Office of Environmental Design

707 North Calvert Street, C-303
Baltimore, MD 21202

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

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

Vacant, Deputy Director

The Office of Environmental Design’s (OED) mission is to incorporate environmental design, compliance, and stewardship as a fundamental and integral component of highway planning, design, construction and maintenance.

The Office of Environmental Design is comprised of the following six Divisions:

Environmental Compliance Division

Greg Keenan, Chief
Phone: 410-582-5585 

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

  • Responsible for ensuring that all SHA facilities and operations achieve and maintain multi-media environmental compliance with State, Federal, and Local environmental permits, laws, regulations, and Best Management Practices (BMP).
  • Provides environmental compliance resources, oversight and guidance, environmental technical expertise, and environmental training programs for SHA employees
  • Responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive Environmental Management System (EMS) to ensure sustained compliance in conducting 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

Don Hoey, Assistant Chief

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  • Works closely with teams of planners, designers, and engineers to achieve environmentally sensitive highway, bridge, and maintenance projects by avoiding and/or minimizing impacts to sensitive natural resources.
  • Processes, negotiates, and tracks environmental permit applications/permits including wetland/waterway, tree, and critical Area, with Federal and State resources agencies, to ensure permit compliance through the planning, design, construction, and maintenance phases of transportation projects.
  • Responsible for the preparation of plans, specifications, and estimates for all of SHA’s compensatory wetland mitigation, and stream mitigation, reforestation and Critical Area projects.
  • Responsible for identifying, evaluating, and delivering successful Environmental Stewardship projects to help the State improve water quality to the 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
  • The Quality Assurance Program through Delegated Authority from the Maryland Department of the Environment inspects SHA projects for compliance of the approved Erosion and Sediment Control and Strom Water Management Plans. Key elements of measurement includes a checklist and rating system, along with environmental compliance education.

Landscape Architecture Division

Vacant, Chief
Phone: 410-545-8603 

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

  • Designs and oversees the development of plans, specifications, and estimates incorporating context sensitive solutions for landscape architectural related projects along MD highways as support to other Offices within SHA.
  • Example projects include safety rest areas, park & rides, welcome centers, highway landscaping, streetscapes, tree and forest mitigation, Chesapeake Bay Critical Area mitigation, historic site preservation and enhancement, and aesthetic treatments for bridges, walls, and other hardscape elements.
  • Designs, advertises, and manages stand alone projects for the removal of invasive plant material, and installation of plantings for revegetation screening, and aesthetic enhancement.
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Landscape Operations Division

Joseph Vervier, Chief
Phone: 410-545-8590

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

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  • Responsible for directing, administering, and supervising SHA’s statewide efforts in Landscape Inspection Support, Landscape Maintenance, Forest Mitigation, Tree Preservation, Turf Management, Nutrient Management, Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management, Pest Control, Pesticide Certification, and the Pollinator Habitat Program.
  • Acts in a support role with regards to compliance with MD Tree Laws, evaluation of hazardous trees, access permit reviews, excess land reviews, and field evaluation of proposed work by other agencies and utilities within the SHA right of way.
  • Administers the Partnership Planting Program, which utilizes volunteer groups for highway beautification projects along state roads.

Water Programs Division

Karren Coffman, Chief
Phone: 410-545-8407 

Vacant, Assistant Chief

  • Responsible for working towards and maintaining compliance with State water quality standards and federal Clean Water Act (CWA) by administering National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Phase I and II Permit, and Chesapeake Bay and local waterway TMDL requirements.
  • Administers SHA Bay Restoration Funds in meeting SHA’s component of the MDE Watershed Implementation Plan and MS4 impervious restoration requirements by building best management practices throughout the designated MS4 counties and jurisdictions including:  Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Washington, Cambridge, Cumberland, and Salisbury.  Practices used can include:  tree planting, stream restoration, outfall stabilization, pavement removal, and storm water control structures.
  • Develops or coordinates programs to: foster public education relating to water quality; activities to reduce pollutant discharges; measure effects of program implementation on water quality; research new or improved practices techniques or procedures; develop and update SHA impervious surface mapping; and track and report compliance efforts to public, regulatory agencies, and MDOT.

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Program Support Division

Veronica Piskor, Chief
Phone: 410-545-2283 

  • Responsible for oversight of all 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 for advertisement including formal capital and operating projects and small procurements.
  • Provides IT support for Office staff at headquarters and multiple satellite locations throughout the State.
  • Conducts contract closeout of Office administered capital construction and operations maintenance projects.
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