2023 NEPA Essentials Workshop

Friday, September 29th
8:30am - 3pm PST
Virtual Event

Register Now


A webinar designed to inform on the basics of NEPA practice, as well as emerging trends & issues in practice, policy, & case law.

Curriculum will focus on the following topics:

  • NEPA's framework
  • Determining NEPA application
  • Required scope & content of NEPA documents
  • Determining which NEPA pathway to follow
  • Common NEPA mistakes & how to avoid them
  • Integrating NEPA with other laws
  • Recent policy & legal updates

5.5 AICP & 2.0 MCLE credits may be earned for attending this event


  • Member (Full/Agency/Corporate): $150
  • Member (Young Professional/Emeritus): $100
  • Member (Student): $35
  • Non-Member: $250
  • Non-Member Group Rate (per person for groups of 3+): $175

Register Now

For questions, please contact us at membership@califaep.org.





Joint NEPA & CEQA Documents Case Study (Marie Campbell)


Pathways for Joint Documents Administrative Procedures Act (Ben Whittle)




NEPA Purpose & Need/Alternatives/Affected Environment & Baseline Conditions (Theresa Dickerson)




Impact Analysis & Environmental Consequences Effective Mitigation Measures (Lorraine Ahlquist)




Consideration of Related Federal Regulations (Michael Smith)


Q&A and Discussion


  • Lorraine Ahlquist, MS, Ninyo & Moore
  • Marie Campbell, Sapphos Environmental
  • Theresa Dickerson, WSP
  • Michael Smith, PhD, WSP
  • Ben Whittle, The Sohagi Law Group

Speaker Bios

Lorraine Ahlquist, MS, Ninyo & Moore

Lorraine Ahlquist is a Principal Environmental Operations Manager at Ninyo & Mooreout of the San Diego office and has over 25 years of experience.She holds a M.S.in Biological Science, B.S. in Environmental Studies with Chemistry and Biology minors, A.S. in Radiation Protection. 

During her career she has focused on state, federal, academia, and the private research sector. She has also specialized on issues related to regulatory management and research within several listed areas such as: environmental policy (California Environmental Quality Act-CEQA and National Environmental Policy Act-NEPA), community based natural resources management, urban planning and management (including areas of regulatory oversight), bio-diversity conservation,environmental education, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), plant, animal,and water protection, and global climate change. 

Her responsibilities have included the preparation and review of environmental documents under CEQA. Other federal (NEPA) transportation, military and energy projects have included the preparation, review and coordination of Environmental Impact Study (EIS), Environmental Assessments (EA) and Categorical Exclusions (CatEx.) for Caltrans Local Assistance and Oversight, Department of Army, Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service, and United States Corps. of Engineers as well as coordinating reviews of technical studies for state and federal compliance. 

Lorraine also teaches an Introduction to NEPA class at UCSD that’s part of the CEQA Practice Program.

Marie Campbell, Sapphos Environmental

Marie is principal and owner of Sapphos Environmental, Inc. She is an environmental compliance specialist with more than 35 years of experience in managing public-and private-sector projects that require strategic planning, environmental compliance documentation, and resource management. She is recognized by the Los Angeles Bar Association as an expert on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). She has extensive experience with environmental compliance documentation for capital improvement projects for transportation, energy,recreation, health care, and water. She has served as a strategic environmental advisor on complex joint environmental impact statements and environmental impact reports for projects such as multiple conventional and renewable energy projects, the Los Angeles International Airport Master Plan and subsequent improvements, China Shipping Yard, and the Los Angeles County Drainage Area.She served as the project manager for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Campus and Long Beach Memorial Master Plan. She has overseen the entitlement and environmental analysis and permitting for over 3,000 megawatts of renewable and conventional energy projects and transmission facilities in the western United States.

Theresa Dickerson, WSP

Theresa has a highly diverse background in environmental compliance having delivered projects for public and private clients in four states and more than seven counties. With over 30 years of experience in managing the environmental clearance process under both CEQA and NEPA regulatory laws, she has advised clients in all phases of project delivery from planning to construction. She has worked on both the consulting and client side of project management, quality control, policy, and project delivery. She has spent over 10 years as an industry mentor working with college students and young career professionals in developing their career paths. Having managed over $3M in environmental services for major metropolitan cities, counties, transit agencies and DOTs, she is adept in helping clients bridge the gap between planning and project implementation.

Michael Smith, PhD, WSP

Dr. Michael D. Smith is a nationally-recognized leader in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance with over 29 years of experience in project and program management, technical analysis, policy development, and training/education for a wide range of public and private sector clients. He is currently a Senior Vice President and the National Practice Leader for WSP USA's Environmental Policy and Process Group. WSP USA is an arm of one of the world's leading professional services firms with over 65,000strategic advisors, environmental specialists, engineers, scientists, technicians,architects, and planners located globally in more than 500 offices in 40 countries.

He has managed and provided compliance review for some of the nation's largest,most complex, and highly controversial projects, including major energy,transportation, and water infrastructure projects, regulation of genetically engineered plants, commercial space transportation operations, and approval of new fuel economy standards for all vehicles operated in the U.S.

He has extensive experience providing training and strategic advice for NEPA, CEQA, and related environmental compliance requirement. 

Ben Whittle, The Sohagi Law Group

An associate at The Sohagi Law Group in Los Angeles, Ben Whittle has a passion for environmental and land use matters, with a particular interest in large infrastructure projects. During his time at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, Ben completed a directed research project under the supervision of Professor Joe DiMento on the intersection of NEPA, sea level rise, and coastal infrastructure. Now,Ben advises public agencies on environmental and land use matters, including issues arising under CEQA, NEPA, and affordable housing laws. Ben also served as an advanced student in the UCI School of Law’s Intellectual Property, Arts, and Technology Clinic, Press Freedom and Transparency Practice, where he supervised students handling numerous Public Records Act requests and litigation before various California courts. Additionally, Ben was a legal extern at Orange County Coastkeeper, where he litigated Clean Water Act citizen suits and externed in U.S.District Court for the Central District of California with Honorable Autumn D. Spaeth.