Scott Ackert, Principal Environmental Scientist

PH:  775-273-8118

E:  s.ackert@pivotenv.com

 

Scott Ackert is a principal-level environmental scientist with over 23 years of experience specializing in environmental permitting and planning for private and public projects and programs. Mr. Ackert has experience providing a broad array of assistance with federal and state permits and regulatory compliance solutions for mining, infrastructure, natural resource and energy development and operations. Scott has senior level environmental planning and permitting experience developing and managing compliance requirements for Nevada mines including: Mine Operations Plans/Plans of Operations (PoO), Water Pollution Control Permits (WPC), Storm-water Plans and Permits (SWPPP), Spill Prevention Control Plans (SPCC), Petroleum Contaminated Soils Plans (PCS), and Mine Reclamation, Re-vegetation Plans and Permits.

 

Scott has senior level experience on many environmental projects throughout the western USA and an extensive background of experience managing Native American development and infrastructure initiatives including NEPA assessments under BIA jurisdiction. Mr. Ackert is a veteran of the US Navy and the US Army and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science and Planning (ENSP) from Sonoma State University.

 

Key Expertise:

Environmental impact analysis and baseline technical studies in support of Environmental Planning and Permitting Programs for Natural Resource Management, Mining, Industry, Infrastructure and commercial development projects.

  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

  • Mine Permitting and Plans of Operation

  • Facility / Site / Linear Projects – Construction Monitoring and Permitting

  • Reclamation Plans and Permits

  •  Stormwater Permitting Programs Development (SWPPP)

  • Spill Prevention and Pollution Control Plans (SPCC)

  • Environmental Due Diligence, Phase I ESA, Phase II EA

  • Environmental Constraints Studies

  • Feasibility Studies

  • Technical and Baseline Studies – Wildlife, Raptors, Access,

  • Timber, Housing, Recreation, and others

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Select Project Experience

 

  • BLM - NEPA EA - Sagebrush Ecosystem Management (SEM) NEPA EA – NEPA Project Lead / Senior Environmental Scientist – Battle Mountain District, Battle Mountain, Nevada

The Battle Mountain District (BMD) of the BLM required a programmatic NEPA EA to assess potential environmental impacts associated with the development of a comprehensive sagebrush ecosystem management scheme designed to improve habitat for Greater Sagegrouse and to reduce fire loads. Scott Ackert, as team NEPA lead and Project Manager provided leadership for the Pivot Environmental / GeomorphIS LLC team as they helped the BMD in developing this important EA. The EA assessed a range of potential management scenarios through fire and vegetation improvement objectives district wide.

 

  • USFS – Northern Goshawk Survey – Plumas National Forest, Beckwourth Ranger District, Graeagle, California

​​​In late 2017, Pivot Principal Biologist Jon Silva (Project Director) and Pivot Principal Environmental Scientist Scott Ackert along with teaming biologists and field specialists finished the second and last phase of a two-year project under the US Forest Service (USFS) to develop a comprehensive Northern Goshawk (NoGo) Survey in the Plumas National Forest (PNF) in the Beckwourth Ranger District. The PNF is located in northeastern California, roughly 25 miles southeast of Quincy, California, and is comprised of 1,171,183 acres.  The survey itself comprised of roughly 15,000 acres spread across certain older growth timber stands within the PNF. Certain areas which clearly represent unsuitable habitat or nesting areas were generally eliminated from the Survey. Pivot achieved great success by confirming 7 active NoGo nests. This contrasts greatly with previous surveys done by other consultants which managed a total of 3 confirmed nests.

  • Mine Exploration Plan – NEPA Environmental Assessment (EA) - Deputy Project Manager, Soda Springs, Idaho

Mr. Ackert led numerous tasks under the NEPA EA Project. The Mine proponent proposed a project to conduct exploration drilling for the presence of phosphate ore within existing federal phosphate leases in the Caribou National Forest in South East Idaho. The NEPA document assessed potential impacts related to exploration drilling plans throughout the lease boundary. Impacts assessed included: Recreation and Land Uses, Wildlife, Raptors (Flammulated Owl and Northern Goshawk), and a comprehensive Wetland Delineation.

 

  • Large-Scale Mine Expansion – NEPA EA –Senior Project Scientist, Challis, Idaho

While working with another firm Mr. Ackert provided primary technical oversight and report production on a variety of studies and documents. The Project Proponent (Thompson Creek Mine Company) proposed a project to expand current operations at their Thompson Creek Mine (Mine) near Challis, Idaho. The Mine is the third largest primary molybdenum mine in the world. The proposed project expanded operations through the use of federal land exchanges with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the US Forest Service (USFS). The Thompson Creek Mine Amended Plan of Operations (PoO) and Land Exchange Project (Project) proposes to expand current mining operations of a combined 660 acres of private land and 850 acres of public land administered by the BLM’s Challis Field Office and USFS Challis Yankee Fork Ranger District.

 

  • Mountaineer Coal Mine Carbon Capture Demonstration - NEPA EIS -– Senior Technical Reviewer, Mason Co, W. Virginia

Mr. Ackert provided senior QA review of project NEPA and study documents. The project was designed to capture and safely store underground up to 1.5 million metric tons of CO2 per year from plant emissions. The captured CO2 would be compressed and conveyed via pipeline to injection wells for geologic storage in deep saline formations, approximately 1.5 miles below the land surface.

 

  • Goldstrike TCM Management of Numerous Engineering Design Change (EDC) Processes for Water Pollution Control Permit – Senior Project Scientist, Elko, NV.

Serving as senior project scientist, Mr. Ackert has helped the Barrick Mining Company by assisting with a redesigned, new administrative record and documentation process for 21 separate Engineering Design Change (EDC) processes running simultaneously. In addition to developing a new administrative record process Mr. Ackert developed a task and process tracking system designed to run in ”real-time” based on an extra-net workspace allowing diverse project staff at Barrick, Golder and other firms to access and work on documents across multiple task platforms.

 

  • Gold Mine - Environmental Program Audit and Constraints Analysis – Senior Project Scientist,
    Valmy, NV

Mr. Ackert performed a full audit and analysis of Marigold Mine’s Environmental Program. This program review required a full investigation of Marigold’s entire environmental and permitting program with a comprehensive report detailing findings and potential problems and risks associated with Mine purchase. This report was utilized by Aurico Gold Incorporated of Toronto, Ontario to evaluate the viability of Marigold Mine as a potential acquisition.

 

  • Gold Mine - Environmental Permitting and Constraints Analyses of a Planned Mine Pit Expansion – Senior Project Scientist, Battle Mountain, NV

This northern Nevada gold mine determined that a minable ore reserve of approximately 20 mt exists in a new area of mine property located adjacent to a former active Pit. Plans to develop the pit expansion were proposed for two phases, first by development of Phase 1 entirely on private fee land, then by expansion of Phase 2 onto public (BLM) land. Mr. Ackert provided overview and constraints analysis of federal permitting and environmental regulatory compliance requirements and liabilities with a compliance plan and program necessary to move the project forward.

 

  • Gold Mine - Proposed Heap Leach Facility Overview and Analysis – Senior Project Scientist, Sundance, Wyoming

This project developed a technical analysis of permitting scenarios for the potential development of a stream diversion around a proposed valley-fill Heap Leach Facility (HLF) at a confidential Mining operation near Sundance, Wyoming. Analysis focused on the study of projects with similar characteristics and features, especially as they had the potential to relate to the development of the Clean Water Act (Section) 404 permitting process. This study was developed to help identify possible alternatives strategies likely to be critical to the development of Project impacts and/or mitigation measures with the objective of assisting with the development of a strategy for successful Section 404 permitting.

 

  • Gold Mine - Startup and Operations Permitting of a Large-scale Underground Lode Mine – Project Manager, Searchlight, NV.

Mr. Ackert developed full suite of startup and operating plans and permits for a large-scale underground startup mine in Searchlight, NV. Plans and permits included: Operations and Reclamation Plan (Ops Plan) and Permit application with a Standardized Reclamation Cost Estimate model (SRCE), Air Operating Permit with a Dust Control Plan, Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan and NPDES Permit for Mine Operations.

 

  • Mine Permit Review and Recommendations Report – Senior Project Scientist, Gabbs, NV

Mr. Ackert assisted this confidential Mine operation with a comprehensive permit review and support plan for the Mine’s Air Operating Permit and Reclamation Permit and Plan, along with a review of the Standardized Reclamation Cost Estimate (SRCE) cost model. After a thorough review of permit documentation and an on-site visit, a comprehensive recommendation report was developed to provide specific recommendations designed to streamline and improve their permit process and risk exposure.

 

  • Gold Mine - Black Rock Canyon Mine Environmental Permit Management – Project Manager, Lander County, NV

In 2011 Nevada Rae Gold Inc. (NRG) hired Mr. Ackert to lead the effort designed to place the Black Rock Canyon Mine (BRC) in immediate operations mode from “care and maintenance” mode.  Project tasks developed the full suite of required permits, including: Mine Plan of Operations (PoO), Reclamation Plan, Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), a staff Monitoring and Sampling Training Handbook, a new and updated Spill Prevention and Pollution Control Plan (SPCC), Class II Air Permit, and a new Quarterly and Periodic Reporting Program.

 

  • Mine Project - Sevier Lake Potash Mine Permitting Program – Senior Project Scientist, Millard County, Utah

The purpose of this project was to develop the permitting and broad-based environmental baseline studies capable of developing the necessary federal NEPA EIS, and various permits of the State of Utah. Close coordination with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Utah’s Dept of Oil Gas and Minerals (DOGM) was required throughout the process.

 

  • Phosphate Mine Development Project – NEPA EA / EIS - Senior Project Scientist, Soda Springs, Idaho

Assessment of proponent plans to develop new federal mining leases in the Caribou National Forest in Southeast Idaho. Senior project support included the development of NEPA EA/EIS documentation and technical and baseline studies assessing transportation and access resources, and recreation resources as well as on-site timber surveys in the Caribou National Forest.

 

  • Mine Project - Mining Due Diligence and Feasibility and Constraints Analysis – Project Manager, Covelo, California

Mr. Ackert was in charge of developing all studies including: Geological surveys, hydrological/geo-morphological studies, biological assessments, and environmental permit development plans, air permits, Clean Water Act compliance, and studies assessing impacts to endangered species.

 

  • Transmission Line Development – NEPA EA/EIS - Senior Project Scientist, Ely, Nevada

While working with another firm, Mr. Ackert assisted in the development of numerous sections of the NEPA document and its attendant studies. NV Energy project to develop a company owned-and-operated energy transmission line and associated substation facilities located in White Pine, Nye, Lincoln, and Clark counties, Nevada. The project included: a new 500 kV substation, transmission and fibre optic line from the proposed Robinson Summit Substation to the existing Harry Allen Substation, (approximately 236 miles), a loop-in of the existing Falcon-to-Gondor 345 kV transmission line, and associated access roads into and along the transmission line.

 

  • Communications Facility Development – NEPA EA - Senior Project Scientist, Milford, Utah

The Project Proponent Rocky Mountain Power pursued a project to develop upgrades to a critical communications facility. The NEPA Environmental Assessment reviewed project activities through the use of the BLM’s Interdisciplinary Team Checklist, associated technical studies and public input on critical issues including: Range and Fire Management, Air studies related to fugitive emission control plans, Biological assessments related to possible T&E Species, Migratory Bird analysis, and Cultural Resource surveys.

 

  • ASH Springs Recreation Area Management Plan – NEPA EA - Project Manager, Caliente, Nevada

The Caliente, Nevada, Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), as the Lead Agency, required the development of a new Recreation Area Management Plan (RAMP) and NEPA Environmental Assessment to describe and assess the impacts from a proposed BLM project to develop and expand the recreation site. The proposed project would expand the site, and increase recreational opportunities for users while preserving habitat functionality for numerous endangered local, endemic fish species. Critical to the project would be the maintenance of the natural and ecological values of the site and its surrounding resources.

 

  • Interstate Pipeline Transmission ROW – NEPA EIS - Utah-Nevada (UNEV) Senior Project Scientist, Salt Lake City, Utah

While working with another firm, Mr. Ackert assisted with the development and preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement for a 400-mile interstate pipeline as a third-party contractor for the Bureau of Land Management. The project, proposed by Holly Energy Corporation, consists of a proposed 400-mile, 12-inch, buried, common carrier pipeline for refined petroleum products that would extend from refineries in North Salt Lake City, Utah to North Las Vegas, Nevada. Project team worked closely with the Bureau of Land Management to evaluate potential impacts that the construction and operation of the pipeline, pump stations, terminals, and related facilities would have on human, natural, and cultural resources along the length of the proposed right-of-way corridor.

 

  • Transmission Line Development Project – NEPA EA - Senior Project Scientist, Iron County, Utah

The NEPA Environmental Assessment (EA) was prepared to disclose and analyze the environmental consequences of a proposal by the PacifiCorp Company to construct a 138 kV overhead transmission line within a requested right-of-way (ROW) extending from the planned Three Peaks Substation to a point near the Western Electrochemical Company (WECCO) facility, northwest of Cedar City, Iron County, Utah. The new ROW was requested for 30 years. The Federal Action was to respond to a ROW application submitted by PacifiCorp by making a decision on whether or not the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) should grant a Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) Title V ROW as described under the Proposed Action. The EA was designed to assist the BLM in project planning and ensuring compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and in making a determination as to whether any “significant” impacts (defined under 40 CFR 1508.27) could result from the Proposed Action.

 

  • Redwood Road Emergency Repair Project – NEPA EA - Fast Track Permitting – Project Manager,
    Napa County, California

An extensive NEPA Environmental Assessment/FONSI project to repair a major roadbed failure of Redwood Road in the western hills of Napa County. Napa County’s Public Works department utilized FEMA funding under grants for emergency infrastructure repairs. The project repaired a 100-foot roadbed failure on Redwood Road. The road failure occurred adjacent to Redwood Creek. Analysis included biological assessments to determine the potential for impacts to Northern Spotted Owl, Bald Eagle and Coho Salmon. Other impacts included water quality, noise and air quality (during construction).

 

  • Preservation Ranch Timber Preservation & Vineyard Conversion – CEQA Environmental Impact Report (EIR) - Technical Baseline Reports Management, Senior Project Scientist, Sonoma County, California

The Preservation Ranch project is a 20,000-acre legacy project to develop timber production on approximately 6,000 acres with 2,000 acres to be placed into vineyard conversion, and several thousand acres to be inventoried and assessed for inclusion into Oak and Redwood conservation status. Provided senior-level assistance with extensive permitting efforts, including hundreds of miles of roads and hundreds of stream crossings characterized under a large-scale CWA 401, 404 study process. Assisted with the development of new management infrastructure for this precedent setting project, including database and website development. Other responsibilities included Quality Assurance Sampling Plans, reviews of technical studies and assistance with the air emissions control plan, biological studies and an extensive Raptor / Owl surveys.

 

  • Bodega Bay Emergency Beach Erosion Repair – CEQA / Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) - Senior Project Scientist, Sonoma County, California

Severe storms during the winter of 2005-2006 damaged significant portions of Beach protection infrastructure in and around Bodega Bay, California. Damaged structures and features included, beach-armoring Rip-Rap, backfill areas, sea-wall structures, beaches, boat ramps and sidewalks. Sonoma County Regional Parks, funded by emergency FEMA program developed a project to restore these significant sections of beach breakwater and rip-rap structures. Portions of the Porto Bodega Harbor sea-wall were also repaired. Doran Beach State Park required restoration activities at the boat ramp and associated beaches. Significant analysis included biological studies and surveys of Eel Grass in the project site areas.

 

  • Communications Facility Environmental Assessment and Permitting – NEPA EA - Senior Project Scientist, Milford, Utah

Assessment of proponent plans to develop a new communications facility in central Utah. Project support activities included NEPA Environmental Assessment documentation, biological assessments and cultural surveys. The NEPA Environmental Assessment reviewed project activities through the use of the BLM’s Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) checklist, associated technical studies and public input on critical issues including: Range and Fire Management, Air impact studies related to fugitive emission control plans, Biological assessments related to possible T&E Species, migratory bird analysis, and a cultural resource survey.

 

  • Interstate Pipeline Transmission Right of Way (ROW) – NEPA EIS - Senior Project Scientist,
    Salt Lake City, Utah

NEPA Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Biological Assessments, Protocol Surveys, Public Outreach Processes - Assisted with the preparation of a complex multi-jurisdictional Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a complex interstate pipeline project. The project consisted of a proposed multi-state, 12-inch, buried, common carrier pipeline for refined petroleum products extending from refineries near Salt Lake City, Utah to Las Vegas, Nevada. The project team evaluated potential impacts that the construction and operation of the pipeline, pump stations, terminals, and related facilities would have on human, natural, and cultural resources along the length of the proposed right-of-way corridor.

 

  • Tribal Community Building Expansion Project – NEPA EA and Technical Studies – Project Manager, Manchester Pt. Arena Tribe, California

Mr. Ackert managed a HUD CDBG Grant project of over $500,000 to comprehensively redesign, expand and rebuild the tribe’s existing community center building. The Community Center building served the community as the tribal offices, the elder nutrition center, the health center and community meeting hall. The building was too small and inefficient for any of these purposes. The grant awarded over $500,000 to the tribe to plan, design, engineer, environmentally evaluate, and remove physical constraints in the design, shape and size of the building. The project also included a NEPA/CEQA Environmental Assessment process effectively allowed the Tribe to continue the project with no delays in start-up.

 

  • Masut du Ho Vineyards Water Rights Application – Project Manager, Ukiah, California

Teamed with North Coast Resource Management (NCRM) to evaluate several vineyard irrigation ponds impacts to the local watershed, especially regarding impacts to sensitive fisheries, water quality, and erosion. The CEQA document required multiple agency outreach regarding storm-water impacts and water quality issues. Biological impacts expected to species such as the Coho Salmon and recreational impacts all related to the possible projected loss of water in the watershed.

 

  • Frey Vineyards Water Rights Application– Project Manager, Redwood Valley, California

Management of a project teamed with North Coast Resource Management (NCRM) to evaluate potential impacts to the local environment, related to the applicants proposed and existing ponds. CEQA studies further complicated by the nature of the project as an existing project. This unique status results in a situation where the proposed project is the current or existing condition. This seeming contradiction was resolved by utilizing the CEQA analysis to assess conditions at the point of application.

 

  • Tribal Community Water Quality Assessment Program (QAPP) Development Project – Project Manager, Susanville Tribe, California

A project developed and funded under the US EPA’s CWA §106 grant program to develop a Quality Assurance Project Plan for the Susanville Tribe of Susanville, California. The Tribe required a QA plan sufficient to satisfy the US EPA Region 9 Quality Assurance requirements under the Tribe’s Section 106 Grant program. QA Plan specified sampling methodology, locations, equipment, sampling and handling methods, chain of custody protocols, and data handling requirements. The QA plan, in addition to ensuring an uninterrupted flow of program funding further, ensures data accuracy and defend ability. Data of this nature may lead directly to the development and implementation of various other programs and projects, especially the NPDES Grant Program to quantify the existence and extent of NPS pollutants.

 

  • Tribal Community Water Quality Assessment Program (QAPP) Development – Project Manager,
    Sherwood Tribe, Willits, California

A project developed and funded under the US EPA’s CWA §106 grant program, pursuant to the tribes development of a watershed-wide NPDES Sediment pollution prevention and mitigation program. The project initially required the development of a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for the Tribe. The Tribe required a QAPP, which specified sampling methodology, locations, equipment, sampling and handling methods, chain of custody protocols, and data handling requirements. The data also was useful in the further development of tribal water quality standards under the Clean Water Act §305b Reporting process.

 

  • Air Emissions Inventory Update - Paiute Tribe– Senior Project Scientist, Big Pine, California

The Inventory report updated the 2008 Emissions Inventory (EI) for the Big Pine Paiute Tribe (BPPT) of the Owens Valley. It was conducted primarily within the boundaries of the Big Pine Paiute Reservation. The 2008 EI was an update to the original 2004 EI. An EI is an itemized list of emission estimates for sources of air pollution in a given area for a specified time period (usually 1 calendar year).

 

  • River Management Plan and NEPA EA / EIS – Program Manager, Pt. Arena, California

Development and management of the NEPA Environmental Assessment (EA)/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) processes, Comprehensive River Management Plan, Public Outreach Workshops, Water Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP), Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) and multiple biological surveys under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Mr. Ackert as the Program Manager sought and won grant funding offered by multiple federal and state agencies. From 1999 to 2002 this extensive project included a variety of diverse studies including: NEPA EA/EIS, T&E Species surveys for the Point Arena Mountain Beaver, the Red-Legged frog and Coho salmon culminating in negotiations with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) within the framework of the ESA Sec 9 & 10 processes. Other studies included watershed and river systems hydrologic assessments, mitigation plans within implementation plans leading to a ten-year strategic plan used for providing shorter term strategic and tactical planning tools with measurable tasks and objectives and extensive public and stakeholder outreach planning.

 

  • Watershed Management Plan and NEPA EA - Program Manager, Ukiah, California

Mr. Ackert Developed a project partnering a local Native American Tribe with numerous federal, state and local agencies, community action groups, and stakeholders to develop a comprehensive watershed plan for the remediation, rehabilitation and long-term management of the Ackerman Creek watershed in western Ukiah, California. Project elements included a NEPA Environmental Assessment leading to a Finding of No-Significant Impact (FONSI). Essential to the success of the Plan was broad community “buy-in” and public participation. Public participation was only successful after an extensive campaign of public workshops and direct outreach designed to educate the community regarding the extensive, but not entirely visible, environmental degradation of the creek and watershed and the long-term benefits of pro-active management. The Public Outreach campaign successfully led to community “buy-in” leading to a rapid and successful project completion.

 

Memberships & Associations

 

  • American Exploration and Mining Association (AEMA) – Environmental Committee

  • Nevada Mining Association (NvMA) – Environmental Executive Committee

  • Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME)

  • Women in Mining (WIM)

 

 

Additional Training & Certifications

 

  • 24 Hour MSHA Certification - Elko, NV., 05/2012 – 5/2015

  • 40-Hour Hazwopper Certification – Reno, NV., 09/2007

  • Wetlands Regulation & Mitigation - UC Davis, Sacramento, CA., 06/2007

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Training – Region IX Headquarters, San Francisco, CA.

  • §319 (NPDES): Implementation and Administration of NPDES Program

  • §106 (CWA): Implementation of Water Monitoring and Assessment Programs

  • Development, Application and Enforcement of Environmental Codes

  • Administration of Environmental Planning Programs

  • Development and Application of Enforcement Mechanisms

  • Small Community Planning, Planning for Inclusion

  • Planning and Developing Solid Waste Programs – Indian Health Service - Mendocino, CA.

  • Establishment and Development of Tribal Conservation Districts – USDA, Ukiah, CA.

  • Application of the Endangered Species Act (2000) (Developing Watershed Scale Criteria for Accurate Planning) – United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), Sonoma Co. CA.

  • Hazard Mitigation and Directed Response to Environmental Hazards (1999) – FEMA, Lake Co., CA.

 

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