I am passionate about community-building for equity and long-term sustainability. There is nothing more important right now than empowering communities most impacted by natural hazards with the tools they need to grow and thrive. Deep listening, strong support, and a diversity of voices can lead to skillfully facilitated decision-making processes that result in real, tangible changes to equity and inclusion.
Laura Bachle, AICP, has 39 years of mediation and environmental planning experience at the local, state, and national levels. She has pioneered approaches in equity-based land use, hazard mitigation, infrastructure permitting, and strategic planning. Over the course of her career, Laura has also provided a variety of National Environmental Policy Act support. For example, while working for local government, she wrote NEPA and Clean Water Act 404 permitting documentation for transportation and infrastructure projects. Later, while at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, she served as the national transportation liaison between EPA and the Federal Highway Administration, providing expertise in resolving complex and controversial NEPA, CWA 404, and Endangered Species Act permits. Laura has provided training in conducting NEPA reviews and served on a Council on Environmental Quality work group on NEPA streamlining.
As a conflict resolution and environmental protection specialist at EPA, Laura helped launch EPA’s environmental justice programs and developed, led, managed, and participated in a wide variety of activities to build conflict resolution capacity within EPA and apply those practices to support environmental protection efforts. Laura is a roster member with the John S. McCain National Center for Environmental Conflict Resolution and holds certifications from the American Institute of Certified Planners, National Charrette Institute, and International Association of Public Participation.
Laura holds a B.S. in sociology from Oklahoma City University and a master’s degree in regional planning from the University of North Carolina and has specialized training in community conferencing, FEMA hazard mitigation planning, and green infrastructure. Outside work, Laura is a Certified Master Naturalist and volunteer for the Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation, which promotes restoration, advocacy, recreation, and education primarily to recent emigrants from Latin, Asian, and African countries in the Chirilagua neighborhood of Alexandria. You will find her happiest in the field or on the water leading a group of children to explore the natural world right outside their doorsteps.