770-Acre Waters of U.S. Delineation & Permitting – Harrison County, Ohio
STONE was retained to complete environmental consulting services for this 770-acre site proposed for development in eastern Ohio. This project was also put on a “fast track” due to issues with tree clearing and project development timing. Services performed included:
- Phase I Environmental Site Assessment
- Nationwide Permit
- Agency Site Visits
- Wetland/Stream Delineation and Assessment
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Jurisdictional Determination
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Coordination
- Cultural Resource Coordination
STONE delineated the approximate location, boundaries, and areal extent of jurisdictional waters of the U.S. and isolated waters on the site. Work was conducted in general accordance with the Routine On-Site Determination method described in the “Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual”, as well as the most recent regional supplement published by the USACE. Ohio EPA assessment methods, such the Ohio Rapid Assessment Method for Wetlands (ORAM) and the Headwater Habitat Evaluation Index (HHEI) were applied to assess the quality of resources. In order to complete the delineation report within the 4 week time frame, which was complicated by the forested, steep terrain of the site, STONE worked with subconsultants to complete the surveys. Over 16 acres of wetlands and over 30,000 linear feet of streams were identified. The site was reviewed by Ohio EPA, with minimal changes to the original delineation report, and a jurisdictional determination was issued by the USACE with no revisions to the report.
STONE completed a pre-application meeting with the USACE to discuss the project and mitigation alternatives. Following the identification of resources, STONE prepared a Nationwide permit for the transportation-related project, working in conjunction with the owner, contractor, and engineer. During the permitting process concerns regarding impact to the Indiana bat and the Northern long-eared bat were addressed. A bat portal survey was conducted since the site had been host to previous underground mining activity. Cultural resources also had to be addressed due to rock overhangs and previous development on the site.