Sophy Townsend

Sophy Townsend

Summary

Experienced and versatile Environmental Scientist, Ecologist, and Project Manager with more than 14 years of experience in federal, state, and local environmental permitting; environmental impact assessment; and the planning and conduct of comprehensive biological studies and surveys. Has worked directly on the preparation of regulatory submittals in Australia, the United States, and Canada for numerous developments including wind energy facilities, natural gas pipelines and underground natural gas storage, transmission lines, highways, airports, ports, refineries, mines and water storage projects.

Proficient researcher and problem solver, with excellent leadership capabilities and interpersonal skills. Highly responsible and dedicated professional, capable of developing and implementing creative, innovative, and effective solutions to problems and challenges. Excellent team member and thrive as part of a highly effective, enthusiastic, hardworking, and multi-disciplinary team. Effective oral and written communicator, able to successfully interact with colleagues and a diverse audience of stakeholders and clients in industry, academia, and government.

Work History

Work History

Feb 2012 - Present

Senior Environmental Scientist/Project Manager

GHD Pty Ltd

Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development - Western Sydney Airport Environmental Impact Statement - NSW, Australia

Currently co-author of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the construction and operation of the proposed Western Sydney Airport located at Badgerys Creek, NSW. Role includes critically reviewing internal and external specialists reports and writing various chapters of the EIS.

Santos NSW (Eastern) Pty Ltd - Narrabri Gas Project Environmental Impact Statement - NSW, Australia

Co-author of an EIS for the construction and operation of a range of gas exploration and production activities and infrastructure in Narrabri, NSW. The purpose of the project is to develop natural gas from coal seams in the Gunnedah Basin, southwest of Narrabri. Role included critically reviewing internal specialist reports and external sub consultant reports, and writing various chapters of the EIS.

Patrick Stevedores Operations No. 2 - Port Botany Container Terminal - Section 75W Modification Application - NSW, Australia. Project manager for the proposed modification to the existing container terminal located at Port Botany in NSW. Patrick are proposing a range of demolition and construction activities within the existing container terminal including the demolition of out-dated buildings and infrastructure and the construction of new, improved infrastructure and buildings. Role includes managing and critically reviewing internal specialist reports and compiling, writing, and reviewing all aspects of the Section 75W Modification.

Orange City Council - Orange Aerodrome Expansion Environmental Impact Statement - NSW, Australia. Project manager for the proposed expansion of aerodrome facilities at Orange Aerodrome, located outside Orange in NSW. Orange City Council proposed to extend and widen the primary runway, extend and widen taxiways, build internal roads, expand the terminal building, and realign two rural roads to accommodate the runway extension. Role includes managing and critically reviewing internal specialist reports and external sub-consultant reports and compiling, writing, and reviewing all aspects of the EIS.

Orange City Council and APA Group - Brown’s Creek to Orange Gas Pipeline Relocation Environmental Impact Statement - NSW, Australia. Project manager for the Brown’s Creek to Orange Gas Pipeline EIS. Orange City Council and APA Group propose to relocate a natural gas pipeline to facilitate the proposed Orange Aerodrome Expansion (see above). The pipeline relocation is necessary to facilitate the proposed runway extension. Without relocation, there would be unacceptable risks to both the pipeline and the new aerodrome infrastructure. Role included managing and critically reviewing internal specialist reports and external sub-consultant reports and compiling, writing, and reviewing all aspects of the EIS.

Orange City Council - Orange Aerodrome Terminal Building Expansion Review of Environmental Factors - NSW, Australia. Project manager of Review of Environmental Factors (REF) for the proposed Orange Terminal Building Expansion. Orange City Council propose to demolish the existing terminal building and construct a new terminal building at Orange Aerodrome. Role included compiling, writing, and reviewing all aspects of the REF.

May 2007 - Sep 2011

Environmental Scientist/Ecologist/Project Manager

TRC Environmental Corportation

Transmission Developers Incorporated, Champlain Hudson Power Express Project – NY and CT, United States. Deputy Project Manager for the Connecticut portion of the Champlain Hudson Power Express Project. The Champlain Hudson Power Express Project involves over 350 miles of underground and submarine cable with a total transmission capacity of 1,000 MW. The Connecticut portion of the project was approximately 62 miles in length and traversed through the Harlem River to Long Island Sound before terminating in Bridgeport. Responsibilities included coordination and preparation of state permits including a Connecticut Siting Council Certificate, a Structures, Dredging and Fill, and Tidal Wetlands Permit, 401 Water Quality Certification, a Stormwater Management Permit, and Coastal Zone Consistency Concurrence. Responsibilities also included coordination and management of pre-hearing discovery (interrogatories) for the New York portion of the project. Role included extensive collaboration with project legal team.

AES Fox Hill Wind LLC, AES Fox Hill Wind Energy Project – PA, United States. Project Manager of environmental permitting services for the proposed AES Fox Hill Wind Energy Project. AES propose to construct and operate up to 70 wind turbines and associated facilities (operations and maintenance building, substation, and electrical transmission lines) within Ulysses and Hector Townships, Potter County, Pennsylvania. The Project would have a maximum generating capacity of approximately 142.5 megawatts. Role included extensive client liaison, management of internal TRC staff and external subconsultants, and critically reviewing internal TRC and external subconsultant technical reports (including visual, shadow flicker, noise, cultural, telecommunications interference studies). Also served as the primary author of two Permit Application and Preliminary Plans submitted separately to Ulysses Township and Hector Township. The project was successfully permitted in June 2011.

AES Armenia Mountain Wind LLC, AES Armenia Mountain Wind Energy Project – PA, United States. Deputy Project Manager of environmental permitting services for the AES Armenia Mountain Wind Energy Project. TRC conducted extensive field surveys and provided comprehensive environmental permitting support for the project. The Armenia Mountain Wind Energy Project was designed as a 124-turbine project on approximately 10,000 acres of land in Bradford and Tioga Counties, Pennsylvania. Role included extensive client liaison, assisting in the management of internal TRC staff and external subconsultants, critically reviewing internal TRC and external subconsultant technical reports, and the preparation of two separate Land Development Applications for Bradford and Tioga Counties. The project was successfully permitted in December 2008. Construction of the first phase was complete in December 2009. Once fully operational, the Armenia Mountain Wind Energy Project will provide 180 MW of clean, renewable energy – enough to power approximately 48,000 homes.

U.S. Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, Cape Wind Project – MA, United States. Participated in the preparation of the National Environmental Policy Act Third-Party Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed 420 MW Cape Wind Park to be located offshore in Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound, Massachusetts. Assisted in the review and summarization of over 45,000 comment letters and the preparation of a complete Third Party EIS covering an extensive and diverse array of impacts including: impacts to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airspace, impacts to radar and other communication devices in the area, avian impacts, noise impacts, impacts to rare and endangered species, construction and operational impacts, navigation impacts and other issues. Approval of the Cape Wind Park, the nations first offshore wind farm, was obtained in April 2010.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Orbit Gas Storage, Inc., Kentucky Energy Hub Project – KY, United States. Deputy Project Manager for Orbit Gas Storage’s (OGS) Kentucky Energy Hub Project in Hopkins County, Kentucky. OGS proposed to convert the existing depleted White Plains Gas Field to a natural gas storage facility and connect its pipeline header to the interstate pipeline grid. Role included consultation with various state and federal agencies and the preparation of resource reports to be submitted as part of OGS’ Application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, under Section 7c of the Natural Gas Act. 

Centerpoint Energy Gas Transmission Company, Long Lake Compressor Station Project – LA, United States. Project Manager for Centerpoint Energy Gas Transmission Company’s (CEGT) Long Lake Compressor Station Project in Red River Parish, Louisiana. CEGT filed a Prior Notice request pursuant to section 157.205 of the FERC's regulations under the Natural Gas Act. The Prior Notice request sought approval to construct, own, operate, and maintain approximately one half mile of new 16-inch-diameter pipeline, approximately 1,680 horsepower (hp) of natural gas-fired compression at a new station (the Long Lake Compressor Station), an 8-inch ultrasonic meter station, and associated auxiliary facilities. Role included consultation with various state and federal agencies, management of internal staff and external subconsultants, liaison with project legal team, and the preparation of environmental resource reports to be submitted as part of the Prior Notice.

Florida Gas Transmission Company, Phase VIII Expansion Project - FL and AL, United States. Task Manager and co-author of a threatened and endangered species impact assessment for Florida Gas Transmissions (FGT) Phase VIII Expansion Project. FGT proposed to construct up to 483.2 miles of multi-diamter pipeline and associated pipeline support facilities and acquire 23.1 miles of existing lateral pipeline. Role included assessing potential impacts to 83 federally-listed species and 231 states-listed species and recommending mitigation measures to ameliorate potential impacts on listed species. Role also included identifying survey locations for seasonally-dependednt species and construction timing windows. The impact assessment was submitted as part of FGT's Application to the FERC for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity under Section 7c of the Natural Gas Act.

Nov 2005 - May 2007

Environmenal Scientist/Ecologist

Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.

Federal Aviation Authority and City of Philadelphia – Philadelphia International Airport Capacity Enhancement Program Draft Environmental Impact Statement - PA, United States. Co-author of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for major improvements to Philadelphia International Airport. These improvements aimed to increase airfield capacity at the airport in order to reduce existing and forecast delays. Role included co-managing and critically reviewing subconsultant reports, and writing various chapters of the DEIS including the alternatives analysis, threatened and endangered species, biotic communities, wetlands and waterways, farmlands, coastal zone management, and wild and scenic rivers.

Federal Aviation Authority and New Bedford Regional Airport – Notice of Project Change, New Bedford Regional Airport Improvements Project - MA, United States. Co-author of a Notice of Project Change (NPC) for a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (DEIS/EIR) prepared for improvements to runway safety areas at the airport. Role included task managing threatened and endangered species and wetlands and waterways sections of the NPC. This included assessing impacts to state and federally-listed threatened and endangered species and wetlands and waterways, and coordinating with senior level VHB staff to develop avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures to ameliorate impacts of the project.

Federal Highway Administration and City of South Burlington –Market Street Improvements and South Burlington City Center Environmental Assessment - VT, United States. One of two authors of an Environmental Assessment (EA) for improvements, construction, and streetscape design of Market Street in South Burlington, Vermont. The development of Market Street would allow for development of a city center in South Burlington. Role included assessing impacts of roadway and city center development on threatened and endangered species, biotic communities, wetlands and waterways, farmlands, the visual environment, parks and recreation areas, and assessing impacts on the social and economic environment. 

Federal Aviation Authority and Machias Valley Airport – Downeast Regional Airport Environmental Assessment - ME, United States. Co-author of an EA for the development of a new airport in Machias, Maine. Role included assessing impacts of the project to biotic communities, threatened and endangered species, wetlands, and providing mitigation measures to ameliorate impacts.

Federal Aviation Authority and Manchester Regional Airport - Manchester Regional Airport Environmental Assessment - NH, United States. Co-author of an EA, for safety improvements to, and reconfiguration of, a primary runway at Manchester Regional Airport in Maine.Role included assessing impacts of the project to biotic communities, threatened and endangered species, wetlands, and providing mitigation measures to ameliorate impacts.

Federal Highway Administration and Maine Department of Transportation - Aroostook County Transportation Study Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement - ME, United States. Co-author of a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) for the Aroostook County Transportation Study (ACTS). The SDEIS presented new and updated information with regard to the ACTS and the environment that had changed since publication of the Draft EIS in February 2002. The SDEIS identified and evaluated transportation improvements that would help stem the economic downturn that has occurred over the past several decades and spur future economic growth within the study area which comprised the northeastern portion of Aroostook County. Role included liaising with VHB and MaineDOT staff to update the SDEIS and re-writing various sections of the SDEIS.

Aug 2004 - Jun 2005

Environmental Scientist/Ecologist

Hemmera Envirochem

Vancouver Port Authority - Deltaport Third Berth Project Environmental Assessment - BC, Canada. Co-author of an EA for the expansion of port facilities at Deltaport, British Columbia. The EA assessed the impacts on the environment of both construction of the expanded terminal and the subsequent stevedoring operations. Role included managing and critically reviewing sub-consultant reports and writing various chapters of the EA including project background and alternatives, EA methodology, information distribution and consultation, sediment quality, marine environment, waterfowl and coastal seabirds, terrestrial wildlife and vegetation, noise, visual impact assessment, lighting, socio-community impact assessment, archaeological impact assessment, and accidents and malfunctions . Role also included peer review of the terrestrial vegetation and wildlife assessment undertaken by external sub-consultants for the project. The third berth at Deltaport was officially opened January 18, 2010. It is the largest container terminal in Canada.

Environment Canada - Environmental Screening Report for Contaminated Soil Remediation at the Pacific Environmental Centre - BC, Canada. Assistant project manager and primary author of an environmental screening report for contaminated soil remediation at the Pacific Environment Centre Site in North Vancouver, British Columbia. The project involved remediation of sulphur-contaminated soils and heavy metal contaminated sediment at the site. Role included site visits, liaison with sub-consultants, and subsequent preparation of the screening report.

Jan 2001 - Jul 2004

Environmental Scientist/Ecologist

URS Corporation

Sydney Ports Corporation - Port Botany Expansion Environmental Impact Statement - NSW, Australia. Assistant Project Manager and co-author of an EIS for the proposed expansion of port facilities at Port Botany, NSW. This project involved a six month secondment to the Sydney Ports Corporation office in Sydney. The EIS assessed the impacts on the environment of both the construction of the new terminal and the subsequent stevedoring operations. The EIS process involved extensive and innovative community consultation initiatives and scientific investigations. Role included extensive liaison with managers of Sydney Ports Corporation, managing and critically reviewing internal specialist reports and external sub-consultant reports, and writing various chapters of the EIS including community and government agency consultation, aquatic and terrestrial ecology, noise, air quality, cultural heritage, visual impact assessment, social impact assessment, bird hazard, waste, energy, cumulative impacts, and environmental management and monitoring. Role also included preparation of a Species Impact Statement (see below). The project is currently under construction and is one of the largest port projects to be undertaken in Australia in the last 30 years.

Sydney Ports Corporation - Port Botany Expansion Species Impact Statement - NSW, Australia. Assistant project manager and co-author of a Species Impact Statement (SIS) for the Port Botany Expansion EIS at Port Botany, NSW (see above). Role included extensive literature review of existing ecological information, baseline vegetation surveys, mapping of coastal dune heath and saltmarsh, and assessing the impacts to state-, federal-, and internationally-listed migratory shorebirds as a result of the proposed Port Botany Expansion. Role also included advice for the reconfiguration of Penrhyn Estuary to enhance existing migratory shorebird habitat as a mitigation measure. The SIS was prepared in close consultation with a shorebird expert and included as a technical appendix in the EIS.

NSW Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources – Environmental Impact Statement for Structural Works at Lakes Menindee and Cawndilla - NSW, Australia. Co-author of an EIS for the Menindee and Cawndilla Lakes Structural Works at Menindee, NSW. The Menindee Lakes system provides essential water to local irrigated farmland in Broken Hill, New South Wales, and to South Australia and Victoria. The objective of the structural works was to achieve greater flexibility in operating the lakes, improved security of water supply, water savings more natural drying conditions in Lake Cawndilla, reduced siltation problems in Lake Menindee, and more natural hydrologic conditions in the lower lake system. Role included several site visits and writing various chapters of the EIS including aquatic and terrestrial ecology, noise, air quality, land use, and visual impact assessment. Role also included preparation of the aquatic and terrestrial ecology technical report (see below).

NSW Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources - Environmental Impact Statement for Structural Works at Lakes Menindee and Cawndilla – Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology Report - NSW, Australia. Assistant project manager and co-author of a terrestrial and aquatic ecological assessment for the Menindee and Cawndilla Lakes Structural Works EIS at Menindee, NSW (see above). Role included a literature search of existing ecological information relating to the site, baseline surveys of semi-arid and wetland flora, opportunistic fauna surveys, targeted searches for state- and federally-listed threatened flora and fauna, an assessment of likely impacts from the proposed works on flora and fauna and the recommendation of mitigation measures to ameliorate any potential impacts on flora and fauna. Role also included extensive consultation with government departments and the local Menindee Aboriginal community. The report was prepared for, and included as a technical report, in the EIS.

Caltex - Caltex Clean Fuels Project Statement of Environmental Effects - NSW, Australia. Co-author of a Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE) prepared to assess the environmental impacts of the construction and operation of the Clean Fuels Project. The Clean Fuels Project involved a program of works within the Kurnell Refinery, NSW, to allow the production of fuels that met federally mandated specifications. Role included a tour of the refinery and its existing operations, community and government consultation, critically reviewing sub-consultant reports, and writing various chapters of the SEE including terrestrial ecology, noise, air quality, cultural heritage, land use, and visual impact assessment. Subsequent to preparing the SEE, role included preparation of the Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) for the project. This included reviewing the environmental protection and management measures proposed in the SEE and preparation of various management sub-plans for identified key environmental issues during construction and development of the project. Environmental management procedures were developed in close consultation with Caltex.

Telstra – Operational Environmental Management Plan for Maintenance Activities in Sydney Catchment Authority Areas of Operation - NSW, Australia. Project manager and author of an Operational Environmental Management Plan (OEMP) for maintenance activities in Sydney Catchment Authority areas of operation. Role included the identification of all Telstra sites within the Sydney Catchment Authority catchment, typical maintenance activities undertaken at each of the sites, and the preparation of an OEMP for these maintenance activities. Extensive liaison with Telstra managers was undertaken as part of the project.

Eraring Energy, Gamesia Energiast, TME Australia Pty Ltd., Crookwell II Wind Farm Environmental Impact Statement – New South Wales, Australia. Project manager and co-author of an ecological assessment for the Crookwell II Wind Farm EIS southeast of Crookwell in NSW. Jointly, the company’s proposed to construct and operate an additional 46 wind turbines and associated facilities at the site of an existing wind farm (Crookwell I). The project would have a maximum generating capacity of 92 MW of renewable energy. Role included baseline vegetation surveys, targeted surveys for state and federally-listed threatened flora and fauna, and a fauna habitat assessment. Role also included the coordination of a bird and bat hazard analysis. The report was prepared for, and included as a technical report, in the EIS. The project was successfully permitted in 2005.

Education

Education
1997 - 2000

Bachelor of Environmental Science (Hons.)

University of Wollongong

Major - Marine and terrestrial ecology. Coursework included conservation biology, biodiversity, applied mathematics, statistics, chemistry, geology, geography, remote sensing, environmental engineering, business management, and environmental law.