The California AEP is an affiliated chapter of the National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP). NAEP was founded in 1977 in a response to the enactment of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). When the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) held its formal hearings in 1978 on proposed revisions to its regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA, NAEP was the only professional association officially invited to give testimony, thereby giving federal recognition to the national organization and its membership of environmental professionals. Given the application of NEPA to all federal actions undertaken domestically and abroad, the membership of NAEP has a broad base with approximately 1,000 members.

California, like many other States, fulfilled the spirit of NEPA by enacting State legislation that brings similar environmental principals to bear on State, regional, and local land use decisions far beyond the purview of Federal agencies pursuant to NEPA. Over the years, many states have formed associations of environmental professionals, like California AEP, to advance the professional practice in their respective processes.

History of the NAEP and California AEP Affiliation

Recognizing the potential synergy between NAEP and California AEP, an Ad Hoc Committee was formed to explore the concept of a formal affiliation between the two organizations. The first Affiliation Agreement was executed in 2005. Between 2005 and 2010 both organizations grew in their relationship and understanding for each other with various activities and program benefits. Both organizations elected to renew the Affiliation Agreement in 2011 and again in 2015. The current Affiliation Agreement expires in 2021.

View the current Affiliation Agreement [2016-2021].

NAEP Affiliated Chapter Benefits

NAEP is a nationally recognized professional organization, whose elected board members routinely collaborate with the CEQ, and other Federal agencies engaged in policy and rulemaking that effects the environmental profession. It is a multi-disciplinary, professional association dedicated to the promotion of ethical practices, technical competency, and professional standards in the environmental fields. In addition to affording California AEP affiliated members with access to a national network of environmental professionals, they also receive the following benefits:

  • Annual Conference: NAEP works with a local Chapter each year to produce an annual conference that includes training and workshops related to recent litigation pursuant to NEPA, CEQ Guidance documents, and legislative updates related to a wide range of Federal statutes, regulation, and guidance documents. This conference is typically attended by several hundred people from across the Nation, engaged in the diverse aspects of the environmental profession. (10% discount to NAEP Affiliated Members)
  • NAEP Training: NAEP provides training opportunities for both entry-level and maturing environmental technical professionals, project managers, and managers. Training topics include NEPA and advanced topics related to the outcome of Federal and Circuit Court decisions, as well as public engagement and negotiating, bargaining, and conflict resolution. (10% discount to NAEP Affiliated Members)
  • Webinars: NAEP hosts three separate webinar series addressing training topics for individuals engaged in all facets of the environmental profession:
    • NAEP Webinar Series focuses on emerging topics related to NEPA litigation, CEQ Guidance, and pending and adopted Federal regulation and guidance. The most recent webinar in this series was a two-part NEPA case law and policy review in May 2015. ($75 discount to NAEP Affiliated Members)
    • NAEP partners with Vermont Law School to conduct two webinars each year that have broad appeal for those engaged in policy, rule-making and the implementation of new federal statutes, regulations, and plans. The most recent webinar in this series was on the Cool Power Plan. ($75 discount to NAEP Affiliated Members)
    • NAEP partners with American Public University to sponsor three webinars per year to build career development skills for new and emerging professionals. The final webinar in this series in 2015 is on managing effective meetings. (Free)
  • NAEP Publications: Affiliated members receive access to three NAEP publications related to developments and trends in the practice of environmental planning:
    • eNews is a bi-monthly publication sharing topics of interest, news, and information;
    • News from the National Desk is a bi-weekly publication of current national eissues affecting environmental issues; and
    • Environmental Practice is an online journal published quarterly by the Cambridge University Press in cooperation with DePaul University and offers a forum of research and commentary papers on environmental issues related to environmental science and policy.
  • Chapter Representation on the Board of Directors: Each affiliated Chapter is provided representation on the NAEP Board of Directors through a Chapter liaison that has vote equal to other elected Board members-at-large.
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