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Chris Koerner, P.E, Environmental Engineer Endorsed by Fairfax Democrats

Qualifications

· 40 years’ worldwide experience protecting our planet’s water

· Professional Engineer (11 states) and Environmental Scientist

· Diplomat, American Academy of Environmental Engineers

· Associate Director, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District

· Chairman, County Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance Exemption Review Committee

· Former Chair, Sierra Club Great Falls Group

· Vice President, Fox Heritage Homeowners Association (22 years)

· Subject Matter Expert, FEMA, Aquifer Restoration and Flood Control

· Former Chairman, Advisory Board, U.C. Davis Site Assessment & Remediation Program

· Led nationwide expert panels (Hanford Nuclear Reservation) and value engineering committees (Ft. Detrick biohazard treatment plant) and Senior Engineer for anthrax remediation testing at Hart Senate Building


Awards

2010 Friends of Trees Award presented by the Fairfax County Tree Commission       

2007 Community Appearance Award presented by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission   

2001 Environmental Excellence Award Fairfax County, Board of Supervisors    

Fairfax County – Master Naturalist

Fairfax County - Master Watershed Steward

Fairfax County - Volunteer Stream Monitor


Professional Environmental Experience

As a former California regulator and environmental consultant, I am an expert in the investigation and cleanup of high-profile, Superfund toxic waste sites. My primary expertise was managing difficult groundwater contamination challenges, often with a complex interrelation with surface water, sensitive riparian/wetlands habitat, and endangered/high-value species. I developed a reputation for using my training in chemistry, biology, geology, engineering, construction, business, and regulatory insight, combined with an environmental ethic to listen and develop strategies to solve environmental and sustainability problems, and to lead teams to implement solutions.  


Lake Martin Dredging

22 years ago, an upstream 21-home development caused severe erosion and sedimentation damage to the private Lake Martin watershed in Oakton. As Director of my community Homeowners Association, I lead an 11-year effort to restore our lake. When the developer, County, and State failed to take action to restore the $1.7 million in damage to the lake and stream, I met with U.S. EPA, resulting in their filing a federal enforcement action against the developer. This forced the County to file and subsequently win a lawsuit against the developer. 

When the developer declared bankruptcy and there was insufficient funding ($356,000) from the lawsuit judgement,I was asked by the Sully Supervisor if I was interested in dredging the lake myself. I negotiated a practical contract with newly-appointed Director of Stormwater Planning, Randy Bartlett. I hired a small contractor and over a 14-month period dredged 20,000 cubic yards of sediment and restored 3,000 linear feet of riparian habitat (sponsoring two Eagle Scout projects) – for over $3.5 million in total value. My efforts (with 7-On-Your-Side) put an end to the County granting  hundreds of stormwater waivers a year, and created a County policy requiring developers to perform a pre-development lake survey before starting upstream construction.

Additionally, I have donated many pro bono hours providing stormwater guidance to Home Owners Associations in Arlington, Fairfax, Reston, and Vienna, and provided assistance to numerous individual homeowners throughout the county. 

I currently serve as Chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance Exemption Review Committee. In a recent Braddock case, my technical comments revealed that the developer would need to import over 300 truckloads of soil in a sensitive Resource Protection Area in order to raise their planned home to meet flood plain requirements. The Committee unanimously denied the application, despite County staffs’ recommendation for approval. Upon appeal, the Board of Supervisors unanimously upheld the Committees rejection of the application.  

My Goals for Fairfax County

· Support continuation of existing District programs such as

o  Seedling Sale (we distributed over 13,000 tree seedlings last April)

o  Monthly Green Breakfasts (we just had our 100th!)

o  Provide assistance to Homeowners on measures including Conservation Landscaping, Rain Gardens and Water Runoff Control

· Support talented District staff and subject matter experts

· Coordinate and collaborate with FCPS School Board to decrease turf at schools and create ecosystems and riparian buffers (healthy stream bank habitat). This will:

o  Help control water runoff and provide for a healthy ecosystem; 

o  Increase soil health with more trees and meadows

o  Help to protect the Chesapeake Bay, Potomac River, and Occoquan Reservoir by reducing sediment and phosphorus (which cause extensive algae blooms  and decreased oxygen levels in the water, which causes dead zones and  fish die off)

o  Provide outside natural classrooms with hands-on educational opportunities for school children – give them ownership in maintaining healthy ecosystems

o  Reduce school maintenance costs by minimizing large lawn areas;

· Plant more trees to increase the tree canopy which reduces rainfall runoff and creates a healthy, connected soil system to reduce erosion.

· Decrease impervious surfaces.

· Work with County regions, HOAs and homeowners to mitigate excessive storm surges from high intensity rain falls to reduce property destruction, and protect from health and safety issues