April 2017 Print

President's Report

The Sacramento Section will be hosting the annual Project Awards Banquet on April 11 at the Sheraton in Downtown Sacramento.  In addition to honoring 19 outstanding projects within the Sacramento Section, the Golze Scholarship recipients will receive their awards.  Please visit our event page to register. http://asce-sacto.org/meetinginfo.php?id=179&ts=1490214534

Speaking of awards, on March 31, ASCE Region 9 hosted its annual awards dinner and honored outstanding Individual Award Winners from the Sacramento Section.  All of these individuals have carried out the mission of ASCE and made the Sacramento Section proud:

  • Civil Engineer in Legislative Activities – David Schwegal, P.E.
  • ASCE Section Officer – Thor Larsen, P.E.
  • ASCE Branch Officer – Radley Ott, P.E.
  • ASCE Faculty Advisor – Steffen Mehl, Ph.D.
  • ASCE Life Member – Larry Smith, P.E.
  • Excellence in Journalism – Susan Sward

It is worth noting that in July 2016, Ms. Sward wrote an inspiring article for the Sacramento Bee titled, “America Needs an Upgrade”, focusing on the poor state of our nation’s infrastructure and the general lack of political will and public support to make the investments necessary to keep our nation competitive in the global economy. This article is inspirational and definitely worth reading:  http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/california-forum/article88567097.html

After recently rereading Ms. Sward’s article, one item that jumped out for me was that she wrote this article nine months ago and the Oroville Dam Spillway failure occurred less than two months ago:

Dams are problematic as well. More than 2,000 dams in unsatisfactory or poor condition have been classified as high hazard – meaning a loss of life would occur if any of those dams failed.

This is just one infrastructure failure among many that will come if we fail to act; a topic which has found its way into almost every conversation I have these days. In fact, I recently found myself hanging out with a Mechanical Engineer, Electrical Engineer and a sustainability committee Chairperson.  We were talking about the infrastructure needs, and I was asked an interesting question: “What bridges are the ones that no one pays attention to?” I responded with, “It’s easy to dismiss a bridge that does not have visible columns and cables like the Golden Gate or Bay Bridge.  Imagine if the I-5 Bridge over the American River between Natomas and downtown Sacramento or the Causeway between Davis and Sacramento were to become unusable… What would that do to Sacramento?” One of the engineers said, “Oh my god, I drive over a bridge every day, and I didn’t even know it.  That would be horrible!”

This particular horror of failed bridges is a painful reality of many, including two recent examples, the first of which is in our proverbial backyard:

On Feb 11, 2017, “a person walking under [the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge] noticed fractures in one of the pillars and saw the ground under the base washing out from underneath.”…  Four days later, the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge on California’s Highway 1 deteriorated to the point that it was closed indefinitely. This failure caused a community to become isolated.  Specialized Helicopters are flying those stranded from Post Ranch to the Monterey Regional Airport for $780. You can find more information in this news article: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/02/23/highway-1-pfeiffer-canyon-bridge-deterioration-continues/

On March 31, 2017 (less than a month ago), the I-85 in Atlanta collapsed due to a large fire under the bridge.  When an event like this occurs, it hinders the economy through congestion and a potential increase in accidents through drivers taking unfamiliar detour routes.  http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/31/522170988/i-85-bridge-collapse-in-atlanta-brings-headache-to-250-000-drivers-a-day

As Professional Engineers, our duty is to protect the public (excerpt taken from the Professional Engineers Act): “Protection of the public shall be the highest priority for the Board of Professional Engineers.” http://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/laws/pe_act.pdf.

But I digress, as I walked away from that conversation I asked myself: How can I make a difference? I mulled this over for a few days, before I smacked my head and did my best Homer Simpson, “Doh!” The answer is, everyone can use a good conversation about how much infrastructure means to them. Understanding infrastructures’ importance to daily life is key to providing an impetus for action. I encourage each one of us to have this kind of conversation about infrastructure and get involved in protecting the public.  If you’re at a loss to start, here are my ideas:


Elias Karam, P.E., M.ASCE
Sacramento Section President 2016-2017 

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Calendar of Events

Sacramento ASCE-GI & AEG Field Expo 2017

Registration Open
Northern CA Regional Public Safety Training Authority
2409 Dean Street
McClellan, CA

Outstanding 2016 Project Awards & Golze Scholarship Dinner

Registration Open
Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel
1230 J Street
Sacramento, CA

Ken Kerri Endowment Fund Luncheon

Topic: Sustainable Groundwater Management Act & Water Management in CA
Sac State Alumni Center (Corner of College Town Dr and Stadium Dr)
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA

MidPac 2017

Competition Judges Needed
CSU Chico
400 W. First St.
Chico, CA

Capital Branch Speaker Lunch

Topic: DRONE: Unmanned Aerial System into a Bridge Inspection Project
Old Spaghetti Factory
1910 J. Street
Sacramento, CA

EWRI Chapter Meeting

Topic: Sites Reservoir Offstream Storage Project 
Claim Jumper Restaurant
1111 J Street
Sacramento, CA

EWB UC Davis Wine into Water Silent Auction

Purchase Tickets Online
International House Davis
10 College Park
Davis, CA

ASCE Region 9 Legislative Day 

No Fee Registration 
Department of Water Resources
1416 9th Street
Sacramento, CA

Central Valley Scholarship Fundraiser Golf Tournament 

For discount, register by 5/1/17
Lockeford Springs Golf Course
16360 North Highway 88
Lodi, CA

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Project Awards Dinner


Tuesday, April 11
Sacramento Grand Sheraton
Click here to register


Project of the Year

Golden 1 Center
Owners: City of Sacramento & The Sacramento Kings
Engineers: Buehler & Buehler Structural Engineering, Inc. and Thornton Tomasetti 

Architectural Project of the Year

Golden 1 Center
Owner: City of Sacramento & The Sacramento Kings
Engineers: Buehler & Buehler Structural Engineering, Inc. and Thornton Tomasetti

Bikeways & Trails Project of the Year

Auburn-Folsom Road Class 2 Bike Lane Improvement
Owner: Placer County, Engineer: Psomas

Community Improvement Project of the Year

I-5 Riverfront Reconnection
Owner: City of Sacramento, Engineer: WSP| Parsons Brinckerhoff 

Construction Project of the Year

Tyler Island Emergency Levee Repair
Owner: Reclamation District 563, Engineer: Kjeldsen, Sinnock & Neudeck, Inc.

Energy Project of the Year

Well N39 Rutland Pumping Plant
Owner: Sacramento Suburban Water District, Engineers: Wood Rodgers, Inc. & Affinity Engineering

Environmental Project of the Year

Sulphur Creek Mining District Waste Removal
Owner: Homestake Mining Company Engineer: The Mines Group Inc.

Flood Management Project of the Year

Feather River West Levee B&D
Owner: Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency, Engineers: HDR, Inc. & Wood Rodgers, Inc.

Geotechnical Project of the Year

Lindo Channel Bridge at Esplanade - Emergency Wing Wall Repair
Owner: City of Chico Public Works – Engineering, Engineer: Holdrege & Kull Consulting Engineers & Geologists

Parks & Recreation Project of the Year

Corning Community Park
Owner: City of Corning, Engineer: J.E. Anderson

Public Safety Project of the Year

Mid & Upper Sacramento River - Regional Flood Emergency Response
Owner: Reclamation District 108, Engineer: Kjeldsen, Sinnock & Neudeck, Inc.

Roadway & Highway Project of the Year

Raise 80
Owner/Engineer: CA Dept. of Transportation, Contractor: RGW Construction Inc.

Small Project of the Year

Pit 1 Fall River Weir and Gate Structures Replacement
Owner: PG&E, Engineer: Black & Veatch

Structural Project of the Year

Wildwood Road Bridge Over Hayfork Creek
Owner: Trinity County – D.O.T., Engineer: T.Y. Lin International

Sustainable Engineering Project of the Year

Florin Creek Park Multi-Use Basin
Owners: Southgate Recreation and Park District & Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, Engineer: Wood Rodgers, Inc.

Transportation Project of the Year

Green Valley Road at Weber Creek – Bridge Replacement
Owner: El Dorado County, Engineers: HDR, Inc. & El Dorado County

Urban & Land Development Project of the Year

McKinley Village Way Underpass
Owners: Encore McKinley Village & City of Sacramento, Engineer: Parsons Corporation

Water Resources Project of the Year

Folsom Dam and Reservoir Water Control Manual
Owners: USACE Sacramento District and USBR Mid-Pacific Region, Engineer: David Ford Consulting Engineers, Inc.

Water/Wastewater Treatment Project of the Year

Rio Alto Water District WWTP & Constructed Wetlands
Owner: Rio Alto Water District, Engineer: PACE Engineering

Water Project of the Year

Davis Woodland Water Supply
Owner: Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency, Engineer: CH2M  


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Capital Branch Activities


Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Old Spaghetti Factory
1910 J St
Sacramento, CA 95811

11:30 AM Networking
12:00 - 1:00 PM Lunch and Presentation
Registration here

Topic:  A Case Study of Incorporating an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) into a Bridge Inspection Project for the Purpose of Preparing a Rehabilitation Plan for the Bridge

Speaker: Ed Greutert, Principal UAS Systems Engineer


Alta Vista Solutions, LLC (Alta Vista) was asked to perform a field investigation of the current condition of the Stevenson Bridge Road Bridge structure located in Winters, CA, and provide recommendations for repair strategies. The investigation used various tools, including image collection using an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), borescope inspection, ground penetrating radar (GPR) and performing strength tests on concrete cores extracted from the structure.  Historically the visual assessment has been completed by inspectors and engineers using a variety of equipment to physically access and inspect the bridge.  For this project, Alta Vista used a combination of aerial and ground based imagery that was post processed and distributed to the project team in order to perform their visual assessment. This strategy resulted in less bridge closure time, lower visual inspection costs, lower risk to field personnel, and wider distribution of the data that would have been achieved using conventional inspection methods.

About the speaker:

Mr. Greutert is a professional engineer with more than 25 years of experience providing solutions to federal and commercial clients. He is currently the Principal Engineer for UAS Systems Engineering and Regional Manager Alta Vista Solutions, Inc. His is responsible for the delivery of professional services in the UAS market for government and commercial clients. He is focused on integrating UAS as a tool to facilitate infrastructure inspections and monitoring programs.  He is a published author and speaker on environmental and UAS technical topics.

Prior to joining Alta Vista Solutions, Mr. Greutert spent 14 years at Booz, Allen, Hamilton where he started a UAS Systems Engineering service offering at the management consulting firm.


The ASCE Capital Branch is pleased to announce an opportunity for engineering firms, contractors and vendors to sponsor ASCE’s monthly meetings. The ASCE meetings are attended by many public and private civil engineering professionals, and the event sponsor company would get chance to demonstrate their capabilities at the meeting. Sponsorship opportunities are available for an amount of $300/event. For further information, please contact Jai Singh at (916) 580-9725. 

Key Sponsorship Benefits:

  1. Prior to the keynote presentation, the sponsoring company will have the opportunity to make a brief presentation that is 3 to 5 minutes long and is supported by a few slides in PowerPoint format. The sponsor can discuss services his/her company provides along with a few key projects.   
  2. In addition to networking, this opportunity provides the sponsoring company a great marketing opportunity to the local engineering community. A display table will be available for the sponsor company at the event.   
  3. The sponsor company will be recognized in the monthly ASCE Section Engineerogram (EOG) newsletter that is released to invite the ASCE members. 
  4. The sponsor company name will be listed in the ASCE member invitation letter that is released for the monthly luncheon meeting.

JOIN US ON LinkedIn. 

The Capital Branch has started a Group Page to make it easier to post announcements about upcoming events of interest to Civil Engineers in the Sacramento area. To join the group page go to http://goo.gl/iG6aD6

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Central Valley Branch Activities

We have monthly lunch meetings with various presentations on the third Tuesday of each month. If you are in the Stockton area please join us. For more information about the Central Valley Branch, please contact Rhett Kilgore at rkilgore@siegfriedeng.com.


On March 28, Neil Erickson, Stormwater Consultant for Contech Engineered Solutions presented on post-construction stormwater management for urban and infil development. Neil informed us of new regulatory requirements for MS4 systems, specifically within the Central Valley. Additionally, Neil went over different stormwater solutions Contech provides for various developments (i.e. urban vs. rural)  and soil conditions. Overall, most members who attended were not familiar with the MS4 permit nor have dealt with post-construction stormwater management prior to his presentation so we walked away with further knowledge of what goes on in developments. Join us for the next monthly meeting on April 11.


Friday, May 19, 2017
Lockeford Springs Golf Course, Lodi
Contact Jeff Mueller to donate raffle prizes
For more information, click here click here to download flyer

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Feather River Branch Activities

For more information about future meetings and activities, please contact, Jim Richards at jim.richards@prodigy.net, or 530-762-9464.

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Shasta Branch Activities

For more information about the Shasta Branch meetings, please contact Susan Goodwin at sgoodwin@vestra.com.

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Geo Institute (GI)


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Younger Members Forum (YMF)



California State University, Chico is hosting the 2017 Mid-Pacific Regional ASCE Student Conference on April 20th-22nd, 2017.  Chico State is currently seeking volunteers to be judges at the conference for these various competitions such as water treatment, water research, concrete canoe, steel bridge, transportation, MEAD Paper and Geo Wall. If you are interested in being a judge, please contact Lauren Pitcher at 916.955.7662 or midpac2017.chico@gmail.com. Chico State appreciates your consideration and support. 

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Environmental Water Resources Institute (EWRI)


Wednesday, April 26, 6 pm - 8 pm
Claim Jumper Restaurant
1111 J Street
Sacramento, CA 

Topic: Sites Reservoir Offstream Storage Project
Speaker: Jim Watson, General Manager, Sites Project Authority

The Sites Project Authority (Authority) was formed on August 26, 2010 when seven regional entities, including several local water agencies and Counties, executed the Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement. The primary purpose of the Authority, as stated in the agreement, is to pursue the development and construction of the Sites Reservoir Project, which has long been viewed as an ideal location for additional offstream storage to provide direct and real benefits to instream flows, the Delta ecosystem, and water supply. In keeping their commitment to move the project forward on behalf of the region, the Authority has spent the last six years working towards this goal by engaging the public, various stakeholders, state and federal agencies and landowners, initiating the required environmental planning process, and conducting feasibility studies, among other efforts.

Please register via EventBrite at the following link:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sacramento-ewri-spring-meeting-tickets-32333263662  Registration cost is $25 for professionals and $15 for students. For questions about this event or having trouble registering, please contact Sarah McIlroy by email or phone shown below.


Environment, water resources, and climate are frontline topics for ASCE’s 2017 EWRI World Environmental and Water Resources Congress coming to Sacramento May 21 - 25, 2017. Interest in the international event is running high. More than 300 technical sessions were proposed which was nearly twice the available capacity. The sessions, designed to highlight the Congress theme, Creative Solutions for a Changing Environment, are organized to cover broad areas of professional practice and development. There are topics of interest for every career stage from students, to new professionals, to history and heritage.  REGISTER HERE  

TECHNICAL TOURS showcasing solutions to California’s most significant and challenging water resources issues are planned (subject to change): 

• Folsom Dam

• EchoWater Project

• State-Federal Joint Operations Center

• Yolo Bypass Flood Structures

• Freeport Regional Water Project Intake Facilities 

A MAJOR NETWORKING EVENT is scheduled for the California State Railroad Museum. We’ll have this world-renowned museum to ourselves for an entire evening. You and your colleagues will enjoy refreshments while exploring railroading history and wandering through amazing displays of vintage railcars and “big iron.”

Preparation for the 2017 Congress is in high gear. The Steering Committee of local professionals, led by Congress Chair, David Curtis, WEST Consultants, is hard at work creating a stellar conference experience for attendees. Chris Dunn, USACE HEC, and Brian Van Weele (Ret.) are the Technical Program Co-Chairs. David Ford, David Ford Consulting Engineers, is leading the Sponsorship/Exhibitors effort. The Workshop Chair is Mike Anderson, CA DWR. Our Local Arrangements Chair is Rich Juricich, CA DWR. Om Prakash, WEST Consultants, is ASCE Chapter Coordinator, and University Coordination is led by Colleen Bronner of UC Davis.

For more information about the 2017 Congress and program, check out the website at: http://www.ewricongress.org/. It’s great opportunity for students to volunteer in 2017 EWRI Congress and meet the potential employer so if any students are interested then please contact to ASCE Chapter Coordinator and President of ASCE Sacramento Capital Branch, Om Prakash (oprakash@westconsultants.com). 

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Engineers Without Borders


Wednesdsay, April 19, 2017, 6 pm
California Department of Finance
915 L Street, 10th Floor, Main Conference Room
Sacramento, CA
All Welcome

We are looking for a fundraising chair for our fundraising committee. Each year EWB SVPC throws a silent auction fundraiser with either dinner or drinks and appetizers. We are looking for an individual to run our fundraising committee.


Fundraising Event

May 13th5-7 PM. "Wine into Water" Tickets are $30 and we will be having a silent auction including a large variety of donated wine. For more information: support.ewb-usa.org/wineintowater

Technical Mentors Needed

The UC Davis EWB chapter is looking for technical mentors on the following project teams. Davis Chapter's project pages

Indonesia Project 

Indonesia Project is looking for a international development lead and more technical mentors. The Indonesia project is planning an assessment trip for a water supply project this upcoming summer. Feel free to reach Anindito Wibowoputro at awoputro@ucdavis.edu

Bolivia Project

The community we will be working with is named Choquecoa- Parque Colani, located in southeast Bolivia and approximately 150 km from the capital, La Paz.

We knew about this project via an NGO, Engineers In Action and our student chapter is very keen about pursuing this project. The community wants to have sanitary latrines accessible to every home in order to increase their access to basic sanitation. The type of latrines proposed by the community are ecological latrines. Ecological latrines use a minimum amount of water to prevent pollution by separating the urine and the feces, recycling untreated urine for agricultural purposes, and treating the feces underground for compost. They allow for the reuse of waste as resources for agriculture in the local community. Feel free to reach Manesha Thiyaga Rajan at mthiyaga@ucdavis.edu

Peru Project 

Peru's traveling mentor got very ill, and they are looking for some mentor help. The Peru team is planning an implementation trip for spring boxes this upcoming summer as well as assessing the feasibility of a water storage tank.

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ASCE America’s Infrastructure Report Card

Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers’  (ASCE) Report Card for America’s Infrastructure depicts the condition and performance of American infrastructure in the familiar form of a school report card—assigning letter grades based on the physical condition and needed investments for improvement. [http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/]

History of America's Infrastructure grades:

If you are interested to know more about infrastructure report card, please contact Dr. Om Prakash, Ph.D., P.E., QSD, M.ASCE, Chair of ASCE Sacramento Section Infrastructure Report Card and President of ASCE Sacramento Capital Branch at oprakash@westconsultants.com

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Continuing Education



ASCE announces new asynchronous online instructor-led programs in which you move through a 6 or 12-week learning experience with your peers. The Guided Online Course content includes recorded video lectures, interactive exercises, case studies, live webinars and weekly discussions to help you master the course material. Gain unlimited, 24/7 accessibility to weekly modules. Complete coursework at the time and pace that is most convenient for you, using your own devices. Click here to see full list of courses.

Buy 2 Registrations and get the 3rd Free!
To receive this discount, email contact information for all registrants toguidedonlinecourses@asce.org and a registration confirmation email will be sent to each attendee. Or call 1-800-548-2723 to register, and mention the code GOCFREE. To inquire about larger group discounts, write to guidedonlinecourses@asce.org.


Pumping Systems Design for Civil Engineers
August 18, 2017, Sacramento, CA
Click here for more information


You've asked for it and we listened!  Pay 1 low rate, and gain unlimited access to your choice of 10 on-demand webinars from ASCE's complete catalog, during a 365-day subscription period. Order your on-demand webinar subscription today!  For individual use only, not to be used for groups.

  • Save up to 63%
  • Earn up to 15 CEUs/PDHs
  • Pay one low fee 
  • 10 on-demand webinars of your choice
  • State-of-the-practice programs taught by leading practitioners
  • A convenient, effective, affordable way to earn CEUs/PDHs for P.E. license renewal


Webinars are convenient, low-cost, and an efficient training option. Login anywhere and interact with the instructor and other participants. Live webinars cover practical, targeted topics taught by experts in their field. Gain knowledge and earn PDHs. Plus, as a Sacramento Section member, a portion of the webinar fee will go back to support our local chapter. For more details, go to: http://mylearning.asce.org/diweb/catalog/t/2125/c/79 Use Promo Code WEBSACSEC to secure your preferred rate.


On-demand learning is a convenient and effective method for engineers to earn PDHs/CEUs and gain practical, real-world knowledge.  ASCE's programs are developed by industry experts and available for a variety of technical areas and in your choice of format to meet the demands facing today's engineers. Plus, as a Sacramento Section member, a portion of the webinar fee will go back to support our local chapter. For more details, go to: http://mylearning.asce.org/diweb/catalog/t/2135/c/79. Use Promo Code WEBSACSEC to secure your preferred rate.

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Region 9



 Thor Larsen, PE, M. ASCE
ASCE Region 9 Governor from the Sacramento Section

How many civil engineers pay attention to what the California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists (known as BPELSG), does, besides sending you an invoice every 2 years for renewal of your license?  I will readily admit that I have paid minimal attention in the past.  I mostly wondered “When or will the BPELSG begin requiring continuing education requirements in addition to paying the dues for our renewal”.  Well, as a new ASCE Region 9 Governor, I relished volunteering to chair the BPELSG committee, and I am becoming much more aware and recently attended my first monthly board meeting in Sacramento on February 8. This is enlightening!

The Board members consist of a mixture of engineering professionals and public members. The Board has 14 members, which includes a President and Vice President. The Board consists of 7 members who represent the “Public”, one of whom is a State Senate appointee. There are 7 members who work within the professions that BPELSG provides licensure. There are 5 professional engineers (mechanical, structural, civil, electrical and traffic), a professional geologist, and a professional licensed surveyor. They generally serve 3 year terms, and for the member who becomes the board president, there is a second 3-year term. The BPELSG board will set policies for licensure and also advocate or initiate bills through the state which are necessary. BPELSG is under the California Department of Consumers Affairs, which oversees a multitude of professions requiring licensure. Professional engineering, geologists and surveying is extremely important to the public, and therefore we must uphold our code of ethics and abide by the rules of licensure.

So there is the brief background of BPELSG. Here is a question that Richard Moore, Executive Director of BPELSG, asked in the most recent newsletter to all members: “How often do I as a licensed professional engineer, review Business and Professions Code Sections 6700-6799?”  Those sections are referred to in common industry nomenclature as the Professional Engineers Act. Richard states that outreach experiences and statistics show that few licensees take the time to familiarize themselves with these laws, and annual changes thereof, even though each licensee states that he or she has read those laws and will abide by them at all times. (This occurs with one’s initial licensure application, and all subsequent renewal applications.) 

I will definitely be reading these from now on, like I did so long ago. One change to these laws is slated to become effective in 2017. Senate Bill SB 1085, introduced by Senator Roth and now passed became effective January 1, 2017, but will not be required for licensees until later in 2017.

SB 1085, as amended, Roth stated per text below from the April 7, 2016 bill as introduced:

Existing law makes the Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists responsible for the certification, licensure, and regulation of the practice of professional engineering, the practice of professional geologists and geophysicists, and the practice of professional land surveyors.

“This bill would additionally require an applicant for renewal to complete a board-administered assessment, which includes questions to reinforce the certificate holder’s or licenseholder’s knowledge of laws applicable to his or her practice area. The bill would make the failure to complete the assessment within a specified period of time a cause for disciplinary action.”

Be on the lookout for this with your renewals! It will be great practice for the majority of us to remind ourselves of the laws, and ethics involved with our licenses. 

In closing, I suggest that you try to attend one of the board meetings in the next year. They are held monthly, and in locations within the full state area, from San Diego, to the Bay Area and Sacramento. The agendas and material are available at http://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/about_us/meetings, along with the full schedule of meetings for 2017. If you have any questions or need further information, please feel free to contact me at Thor.Larsen@hdrinc.com.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Department of Water Resouces
1416 9th Street, Legal Conference Room
Sacramento, CA  95814

Highlights Include:

  • 9 am - noon: A half-day training session on the political process including briefing from the ASCE Region 9 Legislative Advocate
  • Noon - 1 pm: Lunch, Networking and Group Photo
  • 1 pm - 5 pm: Walk to State Capitol to meet with State Legislators
  • 5 pm - 7 pm: Recap of the day at the Hyatt Regency Hotel lobby

Please contact Anne Ettley, Region 9 Administrator, aettley@gmail.com There is no registration fee to attend. Participants are responsible for their own travel expenses and must register so that legislative appointments may be scheduled. Please RSVP by May 10, 2017.

Suggested Hotel
Holiday Inn Sacramento Downtown-Arena, 300 J St., Sacramento, CA 95814, 855-239-9227.


ASCE Region 9 invites nominations for one Region 9 Governor At-Large position for a three-year term beginning October 1, 2017. To be considered for this position, you must be a Society member in good standing and have an Address of Record within the Region being represented. It is encouraged that nominees also have prior service as a Branch, Section or Technical Group officer, member of a Section or Branch committee, or a member of a Society-level Committee and has demonstrated leadership skills. This is an appointed position.

A Letter of Intent to apply for this elected office must be submitted not later than June 1, 2017, to the Region 9 Nominating Committee Chair: Kenneth Rosenfield, at krosenfield@lagunahillsca.gov, (949) 707-2655. Please contact Kenneth Rosenfield for any questions. In addition, the following documents are also requested:

  • Signed Governor Commitment document (attached)
  • Biographical Statement, not to exceed 200 words
  • Vision Statement, not to exceed 200 words
  • Any endorsements
  • Head shot color photograph

Nominees will be requested to attend an interview before the Region 9 Board of Governors on June 9, 2017, in Tustin, CA. Time and specific location to be confirmed.

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Legislative Update


Richard Markuson
Region 9 Legislative Advocate 

The Legislature is well into their Spring “fling” with committee hearings, budget discussions and the occasional fund-raiser.

Assembly Member Ian Calderon (D-Whittier) introduced AB 1053 at the request of ASCE to amend last years’ SB 66 that would compromise the safety of identity records possessed by BPELSG.

ASCE supported AB 28 (Frazier D-Oakley) – an urgency measure – that would reinstate California’s participation in the Surface Transportation Project Delivery Pilot Program (later called the NEPA Assignment) is moving quickly. It was approved by the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee with a sunset which was imposed on Asm. Frazier by Senate leaders who fear President Trump may eviscerate NEPA. The sunset means the authority will last only two years.

The Legislatures only civil engineer, Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) introduced SR 18 to recognize the services bestowed upon the citizens of the State of California by engineers. SR 18 recognized the week of February 19, 2017, to February 25, 2017, as Engineers Week.

Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) is the author of SCA 6 that would lower the vote required to pass a local transportation tax from 2/3 to 55%, if 100 percent of the net revenues from the tax, after collection and administrative expenses, is dedicated to transportation programs and projects. If approved by the Legislature – the measure would be on the ballot for voter approval.

Senator Bill Dodd (D-Davis) is author of SB 252 that would require an applicant for a new well permit in a city or county overlying a critically overdrafted basin, to comply with certain requirements as part of an application for a well permit.

Governor’s Appointments 

Reappointed to the California Water Commission: Joseph Byrne, Los Angeles, partner at Best Best and Krieger; Armando Quintero, San Rafael, executive director at the UC Merced Sierra Nevada Research Institute.

Recent Reports

Delta Stewardship Council released In Pursuit of Progress Toward a Resilient Delta. “The Delta paradox in a nutshell is this: how to provide both water supply reliability and ecosystem health in a system that has been severely altered over time and faces both old and emerging, and compounding challenges. There’s the need to have the right amount of water, at the right temperature, at the right time for various fish species.” In 2016, the state broke ground on several Delta ecosystem restoration projects. California WaterFix issued a final environmental report and entered the permitting stage. The state adopted rules to govern distribution of nearly $3B in coming years, and advanced a strategy for state investment in Delta levees using a computer-based, interactive planning tool. 

The Fix Our Roads Coalition has distributed a report by the American Road and Transportation Builders Assn. which evaluated the nation’s bridges, finds “out of the 25,431 bridges in California, 1,388, or 5%, are classified as structurally deficient,” which “means one or more of the key bridge elements, such as the deck, superstructure or substructure, is considered to be in ‘poor’ or worse condition.” 

The Legislative Analyst’s Office has released The 2017-18 Budget: Cap-and-Trade, recommends the Legislature enact cap-and-trade program beyond 2020 with a two-thirds urgency vote because “it is likely the most cost-effective approach to achieving the state’s 2030 GHG emissions target,” also recommends that after passing cap-and-trade with a two-thirds vote Legislature should allocate funds to specific programs rather than providing Dept. of Finance with that authority as administration has proposed.  

Dept. of Water Resources released a report that analyzed NASA radar satellite maps and found “San Joaquin Valley land continues to sink,” says “two main subsidence bowls covering hundreds of miles grew wider and deeper between spring 2015 and fall 2016,” finds “groundwater pumping causes subsidence” and “damages water infrastructure,” concludes “the situation is untenable.”

CA Institute of Technology. released Progress Report: Subsidence in California. “Subsidence caused by groundwater pumping in the Central Valley has been a problem for decades…. The new Sentenel-1A data show the two known main subsidence bowls in the San Joaquin Valley: The larger is centered on Corcoran and extends 60 miles to the NW (northwest), affecting the California Aqueduct…. [The] maximum total subsidence was found to be 22” near Cocoran. A second bowl is centered on El Nido and is approximately 25 miles in diameter, encompassing most of the East Side Bypass.” Other subsidence locations include Davis and Woodland (2”), Arbuckle (12”), and Sierra Valley, north of Lake Tahoe (6”). 

California Dept. of Water Resources released results of its second manual snow survey of water year 2017 from Phillips Station near Echo Summit, finds water content of snow pack at 28.1 inches, or 173 percent of the February 2 average, “a significant increase since the January 3 survey, when just 6 inches was found there.” 

The Hamilton Project at Brookings released If You Build It: A Guide to Economics of Infrastructure Investment “[T]his paper seeks to provide an economic framework for evaluating infrastructure investments and their methods of funding and finance. Why should we invest in infrastructure, what projects should be selected, who should decide, and how should those investments be paid for are all questions that can be better answered with the help of sound economic theory and evidence.” This report summarizes factors that determine the economic returns to spending on infrastructure, and describes the way investments increase when interest rates are low.

California Natural Resources Agency, released California Water Action Plan Implementation Report: 2016 Summary of Accomplishments. “Key achievements in 2016 include an infusion of funds to bring to fruition two mandates: sustainability of water supplies and more sophisticated conservation measures. Hundreds of millions of dollars in State bond funds, which will leverage hundreds of millions of dollars in local and federal funds, were disbursed to local water districts and others for water recycling, installation of more efficient irrigation technology on farms, and many other projects. Dozens of habitat restoration projects were funded or launched, including the largest-ever tidal wetlands restoration project in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta). In addition, California supported the implementation of Klamath dam removal through bond funding and amendments to a key multi-party agreement.”

National Conference of State Legislatures releasedAutonomous/Self-Driving Vehicles Legislation The National Conference of State Legislatures has published a compendium of existing and proposed state legislation touching on autonomous vehicles across the U.S. According to the study: “In 2016, 20 states introduced legislation. Sixteen states introduced legislation in 2015, up from 12 states in 2014, nine states and D.C. in 2013, and six states in 2012. Since 2012, at least 34 states and D.C. have considered legislation related to autonomous vehicles.” The report includes a detailed list of enacted and proposed bills.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency releasedBest Practices to Consider When Evaluating Water Conservation and Efficiency as an Alternative for Water Supply Expansion“EPA has developed this best practices document to help water utilities and federal and state governments carry out assessments of the potential for future water conservation and efficiency savings to avoid or minimize the need for new water supply development. The document can also be used by a utility or a third party to conduct assessments of how the utility is managing its water resources from a technical, financial, and managerial perspective. The document consists of six major practices, with suggested metrics to guide evaluations of progress. No single metric is intended to serve as a stand-alone test. Instead, the combined information on water conservation and efficiency implementation, with emphasis on planned measures, can inform reviews of a project’s purpose and need, and analysis of alternatives.”

California Energy Commission released Joint Agency Staff Report on Assembly Bill 8: 2016 Assessment of Time and Cost Needed to Attain 100 Hydrogen Refueling Stations in California This report provides updated time and cost assessments for building out California's hydrogen refueling infrastructure. Compared to the 6 stations that were open when then 2015 report was published, California has built 50 hydrogen refueling stations, and has plans for constructing 50 more. Assuming adequate funding, the report estimates that the 100-station goal should be met by 2024.

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The Law & Civil Engineering


Gene Bass

An engineer designed a pier in front of a luxury hotel in Southern California. The pier had been designed and constructed after completion of a feasibility study to determine if the pier could be built, the size of the principal members required and the estimated cost of construction. The feasibility study specifically did not encompass economic feasibility which would have included considerations of usage, operation and financing and other economic factors of the facility. An economic feasibility study would have cost substantially more money than the study that was performed. The engineer assumed that the owner was familiar with the site in front of the hotel and knew that the pier would not be usable at all times because of the shallow water and local sea conditions.

The engineer prepared a design for the facility that was to be built by a contractor paid by the owner. At the design phase, the engineer’s responsibility was to design a structurally sound pier that would withstand the exposure of the site. When the facility was completed, it proved to be unpopular with the hotel guests and was unusable much of the time because of wave conditions and exposure. The dissatisfied owner sued the engineer claiming that the engineer impliedly warranted, as part of the contract, that the pier and floats it had designed were reasonably suitable for use by small craft and contended that the engineer should be strictly liable for the failure of the pier to function as intended by the owner.

The court disagreed with the owner’s contentions, holding that is was the well settled rule in California that the doctrines of implied warranty and strict liability did not apply where the primary objective of a transaction is to obtain services. The court stated that the engineer was not a seller of property who obligated himself as part of his bargain to convey property in the condition represented. It is the general rule that those who sell their services for the guidance of others in their economic, financial, and personal affairs are not liable in the absence of negligence or intentional misconduct.

The services of experts are sought because of their special skill. They have a duty to exercise the ordinary skill and competence of members of their profession, and a failure to discharge that duty will subject them to liability for negligence. Those who hire such persons are not justified in expecting infallibility, but can expect only reasonable care and competence. They purchase service, not insurance.


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Officer Contacts

(Those listed in blue are considered Section Board Members with voting authority. Everyone else on this list is invited to our meetings to give an update on their subsidiary organization)


President   Elias Karam elias.karam@jacobs.com 209-481-6857
President Elect   Adam Killinger adam.killinger@crawford-inc.com 951-265-5289
Senior Director  Kyle Dushane kdushane@sageengineers.com 916-677-4782
Junior Director Tony Quintrall anthony.quintrall@aecom.com 916-993-7616
Secretary Dr. Ben Fell fellb@csus.edu 916-278-8139
Treasurer Jafar Faghih treasurer@asce-sacto.org 916-679-8864
Past President Louay Owaidat louaywaidat@gleis.com  916-462-6420
Executive Director Marie Silveira marie.silveira@jacobs.com   916-296-9856
YMF Board Rep Guy Hopes guy.hopes@erm.com 707-685-3015
Region 9 Chair Jay Higgins  jayhiggins896@gmail.com  818-406-4896
Region 9 Governor Thor Larsen thor.larsen@hdrinc.com  916-973-0356
Egrs. w/o Borders Megan LeRoy megan.leroy@kimley-horn.com 707-291-5629
Ladies Auxiliary Marlene Tobia marlenetobia@att.net 916-492-2181
EOG/Webmaster Michelle Zeiss asce@asce-sacto.org 916-961-2723
Capital Branch Dr. Om Prakash oprakash@westconsultants.com  916-802-6140
Central Valley Branch Rhett Kilgore rkilgore@siegfriedeng.com 209-943-2021
Feather River Branch  Jim Richards jim.richards@prodigy.net 530-762-9464
Shasta Branch Susan Goodwin sgoodwin@vestra.com 530-223-2585 


Coasts, Oceans Ports & Rivers Inst. Zia Zafir zzafir@kleinfelder.com 916-366-1701
Construction Inst.    Brad Quon bquon@cts-1.com 916-871-2080
Environ. & Water Resources Inst.  Rich Juricich rjuricich@pacbell.net 916-492-2181 
Geo-Institute Kartk Atyam  kartk.atyam@aecom.com 916-679-2005
Structural Engineering Inst. Ahilan Selladurai  ahilan.selladurai@tylin.com 916-349-4266
Transportation & Development Inst.   Vacant     


College Accreditation Joan Al-Kazily  alkazily@sbcglobal.net  530-756-9530
Disaster Preparedness John Andrew john.andrew@water.ca.gov 916-651-9657
Education & Awards Thor Larsen thor.larsen@hdrinc.com  916-973-0356
Government Relations Craig Copelan ccopelan95694@yahoo.com 530-908-4790
History & Heritage Thor Larsen  thor.larsen@hdrinc.com  916-973-0356
Membership-Life Mem. Thor Larsen thor.larsen@hdrinc.com  916-973-0356
Scholarship Eric Polson polsonengineering@earthlink.net  916-801-6290
Sustainability Jennifer Buchanan jbuchanan@watearth.com 916-240-7010


California State University, Sacramento Vince Anicich csusascepresident@gmail.com  
University of the Pacific Joey McElhany j_mcelhany@u.pacific.edu  
University of California, Davis Abdulla Alishaq ucd.asce.president@gmail.com  
California State University, Chico Grant Rose chicoasce@gmail.com  


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Event Flyers

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