Bluhon Group | Tags Environmental Policy

Challenge The San Rafael Rock Quarry applied for a use permit from the County to increase the scale and intensity of operations. The County required the quarry to develop a management plan acceptable to the county and community and consistent with California’s Surface Mining and Reclamation Act regulations. County Supervisor John Kress retained Bluhon Group to conduct a confidential mediation to achieve a community/quarry agreement. Approach Mr. Bluhon convened eleven joint sessions and several caucus sessions over four months. Parties negotiated specific terms using a “single-text” approach where they developed draft language and jointly reviewed and revised the text until …

Challenge The Office of the County Executive, County of Santa Clara, set out to craft an innovative Integrated Pest Management (IPM) ordinance to govern pest management – and terminate use of toxic pesticides – in all county buildings and grounds. Approach Bluhon facilitated a consensus-based drafting process with an appointed technical advisory group with the technical support of an IPM expert. The advisory group consisted of county, citizen advocacy, and independent agencies including: the Pesticide Alternatives of Santa Clara County; Santa Clara Valley Water District; the County Agricultural Commissioner; Santa Clara County Pollution Prevention Committee; and county departments including Roads …

Challenge Bluhon provided strategic planning and facilitation for the Science Teams Goals Integration Workshop in support of the Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals report. The report — managed and funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board – involved more than one hundred participants from local, state, and federal agencies, and academic and private sector stakeholders. The overarching goal was to develop recommendations to restore and preserve the baylands and adjacent habitats of the San Francisco Estuary based based on ecological and physical science. Approach Bluhon assisted the Resource Managers Group (RMG) …

Challenge Bluhon facilitated stakeholder negotiations for a framework agreement to guide development of a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for a 227,000-acre area in eastern Alameda and Contra Costa counties in the San Francisco Bay Area. Regional agencies selected the area due to its relative high level of biodiversity (a transitional area of coastal and interior habitats and northern habitat for the endangered San Joaquin Kit Fox) and because it supports a diversity of land uses, often seen to be in conflict, including agricultural, wind energy, public open space, and urban development. The task force comprised twenty-four representatives and one alternate …