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CE 515 Railroad Engineering

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1 CE 515 Railroad Engineering
Environmental Regulations & Permitting Source: AREMA Ch. 11 “Transportation exists to conquer space and time -”

2 11.1 Introduction: Environmental regulations are fairly new, Environmental laws are constantly changing and getting stricter. Most information in this chapter is United States based. Information in this chapter is general in nature and should only be used as a guide. Show example on board

3 Major Environmental Legislation
11.2 Environmental Regulations of the United States National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on January 1, 1970. Major Environmental Legislation Year Law 1899 Refuse Act 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 1975 Hazardous Materials Transportation Act 1948 Federal Water Pollution Control Act 1976 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act 1955 Air Pollution Control Act Solid Waste Disposal Act 1963 Clean Air Act (1963) Toxic Substances Control Act 1965 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments Water Quality Act Clean Water Act Amendments 1967 Air Quality Act 1980 CERCLA (Superfund) 1970 National Environmental Policy Act 1984 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Amendments Clean Air Act (1970) 1986 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments Occupational Safety and Health Act Superfund Reauthorization 1972 Consumer Product Safety Act 1987 Clean Water Act Reauthorization Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act 1990 Oil Pollution Act Clean Water Act Clean Air Act (1990) Noise Control Act 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement 1973 Endangered Species Act 2003 Healthy Forests Initiative Show example on board

4 Traditional view of wetlands:
Wetland Regulations Definitions: “Water of the United States” AREMA P. 474 “Traditional Wetland Definition” AREMA P Traditional view of wetlands: Wild places, teeming with mosquitoes, venomous snakes and diseases Main valuable benefits including but not limited to Flood storage and conveyance Groundwater recharge Erosion reduction and sediment control Pollution control Wildlife habitat Recreation and education

5 Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Wetland Program considers the full range of wet land functions and values when administering its wetland protection responsibilities. The United States Army Corps of Engineers(USACE) Prevent obstructions to navigation. Regulatory authority over the dumping of trash and sewage. Wetland protection in the United States began with the 1972 Federal Water Pollution Control Act, now commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act(CWA).


7 Three criteria must be met for an area to be defined as wetland:
Wetland Definition According to the 1987 Corps of Engineers Manual “the USACE and the EPA jointly define wetlands as : those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances so support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas.” Three criteria must be met for an area to be defined as wetland: Hydrophytic vegetation Hydric soil Wetlands hydrology (AREMA P ) Show example on board

8 Wetland Regulations “Discharge of dredged or fill material into “ Water of the U.S,” requires a permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) based on regulatory guidelines developed in conjunction with USEPA. Failure to obtain a permit or comply with the terms of a permit can result in civil and/or criminal penalties.” Section 404, jointly administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Show example on board

9 Three types of permits:
Nationalwide Permits (NWP) Sample NWP may be associated with railway activities: NWP 7 ( outfall Structure and Maintenance Projects) NWP 12 (Utility Line Activities) permittable only if there is no change in pre-construction contours. NWP 14 (Linear Transportation Projects) NWP 39 ( Residential, Commercial and Institutional Developments) NWP 41 (Reshaping Existing Drainage Ditches). Specific description and criteria for each one of these NWPs are on AREMA P Pre Construction Notification (PCN): Notice provided to Federal and state agencies which requests comments concerning a proposed activity. Show example on board

10 Show example on board

11 USACE Non-Jurisdiction Over Isolated Wetlands
General Permits Issued when the local Corps district requires specific regulations not covered by a nationwide permit. Example: Regional permits No. 1 for residential , commercial and institution developments. Category I, impacts < 0.25 acre Category II, impacts 0.25 to 2 acre Individual Permits Individual Permits may be required for impacts over 2 acres. Mitigation is required for impacts over 0.25 acres at a minimum of 1.5:1 replacement. All three kind of permits are reviewed by USACE, and other government agencies. USACE Non-Jurisdiction Over Isolated Wetlands isolated wetlands are not jurisdictional to the USACE All tributaries to Waters of the United States (such as interstate waters, tidal waters, etc.) as well as wetlands contiguous to and adjacent to those tributaries are still regulated. Show example on board

12 Example of railroad industry impacts on wetland
Union Pacific Pays $125,000 for Santa Barbara County Wetlands Violations (1997&1999) Union Pacific Agrees to Restore Nevada Streams, Wetlands (2005)

13 Questions?

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