Natural Resources and Infrastructure Committee's 2017 Spring Webinar Series

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NCSL's Natural Resources and Infrastructure Committee is pleased to present you with its annual Spring Webinar Series. This year the committee will be hosting a total of six webinars beginning April 21, and concluding June 29. 

NCSL Webinars allow attendees to participate in meetings taking place around the world from the comfort of their desk. They are collaborative, interactive and easy to use. Most webinars will be recorded for those who are unable to attend the live meeting.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees required: Windows® 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
Mac®-based attendees required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer
Mobile attendees required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet

The NCSL website does not utilize Flash technology, but our webinar provider does require the latest Flash plug-in. So if you would like to view the live webinar and have not updated your plug-in recently, visit the following URL:

Show System Requirements


State Compliance with REAL ID: An Update from DHS |  April 21

Friday, April 21 | Noon ET/ 11 a.m. CT/ 10 a.m. MT/ 9 a.m. PT

As we approach the 12 year anniversary of the REAL ID Act, only 9 months remain before residents from non-compliant states are unable to use their state issued driver’s license to board a commercial aircraft. With more than half of all states and territories not currently labeled as compliant, come learn how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is preparing for full implementation of REAL ID and what they are doing to work with states on the many issues impacting compliance.


  • Steve Yonkers, director, REAL ID Program for the Screening Coordination Office in Policy, Department of Homeland Security


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Spoiler Alert: States Fight Against Food Waste |  May 4

Thursday, May 4 | 1 p.m. ET/ Noon CT/ 11 a.m. MT/ 10 a.m. PT

Getting food from the farm to our fork takes a significant amount of energy, land and water resources, yet up to 40 percent of food in the U.S. today goes uneaten. Food waste is the single largest component of municipal landfills, where it breaks down to produce methane. This webinar will explore state efforts to reduce food waste, highlighting landfill bans, waste-to-energy systems, and tax incentives to encourage food donations.


  • Patrick Serfass, executive director, American Biogas Council
  • Emily M. Broad Leib, director, Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic
  • Marcus Schmit, director of advocacy, Second Harvest Heartland

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Protecting Pipelines: Efforts to Reduce Excavation Damage |  May 18

Thursday, May 18 | 1 p.m. ET/ Noon CT/ 11 a.m. MT/ 10 a.m. PT

The more than 2.6 million miles of pipelines in the United States—enough to wrap around the Earth 100 times—deliver natural gas, oil and petroleum products around the country.

Most of these pipelines are buried underground, which means that, without proper planning, any construction project that breaks ground runs the risk of damaging pipelines in the extensive infrastructure network. In fact, excavation is one of the primary causes of pipeline damage.

This session examines the risks to the nation’s pipeline network, federal efforts by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to reduce excavation damage and examples of state action to update damage prevention laws.


  • Annmarie Robertson, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation
  • Eric Swartley, UGI Utilities, Inc.
  • DeAnna Poon, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission

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Baseload Electricity vs. Energy Markets: Policy Considerations |  June 1

Thursday, June 1 | 1 p.m. ET/ Noon CT/ 11 a.m. MT/ 10 a.m. PT

Lower prices for natural gas and renewable energy are altering some U.S. energy markets, prompting concern over energy reliability and job loss as traditional baseload power resources such as coal and nuclear struggle to compete.

Several states are considering policies to protect struggling coal and nuclear plants to support jobs, reliability and energy diversity. However, opponents of these policies have said that a market intervention is not needed and that new approaches, such as demand management and energy storage, will address reliability concerns.

Presenters will discuss this energy sector challenge, state approaches to solving this dilemma, and likely outcomes. 


  • Melissa Seymour, Midcontinent Independent System Operator
  • J. Arnold “Arnie” Quinn, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Senator Sue Rezin, Illinois

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Going With the Flow: Sustainable Water Resource Planning and Policymaking |  June 15

Thursday, June 15 | 3 p.m. ET/ 2 p.m. CT/ 1 p.m. MT/ Noon PT

State water resource planning takes into consideration both current and future demands. Policymakers are increasingly faced with balancing the water supply needs of municipalities, neighboring states and industry users. Several states, including Colorado and Connecticut, have developed state plans in recent years to guide decision-making and define goals and objectives for water management. Other states, such as Hawaii, have passed comprehensive water policy legislation.

Promoting conservation and efficient practices can contribute to a more integrated and sustainable water resource planning for states – alternative water supplies, improved data usage and availability, updated infrastructure and user behavior all play a vital role in sustainable water management. Join us as we discuss how state and federal programs have addressed these water policy issues.


  • May Ann Dickinson, Alliance for Water Efficiency
  • Representative Ryan Yamane, Hawaii House of Representatives
  • Kevin Kluge, Texas Water Development Board 

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Active Assets: State Parks and Outdoor Recreation |  June 29

Thursday, June 29 | 1 p.m. ET/ Noon CT/ 11 a.m. MT/ 10 a.m. PT

States are utilizing their unique natural assets to increase outdoor recreation, tourism and consequently, revenue. Outdoor recreation generates $646 billion in consumer spending annually, leading to nearly $40 billion in state and local tax revenue. Whether surfing in California, fishing in Missouri, camping in Colorado or hiking in West Virginia, visitors and residents are exposed to nature while contributing to state economies. This webinar will explore the impact of outdoor recreation on state economies, examine various funding approaches for state parks and highlight state case studies.


  • Cailin O'Brien-Feeney, Outdoor Industry Association
  • Domenic Bravo, National Association of State Park Directors
  • Kevin Good, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

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