Consultants

John Hecht, PE

President

With over 30 years in the petroleum and environmental consulting fields, John’s recent focus has been on land use planning and new facility development projects. He has extensive experience and knowledge of the mining industry, including community and public agency relations for planning and permitting of mining and industrial operations. John’s extensive knowledge of the technical and political aspects associated with the permitting of these industries makes him a key player in oversight of these complex projects.

Education:
Professional Degree, Geophysics, Colorado School of Mines
B.S. Electrical Engineering, Valparaiso University

Registrations:
Professional Mechanical Engineer

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Rob Dal Farra, PE

Vice President

Rob has over 30 years of experience covering numerous areas in the environmental consulting field, most recently focused on air quality and GHG emissions, NPDES permitting, water quality issues and environmental compliance, management and auditing.

Education:
BASc Chemical Engineering, University of Windsor

Registrations:
Professional Chemical Engineer

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Joe King, PE, CPESC, QSD, IGP-ToR, QISP

Vice President

With over 20 years of environmental and safety compliance experience, Joe is well versed in these areas and applying them to a wide variety of industries. His specialties include air, water, hazardous materials, hazardous waste, and worker safety. In addition to extensive experience as a consultant, he has also worked on the industry side as the EH&S Manager for a high tech R&D and manufacturing firm.

Education:
Master of Business Administration (MBA), University of California, Los Angeles
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara

Registrations:
Professional Mechanical Engineer
Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control
Industrial General Permit Trainer of Record (IGP-ToR)
Qualified Industrial Storm Water Practitioner (QISP)
Qualified SWPPP Developer (QSD)
Qualified SWPPP Practitioner (QSP)

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Maya Rohr

Project Manager

Maya is a mechanical engineer with over 30 years of experience in the air quality, hazardous waste/materials, CEQA/NEPA and the management/coordination of overall project approval, compliance and permitting requirements. She specializes in multimedia environmental compliance issues for mining, oil & gas, TSDFs, railroads and other general industrial facilities. Her compliance and permitting experience includes meeting the needs for large complex military facilities, international hazardous waste treatment projects, highly controversial projects as well as a large range of industrial facilities. She works closely with legal counsel and has given numerous presentations at public hearings/meetings. She is actively involved in agency/industrial task forces to develop and/or revise environmental regulations.

Education:
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of California, San Diego
B.S. Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
B.A. Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Affiliations:
California Construction and Industrial Materials Association (CalCIMA)
National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA)
Industrial Environmental Association (IEA)
Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP)
Women in Mining (WIM)
Air and Waste Management Association (AWMA)

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Sandy Smith

Land Use Consultant

In his role as Land Use Consultant, Sandy Smith is responsible for providing strategic analysis and counseling, comprehensive land use planning and project planning and entitlement, and public hearing strategy development and representation- at the local and state levels. In addition, Sandy has years of experience as a facilitator and mediator- specializing in collaborative community problem solving, neighborhood design and land use dispute resolution.

Education:
Masters in Public Policy and Administration, California Lutheran University
Clear Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential, University of California, Santa Barbara
B.S. Psychology, California State University, Sonoma

Affiliations:

Ventura County Civic Alliance
Ventura County Economic Development Association
Compact for a Sustainable Ventura County
HOME (Housing Opportunities Made Easier)

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Scott D. Cohen, PE, CIH

Project Manager

Scott’s areas of experience include environmental health and safety (EHS), compliance and land use planning / environmental review for industrial and municipal clientele. Technical air quality, greenhouse gases, noise, fugitive dust, health risk assessment, mining, construction, CEQA/NEPA, and industrial hygiene are some of the technical services that Scott can offer.

Education:
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara

Registrations:
Professional Mechanical Engineer
Certified Industrial Hygienist

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Jane Farkas

Project Manager

Jane is a land use planner specializing in permitting large industrial mining/aggregate-related projects throughout California. CEQA/NEPA, reclamation plans, US Army Corps of Engineers (UACOE), Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) and related permitting is often required. Jane has taken projects from the conceptual project planning phase through the building permit issuance phase, the culmination of years of work, coordination of exhaustive studies, and public outreach and meetings.

Education:
B.A. Urban Studies and Planning, California State University, Northridge

Affiliations:
California Construction and Industrial Materials Association (CalCIMA)
American Planning Association (APA)
Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP)
Women in Mining (WIM)

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Doug Mason

Project Manager

Doug is a geologist and land use planning specialist focusing on permitting and technical support for heavy industrial activities including; mining, various aggregate/construction materials related industries, and oil & gas exploration and production. During Doug’s 15 years of professional experience he has worked with local, regional and federal governmental agencies to obtain various permits including Section 404 and 401 permits from the UACOE and RWQCB, Section 1602 Streambed Alteration Agreements from the Department of Fish and Game, and complex industrial building permits from local building and safety permitting authorities. He also prepares surface mining and reclamation plans and financial assurance calculations and annual reports as required by the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975 (SMARA).

Education:
B.S. Geology, Southern Utah University

Affiliations:
California Construction and Industrial Materials Association (CalCIMA)

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Mike Biedebach, CAC

Project Manager

An environmental consultant for over 20 years, Mike’s areas of expertise include environmental site assessment (Phase I, II, III), asbestos inspections, facility closure plans, stormwater, water quality permitting and reporting, and related services.

Education:
B.A. Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Registrations:
CalOSHA Certified Asbestos Consultant

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Garrett Zuleger, PE, QSD

Project Manager

Garrett is a professional chemical engineer who has been working in the environmental field since 2005. He specializes in technical projects related to air quality analysis, air permitting, health risk assessment, climate change/greenhouse gasses, noise impact assessment, indoor air exposure assessment, and noise exposure assessment. Garrett also has experience with various compliance issues relating to air, water, hazardous materials, hazardous waste, indoor air quality, indoor noise, and safety.

Education:
B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles

Registrations:
Professional Chemical Engineer
Qualified SWPPP Developer
Qualified SWPPP Practitioner

Affiliations:
Air and Waste Management Association
Western States Petroleum Association
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Ben Morgan, PE, QISP

Engineer III

Ben is a professional civil engineer who has been working as an environmental consultant since 2008. His technical experience spans water quality, hazardous materials management, environmental site assessments (Phase I and IIs), groundwater monitoring, and environmental remediation. Before joining Sespe in 2016, Ben held a position as an in-house consultant with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works providing environmental compliance support on various county infrastructure projects (including roadways, bridges, and flood control channels).

Education:
B.S. Environmental Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Registrations:
Professional Civil Engineer
Qualified Industrial Storm Water Practitioner (QISP)

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Pearce Swerdfeger, EIT, QISP

Engineer II

Pearce is an engineer with experience with various compliance issues relating to air, water, hazardous materials, indoor air quality, and safety. He also has experience assisting in technical projects related to air quality analysis, air permitting, health risk assessment, climate change/greenhouse gasses, noise impact assessment, indoor air exposure assessment, and noise exposure assessment.

Education:
B.S. Environmental Engineering, California Polytechnic State University

Registrations:
Engineer In Training
Qualified Industrial Storm Water Practitioner (QISP)


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Caitlin Brooks

Planner II

Caitlin is a planner specializing in research and permitting for a large variety of projects throughout California. She has experience working on industrial, commercial and residential projects relating to CEQA, NEPA, and SMARA. Caitlin’s expertise includes conditional use permitting, project condition compliance, including public communications and outreach. Her experience supporting various land use projects plays a valuable part in the permitting process. She works closely with Sespe experts to focus on the details of complex projects.

Education:
B.A. Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Affiliations:
American Planning Association (APA)

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Graham Stephens

Professional I

Graham graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara in 2012 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. While at UCSB, he worked at the County of Santa Barbara Planning and Development Department and Goleta Valley Beautiful. Before joining Sespe in 2013, he was employed by Cooperative Agricultural Support Services doing contract work for the Department of Food and Agriculture. Graham has experience with storm water compliance, environmental site assessments (Phase I), CEQA document preparation and related services.

Education:
B.A. Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Affiliations:
Ventura Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Group

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Benjamin Seaman, QISP

Engineer I

Benjamin graduated from UC San Diego in 2015 with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering. Before attending university and subsequently joining Sespe in 2016, he served in the United States Navy for eight years. Benjamin has experience with industrial and construction storm water permitting, compliance, and sampling; RCRA hazardous waste reporting; hazardous materials permitting and compliance; risk management planning and assessment; indoor air quality; technical writing; and project organization.

Education:
B.S. Environmental Engineering, University of California, San Diego

Registrations:
Qualified Industrial Storm Water Practitioner (QISP)

Affiliations:
Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP)

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Guillaume Camus

Drafter

Guillaume is responsible for creating and maintaining maps and exhibits in AutoCAD Civil 3D and ArcGIS. This include floodplain mapping studies, grading plans, LiDAR processing and contours, visualizations, and renderings. His other skills include creation of geo-referenced maps, data analysis, modification and classification.

Prior to joining Sespe, Guillaume worked for over 14 years as a 3D graphic artist specializing in environmental modeling.

Education:
B. A., Hammersmith College
Civil 3D Basic Certification, Kelar Corporation
GIS Certification, Ventura College

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Andre Almeida

Engineer I

Andre is a recent graduate of the University of California, San Diego with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. Throughout his time in school Andre worked in a number of multidisciplinary engineering rolls, including energy management systems optimization for UCSD facilities, thermodynamics consulting for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and project management for a major utilities provider. Andre’s experience in these fields was enhanced by the fact that each position held a focus on computational modeling – a technique he now specializes in for air quality assessment and emissions based calculations.

Education: B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of California, San Diego

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