Name: Lou Hanebury, federal employee
Title: Environmental Protection Specialist/Biologist
Location: Billings, Montana
Region: Upper Great Plains
When did you start working with WAPA? I was brought on as part of the UGP environmental team in October 2010. Before that, I was a Fish and Wildlife Biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Billings. For many years, UGP would consult with me as part of their project environmental reviews.
What is the most interesting thing you have worked on at WAPA?
By far I would have to say the Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (check it out on myWAPA). DOE has a mandate to promote and expedite the use of renewables as part of America's energy portfolio. The programmatic functions to shorten and simplify the environmental review process while encouraging conservation. I was part of the construction of that document and the Programmatic Biological Assessment, especially the innovative way to complete Endangered Species Act section 7 consultation at the site specific level. There are currently a number of wind energy developments utilizing the programmatic to minimize completion time and project costs.
What do you wish people understood about your job and the work you do? I have been so impressed how professional and skilled WAPA's employees are in implementing their diverse departmental responsibilities. Avoiding impacts to wetlands, protecting eagles and avoiding impacts to migratory birds are our responsibilities and not a nuisance.
Tell us something about yourself we wouldn't find on your resume. I am Santa. I enjoy my extended family, my friends and my coworkers. I also enjoy gardening and my Tae Kwon Do activities.
How is what you do tied to WAPA's mission? Our Mission is to market and deliver clean, renewable, reliable, cost-based federal hydroelectric power. Our Environmental Policy dictates how we will conduct its mission by using "effective environmental planning to avoid, minimize, or mitigate environmental impacts of its actions." Our regional environmental staffs diligently work to support WAPA's mission while conserving and protecting our Nations Trust Resources.