CEQA and NEPA Documentation

UltraSystems is thoroughly experienced with implementing California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance, and is a recognized leader in the preparation of legally-defensible CEQA and NEPA documentation. We routinely prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND), Initial Study (IS) and other CEQA documents, as well as an Environmental Impact Study (EIS), Environmental Assessment (EA) and Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for NEPA compliance.

Our diverse clients include the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Counties, Cities, Special Districts and energy producers (e.g. Southern California Edison [SCE], Florida Power and Light [FPL], Pacific Gas and Electric [PGE], Los Angeles Department of Water and Power [LADWP]).

UltraSystems has a thorough understanding of current environmental assessment legislation, guidance and case law, and a proven track record of coordinating and integrating multi-disciplinary teams of consultants. This allows us to undertake environmental assessment cost effectively, from project design to construction and operation.

Mitigation Monitoring Plans

UltraSystems utilizes its expertise in mitigation and monitoring planning, design, and construction to track CEQA and NEPA mitigation measures as required by state and federal guidelines. Our services include:

  • Mitigation monitoring plans;
  • Coordination with agencies to determine specific responsibilities for various program elements;
  • Pre-construction surveys for sensitive species;
  • Onsite monitoring to assure compliance;  and
  • Post-construction documentation of compliance with the plan.

We also review proposed and existing plans to measure their effectiveness against their original intent. Our mitigation monitoring plans are designed with the objective of meeting agency approval.

Public Process and Community Outreach

Public input is required by NEPA and CEQA regulation. Our consultation and communication experts are experienced in working with numerous stakeholders to bring large, complex projects to successful completion. Specific expertise includes:

  • Preparing, implementing and managing  the public process, including community relations strategies and community involvement
  • Creating community presentation materials and communication tools
  • Developing and maintaining mailing lists for public notices
  • Facilitating and managing public workshop.
  • Conducting or moderating meetings and discussions
  • Providing translated written materials into appropriate languages
  • Recording comments and summarizing workshops and meetings
  • Property owner consultation
  • Key stakeholder and media liaison
  • Public relations management
Plan of Development

UltraSystems prepares Plans of Development (PODs) to help its clients meet Bureau of Land Management (BLM) requirements. Preparation and submittal of a POD to the BLM is a prerequisite for initiation of the NEPA documentation and approval process for solar development projects that encroach on BLM land. The POD includes a detailed project description, such as:

  • Purpose and need;
  • Facility descriptions;
  • Design and operation;
  • Permit requirements, schedules, and financial and technical capabilities of the applicant
  • Detailed description of facility construction, related facilities and systems;
  • Operations and maintenance of the system;
  • Environmental considerations; and
  • Maps and engineering drawings.

UltraSystems works in close coordination with the client’s engineering staff to prepare and submit the POD for BLM approval.

Application for Certification

UltraSystems prepares Application for Certification (AFC) documents in accordance with the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Power Plant Site Certification Regulations to construct and operate a thermal power plant greater than 50 megawatts (MW) in California.

In this case, the CEC is the lead agency under CEQA and works closely with other agencies. Affected agencies outside the CEC are asked to review, and if appropriate, comment on the applicant’s proposal. The AFC provides:

  • A detailed description of the project;
  • An assessment of the project’s anticipated impacts on the environment;
  • Proposed measures to mitigate those impacts to ensure that environmental issues are properly and responsibly addressed; and
  • Discussion of compliance with applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards (LORS).

If the project will also encroach on federal land managed by the BLM, then it is expected that CEC and BLM will coordinate their environmental review and issue a joint environmental document to comply with CEQA and NEPA law and guidelines, with separate decisions. UltraSystems leads its clients through the CEC siting process to achieve approval to construct a power facility.

“I will personally make sure that the hard work and effort that UltraSystems has shown with the expedited San Diego Creek request is reflected in the scoring/evaluation, and that UltraSystems will definitely move up in the ranking.”

– Vinh Tran, P.E., Civil Engineer
Project Management, RDMD
County of Orange

“Betsy, indeed it was a pleasure working with you and the staff of UltraSystems over the last three years.  You folks did a very good job for us under the ENO70 contract.  You were always very responsive, technically proficient and reasonable in costs.  You have played a major role in facilitating Metro's construction program.  I will look forward to the opportunity to work with you again in the future.”

– Carl Peter Ripaldi
Principal Environmental Specialist
Metropolitan Transportation Authority

“I really appreciate the hard work and the quality of work that you and your staff at UltraSystems do.  Over the past few years, I have been very impressed with UltraSystems' work ethics, comprehensiveness, thoroughness of documents, and responsiveness to clients' and communities' needs.”

– Dr. Robert Manford, Ph. D, REA
Senior Planner, Environmental Review Unit
Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles

“Throughout the years and the numerous projects that you and your staff have worked on for our Department, it has always been a great working relationship.  I genuinely respect your technical knowledge and professionalism in the outstanding work that was provided.  I look forward to continued success in working together on future projects.”

– Sarah D. Scott
Programs Development Division
Los Angeles County Department of Public Works

“This message is to convey my sincere gratitude to UltraSystems during the processing of the additional CEQA environmental documentation for the Sunshine Canyon Landfill in Los Angeles County.  You and your staff were always professional, knowledgeable, and timely in the assistance you brought to the preparation of a circulated Addendum to both the City of Los Angeles and the County for previous EIRs on the landfill, a very controversial project.”

– Daryl Koutnik
Managing Principal, Biological Sciences, Supervising Regional Planning
LA County Department of Regional Planning

“With the large-scale project and the monitoring effort necessary to comply with state and local requirements as well as standard construction monitoring issues, UltraSystems was able to react quickly to the project’s needs with augmented staff as necessary.”

– Gary Sycalik
Resident Engineer, Owens Lake Dust Mitigation Project Phase 7
KDG Development & Construction Consulting

“Once provided with the Notice to Proceed, UltraSystems performed their environmental services with minimal technical direction.  All work was performed as required in a method that promoted accuracy, responsiveness, cost-effectiveness, and timely Caltrans approval for projects with Federal Funding.”

– Bill Zimmerman, P.E., T.E., PTOE
W.G. Zimmerman Engineering

“Not only has the performance of work been outstanding, I personally have found the staff with UltraSystems to be very pleasant and easy to work with.  I would highly recommend the services of UltraSystems to other agencies.”

– Cary Brockman
Director, Facilities Planning
Capistrano USD

Project: Narco Channel Report, “I find the report exciting, fascinating and awesome.”

– Rory Paster
Permit Manager, Regulatory Permits Section
OC Public Works

“I want to take my hat off to you and your team.  Completing these reports and submitting them on time is a huge milestone for our entire Anaheim to Los Angeles team!”

 David M. Thomson, PE
Vice President
STV Incorporated

“It was a pleasure working with UltraSystems on the Arlington Heights Sports Park environmental process.  Your professionalism, responsiveness and technical proficiency was a great asset in helping the City of Riverside complete the initial study, MND, and other CEQA documentation.  We look forward to working with you in the future.”

– Randy McDaniel
Project Manager, Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department
City of Riverside

“UltraSystems participated in a flawless job in preparing an impenetrable (by legal action) CEQA document for the Sunshine Canyon Landfill project in the County of Los Angeles.”

– Daryl Koutnik
Supervising Regional Planning, Impact Analysis Section
Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning

“You did an excellent job protecting the public's interest and University's concern with costs.”

– Steinar Sire
University of California, Irvine

“UltraSystems has consistently performed at a very high level, producing work of the highest caliber.  We have found them to approach their work with a positive “can-do” attitude.  For the AMLI Uptown Orange project, UltraSystems prepared a thorough MND under extreme time pressures without sacrificing quality or detail.”

– Mark Hickner, AICP
Planning and Entitlement Director
KTGY Group, Inc.

“Thank you for putting together the “Jurisdictional Waters and Upland Habitats Impact Table” for the Huntington Bridges Preventive Maintenance Project.  I thought it was very well thought out and very easy to understand – even for an engineer!  Thank you for your perseverance on this project.”

– Jonathan Claudio
Project Engineer
City of Huntington Beach

“Your staff was diligent and consciences in completing the scope of work on time and within budget.  The IUSD thanks UltraSystems for your effort and professionalism.”

– Ana Gonzalez
Supervisor, Facilities Planning
Irvine USD

“The work UltraSystems provided was delivered and completed in a professional manner, on time and within budget.  Their efforts and service were greatly appreciated, and the District would be most receptive to future opportunities to do business with them again.”

– Keith Matsuo
Director, Facilities & Construction
Alhambra USD

“To date, we have retained UltraSystems as an environmental consultant on high profile projects, and will continue to do so as we are confident in their technical abilities and knowledge.”

– Cary Brockman
Director, Facilities Planning
Capistrano USD

“The rigorous environmental and regulatory planning and permitting procedure is much more manageable with UltraSystems’ participation and guidance.”

– Rory Paster
Environmental Engineering Specialist, Projects & Regulatory Permits Unit
OC Public Works

“UltraSystems played a crucial role in obtaining a conditional use permit…in a timely, cost effective and professional manner.”

– Michael Francis
Attorney at Law
Demetriou, Del Guercio, Springer & Francis, LLP

“UltraSystems’ staff is professional, provides reports in a timely manner, and is responsive to any inquires or requests from City and County staff.”

– Maria Masis, AICP
Supervising Planner
LA County Regional Planning

“The City of Dana Point has enjoyed a positive working relationship with UltraSystems over the last several years.  UltraSystems demonstrated both professionalism and responsiveness to City staff throughout the duration of the project.  Ultimately, a very comprehensive and defensible EIR was produced, which was well received within the community.”

– Erica Demkowicz, AICP
Senior Planner
City of Dana Point

“Caltrans District 12 environmental reviewer seemed favorably impressed with your work, and specifically asked me for the name of the consultant who prepared the PES.  So yes, I think we would very much like to work with your organization again.”

– Sean Nazarie, P.E.
Director of Engineering
CNC Engineering

“For each of these tasks, your staff was responsive to our needs, and completed quality work in an efficient and professional manner.  The dedication and work effort to accommodate the District schedules and deadlines are much appreciated.  Each task was completed with the approved budgets.”

– John Eclevia
Director, FMOT
Los Alamitos USD

“Professional service to address immediate needs onsite.  Excellent services; would use again in the future.”

– Steven Ross
Project Manager
Everstrong Construction

“I have always been very happy with the services by UltraSystems to our Planning Group here at Willdan.  We will certainly keep you at the top of the list of biological resources subconsultants (although we know you have service capabilities in many additional areas).”

– Dean Sherer, AICP, ENV SP
Director of Planning
Willdan Engineering

“Contractor attentive to on-the-ground requirements, committed to avoiding concerns related to habitat sensitivity, application of pesticides, etc.  Public outreach component was well executed and helped to avoid potential issues.”

– Daniel Sulzer
Assistant Chief, Planning Division

“The work UltraSystems provided was delivered and completed in a professional manner, on time and within budget. Their efforts and service were greatly appreciated and the City of Fontana Planning Division would be receptive to future opportunities to do business with them again.”

– Brett Hamilton
Associate Planner, Planning Division
City of Fontana

“Betsy Lindsay and her staff have displayed a high degree of reliability, responsibility, and energy. The firm completed both projects in compliance with the schedule. The projects were also successful in completing all the contracted duties and were reliable in meeting staff's expectations.”

– Jeff Anderson, ACIP
Planning Director
City of West Covina

“Thank you for your excellent work and partnership over the last several years. Hope we can work together again soon!”

– Hayley J. Lovan
Chief, Ecosystem Planning Section
Los Angeles District, USACE

“UltraSystems has performed very well for OC Public Works for many years and I would hire this firm again.”

– James R. Volz, P.E.
Senior Civil Engineer, Infrastructure Programs / Regulatory Permits
OC Public Works

“You all did an outstanding job!  Thanks for your help.”

– Candida Neal, AICP
Planning Manager
City of Santa Ana

“I want to thank you again for the excellent service that was provided. I too hope that we have the opportunity to work together again on future projects.”

– Pedro Gomez
Associate Planner
City of Santa Ana

“Great, thank you for Ultra System’s great efforts on meeting this milestone. Much appreciated.”

– Bomee Yoon
Facilities Coordinator
Norwalk - La Mirada Unified School District