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West Coast Awards


The Annual International Conference on Soil, Water, Energy, and Air is proud to bestow the AEHS Foundation Achievement Award each year to individuals or organizations who have shown significant contributions to the field as well as outstanding environmental stewardship.



Ravi Arulanantham

Dr. Arulanantham has 28 years of experience developing public policies surrounding environmental compliance for land use and water quality issues. As the first toxicologist for the California Regional Water Quality Control Boards, he provided expertise and leadership in expanding the application of risk assessment and risk management to the areas of policy development, case review, and staff training.


Since 1993, Dr. Arulanantham has been the principal instructor for California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal-EPA)/State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB)-sponsored training courses on risk-based decision making at petroleum-impacted sites. These courses have attracted more than 2,000 regulators, consultants, and responsible parties throughout the state, significantly affecting the movement of consultants and regulators toward accepting risk-based findings as a component of decision making and site closure. From 1999 to 2001, Dr. Arulanantham provided state regulators nationwide with training on investigation and remediation of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE)-impacted sites as part of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) effort to provide technical resources to successfully manage these sites.


During his tenure at Cal-EPA, Dr. Arulanantham was the only regulator in the country certified by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) as a national trainer for both the Risk-Based Corrective Action (RBCA) program and the Remediation by Natural Attenuation (RNA) standard; he has trained more than 1,000 regulators, consultants, and responsible parties in more than 20 states. He has given numerous invited lectures on risk-based decision making to a wide range of audiences and is nationally acknowledged as an expert on this subject.


Since joining the private sector in 2002, Dr. Arulanantham has been helping his industry clients find cost-effective business solutions to their environmental liabilities. He is very well known in his field for his abilities to develop and implement investigation, remediation, and risk management strategies for contaminated properties and to negotiate risk-based closures with regulatory agencies to obtain No Further Action letters for his clients. He has served as an expert witness for numerous litigation matters ranging from chlorinated solvent releases and indoor air impacts, human exposure to petroleum releases, adequacy of site investigation and remediation conducted to protect human health, classification and disposal of hazardous waste, proper application of cleanup levels, and achieving cleanup levels at contaminated sites.


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Robert Ettinger

Robert Ettinger is a Senior Principal environmental scientist based in Santa Barbara, California with over 30 years of professional experience. His practice focuses on the fate and transport of contaminants in the unsaturated zone including soil vapor extraction system design, vapor emission estimation, and subsurface contaminant vapor migration to indoor air. Robbie has extensive experience in assessing and mitigating potential subsurface vapor intrusion to indoor air associated with chemical releases to soil and groundwater. His experience includes managing human health risk assessments, designing and implementing groundwater and soil vapor remediation systems, and developing risk-based strategies for environmental liability and business management initiatives.  Robbie has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Rice University and M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. 


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Matthew Lahvis

Matthew Lahvis is a Principal Soil and Groundwater Engineer at Shell Global Solutions (US) Inc. in Houston, Texas, where he provides technical support on soil and groundwater issues related to oil and gas operations. Matt’s role is multidisciplinary, involving research on petroleum chemical fate and transport, development of risk-based, sustainable business practices, review of site-investigation and remedial strategies, external advocacy, and legal support. Matt has authored numerous research articles and a book chapter on vapor intrusion. His research on vapor intrusion was critical in helping underpin California’s Low-Threat Tank Closure Policy and USEPA’s and ITRC’s vapor intrusion guidance. More globally, Matt served as a technical advisor in the development of vapor intrusion guidance for China, the UK, Australia, and Canada. Over Matt’s career, he has earned two CEO HSSE and Social Performance Awards, an Executive VP Brilliant People and Responsible Partner Award, and a scientific achievement award by the US EPA Office of Underground Storage Tanks. Matt is a member of the American Petroleum Institute’s Soil and Groundwater Task Force and an Associate Editor for Groundwater Monitoring and Remediation journal. Prior to joining Shell, Matt worked for 11 years at the US Geological Survey - New Jersey District where he authored the open-source unsaturated-zone transport model R-UNSAT. Matt was also an Adjunct Professor at Drexel University where he received his PhD in Civil Engineering in 1993.

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