Environmental Planning & Permits

Our experience shows that projects are completed most effectively when there are frequent communications between the project proponent and the regulatory agencies, to ensure that project participants stay informed about the project and have ample opportunity to contribute their local knowledge and requirements during the planning phases. In the preparation of environmental planning documents, we see our role as both expert scientist and facilitator – to bring scientifically-defensible data and information to the table while helping the process move forward. This consensus-based approach to project design helps achieve the overall goal of project implementation, and helps move our clients cost-effectively through the environmental planning and regulatory compliance process with less worry of schedule slips or budget issues. We use this approach to support regulatory compliance in the following areas:

Federal and State Regulatory Compliance

  • Environmental Impact Statements (EIS), Environmental Assessments (EA), Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSI)
  • Environmental Impact Reports (EIR), Program Timberland Environmental Impact Reports (PTEIR), Initial Studies (IS), Negative Declarations/Mitigated Negative Declarations, Mitigation and Monitoring Reporting Plans (MMRP)
  • Joint NEPA and CEQA documents (e.g., EIS/EIR, EA/IS)
  • Proponent’s Environmental Assessment (PEA) (California Public Utilities Commission)
Federal and California Endangered Species Act Consultation and Compliance
  • Biological Assessments (BA) pursuant to Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7; incidental take statements via Biological Opinion (BO) 
  • ESA Section 10 consultation and documentation; incidental take permits via Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP)
  • California Endangered Species Act (CESA) consultation and documentation; incidental take authorization via Natural Communities Conservation Plan (NCCP) or other documentation (Fish and Game Code Section 2081)
  • CESA incidental take authorization via Consistency Determination (Fish and Game Code Section 2080.1)
  • Federal and state agency coordination and consultation
  • Special-status species surveys and scoping lists


  • Clean Water Act Section 401 certification and Section 404 permitting
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regional General Permits (RGP) and Nationwide Permits (NWP)
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers levee modification permits (Section 408)
  • Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreements (Fish and Game Code Section 1601 and 1603) 
  • Scientific Collection Permits under ESA Section 10 and the 4(d) Rule
  • Wetland delineation and mitigation design and monitoring

FERC Hydroelectric Relicensing

  • Traditional, integrated, and alternative hydroelectric relicensing processes including license preparation, Exhibit E documentation, proposed protection, mitigation, and enhancement (PM&E) measures, and preparation of settlement agreements
  • Post-relicensing monitoring, additional information requests (AIRs) and on-going monitoring support

 Project Planning

  • HCPs and NCCPs
  • Watershed Management Plans
  • Resource Management and Species Management Plans
  • Habitat Restoration/Enhancement Plans
  • Reintroduction Plans for listed species
  • Monitoring and Adaptive Management Plans
We can provide Environmental Planning and Permitting assistance to Federal agencies through our GSA contract.


In the preparation of environmental planning documents, we help you as both expert scientist and facilitator.


Scott Wilcox
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On-the-ground, and fast turnaround

So that levee repairs could begin before the rainy season, Stillwater Sciences completed all NEPA compliance documentation, as well as the federal ESA consultation, for five critical levee erosion sites on the Sacramento River in just three months. We mobilized quickly to perform the field work necessary for the regulatory compliance process, and were on-the-ground working closely with engineers to include habitat enhancements (such as woody debris material and shallow water benches) into the levee repair designs to increase suitable habitat for listed salmonids and delta smelt.