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Robert N. Francis
Senior Project Manager

23 Years Experience
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Mr. Francis joined Shield Environmental Associates, Inc. as a Senior Project Manager in October 2021.  Prior to October 2021, Mr. Francis worked for the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) for 23 years.  He spent 21 years on the Emergency Response Team, and the last 16 years of his career in state government he was the Branch Manager for the Emergency Response Branch. 


As manager of the Emergency Response Branch, Mr. Francis provided administrative oversight of budgeting, staffing, and training of all administrative and emergency response personnel.  He provided oversight of emergency operations for the DEP that required his agency to be the lead state agency on incidents that involved oil and hazardous materials spills/releases, drinking water supply issues, dam safety issues, and landfill/industrial fires.   Mr. Francis participated in Unified Command on numerous incidents throughout his career.


B.S. Environmental Science, Morehead State University, 1997

40-Hour HAZWOPER, with 8-Hour Refresher

40-Hour Freshwater Oil Spill Control Course

ICS-100, ICS-200, ICS-300, ICS-400, ICS-700, ICS-800 Certification

24 Hour Cargo Tank Emergency Response Certification

24 Hour Tank Car Emergency Response Certification

US EPA Air Monitoring for Emergency Response

US EPA Hazardous Waste Training

Landfill Operator/Manager Certification



Kentucky Emergency Response Commission (2008-Present)

US EPA Regional Response Team (2005-2021)

FEMA Region IV Regional Advisory Council (2008-2021)


Project-Related Experience

CSX Train Derailment (2020) - Represented the Commonwealth of KY Unified Command in Elkhorn City, KY.  The incident involved a landslide derailing three locomotives and five rail cars of ethanol. The derailment resulted in a release of 12,000 gallons of diesel fuel/motor oil and 38,000 gallons of ethanol that burned or spilled into the river.  Several drinking water systems were impacted by the derailment.   

Jim Beam Warehouse Fire (2019) - Represented the Commonwealth of KY Unified Command in Versailles, KY.  The fire resulted in a fire that engulfed 45,000 barrels (1.8 million gallons) of alcohol that was either burned or spilled into a nearby stream.  The spill impacted two downstream water systems and created long-term environmental impacts to the groundwater.

Liberty Tire Facility (2015) - Represented the Commonwealth of KY in Unified Command at the facility where 1.1 million burning tires were involved. A 36-hour shelter in place was issued due to air quality issues from the burning tires.  Environmental contractors were eventually brought in to put out the fire.

Paducah & Louisville Train Derailment (2001) - Represented the Commonwealth of KY in Unified Command in Louisville, KY.  The derailment involved cars transporting Hydrogen Fluoride, Butadiene, and Styrene.  The situation resulted in Unified Command issuing a 5-mile shelter in place due to the chemicals involved in the derailment.

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