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Environmental Agency On-Going Services and Support During COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 on March 19, 2020 directing all non-critical employees to stay at home and, if possible, work from their residences until further notice. The state of California issued a list of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers effective March 22, 2020.This guidance indicates the sectors and specific types of businesses that are exempt from Executive Order N-33-20.

To assist you in your environmental planning, Waterstone has made inquiries with numerous agencies in southern California regarding how each agency is addressing office staffing, meetings, deadlines, and file reviews. As you know, the evolving COVID-19 situation can cause this information to change as the days and weeks progress.

Waterstone has made inquiries of the following agencies:

· Department of Toxic Substances Control-Cypress

· Department of Toxic Substances Control-Chatsworth

· Regional Water Quality Control Board – Los Angeles Region

· Regional Water Quality Control Board – Santa Ana Region

· Los Angeles County Building Department

· Los Angeles County Department of Public Works

· Orange County Building Department

· South Coast Air Quality Management District

· Local Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs)

- Los Angeles County Fire Department – Hazardous Materials Management Division

- Orange County Health Care Agency

- City of Santa Fe Springs Fire and Rescue

Current Agency Services and Expectations

Based on our inquiries, the following environmental agency services and limitations exist at this time:

Regulatory Offices Still Open

· Offices may be open but will be staffed only with critical personnel. Office visits by the public are suspended until further notice.

· Case officers and other staff are working from home during their normal and customary business hours.

· Staff can be most expeditiously reached via an email message versus a voicemail message or telephone call to their office telephone number. Emails to staff should include an inquiry regarding whether there is a telephone number where they can be reached.

Agency Meetings

· No face-to-face meetings are being conducted until further notice.

· Meetings can be conducted either via teleconference or via other conferencing applications such as Zoom, Skype, Teams, and/or Go-to-Meeting. Call your case officer to determine which type of meeting setup can be arranged.

File Reviews

· File reviews that are non-essential are postponed until a time that normal business and staffing restart. Each agency may allow file reviews under essential circumstances on a case-by-case basis. Waterstone believes that due diligence timelines that require file review for Phase I Environmental Assessment may be considered essential.


· All deadlines currently assigned or assigned in the future for conducting environmental field work or submitting environmental reports are being enforced.

· As per usual business practice, if an extension to a given deadline is necessary, you may request the extension before the deadline in writing of your case officer. If the case officer grants the extension, the new deadline date will be enforced.

Exceptions to and additional information is provided below for applicable agencies:

Los Angeles County Fire Department – Hazardous Materials Management Division, Site Mitigation Unit

The SMU is continuing work on existing cases but is not accepting any new cases. SMU Staff are working both in and out of the office. File reviews may be delayed to allow time for staff to retrieve files.

Orange County Health Care Agency

Certain environmental staff have been temporarily reassigned to the COVID-19 response. This means that response times from environmental staff may be slower than usual.

City of Los Angeles Building Department

Building/Property Records are available online at

For records not found online, they can be requested by completing an online form, Research Request Form and emailing the completed form to

Assistance from Waterstone

Waterstone staff are working full time as usual and are ready to assist our clients through these challenging circumstances. We are ready to negotiate the necessary communications with agencies to meet your timelines. Waterstone greatly values our partnership with you, and we are committed to helping you through this unprecedented situation.

If you have any questions, concerns, or if you require other assistance at this time, please reach out to your project manager. You are always welcome to call me on my cell at 714-310-4180 if you need help completing your project.

We wish you, your teams, and your loved ones good health.

Sincerely Yours

Jeffrey Dagdigian, PhD


Waterstone Environmental


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