Office of Environmental Design

707 North Calvert Street, C-303
Baltimore, MD 21202

Sonal Ram, Director
Phone: 410-545-8640
Toll Free: 1-800-446-5962 

Kevin P. Wilsey, Deputy Director
Phone: 410-545-8605

Vacant, Deputy Director
Phone:

The Office of Environmental Design’s (OED) mission is to incorporate environmental design, compliance, and stewardship as a fundamental and integral component of highway planning, design, construction and maintenance.

The Office of Environmental Design is comprised of the following six divisions:

Environmental Compliance Division

Greg Keenan, Chief
Phone: 410-582-5585 

Shawn Schmelzer, Assistant Chief
Phone: 410-582-5589

  • Ensures that all MDOT SHA facilities and operations maintain multi-media environmental compliance with State, federal, and local environmental permits, laws, regulations, and Best Management Practices (BMP).
  • Provides environmental compliance resources, oversight and guidance, environmental technical expertise, and environmental training programs for SHA employees
  • Develops and implements a comprehensive Environmental Management System (EMS) for highway and facility operations.
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Environmental Programs Division

Todd Nichols, Chief
Phone: 410-545-8628 

Cheryl Jordon, Assistant Chief
Phone: 410-545-8614

Don Hoey, Assistant Chief
Phone:410-545-8627

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  • Works with planners, designers, and engineers to achieve environmentally sensitive highway, bridge, and maintenance projects, minimizing impacts to sensitive natural resources.
  • Processes, negotiates, and tracks environmental permit applications, including wetland/waterway, tree, and critical area, with federal and State resources agencies, to ensure compliance through the planning, design, construction, and maintenance phases of transportation projects.
  • Prepares the plans, specifications, and estimates for all MDOT SHA’s compensatory wetland mitigation, and stream mitigation, reforestation and Critical Area projects.
  • Identifies, evaluates, and delivers successful environmental stewardship projects to improve water quality to the Bay and its tributaries.
  • Additional responsibilities include wetland delineation and functional assessment services, water quality monitoring, wetland mitigation and stream restoration monitoring, and environmental monitoring of construction projects
  • The Quality Assurance Program through Delegated Authority from the Maryland Department of the Environment inspects SHA projects for compliance of the approved Erosion and Sediment Control and Strom Water Management Plans. Key elements include a checklist and rating system, along with environmental compliance education.

Landscape Architecture Division

Vacant, Chief
Phone: 410-545-8603 

Margot Bartosh, Assistant Chief
Phone: 410-545-8622

  • Develops plans, specifications, and estimates, incorporating context-sensitive solutions for landscape architecturally related projects along Maryland highways.
  • Examples include safety rest areas, park & rides, welcome centers, highway landscaping, streetscapes, tree and forest mitigation, Chesapeake Bay Critical Area mitigation, historic site preservation and enhancement, and aesthetic treatments for bridges, walls, and other hardscape elements.
  • Designs, advertises, and manages stand-alone projects to remove invasive plants, and installs plantings for revegetation screening and aesthetic enhancement.
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Landscape Operations Division

Joseph Vervier, Chief
Phone: 410-545-8590

Pam Bowen, Assistant Chief
Phone: 410-780-6228

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  • Directs, administers, and supervises MDOT SHA’s statewide efforts in landscape inspection support, landscape maintenance, forest mitigation, tree preservation, turf management, nutrient management, integrated roadside vegetation management, pest control, pesticide certification, and the Pollinator Habitat Program.
  • Supports compliance with Maryland tree laws, evaluation of hazardous trees, access permit reviews, excess land reviews, and field evaluation of proposed work by other agencies and utilities within the SHA right of way.
  • Administers the Partnership Planting Program, which utilizes volunteers for highway beautification along state roads.

Water Programs Division

Karren Coffman, Chief
Phone: 410-545-8407 

Vacant, Assistant Chief
Phone: 

  • Complies with State water quality standards and federal Clean Water Act (CWA) by administering National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Phase I and II Permits, and Chesapeake Bay and local waterway TMDL requirements.
  • Administers MDOT SHA Bay Restoration Funds to meet MDOT SHA’s component of the MDE Watershed Implementation Plan and MS4 impervious restoration requirements. Builds best management practices throughout the designated MS4 counties and jurisdictions including:  Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Washington, Cambridge, Cumberland, and Salisbury.  The practices used include tree planting, stream restoration, outfall stabilization, pavement removal, and storm water control structures.
  • Coordinates programs to
    • foster public education relating to water quality and activities to reduce pollutant discharges
    • measure effects of program implementation on water quality
    • research new or improved practices techniques or procedures
    • update MDOT SHA impervious surface mapping
    • report compliance efforts to public, regulatory agencies, and MDOT

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Program Support Division

Veronica Piskor, Chief
Phone: 410-545-2283 

  • Oversees procurement and contract management activities for the Office of Environmental Design
  • Manages Architectural/Engineering (A&E) and Consulting and Technical Services (CATS) contracts
  • Prepares contracts for advertisement, including formal capital, and operating projects and small procurements
  • Provides IT support for office staff at headquarters and satellite locations throughout the State
  • Conducts contract closeout of office-administered capital construction and operations-maintenance projects
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