Webinar instructions will be emailed before the date of the webinar.

Please log into the webinar 15 – 30 minutes before start time.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023 | 8:30 am – 3:45 pm EDT (including a 45-min. break)


Agricultural Water Use
Presented by: Mark H. Masters  

  • History of agricultural water use 
  • Agricultural water use permitting 
  • Metering and planning 
  • Agricultural use forecasts and sustainability 


Regional Water Management and Planning
Presented by: Mark H. Masters 


Complying with Water Quality Regulations
Presented by: Stephen E. O’Day 

  • Clean Water Act of 1972 
    • Goals 
    • NPDES permitting 
    • Water quality standards: backstop to effluent limits? 
    • Monitoring, anti-backsliding, and antidegradation 
    • Section 404/wetlands permitting—Army Corps of Engineers
  • Enforcement 
    • Civil 
    • Criminal 
    • Citizen suits 
    • Jurisdictional questions 
    • County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund 
    • Wetlands 


Managing Finite Water Resources
Presented by: Laura W. Benz 

  • Regional water management and planning 
    • Watershed planning
    • Historic usage and current trends  
    • State and regional water quality regulation
  • Maintaining water quality and quantity
  • Planning for climate resilience 


Water, Sewer and Stormwater Utilities and Management
Presented by: Craig Pendergrast 

  • The environmental regulatory process and permitting considerations 
  • Fee structure and associated legal considerations
    • Intergovernmental agreements
    • PFAS and its impact on water supply and wastewater treatment: legal considerations and litigation 
  • Local involvement in stormwater regulation 
  • The “common law” and why it matters 


Understanding Georgia Surface Water and Groundwater Rights
Presented by: Stephen A. McCullers 

  • Surface water 
    • Public waters and the prior appropriation doctrine 
    • Regulation of surface water rights 
    • Obtaining surface water rights 
    • Application and permitting process 
    • Amending surface water rights 
    • Current issues in surface water rights 
  • Groundwater 
    • Ownership of groundwater  
    • Regulation of groundwater rights 
    • Obtaining groundwater rights 
    • Application and water well permitting process 
    • Current issues in groundwater rights 


Webinar Instructions
All attendees must log-on through their own email – attendees may not watch together if they wish to earn continuing education credit. HalfMoon Education Inc. must be able to prove attendance if either the attendee or HalfMoon Education Inc. is audited.

Certificates of completion can be downloaded in PDF form upon passing a short quiz. A link to the quiz will be sent to each qualifying attendee immediately after the webinar. The certificate can be downloaded from the Results page of the quiz upon scoring 80% or higher.

Webinars are presented via GoToWebinar, an easy-to-use application that can be run on most systems and tablets. Instructions and login information will be provided in an email sent close to the date of the webinar. It is highly recommended that you download, install and test the application before the webinar begins by clicking on the link in the email.

GoToWebinar App requirements:
Windows 7 – 10 or Mac OSX Mavericks (10.9) – macOS Catalina (10.15)

Web Browser:
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Internet Explorer v11 (or later) with Flash enabled

Internet connection: Minimum of 1Mbps       Hardware: 2GB RAM or more

For more information, visit the Support section at


Professional Engineers
6.0 PDHs

6.0 CLE Hours

Certified Planners

6.0-Hour Learning Opportunity


Continuing Education Credit Information

This webinar is open to the public and is designed to qualify for 6.0 PDHs for professional engineers in Georgia for whom this subject matter is professionally relevant.

This webinar has been approved by the Georgia Commission on Continuing Lawyer Competency (CCLC) for 6.0 CLE hours.

HalfMoon Education is an approved CM Provider with the American Planning Association. This course is registered for CM|6 for Certified Planners.

Georgia geologists are not required to complete continuing education. This webinar offers a 6.0-hour learning opportunity to Georgia geologists.

Attendance will be monitored, and attendance certificates will be available after the webinar for those who attend the entire course and score a minimum 80% on the quiz that follows the course (multiple attempts allowed).

On-Demand Credits
The preceding credit information only applies to the live presentation. This course in an on-demand format may not be eligible for the same credits as the live presentation; please consult your licensing board(s) to ensure that a structured, asynchronous learning format is appropriate.


Laura W. Benz

Laura W. Benz represents local governments, public utilities, developers, and private individuals on state and federal environmental planning, permitting, regulatory compliance and natural resource management. Her business practice is based on integrity, honesty and a strong worth ethic, which she believes has been key to her success and building of long-term trusting relationships. Her knowledge of the Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, National Historic Preservation Act and Endangered Species Act have resulted in a client confidence of her abilities to obtain the desired client objectives which are exemplified by obtaining permits for almost half the reservoir projects issued in the State of Georgia. 

Even in childhood Laura was a self-motivated, driven, passionate individual who wanted to make a difference in her community.  She graduated from Harrison High School in Kennesaw GA before attending Furman University and receiving a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in four years.  She then received an academic scholarship to attend Case Western Reserve University School of Law where she received her J.D. in 2003 before returning home to Georgia. 

Laura serves as several community boards, the executive board of the Environmental Section of the Bar and is involved in advocacy for special needs children. 

Mark H. Masters

Executive Director at Georgia Water Planning & Policy Center – Albany State University

Mark H. Masters serves as Director of the Georgia Water Planning and Policy Center at Albany State University and is a leading expert in agricultural water use and policy in the Southeastern U.S. Throughout his career, Mark has led numerous research and outreach projects related to water resources in Georgia and has positioned the Center as a trusted technical resource for the State and its water planning efforts. Mark is active on a number of local, state and national advisory boards including the American Farm Bureau Water Advisory Committee, Governor’s Soil and Water Advisory Committee, Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership Board of Directors and as President of the Georgia Association of Conservation Districts. When he’s not busy professionally, Mark stays out of trouble raising beef on their family farm in southwest Georgia and, along with his wife Amy, enjoys watching their three beautiful daughters make other kids look foolish on the soccer field.

Stephen A. McCullers

Stephen A. McCullers is an Associate in the firm’s Environmental Practice. Stephen has a diverse environmental practice, assisting clients with complying with complex environmental, health, and safety regulations. Stephen also has expertise with air and water permitting, environmental due diligence and liability, and environmental litigation. 

 Before becoming an attorney, Stephen was a Natural Resources Specialist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He conducted environmental compliance inspections, issued environmental permits, and assisted in the management of federal land and natural resources. 

Stephen O'Day, Esq.

Attorney and Partner in Charge of Environmental Practice at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP

Steve O’Day, is the partner in charge of the Environmental Law and the Sustainability Practice Groups at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP. In his practice, he handles a variety of environmental and sustainability issues, including permitting and compliance, toxic tort claims, water law, mold litigation, and landfill issues, renewable energy, biofuels, greenhouse gas regulations, conservation land use, sustainable construction, water conservation, waste management, and carbon reduction agreements and offsets. Steve studied Civil Engineering at the Georgia Tech, earned his Bachelor’s degree in political science summa cum laude from Furman University and graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School. He’s a founding member of the Board of Trustees for the Southern Environmental Law Center, serves on the Boards of the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Greenhouse Accelerator, with past Board service on the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, and teaches environmental law as a part-time instructor at Georgia Tech. Steve was awarded the River Guardian Award by the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper for his commitment to protect the river which supplies water to Metropolitan Atlanta, received the James S. Dockery, Jr., Southern Environmental Leadership Award from the Southern Environmental Law Center, the Ogden Doremus Award for Excellence in Environmental Law, the Award for Service to the Profession of Environmental Law from the State Bar of Georgia, and an award from Common Cause Georgia for his work on environmental protection. He is a frequent speaker on sustainability, environmental liability and compliance, and risk management.

Craig Pendergrast

In his more than 35 years of practice, Craig Pendergrast has learned about the interests and operations of a broad range of businesses while helping his clients work through their associated risks, problems and disputes. His experience includes high-stakes commercial litigation, environmental litigation, and real estate litigation.

In the environmental field, he is a counselor who understands the complex world of environmental regulation, risk, and liability, helping clients work through risks and problems associated with contaminated properties and structure deals in a way that makes sense and allocates risks and expenses appropriately. He litigates environmental claims, disputes, and issues to reach outcomes favorable to his clients and consistent with just results. His experience includes environmental matters involving transactional, advisory, insurance, regulatory, remediation, superfund, cost recovery, permitting, compliance, enforcement, brownfields, waste, water, wetlands and air issues.

In the real estate field, he has been appointed by the nation’s largest title insurance companies to address the most complex and consequential issues facing them and their insureds, including some of the largest mortgage fraud schemes and their consequences. He has litigated matters involving boundary line disputes, easement issues, eminent domain, secured lending issues, land use issues, lake and stream rights, storm water runoff, erosion and sedimentation, construction claims, trespass, and nuisance issues.

He has a strong focus on matters involving contaminated properties, including the development of plans and allocation of risks and costs associated with their purchase and sale, investigation, and remediation. He has formed and led groups of potentially responsible parties to work through the many legal challenges, including litigation, presented by such sites.

Prior to joining Continuum, he practiced with some of the largest law firms in the nation and Georgia, representing both Fortune 500 companies and smaller ones.