Kelsey McLaughlin

GIT, QISP, Staff Geologist

Ms. McLaughlin is a Staff Geologist at LACO Associates and has been a geology consultant since 2011. Ms. McLaughlin provides clients with environmental, engineering geologic and hydrogeological expertise throughout Northern California. Ms. McLaughlin’s multidisciplinary background makes her an asset to LACO’s Geo-Environmental team. Some of the highlights of her experience include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Project management; 
  • Proposal and cost estimate preparation;
  • Project scheduling and coordination; 
  • Preparing and reviewing reports to regulatory agencies for environmentally regulated sites; 
  • Preparing Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments for real estate transactions;
  • Preparing permits for boring and monitoring well installation, destruction, and encroachment;
  • Field exploration, supervise boring and monitoring well installation and destruction for environmental and geotechnical explorations, field characterization of soils, field screening, and sampling;
  • Septic suitability evaluation and system design;
  • Percolation testing;
  • Water Quality and Quantity Evaluations; 
  • Surveying rock quarries for the presence of naturally occurring asbestos;
  • Calculating soil loss from vineyard tree removal using the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) and the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE2) program; and, 
  • Performing site inspection for best management practices (BMPs) for sites that require a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP). Inspections include visual observations of a site’s BMPs to prevent and address illicit stormwater discharges, preparing inspection reports, and sampling.

Areas of Expertise

  • Project Management
  • Phase I/II Environmental Site Assessments
  • Environmental Geology
  • Engineering Geology
  • Hydrogeology
  • Septic Suitability and Design
  • SWPPP Inspections
  • Water Quality and Quantity


BS in Geology, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA

Registrations and Certifications

OSHA 40 Hour HAZWOPER Training, Certification No. 1606141169020
Geologist in Training – California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologist  QISP

Select Project Experience

Mendocino County Department of Transportation – Willits and Fort Bragg Road Yards –  Fort Bragg, California, and Willits, California.
Ms. McLaughlin has managed the ongoing environmental exploration and groundwater monitoring for the environmentally regulated cases located at the Willits Road Yard and Fort Bragg Road Yard that are associated with historical leaking underground fuel tanks. Work has included installation of borings for collection of soil and groundwater samples to identify the vertical and lateral extent of plume boundaries, identifying potential sensitive receptors, and installation of monitoring wells. 

Potter Valley Minor Subdivision – Potter Valley, California.
Ms. McLaughlin managed the septic suitability evaluation, septic design, percolation testing, and water quality and quantity testing for the Potter Valley Minor Subdivision. 

Antler’s Shell/Subway – Lakehead, California.
Under the direction of the project manager, Ms. McLaughlin has been involved with the preparation of groundwater monitoring reports, Workplans, remediation implementation, and bedrock exploration reports for the Antler Shell/Subway, an environmentally regulated case located in Lakehead, California. Other work has included permitting the installation of wells and borings through the Shasta County Department of Environmental Health, logging of rock cores, identifying the lateral and vertical extent of release related to total petroleum hydrocarbons as gasoline (TPHg), benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and total xylenes (BTEX), and methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) resulting from former Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) located at the site, interpretation of well logs and geophysical data, hydraulic conductivity calculations, slug and borehole calculations, reporting field geophysical and intrinsic data and creation of a geologic cross-section. 

Factory Pipe Products – Former Masonite Property – Ukiah, California. 
Under the direction of the Project Manager, Ms. McLaughlin implemented and supervised the drilling of hydropunch borings for groundwater sample collection at the Site. She was involved in the preparation of Phase I/ Phase II Report of Findings and interpretation of groundwater data as it related to the lateral extent of a Halogenated Volatile Organic Compound (HVOC) plume from the former coating plant. Preparation also included permitting of hydropunch borings from the Mendocino County Department of Environmental Health and site review based on past investigations from prior consultants.

PEP Housing – Phase I Environmental Site Assessment and Geotechnical Exploration – Ukiah, California.
Under the direction of the Project Manager, Ms. McLaughlin prepared a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment for a property that formerly served as a tennis club, single-family residence, and undeveloped lot. Preparation of the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment included, but was not limited to, reviewing historical maps, permits and documents concerning the property, interviews, a field reconnaissance, and identification of potential offsite Recognized Environmental Site Conditions. 

Under the direction of the project manager, Ms. McLaughlin also supervised the installation of borings for a geotechnical exploration on the Site for a proposed senior living center. Ms. McLaughlin characterized the soils per the Unified Soil Classification System (ASTM D 2487) and collected subsurface samples for materials testing.

Samoa Phase I Environmental Site Assessment – Former Pulp Mill – Samoa, California.
Under the direction of the Project Manager, Ms. McLaughlin helped in preparing a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment for four parcels located on the Samoa Peninsula that are associated with a former pulp mill. The Phase I Environmental Site Assessment involved reviewing many environmental documents, reports, and maps for the Site. The Phase I Environmental Site Assessment report identified over 50 Recognized Environmental Conditions at the site associated with historical site activity. 

Mendocino Woodlands State Park Septic Suitability and Survey – Mendocino, California.
Ms. McLaughlin performed the field reconnaissance for several sites at the Mendocino Woodlands State Park to identify and characterize locations for multiple new septic systems to serve existing facilities at each of the three camps of the Mendocino Woodlands State Park. The field reconnaissance involved identifying potential locations, characterizing soils in test pit and boring locations, percolation tests, hydrometer and bulk density tests.  

In addition to performing the septic suitability field reconnaissance, Ms. McLaughlin assisted a licensed land surveyor in performing a survey of each of the three camps for a new water line.  

SWPPP Monitoring Coordination 
Ms. McLaughlin manages stormwater projects and coordinates site inspections in accordance with Site SWPPP requirements throughout Mendocino and Sonoma Counties.  

  • Eureka, CA

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