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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Using NEPA Review to Define and Shape Better Projects

Nancy Daubenberger
Transportation Commissioner, Minnesota

Kammy Horne
Senior Vice President of Development and Planning, VIA Metropolitan Transit, San Antonio, TX 

Megan Blum
Director for the Office of Environmental Programs, Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

Emily Biondi
Associate Administrator for Planning, Environment, and Realty, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

News and Video

Read the recap and watch the recording of this event.

About the Speakers

Daubenberger headshotNancy Daubenberger has worked for the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for over 23 years in engineering and management positions and was appointed by Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan as the agency’s Commissioner and Chief Engineer and was re-appointed to Commissioner in 2023.  

Prior to her Deputy Commissioner role, she served as the Assistant Commissioner for Engineering Services, State Bridge Engineer and previously served in planning, project management and design roles for the MnDOT Bridge Office and Metro District. Before coming to MnDOT, she worked in consulting for 6 years, in both bridge and road design.  

Horne headshotKammy Horne is an executive leader in the field of public transportation and has gained considerable experience on major transportation projects across the U.S. over her 25-year career. As Senior Vice President of Development and Planning for VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio, Texas, she leads multiple departments with teams covering operational scheduling and planning, strategic planning, capital project engineering and development, service checking, real estate, and a bus stop/shelter program. 

Horne has built a strong reputation for thought leadership and innovation through her work on projects and policy at every level of government and in both the private and public sectors. She is a results-driven leader and has built strong, collaborative, and successful teams. In addition to her consultant experience for agencies around the country including the Utah Transit Authority, Utah Department of Transportation, Arizona Department of Transportation, Valley Metro in Phoenix, Arizona, Washington DC Department of Public Works, Capital Metro in Austin, Texas, and Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Horne has worked in the public sector for both the Texas Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration. 

Blum headshotMegan Blum is the Director for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Office of Environmental Programs. As the Director, she is responsible for FTA’s environmental policy development and streamlining efforts. She has worked in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) field for more than 19 years and has ensured environmental compliance for highway, tolling and transit projects through her various roles at the State of Maryland and FTA.

Blum has led many environmental regulation and guidance efforts for FTA and most recently she has been leading implementation of the Administration’s various environmental initiatives, as well as FTA’s Climate Challenge: Sustainable Transit for a Healthy Planet. She also served as Deputy Associate Director for NEPA at the Council on Environmental Quality from September 2016 through April 2017.   

Biondi headshotIn July 2023, Emily Biondi became the Associate Administrator for Planning, Environment, and Realty at FHWA. In this capacity, she provides executive leadership to a comprehensive planning and environmental program supporting the development of multimodal plans, programs, and environmental policies and practices that assure that transportation decisions serve national, state, and local transportation priorities and goals. Biondi also provides executive leadership in the development of policies and direction for nationwide programs of right-of-way acquisition, corridor preservation, relocation assistance, property management, and related aspects of the Federal-aid program. 

Prior to this position, she served four years as the Director, Office of Project Development and Environmental Review, where she oversaw the development and implementation of programs and activities that advanced environmental stewardship and accelerate project delivery. These included project development and environment review process improvements, NEPA Assignment, programmatic agreements, technologies to assist with concurrent environmental reviews, and development of regulations and guidance associated with NEPA implementation. 

 Prior to her appointment as Director, Biondi served as the Acting Director, Office of Natural Environment. In that position, she led and directed staff in promoting and advancing national initiatives to improve air quality, minimize highway noise impacts on communities, and encourage consideration of sustainability and climate change in the delivery of the Federal-aid highway program. Biondi also served as an Air Quality Specialist and Community Planner in the Office of Natural Environment where she provided strategic leadership in developing Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement policy, guidance, and performance measures. She has held other key positions including Metropolitan Planning Specialist in Georgia. She joined FHWA in 1997 as a Student Trainee (Community Planner) in Florida.  

 Biondi holds a master’s degree in planning from Florida State University and a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Michigan.