Emergency Erosion Control

California Conservation Corps crew members implement emergency erosion control measures under PWA technical supervision
California Conservation Corps crew members implement emergency erosion control measures under PWA technical supervision

Pacific Watershed Associates has planned and implemented emergency erosion control projects for a number of clients under a variety of challenging circumstances. The following examples offer a brief glimpse of the ways in which PWA can provide rapid and cost-effective intervention strategies to mitigate environmental degradation and infrastructure damage.

Private and industrial landowners, municipalities, regulatory agencies
Throughout northern and central California

Un-permitted grading, road construction, and property development

PWA has been retained by numerous clients that find themselves subject to Cease and Desist Orders (CAD), Clean-up and Abatement Orders (CAO) and other land use violations levied by regulatory agencies in response to water quality and other code violations associated with un-permitted grading and road building activities. We've developed emergency and long term erosion control plans and overseen implementation measures designed to reduce erosion and sediment delivery caused by poorly conceived or unpermitted grading and earth-moving activities. These include site preparation for future property development, as well as construction of fire breaks, access roads, vineyards, stream crossings and earthen dams (irrigation/stock ponds). On one property alone, implementation of emergency erosion control measures designed to address unpermitted road construction and hillside grading for marijuana cultivation prevented an estimated 7,800 cubic yards of additional sediment from being eroded and delivered to a tributary of the Eel River.

At PWA, we pride ourselves on finding common ground solutions to redress environmental degradation. In many cases, we're able to work with the landowners (dischargers) by utilizing their heavy equipment, labor, and other available resources to reduce the cost of compliance and acquire retro-active permits for at least some of the desired improvements. To see examples of our emergency erosion control work, check out the Outlet Creek and Tomki Creek CAO projects in our Before and After Project photos section.

Un-permitted vineyard expansion and construction of access roads

We've helped vineyard owners address CAO requirements for mitigating sediment delivery to important salmonid streams caused by by grading, road construction, and poorly designed surface drainage configuration of cultivated slopes and associated maintenance of access roads. We have also held workshops with vineyard owners to help them improve their understanding of fish- and water quality-friendly hillslope and road drainage practices at various locations from Napa County to San Luis Obispo.

Inadequately designed and constructed surface drainage infrastructure

PWA developed emergency and long-term erosion control plans (EECP and LTECP) for the Cummings Road Landfill following failure of the surface drainage infrastructure and resulting sediment delivery to a tributary of Ryan Creek in Humboldt County. A failure analysis was also conducted to provide Humboldt Waste Management Authority (HWMA) with appropriate forensic information to better understand the causal mechanisms for the failure of the surface drainage system and subsequent erosion. In addition to providing documentation, analysis, and planning support, PWA  provided construction oversight during both emergency and long-term phases of erosion control implementation. The CAO associated with this project has required comprehensive water quality monitoring and reporting since winter 2006 to monitor and document the effectiveness of continuing erosion control activities at this challenging job site. PWA continues to provide HWMA with technical oversight, support, and reporting services to meet the requirements of the ongoing water quality monitoring program required under the CAO. For more information, check out the Cummings Road landfill erosion control project in our Featured Project Profiles section.

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