CEQA Frameworks, Regulations, Thresholds, and Conditions
MRS Environmental staff has acquired extensive experience in developing and maintaining Mitigation Measures and Conditions of Approval through the ongoing preparation of complex environmental documents, participating as compliance monitors for projects and conducting condition effectiveness studies. MRS is constantly updating a list of Standard Mitigation Measures and conditions of approval that can be used readily for any project. MRS also conducts condition effectiveness studies after projects have been approved to identify areas where conditions are ineffective, or can be improved, and areas where technological advances have occurred that merit updating existing conditions for a given project.
Our staff has also developed specific thresholds of significance for various development projects where thresholds are not readily available by the lead agency, including fire protection, greenhouse gases (GHGs), risk of upset and environmental spills of hazardous materials. As a result, MRS has archived information on thresholds that can be readily used for any development or general plan project. MRS regularly prepares Air Quality, Greenhouse Gas impact assessments and Health Risk Assessments for complex projects and stays abreast of all modeling advances and thresholds for those issue areas. MRS is currently working with Los Angeles County on providing the Board of Supervisors with an up-to-date review of every oil and gas well located in the unincorporated County. This review includes identifying the location of the wells and assessing the hazards to the environment and the public. MRS understands and utilizes the mapping of such facilities to reflect recent development and potential incompatible land use designations.
CEQA Document Review
MRS Environmental currently holds contracts with the following agencies to provide CEQA support services, including review of CEQA documents and special environmental studies: County of Los Angeles, City of Carson, City of Carpinteria, Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, County of San Luis Obispo, County of Santa Barbara Planning and Development Department, and the California State Lands Commission, among others. MRS staff recently completed review of the Tesoro Refining & Marketing Company LLC Los Angeles Refinery Integration and Compliance project, with particular attention to health risk, air quality and odor issues affecting nearby residential areas. Our staff has provided review services on Initial Studies, Negative Declarations, Mitigated Negative Declarations, administrative draft and draft EIRs, final EIRs, draft mitigation measures, and prepared response to comment documentation for a variety of CEQA documents. We have developed a tracking system for managing and addressing comments on CEQA documents and recently handled, addressed, and finalized an EIR with nearly 2,200 individual comments from 470 commenters for the County of San Luis Obispo.
MRS Envrionmental provides agencies with a more efficient method of staff training on CEQA topics that pertain to existing workloads. Travel to off-site extension programs is often inconvenient for agency staff members and program content isn’t tailored to specific documents agencies are tasked with preparing. MRS Environmental is equipped to provide in-house customized training to agency staff on a range of CEQA topics, including the general CEQA process, thresholds, recent legal decisions, CEQA Guidelines, as well as issue area-specific concerns related to traffic, Greenhouse Gases (GHG), health risk and others.
CEQA documents prepared by MRS Environmental are reliable because we back up our research with accurately simulated models. Whether quantified mathematically, or simulated visually, our findings are calculated meticulously, allowing us to provide our clients with the most exceptionally high-quality technical studies possible. From air dispersion, noise and traffic modeling to mapping and GIS, MRS Environmental’s expertise is first-class.
Our modeling capabilities include…
Consequence modeling including dispersion, jet effects, thermal and explosion impacts of a wide range of material release scenarios for single and multi-component systems;
GIS development utilizing ArcView and MapInfo software for producing base maps and detailed technical maps with large databases, aerial photographs, geological resources, three-dimensional terrain modeling, view-shed analysis, elevation, slope and aspect contouring, and pipeline elevation profile assessment and spill monitoring;
Noise impact measuring and modeling utilizing data-logging noise meters, octave band analyzers, and computer modeling of noise impacts related to construction and traffic;
Computer Aided Design (CAD) capabilities utilizing AutoCAD software for producing and assessing piping and instrument diagrams, flow diagrams, and other CAD related drawings;
Traffic flow analysis utilizing The Federal Highway Administration Highway Capacity Software (McTrans) for analyzing traffic impacts of construction and development projects.