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Front-line leader in water resource planning

Auburn, Calif.- He has been a front-line leader in water resource planning for our region, and now he”s planning for his own future, which includes a Dec. 5 retirement from the Placer County Water Agency.

Mal Toy, 64, is putting the final touches on an engineering and planning career that has spanned more than 30 years, including the past 14 years with PCWA.


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‘Mal has done a remarkable job in representing the people and water resources of Placer County,’ said PCWA General Manager David A. Breninger. ‘He has taken on some of the toughest and most complicated issues the agency has faced, and he has always come away with good solutions.

‘Mal is widely respected by his peers here at the agency, in Placer County and throughout the region,’ Breninger said.

 A native of eastern Canada, Toy was raised in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley.  He earned an engineering degree from California State University, Northridge and went on to obtain a master’s in civil engineering from Loyola-Marymount University.

After three years in aerospace engineering, Toy embarked upon a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation. He moved north in 1992 for a management position with the City of Roseville’s environmental utilities department.

 He entered private consulting and first worked as a consultant to PCWA in 1994.  He joined the agency in 1995 as its deputy director of planning and marketing.  He was named planning administrator in 2000, director of planning in 2003 and director of resource development, his present position, in 2004.

Toy was PCWA’s lead representative in PCWA’s entry into water service in eastern Placer County. Following many months of planning, the agency formed the Zone 4 water service area in the Martis Valley south of Truckee in 1996.

Also in eastern Placer County, he represented Agency and local interests in the bi-state and federal Truckee River Operating Agreement (TROA), a complicated pact under negotiation since 1975 and finally enacted this year.

Meanwhile, he worked on many of the large land developments on both ends of the county, ensuring that proper water system infrastructure planning would occur.

For the past three years, Toy has headed the water agency’s multi-million-dollar project to renew its original 50-year license for the Middle Fork American River Project. Toy is overseeing an effort that includes three employees and dozens of scientific and other consultants who are involved in myriad watershed studies. Under Toy’s direction, PCWA’s Pre-Application Document (PAD) submittal was the first in the nation to include a complete package of approved study plans filed under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s new integrated licensing process. The advance work saved tens of thousands of dollars and months of additional processing time.

Relicensing is not an easy project,’ said Einar Maisch, PCWA’s Director of Strategic Affairs. ‘There are dozens of active stakeholders representing a score of state and federal agencies and special interest groups and Mal has earned the respect of everyone with his openness, honesty and integrity.’

Toy said his work with the agency has been interesting and challenging.  ‘It’s been a great ride — a very interesting and rewarding experience for me,’ he said.   ‘I feel very fortunate to have worked with such a great group of people.’

Though he is retiring, Toy is planning to continue working with PCWA on a contract basis as a consultant on the Middle Fork Relicensing Project.

He and his wife, Cindy, reside in Granite Bay and are the parents of a grown son, Andrew.