California Department of Transportation

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Last Updated: Wednesday, July 8, 2015 3:40 PM

About Us

The Division of Environmental Analysis acts as the Department compliance lead and assists the Districts and our transportation partners in:

  • Complying with state and federal environmental laws;
  • Encouraging the public to participate in the environmental evaluation process;
  • Determining the environmental consequences of our activities;
  • Proposing prudent, feasible and cost effective strategies and alternatives to avoid or minimize adverse impacts of the Department's activities, and;
  • Ensuring the mitigation selected is appropriate.

- Caltrans Division of Environmental Analysis Mission Statement

In response to enactment of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), in 1969, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), in 1973, Caltrans formally initiated an environmental function. Subsequently, in response to the passage of a host of environmentally-related laws and regulations and heightened public support for the environment, the Program has grown to become a substantive and inseparable part of Caltrans' planning, development, construction, operation and maintenance efforts.

The Division of Environmental Analysis administers Caltrans' responsibilities under federal and state environmental law. The Program develops and maintains Caltrans environmental standards, policies, procedures, and practices that are implemented by the Department's 12 District Environmental Branches. Program staff work with the districts to identify and assess the effects of Caltrans projects on the state's natural and cultural environments, and identify ways to avoid or mitigate those effects.


The Division of Environmental Analysis is headquartered in Sacramento, though each of the twelve district offices, located throughout the state, also has an Environmental Branch. The Program, administratively under the Deputy Director for Transportation Planning, is headed by a Program Chief who also serves as the Agency Preservation Officer. The Division of Environmental Analysis has a highly-trained, professional staff of planners, engineers and environmental specialists who work with the District Environmental Branches to help their staff and project managers with the environmental project process.

Division of Environmental Analysis

Division Chief

Assistant Division Chief
Chief Environmental Engineer

District Coordinators

  • - Districts 1, 2 and 3
  • - District 4
  • - Districts 5, 6, 9 and 10
  • - Districts 7 and 12
  • - Districts 8 and 11

District Coordinators assist district environmental document writers as needed to ensure statewide conformity and consistency with policy.


Biology & Technical Assistance Office

  • Aquatic Ecology
  • Botany
  • Wetlands
  • Wildlife Biology
  • Technical Assistance
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Electronic Document Publication
  • Information Management

Cultural Studies Office

  • Archaeology
  • Architectural History
  • History
  • Native American Coordination

Environmental Management Office

  • Standard Environmental Reference (SER)
  • Policies and procedures development
  • HQ Functional assistance with Federal and State environmental compliance laws, orders and regulations
  • Environmental reports and action items for the CTC
  • Environmental streamlining initiatives
  • Community Studies

Environmental Engineering
Hazardous Waste, Air, Noise & Paleontology
  • Waste management and contaminated site policy, guidance and special provisions
  • Aerially deposited lead (ADL)
  • Naturally occurring asbestos (NOA)
  • Treated wood waste
  • Asphalt and concrete grindings
  • Air quality and climate change project-level analysis technical support
  • Noise/vibration policy, guidance and special provisions
  • Pile driving noise and wildlife effects
  • Quieter pavement and noise research
  • Soundwall inventory
  • Noise modeling
  • Project Paleontological support
Office of Stormwater Program Development
  • Stormwater Monitoring/Characterization
  • Stormwater Applied Studies
  • Stormwater Contracting Support
Stormwater Program Implementation
  • Stormwater Policy and Guidance
  • SHOPP 335 Management
  • Stormwater Legislation/Regulation Coordination
  • Self Audit
  • Permit Compliance
  • WQA Gidance
  • Public education development and coordination
  • WQSWAT Administration
  • Stormwater Annual Reporting

Interagency Relations and Staff Development Office Resource Management Office
  • Interagency relations and staff development office policy and procedures development
  • Training for the environmental function (Capital Projects Skills Development)
  • Streamline agreements providing staff to resource and regulatory agencies for expedited reviews
  • Development of procedures to streamline environmental review and permit processes in partnership with FHWA and other agencies
  • Liaison for Environmental Planner exams and recruitment
  • Resource management policy and procedures development
  • Division budget
  • Personnel, exam, labor relations, training, EEO and workers' compensation coordination
  • Division's contract expenditure authorization requests, contract encumbrance and balances
  • Purchasing, space, records management and building related needs
  • Legislative bill analyses
  • Clerical support

Biology & Technical Assistance Office

, Office Chief, Acting

The Biological Studies Branch

The Biological Studies Branch (Headquarters) provides the following services related to wildlife biology, botany, ecology, wetlands and aquatic biology:

  • biological and natural resource studies in support of district projects;
  • procedural guidance on compliance with state and federal natural resource laws;
  • guidance in natural resources management through preparation of the Environmental Handbook, Volume III and Guidance for Consultants;
  • training in natural resource issues;
  • review of consultant-prepared natural resource studies;

The Biological Studies - Southern Pool includes staff posted in southern Districts that are available to assist districts an as-needed basis.

Technical Assistance Branch

The Technical Assistance Branch is responsible for the Program's computer networks, hardware and software procurement, and application development.

  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Branch

    The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Unit is responsible for the implementation, coordination and support for the Department's GIS statewide with respect to environmental issues. Contact for more information.
  • Electronic Document Publishing Branch

  • Staff assist districts in the electronic publication of environmental documents through the development of standards and protocols, and with direct hardware/software support and training. Contact , for more information.

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Cultural Studies Office

, Office Chief

The Cultural Studies Office provides services related to cultural resources (archaeological, architectural and historical) issues, including:

  • direct project support to the districts by assisting with technical studies;
  • procedural guidance on compliance with state and federal cultural resources laws;
  • Department policy and guidance through preparation of the Environmental Handbook, Volumes II (Cultural Resources) and various other publications;
  • training on cultural resources issues to the Department and other agencies;
  • conducts cultural resources surveys for the built environment, including buildings, bridges, structures, objects, complexes, linear features, districts, and landscapes;
  • prepares Findings of Effect, Memoranda of Agreement; and assists in developing mitigation measures for historic properties and resources; and
  • reviews cultural resources study documents, Findings of Effect, Memoranda of Agreement, and other environmental documents for adequacy of identification, evaluation, and treatment.


This branch assists the Districts on 106 procedural questions and interpreting application of the PA, peer reviews HPSR compliance documents prepared pursuant to the PA and acts as a liaison between the Districts, the SHPO's office and FHWA. This branch coordinates with the Districts regarding SHPO review schedules and CSO PEER reviews, organizes the periodic statewide teleconferences to discuss the PA and other 106 matters, and distributes the Caltrans "106 Bulletins" and other pertinent guidance (PA Teleconference Notes, and examples of Memoranda of Agreement. The Section 106/PA Coordination Branch is headed by .


The Special Projects-Archaeology branch provides advice and guidance on issues related to the management and preservation of archaeological resources with special emphasis on review of complex studies and compliance documents in the area of prehistoric archaeology including evaluations, data recovery plans, and contract management. The branch is responsible for review and comment on cultural mitigations in excess of $500,000 per DEA policy, acts as the designated "owner" of construction contract specification standards for cultural resources and review of Non- Standard special provisions (NSSPs), and coordinates with the Environmental Management Office (EMO) in the design and delivery of training for cultural staff statewide. The branch is also involved in strategic planning, identifying research priorities and funding, organizing statewide task groups on critical cultural issues, and the planning of functional workshops. Special Projects Archaeology is headed by .


The Built Environment Preservation Services Branch, headed by , serves as the Caltrans liaison with SHPO for the whole range of PRC §5024 compliance involving state-owned cultural resources: conducting consultations and coordinating with the districts and SHPO on Caltrans PRC §5024 and PRC §5024.5 activities; conducting PRC §5024.5 reviews; and reporting annually to SHPO regarding Caltrans PRC §5024-related activities. The BEPS Branch Chief serves as Caltrans representative to the State Historical Building Safety Board on issues related to the California Historical Building Code. The Branch also updates guidance in the Environmental Handbook, Volume 2—Cultural Resources.

Upon request, the branch reviews plans and specifications for conformance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, provides guidance and coordination on the appropriate use of the State Historical Building Code, mitigation measures to avoid or reduce adverse effects to non-archaeological historic properties and historical resources affected by Caltrans projects and activities, identification and ranking of character defining features of historic properties and resources, language for protective covenants, historic property maintenance and rehabilitation standards, and Historic American Building Survey (HABS) and Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) documentation.


The Native American Cultural Studies Branch provides guidance, advice, training, and support to the Districts in working with Native American individuals, groups, and tribes on identifying and addressing cultural and environmental concerns. The Branch also works with Native Americans directly, either to establish working relationships with DEA, or as requested by districts, to facilitate project delivery. The NACS Branch Chief serves as the Statewide Native American Coordinator and serves as the DEA's representative on the Department's Native American Advisory Committee. The Branch Chief is the Division's liaison with other Departmental units and Native American Liaisons to assist in developing an integrated and consistent approach to Native American relations and is the liaison with the Native American Heritage Commission, State Historic Preservation Office, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, and other state and federal agencies regarding Native American spiritual and cultural resource concerns. The Branch Chief monitors and evaluates pertinent state and federal legislation and regulations, disseminates that information to the districts, and seeks to ensure that the Department is in compliance with such laws. The Native American Cultural Studies Branch is headed by .

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Environmental Engineering - Hazardous Waste, Air, Noise & Paleontology

, Hazardous Waste, Air, Noise & Paleontology, Office Chief

Hazardous Waste

The Hazardous Waste program provides policy direction, technical and regulatory information, guidance documents, training, specifications, and funding information to assist Caltrans Districts with contaminated sites and materials that may be encountered during highway projects. This includes:

  • Contaminants and Waste (Aerially Deposited Lead, Naturally Occurring Asbestos, Treated Wood Waste, asphalt and concrete grindings)
  • Contaminated Properties (Acquisition of Contaminated Property Policy)
  • Guidance for technical waste and regulatory topics and procedures most frequently encountered during highway project delivery (health and safety, remediation, site closure, environmental reporting, etc)


The Air program provides technical support for project-level air quality, mobile source air toxics and climate change studies, analysis and modeling.

  • Green house gas analysis protocol
  • PM2.5/10 hot spot analysis protocol
  • Air quality model support for CT-EMFAC and CALINE4


The Noise program provides policy direction, technical and regulatory information, research, guidance documents and training to assist Caltrans Districts with both long-term and short-term impacts due to construction and traffic noise, traffic induced vibration and bioacoustics. This includes:

  • Caltrans Traffic Noise Analysis Protocol and the Technical Noise Supplement
  • Caltrans GIS Soundwall Inventory, a listing of soundwalls built on the State Highway System
  • Noise abatement research, quieter pavements, truck noise mapping, noise measurement
  • Noise modeling support
  • Bioacoustics, pile driving noise and effects on fish and birds


The Paleontology program develops policy and provides technical and statutory information, guidance documents, and specifications to assist the Districts/Regions with the identification, evaluation, and mitigation of paleontological resources

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Environmental Engineering - Stormwater

- Environmental Engineering, Office Chief

- Office of Stormwater Program Implementation, Office Chief

- Office of Stormwater Program Develeopment, Office Chief

Stormwater Program staff provide quidance on CEQA/NEPA compliance for transportation-related water quality, erosion and sedimentation issues, Regional Water Quality Control Board Basin Plans and 401 and NPDES permits, State Water Resources Control Board Policies, and California water quality legislation. The Office develops Stormwater Best Management Practices, procedures, methods, and tools for the Department's Stormwater Program; and, manages the Stormwater budget and contract/procurement process.

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Environmental Management Office

, Office Chief

The Environmental Management Office develops and monitors compliance of policies and procedures; develops, reviews and comments on proposed legislation; is responsible for preparation of departmental environmental reports and action items for the California Transportation Commission (CTC); addresses permit streamlining and environmental productivity; and maintains the Standard Environmental Reference, a compilation of all handbooks, guidance, manuals and policy documents pertaining to environmental compliance at Caltrans. The Office Chief is the primary environmental liaison with the FHWA District Operations Chiefs.

Interagency Relations

The Office of Interagency Relations manages agreements that provide staff to resource and regulatory agencies for expedited reviews and develops environmental initiatives and procedures to streamline environmental and permit processes.

  • California Department of Fish & Game
  • United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
  • United States Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS)
  • United States Department of Commerce, National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS)
  • Contact:

  • California Coastal Commission
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Contact:

  • California Department of Parks & Recreation, Office of Historic Preservation (DPR)
  • Contact:

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