News: Spotlight on USACE Galveston District’s Dwayne Johnson
Story by Sandra Arnold
GALVESTON, Texas – A career that allows Dwayne Johnson to get close to nature and keeps him on his toes was exactly what he got when he accepted a position as a biologist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District 22 years ago.
“During a field visit to the Port Arthur area, I was hiking down a steep berm in my rubber boots on a rainy day and I slipped and fell on my back landing right next to a curled up water moccasin just two feet away,” said Johnson, a Regulatory Branch manager. “I shot up so fast. I now avoid that area and wear boots with good traction.”
Assigned to the Policy Analysis Section of the Regulatory Branch for the last five years, Johnson works to implement national regulatory guidance, manages the district’s Water Resources Development Act 214 agreements, oversees complex permit actions, scientific testing and reports. Currently, the most pressing project involves the proposed Freeport liquified natural gas facilities on Quintana Island near Freeport, Texas.
According to Johnson, Freeport LNG is proposing to expand the terminal to create an import/export terminal, providing nominal natural gas pretreatment, liquefaction and export capacity of LNG. The project is designed to liquefy approximately two billion cubic feet per day of natural gas delivered to the terminal through intrastate pipelines interconnected with Freeport LNG’s pipeline and meter station at Stratton Ridge, Texas. The district is responsible for ensuring National Environmental Policy Act compliance, interagency coordination and meeting with the general public to answer questions. With the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as the lead federal agency, the district will work to ensure the Environmental Impact Statement addresses program policies and regulations.
“My involvement during outreach and educational opportunities has provided a “face” to the district,” said Johnson. “It has made a positive difference in how public perceives our organization and I’m happy to be a part of this process.”
Throughout the year, Johnson participates as a judge in local science fairs and engages students who wish to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Math courses of study as part of the district’s Corps in the Classroom outreach program.
“My love for anything outdoors lead me to become a biologist,” said Johnson. “I enjoy giving time to civic and social organizations and am a land management committee member of Scenic Galveston.”
A Professional Wetland Scientist, Johnson earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology/Chemistry and a Master of Science in Aquatic Biology/Statistics from Stephen F. Austin State University. He has received numerous civilian service awards throughout his career and was selected as the 2011 USACE Galveston District Regulator of the Year and the 2011 Southwestern Division Regulator of the Year.
A native of Houston, when not at work he spends his time gardening and traveling with his family to the Caribbean.
The district’s Regulatory Program is committed to protecting the nation's aquatic resources, while allowing reasonable development through fair, flexible and balanced permit decisions. Staff evaluates permit applications for essentially all construction activities that occur in the nation's waters, including wetlands. For news and information, visit www.swg.usace.army.mil. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.