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Water resources work recognized with industry achievement awards

Water resources work recognized with industry achievement awards
Apr 1, 2024

We’re tracking species using environmental forensics, streamlining environmental compliance and permitting, and helping clients overcome complex water infrastructure challenges

2024 ebj cccbj article - logo image

For over 45 years, ICF has helped clients successfully navigate the complex compliance and permitting process for some of the nation’s largest water resource and infrastructure projects.

Environmental Business Journal (EBJ) recently recognized us for some of this work with 2023 Business Achievement Awards.

Environmental forensics

Through our eDNA lab, we’re combining technology with biology to better detect and monitor species from what they’ve left behind. Opened in 2023, the eDNA lab is our in-house resource for analyzing environmental DNA (eDNA) samples—free floating DNA from the shedding of cells or excretions of species into the environment. This “environmental forensics” tool is increasingly becoming a valuable resource for federal, state, and local agencies to support management decisions, permitting and compliance strategies, research, and more. 

"eDNA takes a technological leap and allows scientists to detect the presence of rare and elusive species without disturbing them in their natural habitat. It’s becoming a vital resource for federal, state, and local agencies in surveying fish and wildlife populations and is only increasing in demand."

managing director, fisheries ecology

Our team of field biologists and molecular biology experts are experienced in collecting eDNA in a variety of environments, designing surveys, and performing analyses. We currently have multiple projects underway using these techniques and have extracted and analyzed eDNA from over 30 water samples from different watersheds.

Our eDNA lab was recognized with a 2023 EBJ New Practice Area Award.

Critical support for major water projects in California

We led the environmental compliance and permitting process for the California Sites Reservoir Project, a 1.5 million-acre-foot, off-stream reservoir designed to capture and store excess stormwater from the Sacramento River. The captured water will be used by farms, businesses, and communities, and for environmental purposes during dry periods when water is scarce. We worked closely with the Sites Project Authority to process documents and assessments to ensure a streamlined process and that compliance and permitting documents were legally defensible and gained agency support and approvals.

ICF also engaged the permitting agencies early in the process to set clear expectations and milestones, which proved to be invaluable in securing project funding. We worked with project engineers to ensure environmental tasks were integrated with the project planning, engineering design, and construction. We also coordinated closely with federal and state agencies to secure various permits and approvals. The final permitting and compliance documents were completed in November 2023. And we’re now assisting with the development of a compliant mitigation strategy.

ICF also coordinated the compliance and permitting process for the California Department of Water Resources’ Delta Conveyance Project, for which ICF has served as lead environmental consultant since 2019. The Delta Conveyance Project is a vital climate adaptation strategy and water resiliency project designed to safely capture, move, and store water from big, but infrequent, storm events for use during dry periods. The project will protect against future water supply losses caused by climate-driven weather extremes, sea level rise, and earthquakes. It will also address aging infrastructure by modernizing California’s primary water delivery system, the State Water Project (SWP), which delivers water to 27 million people, irrigates 750,000 acres of farmland, and helps sustain the world’s fifth largest economy.

ICF coordinated with federal, state, and public water agencies, as well as tribal representatives and other stakeholders. We led the preparation of federal and state compliance documents, including conducting economic analyses and modeling; hydrologic and hydraulic modeling; public outreach and agency coordination; and cultural and tribal resources consultation. ICF is the process of preparing permitting and compliance documents to secure federal permits.

Our work on both the Sites Reservoir and Delta Conveyance projects was recognized with 2023 EBJ Project Merit Awards.

Lifetime achievement

Gregg headshot

For over 35 years, Gregg Roy has been one of the premier environmental planners for major water projects throughout the West—helping federal, state, and local water agencies overcome complex environmental compliance and permitting challenges. Innovative by nature, Gregg has guided clients through a range of issues—addressing aging water infrastructure, modernizing water supply, making flood risk reduction improvements, and developing water management plans. Amy Gilmore, client sector leader for water, shares “In addition to his strategic and technical contributions on environmental and permitting compliance, Gregg is an excellent manager, mentor, coach, advisor, team player, and colleague.”

His efforts have secured permitting and compliance for some of the largest water projects in the Western U.S.: the Colorado River Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages and coordinated operations for the Long-Term Operation of the Central Valley Project and SWP; the Delta Conveyance Project, Lake Power, and Lake Mead; and the Bois d’Arc Lake Project—allowing groundbreaking on the first new reservoir in Texas in 30 years.

For his longtime commitment to excellence in environmental planning, Gregg was recognized with a 2023 EBJ Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Gregg is an invaluable leader in Western water and has directly contributed to some of the most important water projects in the region to create a more resilient and dependable water future in the West.”

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