Section 404

  • Part II: Wetland Mitigation & Functional Assessment Methods

    Alyson EddieMethods that biological resource specialists’ use for assessing the functional quality of a wetland can vary from state to state. California employs the California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM), whereas Florida’s state regulators first developed the Wetland Rapid Assessment Protocol (WRAP) and then developed a more detailed method known as the Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM).

    As we discussed in Part I of this series, Utah has the UDOT Wetland Functional Assessment method. On a federal level, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a rapid assessment method for assessing wetland condition. Typically, the state-developed methods are most applicable to the wetland types and communities found within that state.

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  • Part I: Assessing the Functional Quality of Project Wetlands

    Alyson EddieAssessing the functional quality of wetlands, determining wetland mitigation using functional assessment methods, and protecting wetland projects during construction are all major areas of importance and concern in the environmental planning arena. The above issues will be examined in detail in a three-part series, beginning with assessment of the functional quality of wetland projects.

    Beginning a project in an area with, or near, wetlands can require a number of complicated steps before the project can be completed. If your project—whether restoration, transportation, energy, or development— impacts wetlands, you are likely to have to initiate the process of obtaining a Clean Water Act Section 404 wetland dredge and fill permit with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). You will find during the permitting process that, while wetland impacts in general should be avoided, avoiding wetlands is not always possible and not all wetland impacts are alike.

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  • Welcome Alyson Eddie! LSD’s Newest Biologist in Salt Lake City

    Alyson EddieAlyson Eddie has joined Logan Simpson Design as a senior biologist. Ms. Eddie has more than 12 years of experience in environmental sciences and a strong background in vegetation and wildlife ecology. Her professional experience spans a variety of environmental projects, including vegetation mapping, rare plant surveys, habitat characterization, Environmental Assessments, wetland delineations, and Section 404 permitting, vegetation monitoring studies, biological inventories, threatened and endangered species surveys, and habitat management planning efforts. Ms. Eddie has also contributed to research and reporting for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. Throughout her career she has worked extensively with local, state, and federal agencies as well as, private sector clients. Her work spans the Southeast, Great Plains, Southwest, and Intermountain West regions of the U.S.

    Ms. Eddie received her B.S. in Ecology and Environmental Biology in 2001 from Appalachian State University.

  • Chiricahua Leopard Frog (Lithobates Chiricahuensis)

    Richard RemingtonLogan Simpson Design knows the importance of protecting our biological resources through responsible environmental planning. That’s why our biological resources staff includes experts in the fields of botany, ornithology, chiropterology, wildlife and fishing management, ecology, and habitat assessment and restoration. The habitat of the threatened Chiricahua leopard frog is just one consideration for proponents of new development within Arizona.

    STATUS: Threatened (67 FR 40790, June 13, 2002) with critical habitat (77 FR 16324, March 20, 2012).

    What are the reasons for decline/vulnerability?

    The most serious threats to this species includes nonnative predators, especially bullfrogs, fishes, and crayfish, and a fungal skin disease, chytridomycosis, also known as BD. BD is killing frogs and toads around the globe. Environmental threats include drought, floods, wildfires, degradation and destruction of habitat, water diversions and groundwater pumping, disruption of metapopulation dynamics (relationships among populations of frogs), increased chance of extirpation or extinction resulting from small numbers of populations and individuals, and environmental contamination.

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  • We Comply: Construction Industry Environmental Compliance Guidance and Training

    Kevin Boesch, CPESC

    To increase protection of water quality resources within and adjacent to transportation-related construction sites, state transportation departments often require contractors to designate highly qualified personnel for environmental compliance who hold certifications, such as the Utah Department of Transportation’s (UDOT’s) environmental control supervisor (ECS)  or the Arizona Department of Transportation’s (ADOT’s) erosion control coordinator (ECC). For Arizona environmental consultants at Logan Simpson Design, as for others in the industry, training is essential for staying current on new technology and methods, as well as improving compliance with state and federal regulations and department or agency specifications. In a competitive consulting market, having experienced and well-trained environmental consultants on staff can be a differentiator for contractors that can help them win jobs.

    Types of projects that may require an ECC or ECS include those that have Clean Water Act Section 404 permits, National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, and stream alteration permits or other environmental concerns.

    The cost and time commitment to water quality/erosion control training and certification will vary on where an environmental specialist works. UDOT’s certification class and test are administered online. The Colorado Department of Transportation certification training is a two day class. In Arizona, the Arizona Chapter of Associated General Contractors (AGC) offers the erosion control coordinator training class and a refresher course that meets the environmental planning training needs of construction personnel for ADOT projects, but these concepts also transfer to non-transportation related projects (civil or commercial).

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