Presentation on theme: "WETLANDS and LOCAL PROGRAMS Environmental Services Oregon Department of Transportation."— Presentation transcript:
WETLANDS and LOCAL PROGRAMS Environmental Services Oregon Department of Transportation
Why are Wetland Resources important? Wetlands provide unique, irreplaceable functions in watersheds Federal and State regulations protect wetlands Wetlands are frequently viewed as valuable resources by the public Wetlands can help offset water quality concerns related to transportation projects
Federal and State Regulations FEDERAL STATE OF OREGON Clean Water ActFill and Removal Law Regulatory authority through Regulatory authority the Environmental Protection through the Division of Agency State Lands Implementation Implementation Army Corps of Engineers Division of State Lands Section 404 Permit Fill and Removal Permit
Local Regulations Local land use regulations - city and county Special districts - such as the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Additional local agency water resource/ environmental regulations (Clean Water Services, Bureau of Environmental Services)
What does this mean for transportation projects? The potential affects of transportation projects on protected water resources must be identified and considered in developing new projects, or in maintaining existing transportation facilities. If protected water resources are identified as being potentially affected by a transportation project or related activities, then regulations must be followed and federal and state permits obtained.
How are transportation projects affected? If wetlands are identified within a project corridor, it may impact: Project design Project development timelines Project development costs Construction costs Maintenance budgets
Phases of Wetland Work Project Scoping Phase Project Development Phase Construction Phase Post-Construction Phase
Wetland Work Components Scoping Assessment Field Wetland Delineation Design Development Wetland Delineation Report Wetland Impact Assessment Wetland Functional Evaluation Conceptual Wetland Mitigation Plan Contract Documents (Plans, Specifications, Cost Estimates) Construction Supervision or Oversight Post-Construction Monitoring
Scoping Assessment Time Commitment: Not more than 8 hrs. to prepare, without travel time Documentation should include: –Narrative of site visit –Map of location –Copy of appropriate soils survey map –National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) Map –Photos –Findings or Recommendations
Field Delineation Time Commitment: Varies with complexity of project and number/size of affected wetlands Activity should include: Identify all wetland areas in field according to ACOE 1987 Wetlands Delineation Manual Flag boundaries clearly using survey tape and lath, pin flags, or other clearly distinguishable materials Record wetland boundaries - Standard terrestrial survey methods, or - Backpack GPS (hand-held not accurate enough)
Design Development Time Commitment: Varies with complexity of project and number/size of affected wetlands. Three- four meetings. Activity should include: Coordinating with project designers to integrate avoidance and minimization measures into the project. These inlcude: –Alignment modification/adjustment –Use of bridges, retaining walls, steepened slopes for project –Limits of construction/fenced project wetland areas
Formal Delineation Time Commitment: Varies with complexity of the project and number/size of affected wetlands. If adequate information was collected at the time of the field delineation, 40-80 hrs writing time + graphics/drafter time. Documentation should include: All information as listed in OAR 141-090 - Wetland Delineations http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/rules/OARS_100/OAR_ 141/141_090.html Submission of documentation to Division of State Lands
Wetland Impact Assessment Time Commitment: Varies with complexity of the project and number/size of affected wetlands. If the project plans/wetlands mapping conventions are compatible, 20-40 hrs for impact assessment. Documentation should include: Narrative that describes the impacts Alternatives analysis, and avoidance and minimization measures Maps that clearly show the impacted wetland areas Table(s) that quantify the amount and types of impacts
Wetland Functional Evaluation Time Commitment: Varies with complexity of the project and number/size of affected wetlands. There are no scientifically validated functional evaluation tools available for this. BPJ (Best Professional Judgement) with reference to the HGM classification is frequently the best. Documentation should include:
“Water Resource” Permits and Their Requirements: Section 404 Permit DSL Permit Both permits require that: First:Wetland resources must be avoided if at all possible; Second: Unavoidable impacts must be minimized; Third: Impacted wetland values must be replaced, usually through mitigation.
Wetland Mitigation There are four commonly used mitigation strategies: Construction of a mitigation wetland; Payment to another project to expand an existing wetland project; Purchase of wetland credits in an approved mitigation bank. Payment to the Division of State Lands wetland mitigation fund
Wetland Mitigation Construction: Wetland mitigation by construction means that a new wetland will be constructed to replace functions that are lost or affected by construction of a transportation project or by transportation-related activities.
Wetland Mitigation Construction: Construction requires: Selection and purchase of a site; Production of construction documents; Extensive involvement during construction to ensure implementation; Five years of post-construction monitoring; In-perpetuity post-construction maintenance.
Wetland Mitigation by Payment-to-Provide: This option mitigates for wetland loss by making a payment to a wetland project, generally not sponsored by the agency, that will create wetlands similar to those affected by transportation activities. This option can be used only if the preferred wetland mitigation options are not available.
Wetland Mitigation by Payment-to-Provide: This option requires: Identifying an appropriate project that is being constructed in an acceptable timeframe; Determining the monetary value of the lost/affected wetlands, usually by a formula based on construction costs, and reserving the money in the contract; Developing legal agreements with the project sponsors; and Making the monetary payment to the sponsor.
Wetland Mitigation by Mitigation Banking Credit: This mitigation option satisfies wetland mitigation requirements by purchasing wetland credits from an approved wetland mitigation bank in an acceptable location. “Acceptable location” means the mitigation bank is within a reasonable distance of the wetland impact area.
Wetland Mitigation by Mitigation Banking Credit: This option requires: Locating an acceptable mitigation bank; Determining the monetary value of the lost/affected wetlands, usually by a formula based on construction costs, and reserving the money in the contract; Developing an agreement for purchase of the credits with the bank owner; Making the payment.
Wetland Mitigation by Payment-In-Lieu: This mitigation option allows payment tied to the cost to replace the functions of the affected wetland, generally based on construction costs. The payment is made to the Division of State Lands for their discretionary use in wetland projects. This option is only allowed for small impacts, or by special authorization of the Director of the Division of State Lands.
Wetland Mitigation by Payment-In-Lieu: This option requires: Determining the monetary value of the lost/affected wetlands, usually by a formula based on construction costs, and reserving the money in the contract; Making the payment.
Wetland Mitigation: Additional Considerations Federal and State regulations require that our wetland mitigation obligation be met for every project that affects protected wetlands. ODOT is responsible for documenting the success of our own mitigation efforts, and for the success of the wetland mitigation projects it has made financial commitments to.
Conclusions: Wetlands are valuable resources protected by both federal and state laws. Compliance with these laws requires a substantial investment of agency resources. There are a variety of options available to satisfy federal and state mitigation requirements. Each project requires evaluation of the best mitigation option, taking into consideration the potential costs of each, including long-term responsibility.