Science NewsScientists in the News

Working in the Fields and Streams to Protect the Environment While Answering the Transportation Needs of the Community

Caltrans has brought in an army of environmental scientists to help the department navigate complex local, state, and federal regulations the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) enacted in 1970. The federal law requires governmental agencies to “use all practicable means to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony.” It’s the job of environmental scientists such as biologists and archaeologists to identify any sensitive habitats, plans, animals or cultural resources in a project area and work with Project Development Teams to devise a plans that avoid and minimize the effects of construction and maintenance activity on the environment. Those mitigation plans may be as basic as fencing off a historic horse water trough from dozers working to realign a segment of Highway 191 near Paradise, to screening off sensitive elderberry plants during construction of the new 162 Butte City Bridge and Viaduct in Glenn County. Others are incorporated into projects such as the construction of a wildlife undercrossing on Highway 49 in Sierra County or a fish passage on U.S. Highway 101 in Del Norte County.

Tags : BiologistsCaltransEnvironmental ScientistsTransportation