Lori has been working for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) for the past seven years, first as an Environmental Regulatory Specialist and currently as the Environmental Compliance Planner for the Natural Resources Division of the Water Enterprise. As an SFPUC Environmental Regulatory Specialist, Lori has worked on numerous development-related environmental issues including managing a watershed restoration project, coordinating SFPUC regulatory compliance efforts, and assisting in the development of a habitat conservation plan under the Endangered Species Act.
Lori’s division manages approximately 60,000 acres of watershed lands owned by the City and County of San Francisco (the Peninsula Watershed and Alameda Watershed) as well as over 200 miles of rights-of-way lands containing major water transmission lines from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park. Lori’s conservation efforts include the Peninsula Watershed, a state fish and game refuge with the highest concentration of rare, threatened, and endangered species in the San Francisco Bay area. She is currently developing a new compliance scheme for operation and maintenance activities on the watersheds and rights-of-way lands to ensure compliance with a host of state and federal regulations. In this capacity, Lori handles permitting issues with the California Department of Fish & Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and will help assume monitoring and reporting responsibilities under Mitigation & Monitoring Plans for a Habitat Reserve Program to compensate for impacts from the SFPUC’s $4.6 billion Water System Improvement Project.
How did Lori make the leap from the Baltimore-Washington D.C. area to San Francisco? During law school she worked at the EPA’s Office of Enforcement & Compliance Assurance, took a variety of environmental law courses, and participated in the Environmental Law Clinic. Lori found that these experiences were “instrumental in affirming my decision to pursue a career in the environmental regulatory field and provided me with valuable tools to help me hit the ground running immediately following law school.” After graduation, Lori went to work at the EPA’s Office of Administrative Law Judges as an attorney adviser for one and a half years. She then moved to private practice at Bracewell & Giuliani in Washington D.C. where she counseled clients on a wide variety of environmental matters for another two and a half years.
While Lori found the University of Maryland School of Law and the Environmental Law Program to be “fantastic” and enjoyed her time here, her choice to move out to San Francisco was the best move she made: “while I appreciated being in the center of the regulatory world in the D.C. area, I wanted to make an impact at the local level and the San Francisco Bay Area offers a lot of opportunities to that end, along with a mild climate and an abundance of cultural offerings and outdoor activities.”