RCH Group is pleased to announce that Paul Miller has joined our team as Principal in charge of Environmental Services.
Combined with RCH founding principals, we offer a unique team of highly experienced professionals with expertise in California Environmental
Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as well as regulatory permitting and technical studies. The RCH team's
specialized areas of focus and years of practical experience in all facets of land development provide keen insight and understanding of
complex issues for thorough environmental analysis, resulting in quality project designs and pragmatic mitigation measures useful to
decision makers and developers.
- Categorical Exemption (CE)
- Initial Studies (IS)
- Mitigated Negative Declarations (MND)
- Environmental Impact Report (EIR)
- Categorical Exclusion (CE)
- Environmental Assessment (EA)
- Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
Joint CEQA/NEPA Documents
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) Section 404 Individual and Nationwide Permits
- California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG)1602 Streambed Alteration Agreements
- Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) Section 401 Water Quality Certifications
PG&E Hydroelectric System Divestiture
RCH staff managed preparation of a Draft EIR reviewing Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s application to sell its hydroelectric system through an auction. The proposed sale of
Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s assets was immense. It included 110 generating units at 68 powerhouses with 3,896 MW of generation capacity, 26 FERC licenses, three projects
not covered by FERC licenses, 99 reservoirs, 76 diversions, 174 dams, 184 miles of canals, 44 miles of flumes, 135 miles of tunnels, 19 miles of pipe, 5 miles of natural waterways,
and 140,000 acres of land. The assets also included close to 2.3 million-acre feet of reservoir capacity, and a series of consumptive and non-consumptive water rights. In preparing
the DEIR, RCH staff managed a team that includes approximately 100 individuals from 28 consulting companies.
PG&E Second Divestiture Application To Sell Fossil Fuel and Geothermal Power Plants
RCH staff managed this fast-track environmental document was completed within 10 months of PG&E filing its application. CPUC was the lead agency for this EIR, which covered the sale of
three natural-gas-fired power plants in the San Francisco region (Potrero, Pittsburg, and Contra Costa) and the Geysers Power Plants (2 units in Lake County and 12 units in Sonoma County).
Redding Oasis Center
RCH staff directly supported the project developer in strategic decisions related to obtaining a CWA Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE). This support included
the management of subcontractors preparing a Biological Assessment for protected steelhead trout. Our staff also coordinated with the team preparing the CWA Section 401 Certification and
the California Department of Fish and Game Section 1602 Agreement.
Elverta Specific Plan
As a consultant for the ACOE, RCH personnel have been managed the preparation of the Elverta Specific Plan Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), as well as 404 and 401 permitting. The
Sacramento Division of the ACOE is the federal lead agency preparing the EIS. The project would fill approximately 25 acres of wetlands in the development of a Specific Plan Area in
northern Sacramento County that would include approximately 6,000 homes. The Draft EIS is expected to be published in 2012.
Central Valley Water Board - Dairy Manure Digester and Manure Co-digester
RCH staff managed this EIR. The Central Valley Water Board explored dairy manure digesters and co-digestion in a Program EIR that was the environmental documentation for a Central Valley
Water Board General Order for Dairy manure digesters. The digesters control the generation of methane and allow methane to be a low-carbon fuel resource rather than a potent greenhouse gas
emission that results from uncontrolled generation of methane. The project was undertaken with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (as required by AB 32) and to help generate
renewable fuels (biogas and biomethane) to help California utilities meet their renewable portfolio standard goal. The EIR considered manure digestion and co-digestion facilities on individual
dairies, groups of dairies linked by gas collection systems, and at centralized locations within the Central Valley Region of California.
Honda Port of Entry, Port of Richmond
RCH staff acted as senior air quality and noise analysts for the Port of Richmond expansion EIR, which was constructed in 2010. The air quality analysis included criteria pollutants and toxic air
contaminants (diesel particulate matter) from ships, a rail extension (approximately 1 mile) and auto transport trucks. Mitigations included use of an advanced locomotive for movements along the
new rail line and re-location of the loading area for the auto transport trucks. The project could double future auto ship deliveries at the Port of Richmond. The noise analysis included measurements
of existing ship and rail noise, a simulation of future locomotive movements (including the horn) and projections of future changes with implementation of the project. The FHWA noise model was calibrated
to traffic counts and actual traffic levels and then used with future traffic projections to estimate future noise levels.
Sierra Waste Wood Grinding Company
Sierra Waste previously operated a wood grinding operation in an industrial area of Sacramento. RCH staff assisted in their successful application to be permitted as a Large Volume Transfer Station. Their
permit throughput was increased from 500 to 1,000 tons per day. RCH personnel assisted Sierra Waste by preparing a project description for the CEQA Lead Agency (Sacramento County Department of Environmental
Review and Assessment [DERA]) and by preparing a Draft Transfer Processing Report for the Sacramento County Environmental Management Department (the County Local Enforcement Agency). Our staff also represented
Sierra Waste at public meetings for the CEQA IS/Negative Declaration and the Solid Waste Facilities Permit (SWFP).
Union Pacific Railroad Modernization
RCH staff coordinated with Sierra Research to develop strategies for the contents of the Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions section and a detailed review of the draft EIR. Key comments on the draft EIR
section covered the appropriate CEQA significance thresholds and need for additional mitigation measures. The Draft EIR was published in late 2011. Union Pacific Railroad, the applicant, has filed an application
with San Joaquin County for a Conditional Use Permit to modernize and expand the existing UP Intermodal Facility located on Roth Road adjacent to the cities of Lathrop and Manteca.