Let’s Talk Resilience: Meet LaBella’s Executive Director of Climate & Environment, Greg Senecal, CHMM
Greg has 33 years of experience in designing, managing, and conducting environmental assessment programs, investigation and remediation services, and brownfield redevelopment projects. He recently transitioned from serving as LaBella’s Director of Environmental Services to a newly created role at LaBella – Executive Director of Climate & Environment. We sat down with Greg to discuss his new role and what it means for LaBella and our clients.
Why was the role of Executive Director of Climate & Environment created at LaBella?
This role was created to reflect the growing need for expertise in environmental, climate, and sustainable solutions across all project types. Our focus will be connecting and aligning resources to ensure we’re providing holistic solutions. We realized our clients are interested in incorporating renewable energy, reducing their carbon footprint, implementing sustainable design practices, and planning for climate resilience. Our multi-disciplinary approach means we can pull that expertise in from across the company, no matter the primary project type. Sustainable design and climate resilience considerations are permeating every area of our practice.
What should municipalities consider if they want to incorporate sustainable design solutions?
In many cases, sustainable design solutions can be incorporated without a budget increase. One of the most common ways we’re seeing municipalities embrace sustainable design is with the use of green infrastructure. This technique is a water management system that benefits communities in a multitude of ways, including improving stormwater quality, beautifying neighborhoods by introducing native plantings, and creating a cooling effect in metropolitan areas.
Is there funding available to assist with climate-resilient project initiatives?
With the increased focus on climate change and renewable energy sources across the globe, we’re seeing funding become available at all levels of government. From a federal level, you could consider FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). Local funding sources vary significantly from state to state, but LaBella’s planning team is well versed in the best options for your project type.
An example of a local funding source near our headquarters in Rochester, New York, is the NYS Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI). This funding allowed lakeside communities to submit varying project types for funding consideration, including shoreline restoration, increasing stormwater capacities, and even water/wastewater system improvements. The Town of Kendall, NY, featured in this issue, received funding for three REDI projects with the help our team.
What makes LaBella uniquely positioned to assist with climate resilience initiatives?
First and foremost, the diverse group of talented professionals at LaBella is our greatest resource. With New York as the backyard of 14 of our office locations, it is the only state in the country that has the Great Lakes, an estuary river system (the Hudson River), and a coastal shoreline downstate—three unique ecosystems that will experience climate change in different ways over the coming century.
With offices along the entire East Coast, we are able to really hone in our expertise from the thousands of projects we complete annually in New York State. Because of the unique ecosystems, various environmental regulations and initiatives like PFAS monitoring have been a focus for years. We are experienced and eager to take our expertise to states where studies and regulations are just emerging.
As LaBella’s Executive Director of Climate & Environment, Greg focuses on connecting and aligning resources to ensure the firm is providing environmental, climate, and sustainable solutions across all project types. He is a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager and has 33 years of experience in designing, managing, and conducting numerous site assessments, remedial projects, Brownfield redevelopment projects, groundwater monitoring well installations, test pit evacuations, underground petroleum storage tank removals, and spill cleanups.