Environmental Projects

BWGWD On-Farm Measurement Improvement Program

The Biggs-West Gridley On-Farm Measurement Program includes the modification of facilities at 188 sites located throughout the Biggs-West Gridley District water conveyance system in Butte County, California. The improvement program involves mostly minor construction activities, including upgrades of customer delivery measurements, and pumped deliveries from turnouts. The District has received implementation funding through the California Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and the proposed actions are expected to be completed this year.

Key Tasks Include:

  • Project initiation and management
  • Field review
  • Giant Garter Snake habitat assessment
  • Biological resource management
  • Biological assessment for Section 7 compliance
  • Aquatic resources delineation
  • Archaeological Survey Report
  • NEPA/CEQA documents
  • SRF CEQA permitting
  • Pre-application meeting with USACE concurrence determination
  • RWQCB concurrence determination
  • CDFW fish and game code 1600 concurrence determination
  • Fish and game code 20180.1 consistency determination

Butte County Camp Fire WERT Stormwater BMP Implementation

The Camp Fire began on the morning of November 8, 2018 and quickly moved through several rural and more urbanized communities, destroying over 153,000 acres. The majority of both the Town of Paradise and the unincorporated communities of Magalia and Paradise Pines were among those directly impacted with a high percentage of structural loss. The fire destroyed 14,459 single and multi-family residences, 643 commercial buildings, 11 infrastructure buildings, and 4,418 other buildings for a total of 19,531 destroyed structures, according to the final Cal Fire incident data. The large scale and magnitude of structural loss of this event is unparalleled. Because of this, Butte County requested assistance from CalOES to initiate emergency protective measures on November 17. The County provided the Town of Paradise (through mutual-aid agreement) and the greater unincorporated Magalia area with assistance in planning and implementing the use of Best Management Practices (BMPs) so as to protect federal, state, and county waterways from potential contamination secondary to runoff from the burn footprint and more specifically toxic ash.


On November 19, 2018, NorthStar, with assistance from Deer Creek GIS began a preliminary assessment of stormwater needs. For the next 6 weeks and with the addition of several flood fight specialists from CA Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Central Valley Flood Protection Board (CVFPB), stormwater staff from the City of Chico, staff from the Town of Paradise, and several California Conservation Corps (CCC) crews, the implementation and deployment of erosion and sediment controls ensued as emergency protective measures. The BMP Implementation Team identified, analyzed, tracked, and mitigated threats to human health and safety in the form of potential regional water quality contamination from toxic ash secondary to stormwater runoff from the burn area. 

CSU, Chico Bridge Replacements Over Big Chico Creek

The original  CSU, Chico Physical Science Bridge Replacement project included the installation of on emergency vehicle access bridge, at the physical science Bridge location. The project also included the restoration of the Selvester’s Cafe-Gus Manolis bridge located approximately 350 feet downstream. In September of 2014, a large sycamore along the bank of Big Chico Creek fell and destroyed the Selvester’s Cafe-Gus Manolis bridge after a storm event. Given the damage sustained from the fallen tree, restoration was no longer possible. In October 2014, the collapsed structure and associated abutments were removed for public safety purposes. Therefore, CSU, Chico proposed to replace, rather than restore, the Selvester’s Cafe-Gus Manolis bridge.

NorthStar was retained to preserve the regulatory permit applications for the Physical Science/EVA Bridge Replacement Project. When the Gus Manolis bridge was destroyed by a fallen tree, NorthStar incorporated the associated permit applications for the second bridge into the existing project and timeline. NorthStar conducted the following tasks:

  • NorthStar immediately prepared the Request for Emergency Removal of the damaged bridge from the CVFPB.
  • Reviewed existing environmental documents to ensure that no impacts to species would occur.
  • NorthStar also worked with the University and CVFPB to obtain authorization to construct preliminary construction work outside of the CVFPB’s jurisdiction. When the contractor installed an unauthorized temporary access bridge across the creek, the CVFPB directed the University to work directly with NorthStar to prepare project Addendums.
  • Because of the bridge design and construction method changes, it was determined that Clean Water Act section 404 Nationwide permit and a section 401 Water Quality Certification were no longer needed. A federal nexus for Section 7 Consultation for VELB was established through the CVFPB USACE 408 Permission process. NorthStar worked directly with USACE staff to initiate consultation. 
Selvester's Cafe- Gus Manolis Bridge
Physical Sciences Bridge

Cottonwood Fire Station and Bonnyview Retail Center

Cottonwood Fire Station

NorthStar Biologists conducted a site visit in Redding, CA and corresponding bird survey of the trees located within the project boundaries to determine the presence of nesting birds prior to the installation of the storm drain. NorthStar also provided a summary letter documenting their findings and any recommendations for minimizing impacts to birds protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. 

Bonnyview Retail Center Project

NorthStar Biologists Conducted pre-demolition roosting bat surveys, pre-construction migratory bird and bat surveys, and pre-construction VELB surveys for the Bonnyview Retail Center Project Also in Redding, CA. Northstar Biologists coordinated with the City of Redding, USFWS, CDFW, and the project proponent to ensure environmental compliance was achieved prior to project construction.

SPI Secondary Mill Pond

Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) in the City of Shasta Lake needed to construct a secondary mill pond on their property. NorthStar Environmental Staff provided the necessary environmental documentation, regulatory permitting, and compliance monitoring to facilitate the construction of a 7-acre pond.

The NorthStar environmental team performed:

  • Biological Resources Assessment
  • Delineation of Aquatic Resources
  • Drainage Hydraulics Analysis
  • Protected Tree Survey
  • Oak Tree Mitigation Plan
  • Restoration Planting Plan
  • Review of City of Shasta Lake IS/MND and Associated Mitigation and Monitoring Reporting Plan
  • CDFW Section 1602 Streambed Alteration Agreement
  • Construction Monitoring
  • Permit Management
  • Regulatory Point of Contact