California Department of Transportation
 

Central Region Environmental Division

District 6
 
District 5
 
District 10

The Central Region Environmental Division serves the environmental needs of the California Central Valley, Central Coast and Eastern Sierra. It consists of a multi-disciplinary team of over 168 individuals with specialties in a wide range of areas such as, archeological resources, architectural history, biology, air, noise and water quality, hazardous materials testing, paleontology and graphic design. The Division administers Caltran's responsibilities under federal and state law in response to the enactment of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), in 1969, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), in 1973. In response to the passage of a host of environmentally related laws and regulations and heightened public support for the environment, these responsibilities have grown to become a substantive and inseparable part of Caltrans' planning, development, construction, operation and maintenance efforts.

Central Region Environmental Division Chief
Christine Cox-Kovacevich
(559) 488-4150

"We continue to smooth the path for all of Caltrans in the work we do with resource agencies. The communication and cooperation we are developing with agencies such as the United States Fish and Wildlife Service are benefiting not only the Central Region, but every part of this state as well."

Mission and Goals Statement

The Central Region Environmental Division is a critical functional unit, which must have a clear vision to be successful. Our primary vision, which we share with all of the District Offices, is to ensure the timely delivery of environmentally sound projects.

Central Region Environmental is responsible for state highway projects in 20 counties in the Central Valley, which are engaged in planning, design, supervision and management of California's key transportation infrastructure.

The Central Region counties are broken down by District as follows:

  • District 5 - Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz Counties
  • District 6 - Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, and Tulare Counties
  • District 9 - Inyo, and Mono Counties
  • District 10 - Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne Counties

Central Region Environmental Documents for:

  • District 5 - Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz Counties
  • District 6 - Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, and Tulare Counties
  • District 9 - Inyo, and Mono Counties
  • District 10 - Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne Counties

Contact Information

Christine Cox-Kovacevich
Central Region Environmental Division Chief

(559) 488-4150

Susan Schilder-Thomas - Branch Chief
(559) 445-6429
  • Environmental Management Branch, Task Management, Budget, Supplies, Training, Student Assistant Program, Data Management, Quality Reviewer
All Counties in Central Region - District 5, District 6, District 9, and District 10

Margaret Lawrence - Office Chief
Division Management North
(209) 948-3754 - Stockton
(559) 445-6469 - Fresno
District 6 - Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, and Tulare Counties
District 9 - Inyo and Mono Counties
District 10 - Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne Counties

Mary Oliva - Specialist, Native American Coordination & Construction Liason
(209) 941-1919

District 10 - All Counties

Dena Gonzalez, Branch Chief
(559) 445-6406
  • Biology-North
All Counties in Central Region - District 9, and District 10

Javier Almaguer, Branch Chief
(559) 445-6456
  • Biology-Stewardship
All Counties in Central Region - Permits & Post - PA & ED

Scott Smith - Branch Chief
(559) 445-6172
  • Large Projects
District 10 - All Counties

Scott Guidi - Branch Chief
(209) 942-6157
  • Minor Projects
District 10 - All Counties

Julie Myrah - Branch Chief
(209) 948-7427
  • Maintenance Planning Service (MPS)
District 10 - All Counties

Jennifer Taylor - Office Chief
Division Management South
(559) 445-6455
District 6 - Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, and Tulare Counties, TRIP Projects

Jeanne Binning - Branch Chief
(559) 445-5793
  • Cultural Resource Services
District 6 - Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, and Tulare Counties
District 10 - Alpine, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne Counties

Michelle Ray - Branch Chief
(559) 445-5286
  • Large Projects
District 6 - Fresno, Kings, Madera, and Tulare Counties

Trais Norris - Branch Chief
(559) 445-6447
  • Local Assistance Projects and Minor Projects
District 6 - Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, and Tulare Counties

Ken Romero - Branch Chief
(559) 445-6307
  • Environmental Engineering, Air Quality, Noise Studies
District 6 - Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, and Tulare Counties
District 10 - Alpine, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne Counties

Juergen Vespermann - Branch Chief
(559) 445-6369
  • Hazardous Waste, Paleontology, Graphic Design Services, Public Meetings/Public Hearings
District 6 - Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, and Tulare Counties
District 10 - Alpine, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne Counties

Janet Newland - Office Chief
(805) 542-4691

Kirsten Helton - Branch Chief
(559) 445-6461
  • Special Projects
All Counties in District 5 and District 9

Valerie Levulett - Branch Chief
(805) 549-3669
  • Cultural Resources, Air, Noise, Water Quality, and Hazardous Waste
District 5 - Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz Counties

Larry Bonner - Branch Chief
(805) 549-3337
  • Minor Projects, Biology
District 5 - Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz Counties

Matt Fowler - Branch Chief
(805) 542-4603
  • Large Projects
District 5 - Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz Counties

Angie Calloway - Branch Chief
(760) 872-2424
  • Local Assistance and Minor Projects
District 9 - Inyo, and Mono Counties

Ed Schefter - Specialist
(805) 549-3653
  • GIS
All Counties in Central Region - District 5, District 6, District 9, and District 10

Jason Wilkinson - Branch Chief
(805) 542-4663
  • Large Projects
District 5 - Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz Counties

Chuck Cesena - Specialist
(805) 549-3622
  • Special Studies
District 5 - Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz Counties

Environmental Planners

Environmental Planners are part of an interdisciplinary team, who integrate social, economic, and environmental elements of systems and project planning into statewide and interregional facilities planning and development. They develop, evaluate, and mitigate a wide variety of environmental planning and project activities.

The Environmental Planner takes an active role in transportation systems planning and project development. A major responsibility of the Environmental Planner includes the preparation of an environmental analysis of proposed projects and design alternatives, as well as identifying environmental impacts of transportation systems and corridors. Their critical responsibility is to work with the project design engineer to avoid, minimize, or mitigate project impacts. A Planner must prepare and process environmental documents for transportation systems projects in compliance with all applicable local, state and federal laws regulations and policies. The Environmental Planner must also review the environmental documents of local, state and federal agencies and prepare inventories and analyses of existing and future environmental conditions.

Typically, the Environmental Planner will:

  • Prepare and process environmental documents mandated by federal and state laws and regulations and, as a team member must assess the consequences to the environment of transportation alternatives and formulate environmental mitigation measures for these alternatives.
  • Perform research within area of expertise, monitor and evaluate research findings performed by out-service personnel and contract consultants.
  • Participate as a departmental representative on environmental issues at public or private meetings and/or hearings and legislative hearing.

NEPA Delegation

What are NEPA and CEQA?

NEPA and CEQA goals are to assure governmental actions or activities to promote general welfare, allow people and nature to live in productive harmony and to fulfill the social, economic, and environmental requirements of present and future generations.

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies pursuant to 40 CFR (Code of Federal Regulation) 1500, to consider potential environmental effects of their programs by preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

NEPA's purpose is to:

  • Declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and the environment
  • Promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man
  • Enrich the understanding of ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation
  • Establish a Council on Environmental Quality

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to Public Resources Code (PCR) Section 21000, requires local and state governments to consider the potential environmental effects of a project before a decision whether to approve a project or not.

CEQA's purpose is to:

  • Disclose the potential impacts of a project to government decision makers and the public about the potential significant environmental effects of proposed activities
  • Suggest methods to minimize those impacts to the environment
  • Identify alternatives to the project
  • Enhance Public Participation

Other Resource Links

Local Self Help Counties
Thomas Roads Improvement Projects (Bakersfield) Link - http://www.bakersfieldfreeways.us/TRIP.htm
Measure C (Fresno County Transportation Tax Link - http://www.measurec.com/default.asp
Measure T (Madera County Transportation Tax Link - http://www.maderactc.org/
Measure R (Tulare County Transportation Tax Link - http://www.tularecog.org/
Measure I (Kern County Transportation Tax Link - http://www.saferoadskern.org/index.php

NEPA Delegation
http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/env/nepa_pilot/FAQs.htm

Caltrans Environmental Headquarters
http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/env/