As part of assisting county, city, state, and federal agencies comply with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7, DBS&A has conducted biological evaluations (BEs) and biological assessments (BAs) statewide. DBS&A team members are permitted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct surveys of Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus), Chiricahua Leopard Frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis), Mexican Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis lucida), and Western Yellowbilled Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus).
DBS&A prepares thorough biological assessments and evaluations based on a clear understanding of the Section 7 consultation process, as well as habitat associations and requirements of threatened and endangered species, and the determination of exposure and effects. We provide uniform, streamlined biological reporting, clarify the level of documentation needed, reduce redundancy, and provide consistency and quality. We are experts in defining the action area buffer zone around the project area, including documentation of existing biological fauna and flora and evaluation of habitats for special-status species. We also evaluate habitat for the potential for wildlife corridors, nests, noxious weeds, and existing land uses.
DBS&A staff members document the findings of the biological survey, describe natural resources and species observed, analyze potential effects resulting from the proposed project, and recommend any necessary mitigation measures to avoid, mitigate, or minimize impacts to natural resources and species. DBS&A can also assist in Section 10 permitting by writing habitat conservation plans with an analysis of potential effects and proposed mitigation/conservation actions.
As part of our ESA and NEPA compliance documents, we can analyze the potential for occurrence of migratory birds and threatened and/or endangered species at proposed project sites and provide recommendations for avoiding, minimizing, and/or mitigating the expected impacts of projects on these species. We are highly familiar with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
Clean Water Act Compliance Support
DBS&A has provided support to government agencies and private companies for groundwater and surface water environmental compliance with the Clean Water Act (CWA). We have assisted with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) jurisdictional determinations, nationwide permit authorization through the USACE, CWA Section 404 permitting, and associated 401 certifications. We have directed the implementation of groundwater discharge permit requirements that include quarterly and semiannual reports, evaluation of associated groundwater and surface water data, and the administration of Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP).
Environmental assessment projects often involve cultural, archaeological, and historic preservation activities as required by the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and NEPA. DBS&A maintains active relationships with cultural resource firms in the industry and can advise on project requirements. These requirements may include:
- Archaeological surveys and excavations
- Historic building documentation and preservation
- Section 106 and 110 reviews
- Cultural resource monitoring
Environmental Impact Studies
We perform all aspects of evaluations for NEPA and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance and have experience with impact analysis for land use, natural resources, threatened and endangered species, water resources, socioeconomics and environmental justice, hazardous materials, air quality, noise, visual resources, and cultural resources. Our team of regulatory specialists, biologists, archaeologists, hydrologists, geologists, GIS specialists, engineers, and environmental scientists can provide the resources necessary for evaluating specialized and complex issues, including the preparation of or assistance with:
- Environmental Impact Statements
- Environmental Assessments
- Categorical Exclusions
- Environmental Information Documents
- Biological Evaluations
DBS&A works with land and resource managers to keep forests healthy and protect water quality. We have worked extensively on forest and range land in the central and western U.S., where fire danger and wildfire impacts have been a major concern in recent years.
Key services include:
- Biological resources survey
- Archaeological survey coordination
- Watershed restoration
- Storm runoff water quality sampling and data analysis
- Nonpoint source pollution management
- Erosion control
- Low-impact development (LID) studies
- Mudflow/debris-flow hazard analysis and mitigation
- Forest thinning