Copyright 2016 Area West Environmental, Inc.  All rights reserved.
With each project we work on, AWE brings a wealth of experience, technical
knowledge, and a collaborative approach that is reflected in the results we achieve
for our clients.

Our Experience includes a variety of transportation, energy, mitigation, planning,
and development projects.  No matter the job, however, AWE's approach is always
to provide our clients with technically accurate results that will hold up to our
clients' expectations, the scrutiny of the public and regulatory agencies, and our
own standards.
Experience. Collaboration. Results.
AWE worked with SMUD from planning all the way through development of a
1,200-acre multi-species/multi habitat mitigation bank at the site of the former
Rancho Seco Nuclear Power Plant in southeast Sacramento County.

To help SMUD successfully establish their Nature Preserve Mitigation Bank, AWE
performed the wetland delineation and special-status plant and wildlife species
surveys; including targeted surveys to establish the extent of vernal pool fairy
shrimp, vernal pool tadpole shrimp, and California tiger salamander.  Further, we
re-located, mapped, and evaluated previously identified cultural features and
located, mapped, evaluated, and prepared recordation forms for the new features
at the mitigation bank site.

Further, AWE prepared the IS/MND for the project and submitted the Final Bank
Enabling Instrument to the regulatory agencies. We also prepared the
Development Plan, Interim Monitoring Plan, and Long-Term Monitoring Plan for
the bank.  During construction, AWE monitored wetland construction activities,
and conducted stormwater monitoring of the wetland restoration portion of the
project site. Throughout this process, AWE coordinated and facilitated meetings
with key stakeholders, Native American tribes, and regulatory agencies regarding
establishment of the bank.

AWE has continued to assist SMUD by conducting on-going biological surveys
and monitoring for special-status species.

Services Provided:
  • Technical Studies
  • Environmental Planning
  • Coordination
  • Surveys & Compliance Monitoring

  • Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)
The SMART District proposed to rehabilitate/reconstruct over 70 miles of railway
within an existing Northwestern Pacific right-of-way, including improvements to
existing trestles and bridges, tunnels, stations, and passing sidings. The proposed
projects, from Cloverdale to Larkspur, will allow for passenger rail service
consistent with CPUC rail standards.

AWE provided a range of services for this high-profile transit project, including
agency coordination, biological resource surveys, habitat assessments, impact
analyses using GIS, public meeting presentations, regulatory permitting,
preconstruction surveys, and construction monitoring. AWE completed several
biological assessment reports for project segments in accordance with Section 7
of the Federal ESA. AWE also provided technical support of agency permitting
and mitigation options for the project. AWE assisted SMART with strategic
planning for project permits and closely coordinated with the USFWS, CDFW,
NOAA Fisheries, RWQCB, and Corps.

As a result of AWE’s working relationships with regulatory agency staff, AWE has
provided SMART with successful and expedited permit processing and agency
coordination for multiple railroad project segments in sensitive habitat areas. AWE
conducted construction monitoring and worked closely with SMART and the
construction contractors to ensure that construction occurs in compliance with
project permits and approvals.

Services Provided:
  • Technical Studies
  • Permitting & Agency Coordination
  • Surveys & Compliance Monitoring

  • Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit
The City of Vacaville constructed two stormwater detention basins along Encinosa
Creek within a 60-acre parcel. Key resource issues included highly sensitive
cultural and biological areas; potential impacts on valley elderberry longhorn
beetle, California red-legged frog, and western pond turtle; and riparian habitat
avoidance and restoration. AWE worked closely with city planners and engineers
to limit encroachment into the Encinosa Creek riparian corridor through the
establishment of permanent setbacks and construction buffers. In compliance with
CEQA, AWE prepared an IS/MND and permitting packages to obtain
authorizations from the RWQCB, Corps, USFWS, and CDFW. In an effort to
expedite construction of the basins, AWE facilitated meetings with USFWS to
obtain project approvals to conduct cultural resources investigation in advance of
the issuance of a biological opinion. AWE assisted in the completion of this project
in a timely and efficient manner and exceeded the client’s expectations. AWE’s
project manager, Ms. Rozumowicz, was recognized by the Mayor of Vacaville
during the ribbon cutting ceremony for her role in expediting the project.

Services Provided:
  • Technical Studies
  • Environmental Planning
  • Permitting & Agency Coordination

  • City of Vacaville Department of Public Works
In support of the proposed replacement of a one-lane bridge crossing Redinger
Lake in eastern Fresno County, AWE completed a variety of studies in compliance
with CEQA and the California Department of Transportation’s (Caltrans’) NEPA
process. AWE and its team partners completed the preliminary environmental
study (PES) form, cultural resources reports (HPSR and ASR), biological
resources reports (Natural Environment Study/Minimal Impact [NES/MI], wetland
delineation, and bat survey report), Section 4(f) de minimis report, air quality and
noise assessments, Phase I initial site assessment, asbestos and lead-in-paint
survey, and location hydraulic study/summary of floodplain encroachment in order
to support the preparation of a Categorical Exclusion (CE) by Caltrans. Further,
AWE prepared an IS/MND pursuant to CEQA requirements.

Throughout the planning process, AWE coordinated with the County, Caltrans
District 6, U.S. Forest Service, and the project engineers to fulfill the
environmental compliance requirements for this project.  

Services Provided:
  • Technical Studies
  • Environmental Planning
  • Permitting & Agency Coordination

  • Fresno County Department of Public Works
AWE is working with the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) to establish a
comprehensive approach for a long term conservation easement in order to
compensate for potential impacts to Alameda whipsnake, a special-status species,
as a result of implementation of their Wildfire Hazard Reduction and Resource
Management Plan (WHRRMP).

AWE prepared a CDFW 2081 Incidental Take Permit (ITP) application package for
the recommended treatment activities identified in the WHRRMP, which comprise
almost 3,000 acres of land.  AWE submitted the permit application and quickly
received a completeness letter and is awaiting issuance of the ITP from CDFW.

In addition, the AWE is working with EBRPD to determine the best location(s) for
the conservation easement.  For those properties under consideration, the AWE
Team has reviewed existing data sources; incorporated habitat, topographic and
soils information using GIS tools; conducted aerial photograph interpretation;
inventoried the site(s) for Alameda whipsnake habitat; and evaluated the sites’
potential to support other special-status, keystone, and indicator species and
habitats to fulfill the goals included in the USFWS May 2013 BO. With this
information, AWE has drafted a constraints analysis, comparing the three sites
and advising EBRPD on the best sites to establish a long-term conservation
easement.  Currently, the three sites total approximately 450 acres of habitat that
will be preserved in perpetuity.

Services Provided:
  • Technical Studies
  • Permitting & Agency Coordination

  • East Bay Regional Park District
The City of Citrus Heights constructed a new bicycle and pedestrian trail parallel
to Old Auburn Road between Fair Oaks Blvd and Watchtel Way. AWE provided a
range of environmental services, including preparing a Natural Environment Study
(NES), wetland delineation, and cultural resources reports in accordance with the
Caltrans Local Assistance Procedures Manual. Working with project engineers to
understand the scope and dynamics of the project, AWE was able to help avoid
sensitive resources and minimize impacts during the design phase. This enabled
us to prepare a detailed NES document which Caltrans approved with no
comments or edits, saving the City critical time and budget.  

Further, after initial cultural resource investigations and discussions with tribal
representatives indicated potential archaeological sensitivity at the site, Caltrans
requested that an Extended Phase I archaeological study be completed, which
threatened to delay project approval.  Working closely with Caltrans District 3
Local Assistance, tribal representatives, and City staff, AWE mobilized quickly to
complete the requested field study and receive Caltrans approval in less than 5
weeks.  Additionally, AWE used an innovative approach to minimize costs; having
our archaeologists oversee a California Conservation Corps crew who assisted
with subsurface shovel testing at a fraction of the cost of using on-call cultural
resource technicians.  Because of our collaborative approach and quick response
to this unexpected request, the project approval stayed on schedule and the trail
was constructed in Spring 2014.

Services Provided:
  • Technical Studies
  • Environmental Planning

  • City of Citrus Heights
Sacramento Municipal Utility District - Nature Preserve Mitigation Bank
Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) - Initial Operating Segments
City of Vacaville - Encinosa Detention Basins
East Bay Regional Park District - Permitting and Biology Support for the
Wildfire Hazard Reduction and Resource Management Plan
Fresno County - Italian Bar Road Bridge Replacement
City of Citrus Heights - Old Auburn Road Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail