This complex project included challenging elements to environmental review, including the need to complete alternatives analysis and environmental review based largely on conceptual (30 percent) designs and the need to conduct the public comment period 100 percent virtually due to pandemic restrictions. Additionally, the project area was large, comprised of numerous standalone and/or interrelated project improvements, and occupied land owned by three public landowners: the California Tahoe Conservancy, City of South Lake Tahoe, and USFS.
In order to streamline environmental review, Catalyst prepared a joint Environmental Compliance Document tailored to meet the joint requirements of CEQA, TRPA, and NEPA. The Environmental Compliance Document serves as an Initial Study under CEQA, Initial Environmental Checklist under TRPA, and Categorical Exclusion under NEPA. The Environmental Compliance Document is the primary environmental document for additional discretionary permits from State and local/regional agencies. Catalyst staff also conducted a habitat-level biological resources survey of the project area and prepared a Biological Resources Report and participated in Planning Commission and Technical Advisory Committee meetings alongside the client.