Thank you to our 2023 Speakers

Jon Rauscher - Risk Assessor - US EPA Region 6

Jon Rauscher has been employed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 in Dallas, TX since 1988.  Jon serves as a risk assessor and toxicologist with the Superfund and Emergency Management Division and as an Environmental Unit Leader on the Region 6 Incident Management Team and the National - Incident Management Assistance Team for emergency responses.  He has been involved with the responses to the BP Oil Spill, Northern California Wildfires and Hurricanes Katrina, Harvey, and Laura.  Jon received a Ph.D. from Colorado State University, and B.S. and M.S. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  In addition, Jon serves an adjunct professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering in the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering at Southern Methodist University.

Dr. Claudio Sorrentino - Senior Toxicologist and Chief of the Northern California Unit of the Human and Ecological Risk Office at the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.

Dr. Claudio Sorrentino is the Senior Toxicologist and Chief of the Northern California Unit of the Human and Ecological Risk Office at the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. He serves as scientific and technical advisor to programs within DTSC and other agencies on risk assessment, exposure assessment, and on toxicological and risk communication issues.  He graduated from the School of Pharmacy of the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy where he also received a graduate degree in Pharmacology (Toxicology Track) from the School of Medicine.  He earned his Ph.D. from New York University in Environmental Health Sciences (Toxicology track) and was a postdoctoral scholar in Environmental Toxicology at the University of California Davis with Mike Denison. Dr. Sorrentino has been active of the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) as team member, trainer, leader of three of their teams, and now as member of the Board of Advisers. He is a member of the Standing Committee on the Use of Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions of the National Academy of Sciences, an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Environmental Toxicology at the University of California Davis, and serves on the Scientific Advisory board of the AEHS West Coast Conference.

In his spare time, Claudio enjoys landscape and wildlife photography, fishing (or better “attempting” to fish), and kayaking.

Jennifer Borski - Vapor Intrusion Team Leader,  Hydrogeologist  WDNR

Jennifer Borski transitioned to the Vapor Intrusion Team Leader position with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) in June 2019.  She is located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and leads the state’s Drycleaner and Vapor Intrusion Team (DVIT) within the Remediation and Redevelopment (RR) Program. The team works to identify policy issues, develop guidance and provide training regarding the vapor intrusion pathway and state’s Dry Cleaner Environmental Response Program. Jennifer also serves as the WDNR’s liaison with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services related  to vapor intrusion issues. Prior to June 2019, Jennifer served WDNR for 20 years as a Hydrogeologist in the RR Program regulating the investigation, remediation and redevelopment of contaminated properties in east-central Wisconsin, including discharges from dry cleaners, paper mills, metal plating facilities and other historical industrial and commercial operations.  She continues to serve as DNR Project Manager for a handful of these sites. Jennifer contributed to ITRC as a team member on the Vapor Intrusion Mitigation Training Team and instructor for the internet-based training.  Jennifer graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree for Geology and Mathematics.

Justin Meredith - Environmental Fellow - Tennessee Department of Conservation Division of Remediation (TDEC-DoR) 

Dr. Justin Meredith is an Environmental Fellow at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Division of Remediation (TDEC-DoR). This role includes preforming a diverse range of responsibilities, including writing Rules, creating guidance documents, and providing technical support to multiple divisions within TDEC. Justin has extensive experience and knowledge in addressing vapor intrusion related issues through remediation, mitigation, and risk assessment. Prior to his tenure at TDEC, Justin worked for Environmental Chemical Corporation, where he gained valuable experience working on remediation projects. In addition to his work at TDEC-DoR, Justin serves as the Tennessee point of contact for the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council, represents Tennessee on the EPA Federal-State Toxicology Risk Analysis Committee, and sits on the Chemicals of Emerging Concern steering committee of the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials. 

Robert C Snyder, CPCU, CIC  - Environmental Risk Management & Insurance - The Fideli Group

Rob is a recognized expert in Environmental Risk Management and insurance placement.  His responsibilities include consulting, product design and placement of specialized insurance and financial instruments for contractors, consultants, and developers of complex projects.  His work is provided for the private sector, Government and Private Public Partnerships, (PPP) throughout the US and world.   

Clients include BP, ExxonMobil, Parker Hannifin, Airgas, Linde Hydraulics Corporation, USEPA Region V, Villages, Municipalities, Counties, Cities, States as well as private corporations throughout the country.

The father of five, Rob resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife Maria.  He is actively involved with family activities, the church, and non-profit work that supports healthy family life.

Ahmet Bulbulkaya - Environmental Fellow Division of Remediation/Central Office

Ahmet Bulbulkaya is currently one of the Environmental Fellows for TDEC’s Division of Remediation. He has been involved in assessing the vapor intrusion pathway at hazardous substance sites since the late 1990’s when he was hired by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality shortly after the inception of their Voluntary Remediation Program. In 2010 he moved to Tennessee with his family and began working with TDEC’s Division of Remediation. He is still heavily involved in vapor intrusion issues and is one of the main authors developing a vapor intrusion guidance specific to Brownfield projects being managed under the State’s Voluntary Oversite and Assistance Program (VOAP). Ahmet has a master’s degree in Environmental Toxicology from the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment. 

David Edelstein - Partner - Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease

David is a partner in the Vorys Cincinnati office. His current practice is focused on environmental regulation, enforcement, environmental liability insurance, and transactional matters. He works with businesses and government institutions to ensure that their operations are compliant with environmental law. He provides advice to businesses that helps minimize operational and legal risks. In his work, he appreciates clients’ desires to keep the environment clean and safe.

Prior to joining Vorys, David served as chief of the criminal enforcement unit for U.S. EPA Region VI in Dallas, Texas.  He also served as a RCRA enforcement attorney for the U.S. EPA. His federal court enforcement experience includes trial and litigation work, where he worked closely with the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorneys Offices, and other state and federal regulatory agencies.

Kelly G Johnson - Brownfield Vapor Intrusion Specialist Brownfields Redevelopment Section North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality

Kelly G. Johnson, P.G., is the NC Brownfields Redevelopment Section Vapor Intrusion (VI) Specialist at the NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) in Raleigh, North Carolina. He provides staff training and support on VI issues and assessments, assists in development of VI guidelines, and reviews VI mitigation designs. Prior to joining NCDEQ, Kelly worked in consulting conducting soil, groundwater, and VI investigations. Kelly is also co-team leader for the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) VI Mitigation Training Team.

Sonja Favors, PE, CPM - Chief of Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM)

Sonja B. Favors, P.E., is the Chief of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) Industrial Hazardous Waste Branch. She has 27 years of experience in the environmental management of industrial and governmental facilities associated with regulatory affairs.  Ms. Favors has served as a combustion and sediments expert and an Environmental Justice coordinator as well for the Department.  In her current role Ms. Favors oversees the Department’s RCRA, CERCLA, and Brownfields, permitting, compliance and enforcement programs. As a part of her duties she serves as the Subject matter expert for the Department’s Land Division PFA activities, overseeing the project management of various voluntary investigations and serving as a member of the Association of States and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials’ Contaminants of Emerging Concerns Steering committee. She also continues to work with the Environmental Justice coordinators often attending community activities, environmental conferences and workshops, along with other speaking opportunities to facilitate Departmental public participation and the risk communication associated with the Department’s labors.  Ms. Favors has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Tuskegee University, and an M.B.A. from Auburn University Montgomery.  She is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Alabama. 

Rafat Abbasi- Chief of the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC) state-wide Discovery and Enforcement Program

Rafat Abbasi is the Chief of the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC) state-wide Discovery and Enforcement Program, which was created as part of the Governor's initiative to revitalize communities with high pollution burden and adverse socio-economic conditions.  He has over thirty years of experience in environmental due-diligence, investigations, and remediation. In 2018, Rafat was the team leader for developing DTSC's Dry Cleaning sites policy. Rafat is currently leading an effort to complete scientific study to empirically develop attention factors for California, and is a vapor intrusion subject matter expert. He is a member of the ASTM E50.02 E2993 Methane in the Vadose Zone Task Group. Rafat is also currently serving as a member of the Building Board of Appeals for the City of Tustin.

Alexander Mandell - Senior Environmental Justice Coordinator - US EPA Mid-Atlantic Region

Alex currently serves as a Senior Environmental Justice Coordinator in the Office of Regional Administrator at EPA Region 3. In this role, Alex works closely with senior leaders both in the Region and across the nation on Environmental Justice engagement strategies.

Prior to joining the Region 3 Front Office, Alex was a Community Involvement Coordinator (CIC) in the Office of Public Affairs where he supported community efforts since 2011.  As a CIC, he gained experience working on community engagement at Superfund Sites across the Region and worked closely with community leaders, members, and officials by listening, empowering, and supporting them through various initiatives. This included ensuring that their voices, perspectives, and ideals were at the core of our decision-making process at EPA Region 3. Alex has presented numerous EPA community engagement courses at various national conferences and continues to lecture at universities and schools about the importance of community involvement at the EPA.