On-Call Environmental Services For Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Client: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Location: Los Angeles County, CA
2011 – present
CEQA & NEPA Compliance Documentation
Biological & Cultural Resources Surveys and Documentation
Since 2011, Rincon Consultants has been providing environmental consulting services to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan). Rincon supports the following tasks under this contract:
- Preparation of CEQA/NEPA compliance documentation
- Conducting biological resource and regulatory field assessments and inspections
- Preparing environmental assessment reports
- Conducting cultural resource field and desktop studies, consultation, impact assessment, and technical reports
- Conducting environmental constraints identification and reporting
Overall Benefit to Metropolitan: As part of our work under this on-call contract Rincon has met accelerated schedules, provided flexibility in the method and scope of assessment, and streamlined environmental reviews of Metropolitan projects.
Representative Projects include, but are not limited to:
F.E. Weymouth Water Treatment Plant Upgrades Project. Currently providing environmental compliance monitoring services in support of ongoing upgrades at the Weymouth WTP. This multi-year contract includes construction monitoring services for a variety of construction projects at the site. To date, these include the Chemical Upgrades Project, 2MW Solar Project, and, Filter Rehabilitation Project. Expertise in nesting birds issues, arborist services, noise and air quality have all been provided to date in support of this project.
As part of another project at the Weymouth site, Rincon previously provided compliance documentation and general construction monitoring for construction activities associated with the Southern California Edison 66kV electrical upgrades at the F.E. Weymouth Treatment Plant in La Verne, California.
In addition, Rincon previously provided consulting services related to bats at the Weymouth WTP. In late 2013, Metropolitan was planning to complete a seismic upgrade of Filter Building 2 that would require removal of the first three bottom layers of the roof tiles and upgrades to the rain spouts. Bats had been found roosting in the roof tiles of adjacent Filter Building 1 and bat guano was found on the ground adjacent to the filter basins as well as on the roof tiles. Rincon identified 7 bat species with potential to occur at the treatment plant or in adjacent roosting habitat, 5 of which are considered a California Species of Special Concern (SSC). Rincon was tasked with determining which species were present and to provide recommendations for methods to manage in place, remove or exclude bats at these structures.
Santa Ana River Bridge Seismic Retrofit and Routine Maintenance Project. Prepared an IS-MND with technical peer review and incorporation of a biological technical report, provided permitting support, and conducted focused avian and bat surveys. The IS-MND examines two seismic retrofit options, each describing a different construction methodology for performance of the seismic upgrades. The IS-MND also evaluates long-term access road maintenance and vegetation management activities proposed beneath and adjacent to the bridge to facilitate maintenance of the structure following the retrofit project. This multi-option analysis was provided to meet Metropolitan’s need for flexibility in the final project design and construction methodology. As part of the scope of work, Rincon also provided advice and information regarding the regulatory permitting process for the project. Focused bat surveys determined the potential for roosting bats and addressed agency comments received during document preparation. Rincon has prepared two addenda to the IS-MND to date to reflect minor alterations in the project since it was approved.
Rincon staff also conducted the environmental compliance monitoring for the construction phase of the project, including monitoring and the potential relocation of listed species in compliance with the Incidental Take Permit for the project. In addition, Rincon prepared the Nesting Bird Plan for the project.
Palos Verdes Reservoir Upgrades Project. Prepared an IS-MND along with associated technical studies for Biological Resources, Cultural Resources, Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions for this project. Key issues for this project included construction-related impacts from noise and air emissions as well as the potential for construction activities to affect recreational resources near the site. In addition, transport and disposal of the removed lining was a key issue analyzed in the documentation. The presence of PCBs in sealants historically used during maintenance activities and the potential for these to cause waste to be classified as hazardous was considered.
An Addendum to the IS-MND was also prepared to reflect minor changes in the project following approval. Rincon is also conducting the construction monitoring for this project.
Jensen WTP Solar Project. Prepared the CEQA documentation for the proposed Jensen Water Treatment Plant 1 MW Solar Project. The solar panels would be ground-mounted and approximately 5 acres would be required for the installation. The planned location of the facility is within the Jensen plant’s operational boundary. Key issues that addressed are potential for visual impacts as well as construction-related air emissions, noise and traffic.
Copper Sulfate Applications to Copper Basin and Gene Wash MND. Prepared an IS-MND for copper sulfate applications to Copper Basin and Gene Wash. The IS included reviewing background documents and focused on issues regarding biological resources, hazards and hazardous materials, and water resources.
Lake Matthews Environmental Compliance Monitoring. Rincon conducted environmental compliance monitoring at an Upper Feeder blow-off structure located at Lake Matthews. A monitor was mobilized and in the field within 24 hours of the request for assistance by Metropolitan.
Lakeview Pipeline Relining Project. Prepared an environmental constraints study to assist Metropolitan in identifying: sensitive environmental areas; biological survey requirements (general and protocol); potential state and/or federal coordination requirements; and, general mitigation requirements and opportunities. Rincon was subsequently contracted to prepare a biological resources assessment for the proposed project. Benefits derived from this included a comprehensive list of mitigation and avoidance measures to limit the potential impacts and future regulatory requirements associated with project implementation.
Outside the Lakeview Pipeline Relining Project, Rincon provided environmental compliance monitoring services for two drought-related upgrade projects along the Lakeview Pipeline in Riverside County between July 2014 and August 2015.
In House Training. On-site trainings at Metropolitan facilities regarding the California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM) for Wetlands and Navigating Nesting Bird Regulations in Project Design and Construction.