Category Archives: Environmental Permitting

SB 35 Effects on the CEQA Process for Housing Projects

In 2017, California passed 15 bills designed to address the state’s housing problems, including solutions to streamline housing approvals, enact inclusionary housing requirements for residential rental projects, and generate funds for affordable housing projects. Three bills—SB 35, SB 540, and AB 73—have the greatest effect on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process for housing

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How to Effectively Assess Bridge Shading Impacts

The effect of shade cast by new bridge construction is often considered a permanent impact, when it could be permitted as temporary. This discrepancy increases mitigation costs and unduly burdens county Public Works department budgets. Effective site assessment to determine expectation of in-situ recovery and persistence of self-sustaining habitat can justify temporary impacts, saving your

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Keys to Developing CEQA Analysis with Net-Zero Emissions Threshold

The environmental impact report (EIR) for the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) new world-class motor vehicle and emissions testing and research facility is one of the first projects to use zero-emissions thresholds for evaluating greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts in a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) document. CARB established the zero-emission goal to be proactive in

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4 Keys to Managing CEQA for California’s First LEED Platinum-Certified Hospital

Kaiser Permanente’s ambitious goal for a new 450-bed hospital included LEED Platinum Certification and becoming a valued neighborhood resource. The new medical campus was recently named the Best Healthcare Project in California in 2017 by Engineering News Record. “When you’re building a hospital, it’s like building a mini-city,” said Shawn Shamlou, AICP, Dudek’s CEQA Principal

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Tips for Infill Battery Energy Storage Permitting

Powin Energy’s 2-megawatt (MW)/8-MW-hour battery energy storage system (BESS) recently went online fewer than six months after the project was awarded, marking an energy industry first for the speed of manufacturing, installing, and commissioning of an asset of this size on a distribution feeder. Located in Irvine, California, the sys­tem provides peaking capacity and grid

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How to Expedite ACOE Permitting Processes

The process of securing regulatory permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) can seem challenging and overwhelming. However, the ACOE’s goal is to earn and maintain the public’s trust and work together with applicants to improve the process. Tips for permit success Dudek regulatory specialist Laurie Monarres offers applicants five tips to expedite

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New Guide for Desert Conservation Management

Ten million acres of public land in California deserts are under a new management blueprint with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s approval of the Record of Decision for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) in September. The new landscape-level plan being implemented includes designation of use zones and management directives for renewable energy,

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5 Steps to Faster Coastal Development Permit Approvals

Achieving California Coastal Commission (CCC) permit approval can be complicated, time consuming, and expensive, however communication, clarity, and careful planning can expedite the permit process. Dudek Coastal Planner Alison Evans and Biologist Kam Muri offer 5 tips to ensuring efficient coastal development permit approvals. Communicate promptly with the CCC. Once the project has been defined

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How to Negotiate Permits that Ensure Project Success

Negotiating project-appropriate conditions for your environmental permits will help avoid costly consequences, such as construction delays, tied-up bonding capacity, and extraneous years of site mitigation, monitoring and maintenance. Mike Sweesy and Sherri Miller, Dudek principals, offer five tips on how to tailor a final permit negotiation strategy that is mutually satisfactory to regulatory agencies and

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In-Lieu Fee Programs Offer “Win-Win” Compensatory Mitigation

In-lieu fee (ILF) programs present a desirable option to both project permittees and local resource conservation districts (RCD) for offsetting wetland impacts. An ILF program matches the permittee’s compensatory mitigation need with an RCD’s charter to be the on-the-ground leader for conservation efforts in their local community. In-Lieu Fee Program Advantages An ILF program can

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