Stillwater Sciences conducted biological and cultural resource surveys, prepared a Proponent’s Environmental Assessment (PEA) and permit applications, and provided construction compliance for the reconductoring of the 12.5-mile Missouri Flat–Gold Hill 115 kV power line, which serves the rapidly growing communities in El Dorado County. Stillwater began by conducting a suite of surveys of the entire project area including a wetland delineation, special-status plant surveys, vegetation mapping, a Valley elderberry longhorn beetle habitat survey, a California red-legged frog habitat assessment, and an evaluation of suitable vernal pool habitats for tadpole shrimp. They also coordinated with cultural and paleontological experts and worked with PG&E and consulting engineers to avoid and minimize impacts to all resources. As a result, the project avoided impacting all waters, wetlands, and aquatic habitats, greatly simplifying the regulatory compliance process.
In addition to CEQA, Stillwater supported all regulatory compliance aspects of the project including the development of a detailed permitting strategy and schedule, as well as regulatory compliance documents. Stillwater prepared a Biological Assessment for Section 7 consultation with USFWS, coordinated with the Bureau of Land Management’s Pine Hill Preserve to identify appropriate avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures for special-status plants, and helped to develop both a Rare Plant Mitigation and Monitoring Plan and an Oak Tree Mitigation and Monitoring Plan.
During construction, Stillwater conducted pre-construction surveys for special-status wildlife, provided environmental awareness trainings for work crews, and prepared minor modification requests, as needed, for CPUC approval. Stillwater performed daily environmental inspection ensuring that construction activities remained in compliance with the project mitigation measures including procedures and plans for air quality, biological resources, solid waste management, wildland fire prevention, nighttime noise and lighting, geology and soils, traffic control, and cultural resources. Stillwater also coordinated with the project Qualified SWPPP Practitioner (QSP) for implementation of best management practices and hazardous waste management. Daily project activities were recorded in a daily report system which were compiled and distributed to the CPUC on a monthly basis.
Stillwater is currently leading the implementation of the rare plant and oak tree mitigation and monitoring plans. This includes coordination with UC Santa Cruz Arboretum to propagate and plant special-status plant species into a mitigation site; monitoring the success of treatments (e.g., seed scarification, cold stratification) and planting survival; and coordination with the American River Conservancy to plant oaks and monitor survival.