Environmental remediation projects often require extensive excavations that have the potential to affect both prehistoric and historical cultural resources. It may be impossible to complete the necessary remediation and preserve these resources in place; therefore, thorough documentation is often the only feasible management strategy. Applied EarthWorks has completed research and identification efforts as well as excavation at sites associated with former manufactured gas plants and oil refinery and distribution facilities. Archaeologists on staff maintain the necessary Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) certifications to perform on-the-ground studies in these areas.

Representative Projects

avila beach remediation project

UNOCAL / JE Remediation Technologies, Inc.
Avila Beach, San Luis Obispo County, California

For years petroleum products were transported through a storage facility and marine terminal at Avila Beach, California. As part of the necessary remediation to alleviate soil contamination, standing structures were removed from portions of the townsite and affected soils were replaced with clean fill used in recontouring the beachfront property. Prior to soil remediation, Æ conducted testing to locate and evaluate archaeological resources representing Avila Beach’s history from the 1880s through 1945 and to mitigate impacts on significant resources.

The archaeological investigations were performed to achieve compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act and San Luis Obispo County cultural resource management guidelines. Æ prepared a Cultural Resources Management Plan that defined a research orientation, outlined a field work strategy, and described methods for mitigation of impacts to historical archaeological deposits that were anticipated within the study areas. Archaeological excavations resulted in the identification of 16 historic deposits with artifacts dating from the early 1870s through the 1940s. These materials represent recreation and tourism, residential and early commercial development, the fishing industry, and Depression-era public works projects at Avila Beach.

Because archaeological mitigation efforts were carried out concurrently with building demolition and removal, Æ implemented a flexible field work plan to accommodate the demolition schedule while still assuring proper treatment of the historical resources.

Key Services

  • Environmental Impact Consultation (CEQA)
  • Archival and Historical Research
  • Historic Building Survey/Architectural History and HABS/HAER Documentation
  • Data Recovery Excavation and Mitigation
  • Laboratory Processing and Data Analysis
  • Collections Management

Comprehensive Groundwater Cleanup Strategy for Historical Chromium Discharges from PG&E’s Hinkley Compressor Station Project

Pacific gas & Electric
Hinkley, San Bernardino County, California

On behalf of Pacific Gas and Electric Company and under subcontract to CH2M and Arcadis, since 2014, Æ has provided ongoing cultural and paleontological resource management services during pre-construction and construction phases of the Comprehensive Groundwater Cleanup Strategy for Historical Chromium Discharges from PG&E’s Hinkley Compressor Station Project, approximately 6 miles northwest of the city of Barstow in San Bernardino County, California. Project activities included excavation for pipeline installation, well drilling and installation, grading and excavation associated with installation of an above ground treatment facility, vegetation clearing, crop planting, and irrigation installation for new agricultural treatment units.

Throughout the duration of the Project, Æ provided cultural resource management services including a comprehensive Phase I archaeological survey, technical reporting, and preparation of a Cultural Resources Management Plan. Paleontological resource management services included a paleontological assessment and museum records search, a field reconnaissance survey, construction monitoring, and a worker’s environmental awareness training. 


  • Technical Reporting
  • Phase 1 Survey
  • Archival and Historical Research
  • Native American Consultation
  • Construction Monitoring
  • Museum Record Searches
  • Environmental Training


Pacific Gas & Electric

Southern California Edison

Coachella Valley Water District 

Aspen Environmental