Developing an Environmental Culture in a Road Construction and Mining Industry

Presenters: Brooke Muhlack & Luci Snowden

The importance of developing an environmental culture within the mining and road construction industry is critical for the future of the United States of America's infrastructure. Knife River, at all levels of the company, is invested in building this culture and has identified it as a key component to the future. Their Four Core Values provide the structure to enable cooperation and successful adaption in all levels of the company: People, Safety, Quality, and Environment.

Learning Objectives: 
  • To give you tools to assist in finding your own environmental culture-based sustainable management styles.
  • Identify common problems and solutions for building the culture.
  • Learn how the triple bottom line concept relates to mining, plant production, and road construction activities.

Presented by Brooke Muhlack, Master of Science in Sustainable Management – Environmental Manager, Knife River Midwest LLC & Luci Snowden, MSES – Environmental Manager, Knife River Corporation

Brooke A. Muhlack is an Environmental Manager with Knife River in Sioux City, Iowa and with Concrete Materials in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. There, she oversees the environmental compliance for road construction, concrete and asphalt plant production, and aggregate, sand and gravel mining within the states of Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota. Over the past five years, Brooke has worked towards building a world-class environmental culture based on training, education, keeping abreast of changing regulations and their impacts on the business, incorporating sustainable practices, working with State agencies, conducting stormwater, SPCC, and air quality inspections, and reporting to state and federal agencies. Currently, she has received her Master's Degree in Sustainable Management from the University of Wisconsin. On top of her daily duties, she also serves as the Chair of the Environmental Committee and Co-Chair of the Iowa Women of Asphalt for the Asphalt Paving Association of Iowa, on the Board of Directors for the Great Rivers Chapter of the IECA, and works diligently with the Environmental Committees for the Iowa and Nebraska Associated General Contractors. Previously, Brooke was the County Conservationist for the Land Conservation and Resource Management Department in Buffalo County, Wisconsin. In her time as County Conservationist, she reformatted the department for efficiency, solicited funding for bluff prairie restoration, worked with multiple agencies to assist in trout stream restoration, and oversaw conservation funds for projects across the county.

Luci Snowden, MSES, Environmental Manager at Knife River Corporation in Bismarck, North Dakota, has worked in the environmental field for 10+ years in a variety of positions ranging from research to regulatory compliance. She graduated with a master of science degree in environmental science and water resources from Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and with a bachelor of science degree in environmental science and geologyfrom the University of Toledo, Ohio. Since her relocation to North Dakota, she has gained much knowledge and experience with erosion and sediment control through positions as a government regulator and then as an environmental manager in the private sector. Currently she volunteers as an editorial board member for the IECA Environmental Connection magazine, North Dakota State Representative for the Mountain States IECA Chapter, and as a board member for the North Dakota chapter of North American Stormwater and Erosion Control Association (NASECA) and is appointed as a Water Manager for the Lower Heart River Water Resource District in Morton County, North Dakota.