San Diego Business Journal

Environmental Firms Seek Balance Between Progress, Preservation

ENGINEERING: Encinitas’ Dudek Ranks No. 1 on Business Journal’s List By Stephanie Glidden Monday, April 23, 2012

“Admittedly, the last several years have not been easy,” said Michael McEntee, vice president, biology. “We redirected crew to focus on biological studies and it has been very successful for us.”

Chambers conducts environmental surveys that provide a plan to avoid or minimize environmental impacts, provide appropriate mitigation measures, and help a client meet funding dates, according to the company website. McEntee noted that Chambers has 130 biologists on staff “who are experts in solving the challenges faced on a wide range of projects.”

Billion-Dollar Project

One of Chambers’ significant projects is the Sunrise Powerlink, a 117-mile, $1.88 billion, 500-kilovolt electric “superhighway” from Imperial County to San Diego. San Diego Gas & Electric Co. is building Sunrise Powerlink, which will provide enough energy for 650,000 homes, according to the utility.

“Chambers did all the biological studies, including the pre-screening for sensitive and endangered species,” McEntee said. “The line will energize this year.”

Chambers also works extensively with the Marine Corps Air Station at Camp Pendleton on extensive wetlands habitat restoration and enhancement of the riparian community to meet habitat requirements for plant and animal species.

McEntee explained that monitoring a site is an important component of a project to ensure that all provisions are carried out. Chambers’ scientists are on-site during excavation and, in the process, it is not uncommon to unearth pottery or other artifacts.

“In fact, we recently found the fossil of a prehistoric toothed whale, a never seen before species,” McEntee said. “It’s now in our lab in Santa Ana being meticulously restored with small brushes and tools.”

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