EMC Planning Group has a Registered Professional Archaeologist (RPA) on staff who possesses technical expertise and experience in the preparation of CEQA/NEPA documentation. EMC Planning Group’s RPA also has academic and professional experience working with human skeletal remains, and has completed training to provide tribal cultural resource consultation. EMC Planning Group is able to provide osteological services upon request and through consultation. 

The following are archaeological services that EMC Planning Group provides:

  • Archaeological surveys in compliance with CEQA/NEPA (Section 106) 
  • Tribal cultural resources
  • Private archaeological surveys and testing, project planning and feasibility studies
  • Construction monitoring
  • Record searches
  • Data recovery 
  • National Register of Historic Places and California Register of Historic Resources nomination and evaluation

CEQA/NEPA Compliant Archaeological Surveys (Section 106)

California Public Resources Code (PRC), California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA, Section 106),  require lead agencies to determine if a project will have a significant effect on archaeological resources. 

One component of an Archaeological Investigation Report is an Archaeological Survey. An archaeological survey consists of an archaeologist walking the project area in predetermined transects while visually sweeping the ground looking for artifacts. If artifacts are found during a survey it might be an isolate or it might be apart of an artifact concentration. Isolates are recorded and the survey continues. If it is an artifact concentration, boundaries of the concentration will be established and artifacts within the concentration will be recorded. An artifact concentration might be an indicator of the presence of a larger archaeological site. In addition to the record searches, an archaeological investigation report also includes methodology, ethnographic and historic background sections of the project area, soil surveys,  and the results from record searches through the California Native American Sacred Land File. 

EMC Planning Group conducts CEQA/NEPA compliant archaeological surveys for both the public and private sectors

Tribal Cultural Resources

EMC Planning Group team members possess training and experience with tribal cultural resources. EMC Planning Group provides the following services related to tribal cultural resources:

  • Assist clients with the Native American consultation requirements under Assembly Bill 52 (AB-52 Native Americans: California Environmental Quality Act, 2014) and Senate Bill 18 (SB-18, Traditional Tribal Cultural Places, 2004)
  • Conduct record searches using the California Historical Resources Information System (CHRIS) and the Sacred Land File through the California Native Heritage Commission (NAHC) 
  • Provide cultural sensitivity training for construction personnel

Construction Monitoring

EMC Planning Group provides archaeological monitoring for public and private construction sites.  Services include: writing of daily notes, taking field photographs, and production of an archaeological monitoring report at the end of the project.  If artifacts and/or human remains are discovered during construction, specific protocols will be executed. 

Data Recovery

Once an artifact is lost and/or destroyed, the information that particular artifact provides about the site is gone forever.  With that data missing, the understanding of what the site is and the timeframe of when the site was used is limited and will never be complete. 

By law, all prehistoric and tribal cultural resources recovered from a site will be returned to Native American tribes.  Human skeletal remains are not artifacts.  They are fragments of a once living person and are not objects.  If human skeletal remains are inadvertently discovered during fieldwork, protocols will be followed according to the law.  EMC Planning Group conducts data recovery and follows all established protocols. 

Evaluation & Nomination of Historic Places and Resources

The significance of a cultural resource is determined by whether it qualifies as eligible for listing on the California Register, the National Register, or a local register. One or more specified criteria must be met to be eligible for listing.   

California Register eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Criterion 1: Associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of local or regional history or the cultural heritage of California or the United States;
  • Criterion 2: Associated with the lives of persons important to local, California, or national history;
  • Criterion 3: Embodies the distinctive characteristics or a type, period, region or method of construction or represents the work of a master or possesses high artistic values; and
  • Criterion 4: Has yielded, or has the potential to yield, information important to the prehistory or history of the local area, California, or the national history


Kaitlin Ruppert, MS

Registered Professional Archaeologist