Construction projects can have adverse impact to wetlands, streams, and other aquatic resources and interactions must be avoided or minimized to the extent practicable.
These resources are called Waters of the United States (WOUS) and include areas below the ordinary high water mark of stream channels and lakes or ponds connected to the tributary system, and wetlands adjacent to these waters. Further, wetland areas are inundated or saturated with water long enough to support vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated conditions. Approximate wetland boundaries are found using resources such as the National Hydrology Data (NHD) set and National Wetlands Inventory (NWI); however, site specific wetland delineations are typically needed to determine boundaries. A wetland must have three criteria present:
1) wetland vegetation
2) hydrology and inundation/saturation during the majority of the growing
3) hydric soil.
Our permitting staff has conducted dozens of wetland delineation projects and helped clients with wetland minimization impact strategies and compensatory on-site mitigation (i.e., purchasing wetland banking credits and coordinating with in-lieu fee programs). WET has been the lead on several restoration projects related to stream and wetland habitat projects. WET has permitted projects to mitigate environmental impacts associated with in-stream work within bull trout critical habitat, including stream diversions and soft bank armor design and implementation. This work included creating environmental assessments to satisfy USFWS consultation for threatened and endangered species act.
Specific services include serving as an environmental permitting liaison of local, state, and federal agencies, to ensure project regulatory compliance during all phases of project planning and implementation. WET prides itself on understanding the ever-changing regulatory environment and trains permitting specialists in the nuances of the Clean Water Act as well as state and local environmental regulations.