Coastal Permitting

Santa Barbara Channel Coastal Hazards Removal Program and Goleta Beach Caisson Remediation, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, California

Project Name: Santa Barbara Channel Coastal Hazards Removal Program and Goleta Beach Caisson Remediation, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, California
Services: Coastal Facility Permitting and CEQA
Client: California State Lands Commission/ExxonMobil

Padre provided CEQA documentation and permitting assistance to the California State Lands Commission’s (CSLC) for their comprehensive Santa Barbara Channel Coastal Hazards Removal Program. This program involved the identification of coastal hazards including pier pilings, pipelines, power cables and wells along the coastline of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. Decommissioning plans were prepared for each of the identified hazards with the assistance of a demolition contractor. Once these decommissioning plans were completed, Padre conducted a site-specific review and environmental analysis of the potential impacts associated with the proposed activities. Based upon this analysis, an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) was prepared.

As part of the Santa Barbara Channel Coastal Hazards Removal Program, ExxonMobil conducted a project that involved removal of remnants of previously abandoned exploratory drilling piers on a public beach west of Santa Barbara, California. These remnants included steel reinforced concrete drilling foundations and steel and wood piling stubs. These exposed steel members were considered by ExxonMobil and the CSLC to be a public safety hazard.

Working with the CSLC, ExxonMobil and its demolition contractor, Padre prepared and submitted supporting permit applications to the California Coastal Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, RWQCB and the County of Santa Barbara. The applications included a detailed description of the remedial actions being proposed, as well as supporting environmental information needed by the agencies to process the applications. Key issues associated with this project included the need to cross an environmentally sensitive slough mouth with heavy equipment as well as working with heavy equipment on a public beach within the constraints of tidal action and daylight conditions. Once permits were received for the project, Padre provided onsite environmental compliance monitoring for the project and site restoration services.

Post 4H Platform Abandonment - Shell Mounds Deposition, Santa Barbara County, California

Project Name: Post 4H Platform Abandonment - Shell Mounds Deposition, Santa Barbara County, California
Services: Coastal Facility Permitting
Client: Chevron

The professional staff of Padre prepared the technical and environmental clearance needed to fulfill permitting requirements for the permanent abandonment and removal of four offshore platforms (collectively known as the 4H platforms; including platforms Hope, Hilda, Hazel, and Heidi), and associated oil and gas pipelines located in state waters off the eastern Santa Barbara County coast in 1996. Permit-related documentation prepared included:

  • Biological resource assessment focusing on marine and terrestrial flora and fauna inhabiting the waters surrounding the affected platforms and onshore pipeline regions;
  • Assessment of the potential impacts because of project activities;
  • Mitigation measures;
  • Evaluation of seafloor conditions below the platforms to determine the extent and composition of discharged drilling-fluids and drilling muds and cuttings (analysis of current speeds and directions in the Santa Barbara Channel aided in the calculation of the extent and duration of turbidity originating from disturbance of sediments during abandonment operations and provided insight as to the projected direction of flow in the event of an oil spill during abandonment operations); and
  • Air emission analysis of both criteria air pollutants and evaporative pollutants associated with equipment operations.

Following completion of the offshore decommissioning activities, Chevron conducted the required trawl test to demonstrate site clearance at the former platform sites.  During these activities, it was determined that Chevron would be unable to meet this permit condition and that an amendment to the State Lands Commission (CSLC) and California Coastal Commission (CCC) permits would be necessary.  

Robert Crown Memorial Beach Restoration, Alameda Island, San Francisco Bay, California

Project Name: Robert Crown Memorial Beach Restoration, Alameda Island, San Francisco Bay, California
Services: Coastal Facility Permitting and CEQA
Client: Moffatt & Nichol Engineers and East Bay Regional Parks District

The loss of over 80,000 cubic yards of sand over a 20-year period from the Robert Crown Memorial Beach, a popular beach on Alameda Island, prompted the need for a long-term solution by the East Bay Regional Parks District. Working for the design engineer, Padre completed a detailed project description, Initial Study, and a Mitigated Negative Declaration that assessed the potential impacts of depositing local sand onto the beach. Padre also coordinated with regulatory and resource agencies and prepared the Joint Aquatic Resources Permit Application (JARPA) package for the District. Padre also prepared responses to comments on the permit applications and consulted with regulatory agency staff to develop mitigation measures.

Because the sand was to be placed in a slurry from a barge that was anchored offshore of the beach, environmental issues included nearshore habitat alteration and water quality. In addition, the proposed project included the extension of an existing sheet pile or rock groin that was adjacent to the Elsie Rohmer Bird Sanctuary that included roosting habitat for special status avian species. Impacts related to construction noise, bay water use, and seasonal restrictions for in-water construction due to sensitive marine species and habitats.

Beta Offshore - Platform Eureka to Platform EllyIntrafield Replacement Pipelines Project, Los Angeles Basin, California

Project Name: Beta Offshore - Platform Eureka to Platform Elly Intrafield Replacement Pipelines Project, Los Angeles Basin, California
Services: Coastal Facilities Permitting and Environmental Compliance
Client: Beta Offshore

In 2011, Beta Offshore proposed to replace their existing 12-inch gross fluids and 10-inch water injection pipelines that run between Platform Elly and Platform Eureka in the Beta Unit located offshore of the Los Angeles Basin. Padre assisted Beta Offshore with the development of the project-related permit application package including site specific biological and geological site surveys. The proposed project received one of the first project approvals issued by the recently reorganized Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

Once approved, pipeline installation was conducted utilizing a dynamically-positioned vessel to avoid anchoring impacts. Padre assisted with development and implementation of the Project Compliance Monitoring Program during offshore pipeline installation activities and provided marine mammal monitoring throughout construction.