Office of Environmental Design

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

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

Joseph Vervier, Deputy Director
Phone: 410-545-8590

MISSION:  The Office of Environmental Design (OED) protects, restores and enhances the natural and built environment associated with Maryland’s highway system.

ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE DIVISION

Greg Keenan, Chief
Phone: 410-582-5585 

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

  • Ensures that all Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (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, environmental technical expertise, and environmental training programs for MDOT SHA employees.
  • Develops 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

  • 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 comply 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 Chesapeake 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.

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LANDSCAPE PROGRAMS DIVISION

Vacant, Chief
Phone: 410-545-8603 

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

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

  • Manages integrated vegetation of roadsides.
  • Provides innovative, context-sensitive landscape architectural design solutions and technical support for highway projects and roadside that
    • promote environmental stewardship
    • improve appearance, functionality and safety
    • ensure compliance with all State, federal, and local laws and specifications to foster a fiscally responsible environmental ethic.
  • Develops landscape planting and hardscape plans, specifications, and estimates for highway construction projects.
  • Manages vegetation management, landscape construction, and landscape maintenance projects.
  • Enforces vegetation management and landscape design standards, guidelines, and construction specifications.
  • Establishes standards and guidelines for roadside development and vegetation management.
  • Ensures compliance with Maryland Tree Laws.
  • Administers:
    • MDOT SHA Pollinator Habitat Protection Program
    • MDOT SHA Pesticide Training Program
    • MDOT SHA Partnership Planting Program

 

 

 

 

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 - including formal capital, and operating projects and small procurements - for advertisement.
  • Provides IT support for staff at headquarters and satellite locations throughout the State.
  • Conducts contract closeout of office-administered capital construction and operations-maintenance projects.

Quality Assurance Division

VACANT, Chief

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

  • Ensures that all MDOT SHA construction and maintenance activities requiring compliance with the Stormwater and Sediment control laws of Maryland and the United States Clean Water Act obtain review and approval.
  • Provides environmental compliance resources, oversight/guidance, environmental technical expertise and environmental training programs for highway design engineers and construction engineers.
  • Develops comprehensive policies, procedures, interpretations, guidance and training related to erosion and sediment control and storm water management requirements, including
    • engineering specifications
    • construction installation and maintenance requirements
    • other applicable requirements of the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) stormwater and erosion and sediment control and NPDES laws, regulations, and guidance.
  • Communicates with MDE and other regulatory agencies to guide team members, as well as MDOT SHA project design engineers and MDOT SHA construction project engineers, thus ensuring that MDOT SHA projects are in a responsible manner that yields high quality outcomes.

 

 

 

WATER PROGRAMS DIVISION

Karen Coffman, Chief
Phone: 410-545-8407 

Ryan Cole, Assistant Chief
Phone: 410-545-8567

  • Complies with State water quality standards and the 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 these counties:  Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Washington, Cambridge, Cumberland, and Salisbury.  Practices 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 that reduce pollutant discharges
    • Measure effects of program implementation on water quality
    • Research improved practices techniques and procedures
    • Update MDOT SHA impervious surface mapping
    • Report compliance to the public, regulatory agencies, and the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT)