • City of Santa Cruz and Soquel Creek Water District (scwd2) Seawater Desalination Project permit facilitator, Santa Cruz, California
  • West Basin Municipal Water District Seawater Desalination Project Program Master Plan, Redondo Beach/El Segundo, California.
  • Rosarito Beach Binational Seawater Desalination Project Feasibility Study/RosaritoBC Mexico.

Panelist Scott McCreary 

is President of CONCUR Inc; a Bay Area based firm providing services in environmental policy analysis, mediation, and strategic planning.   CONCUR has a national and international project portfolio. Scott has lead teams in the facilitation and mediation of over 100 complex cases, and organized convened and facilitated a dozen scientific review panels on water resource-related subjects involving water supply, infrastructure, measurement, water quality, and ecosystem restoration.  Scott has been a practicing environmental planner and analyst for 30 years and a practicing mediator for 25 years.   His current work includes organizing and facilitating the Independent Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (ISTAP), jointly convened by Poseidon Water and the California Coastal Commission to examine issues related to the proposed Poseidon Desalination Facility in Huntington Beach, California.   CONCUR was chosen jointly by the permit applicant and the regulatory agency to structure and execute this joint fact-finding process. The Phase 1 report, which focuses on the issue of technical feasibility of subsurface intake methods, is now in preparation by the Panel.  Other recent projects include federal regulatory negotiations on fisheries and bycatch, evaluating causes of sea turtle stranding in the Gulf of Mexico, consulting with New Zealand’s Environment Court and strategic planning or coral reef protection in MesoAmerica.  Scott is well versed in water and marine policy issues, building on his doctoral work at MIT, his position as a Visiting Investigator at WHOI, Associate at the Harvard Program on Negotiation and his prior positions at the California Coastal Commission and Coastal Conservancy.   In addition to agreement-focused his project work, Scott has is co-teaching the graduate course “Climate Change Science, Adaptation, and Mitigation” at UC Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group.   He previously taught short courses at Vermont Law School in mediating water and marine resource disputes. Scott earned a BA in Biology and Environmental Planning from UC Santa Cruz, a Master’s in Environmental Planning from UC Berkeley, and his PhD from MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning with a focus on Environmental Policy and Dispute Resolution.

Panelist Michelle Ouellette 

is a partner at Best Best & Krieger LLP in Riverside where she helps public agency and private clients navigate the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act, and state and federal endangered species laws. With 25 years of experience, she brings an in-depth understanding of environmental laws and knowledge of regulations that impact her clients’ projects. Her CEQA projects run the gamut: From a 3,000-unit residential project, major highway improvements, large commercial projects to solar energy projects. Michelle assists clients in both transactional matters as well as litigation in both state and federal court. An expert in the Endangered Species Acts, Michelle has successfully guided both public and private clients through the regulatory hurdles of creating habitat conservation plans that protect endangered species while allowing important development to move forward. They range from a 10-acre property harboring the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly to plans that cover 1 million acres and protect nearly 150 species. Michelle is routinely selected by her peers to be on top attorney lists such as Super Lawyers® and Best Lawyers in America®. Michelle graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz and received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Southern California.

Panelist Vicky Whitney  
is the State Water Resources Control Board’s Deputy Director for Water Quality, a position she has held since October 2010. Vicky has worked for the Water Boards since 1982, spending most of that time on water supply issues. From 2003 to 2010 she served as the State Water Board’s Deputy Director for Water Rights. Vicky is a licensed civil engineer in California, and a graduate of the University of California at Davis. She has worked on numerous complex and controversial water supply issues throughout the state, including managing the Water Board’s Bay-Delta program. As Deputy Director for Water Quality, she has worked on a variety of statewide water quality issues ranging from the Board’s Low Threat Underground Storage Tank Closure Policy and statewide Water Quality Permits to proposed Water Quality Control Plan Amendments, including the proposed amendment to the Ocean Plan to address desalination.
CalDesal 2520 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 150, Sacramento, CA 95833
Phone: (916) 239-4099
Fax: (916) 924-7323

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Monday, October 6 –
Tuesday, October 7,2014
Portola Hotel & Spa
2 Portola Plaza
Monterey, CA 93940
(888) 222-5852
CalDesal’s 3rd Annual Conference!  Don’t miss out on great education and a chance to interact with others in the industry!

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