Irene Sato

Senior Biologist

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Education
  • B.S., Oceanography, University of Washington
  • Certificate, Wetland Science and Management, University of Washington
  • Certified Erosion and Sediment Control Lead, #81606
Specialties
  • Wetland/Freshwater Ecology
  • Endangered Species Act Compliance
  • State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)
  • Environmental Planning and Permitting
  • Environmental Construction Compliance

Irene has worked in the environmental field since 1998, specializing in wetland and stream ecology, environmental regulatory compliance, and permitting. Irene analyzes potential impacts to natural resources from proposed projects to determine effects on fish and wildlife habitat, then employs her extensive knowledge of local, state, and federal regulations to prepare appropriate documentation to move projects forward. Irene is a solution-oriented project manager who is well-respected by regulators and agency staff for her ability to effectively communicate and negotiate regulatory requirements. Formerly a Snohomish County Senior Planner, Irene brings a unique perspective to development proposals, having reviewed and authorized projects in a regulatory capacity and facilitated them through the regulatory process as a project proponent.

Examples of Irene’s project work include the following:

  • Irene is leading erosion control and stormwater compliance during the current design phase of Sound Transit’s Downtown Redmond Link Extension project. She conducts site inspections and documents the status of best management practices. Irene also is reviewing environmental elements of the design packages, as well as Temporary Erosion and Sediment Control plans and geotechnical site investigations.
  • Permitting for bridge replacement and road projects. While a senior planner at Snohomish County, Irene coordinated environmental compliance for multiple bridge replacement and road improvement/repair projects. Her work included conducting field studies to determine potential impacts, preparing environmental documentation for regulatory compliance and permitting, collaborating with design teams to avoid/minimize adverse effects, and conducting environmental construction compliance.
  • Natural resource studies for public works projects. Irene has led critical areas studies for transportation infrastructure projects such as road improvements and bridge replacements, surface water projects related to drainage infrastructure, river and landslide stabilization projects, forest practices, and habitat restoration projects. She delineates wetlands and streams, conducts habitat impact assessments, and prepares reports and permit submittal materials.

 

“Knowing Irene from when she worked at Snohomish County, she now brings the same expertise to our project with Confluence—in-depth knowledge of wetlands science; attention to detail, accuracy, and interpretation; and a consummate professionalism that always addresses the client’s goals for a project with integrity and adherence to schedule and budget.”Julie Highton, Snohomish County Environmental Services Senior Planner