Jurisdictional Determination – Whitley County, Kentucky

Jurisdictional Determination projects were conducted at these Kentucky sites in the last couple months. One project was determined to not require a permit while the other was found to contain one jurisdictional intermittent stream channel.

Jurisdictional Determinations are conducted by BSC personnel in support of the requirements of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) to identify “waters of the U.S.” as identified by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Field surveys for the determination were conducted in accordance with the 1987 USACE Wetlands Delineation Manual (USACE, 1987) and the Final Regional Supplement for the Piedmont and Eastern Mountains Region (USACE, 2012). BSC investigators also evaluate the potential for federal jurisdiction under Section 404 of the CWA over aquatic features in the study area based on USACE revised guidance published December 2, 2008. In addition we conduct determinations in accordance with the new “waters rule” that is now in effect in 26 states.

Kentucky contains seven Level III ecoregions. These ecoregions were defined by similarities in geology, physiography, vegetation, climate, soils, land use, wildlife, and hydrology. The proposed project area is located within the Central Appalachians ecoregion (69) which drains 23,698 square miles. Specifically, the project is within the Level IV ecoregion 69e (Cumberland Mountain Thrust Block) which encompasses 1,083 square miles. The topography in this area is characterized as highly dissected, hilly and mountainous plateau with steep ridges, very narrow ridge tops, narrow valleys, and deep coves. 69e contains elevations ranging from approximately 980’- 4,139’ in Kentucky and contains streams with high gradients, waterfalls, many riffles, few pools, and cobble or boulder substrates (Woods et al., 2002).

Contact us today to discuss your upcoming project needs.

Stream & Wetland Mitigation Monitoring

Stream

Stream & Wetland Mitigation Monitoring

Section 404 Clean Water Act Mitigation compliance documentation can be very difficult due to the complexity and detail of many permit conditions. In recent years we have implemented the deployment of our EcoDrones. This technology allows us to provide high resolution aerial imagery and gives our clients the data they need to make decisions and identify potential adaptive management areas or allows to display their stream & wetland mitigation monitoring and construction efforts for marketing purposes.

Biological Systems Consultants specializes in regulatory compliance assistance and has been monitoring sites in multiple states for many years. Achievement of mitigation goals and objectives for stream restoration, stream enhancement, stream creation, and stream preservation projects has been our goal for years, with the final goal always being release of liability from the monitoring program. Biological Systems Consultants has been able to achieve these goals for their clients. Biological Systems Consultants’ stream mitigation compliance team is equipped to take on all of your mitigation compliance needs (baseline studies, during, post). Our staff is fully permitted and qualified to conduct stream and wetland mitigation surveys and has extensive experience with various habitat assessment protocols. See more about stream restoration services here or if you have any questions about your Section 404, 401 or other mitigation compliance Contact us or request a quote today. To see a list of all of our services go here.

 

Wetland Delineation

Our Services

Wetland Delineation

This week we performed a wetland delineation in Whitley County, Kentucky to fulfill requirements under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

The wetland delineation in Whitley County, Kentucky was conducted by BSC personnel in support of the requirements of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Field surveys for the following determination were conducted in accordance with the 1987 United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Wetlands Delineation Manual (USACE, 1987) and the Final Regional Supplement for the Piedmont and Eastern Mountains Region (USACE, 2012).

According to USACE “This Regional Supplement is part of a nationwide effort to address regional wetland characteristics and improve the accuracy and efficiency of wetland delineation procedures. Regional differences in climate, geology, soils,hydrology, plant and animal communities, and other factors are important to the identification and functioning of wetlands. The regional supplement was finalized in 2012 and covers all or portions of the District of Columbia and 20 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia” (USACE 2012).

The determination within our report is subject to review and approval by the Nashville District of the USACE. As requested by the Nashville District USACE only the area within the vicinity of the proposed work was evaluated for the wetland delineation. As indicated in our report there was a small area that appeared to meet the soils, hydrology, and vegetation characteristics for wetlands as defined by USACE. See more of our services here.

Contact us today or request a quote.

References:

United States Army Corps of Engineers. 1987. Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual. Technical Report Y-87-1, Department of the Army, Waterways Experiment Station.

United States Army Corps of Engineers. 2012. Final Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual: Eastern Mountains and Piedmont Region, ed. J.S. Wakeley, R.W. Lichvar, and C.V. Noble. ERDC/EL TR 10-XX. Vicksburg, MS: U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center.

 

Wetland Delineation Kentucky
Wetland Delineation Area (in Background)

Kentucky Stream Restoration

Kentucky Stream Restoration

Stream mitigation including stream restoration design and construction monitoring services. Whether it is a baseline study or full stream restoration design plan our team regularly performs these tasks to help our clients meet their project goals. Using Rosgen and standard survey trained stream restoration specialists, Biological Systems Consultants provides their clients with longitudinal profiles, profile and dimension information (plan-views, cross-sections), pebble counts, and complete Rosgen stream assessments. Using existing stream conditions or reference streams, Biological Systems Consultants provides detailed stream channel information for these types of projects. See additional services here.

Stream Restoration
Stream Restoration Site

Stream Restoration Kentucky

Stream Restoration Kentucky

This stream restoration in Harlan County, Kentucky was completely restored post-mining and has now been restored to its natural profile, pattern, and dimension using natural stream design techniques. Biological Systems Consultants has been monitoring this site for four years and is planning to request mitigation release of liability after this year because the permittee has met the conditions of the permit. Contact us or request a quote today. See additional services here.

Kentucky Stream Restoration and Mitigation
Stream Restoration Site

KY Stream Restoration

KY Stream Restoration

Stream restoration design and monitoring at this site in Whitley County, Kentucky has resulted in an increase in aquatic resources across the watershed. Macroinvertebrate communities have been re-established and the riparian zones have been replanted with trees and shrubs that are native the Kentucky. The stream channels were also reshaped to provide the channel access to a flood plain and reduce incision. Contact us or request a quote today. See additional services here.

KY Stream Restoration Plan
Stream Restoration
KY Stream Restoration
Stream Restoration

KY Mitigation Compliance

KY Mitigation Compliance

Section 404 Clean Water Act Mitigation compliance documentation can be very difficult due to the complexity and detail of many permit conditions. Biological Systems Consultants specializes in regulatory compliance assistance and has been monitoring sites in multiple states for many years. Achievement of mitigation goals and objectives for stream restoration, stream enhancement, stream creation, and stream preservation projects has been our goal for years, with the final goal always being release of liability from the monitoring program. Biological Systems Consultants has been able to achieve these goals for their clients. Biological Systems Consultants’ stream mitigation compliance  team is equipped to take on all of your mitigation compliance needs (baseline studies, during, post). Our staff is fully permitted and qualified to conduct stream and wetland mitigation surveys and has extensive experience with various habitat assessment protocols. If you have any questions about your Section 404, 401 or other mitigation compliance Contact us or request a quote today.

 

Mitigation Monitoring

Mitigation monitoring compliance has become a very high priority for many government agencies, in particular, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. We monitor thousands of feet of stream and acres of wetlands each year and have achieved the ultimate goal of receiving a letter from the appropriate regulating agencies, indicating compliance with all mitigation monitoring conditions and the release of liability. We strive to provide our clients with cost-effective monitoring services and now our EcoDrones can provide better quality data for the agencies to review and place in their files. Request a quote today for mitigation monitoring services for your sites or contact us.

 

Jurisdictional Determination – Harlan County

Jurisdictional Determinations are conducted by BSC personnel in support of the requirements of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) to identify “waters of the U.S.” as identified by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Field surveys for the determination were conducted in accordance with the 1987 USACE Wetlands Delineation Manual (USACE, 1987) and the Final Regional Supplement for the Piedmont and Eastern Mountains Region (USACE, 2012). BSC investigators also evaluate the potential for federal jurisdiction under Section 404 of the CWA over aquatic features in the study area based on USACE revised guidance published December 2, 2008.

Kentucky contains seven Level III ecoregions. These ecoregions were defined by similarities in geology, physiography, vegetation, climate, soils, land use, wildlife, and hydrology. The proposed project area is located within the Central Appalachians ecoregion (69) which drains 23,698 square miles. Specifically, the project is within the Level IV ecoregion 69e (Cumberland Mountain Thrust Block) which encompasses 1,083 square miles. The topography in this area is characterized as highly dissected, hilly and mountainous plateau with steep ridges, very narrow ridge tops, narrow valleys, and deep coves. 69e contains elevations ranging from approximately 980’- 4,139’ in Kentucky and contains streams with high gradients, waterfalls, many riffles, few pools, and cobble or boulder substrates (Woods et al., 2002).

 

Section 404 CWA Jurisdicitonal Determination
Jurisdictional Determination

Spring Mitigation Monitoring

Spring mitigation monitoring has begun. This stream restoration site was permitted under the Clean Water Act using a Nationwide Permit. Natural stream design techniques were applied using a combination of Rosgen and standard survey practices using a reference reach. The restoration project has been successful in restoring fish and macroinvertebrate habitat, and has also been successful in the physical restoration of a more natural pattern, profile, plan-view and dimension. The macroinverebrate communities are highly diverse and minnows were found just below this area.

 

Stream Restoration Plan
Restored Stream Reach

 

Bioassessment
Minnow caught in net during macroinverebrate survey in restored stream channel.

 

 

 

Stream Mitigation

Stream Restoration
Stream Restoration

Stream mitigation including stream restoration design and construction monitoring services. Whether it is a baseline study or full stream restoration design plan our team regularly performs these tasks to help our clients meet their project goals. Using Rosgen and standard survey trained stream restoration specialists, we provide our clients with longitudinal profiles, plan-views, cross-sections, pebble counts, and Rosgen stream assessments. Using existing stream conditions or reference streams, we are able to provide detailed stream channel information for these types of projects.

Using our EcoDrones (UAV, sUAS, drones) we can assist in stream or wetland mitigation or bond releases or pre, post, and during construction monitoring, baseline assessments by providing video, still images, or 3D modeling of sites. Capturing low-elevation data we can create or provide highly accurate DEM (digital elevation models or elevation point clouds) data to our clients to work with. This technology allows us to capture millions of points, exponentially greater than traditional survey methods. This method is also safer than putting a traditional airplane into the sky. Using the latest available technology we aim to save our clients time and money in the field and in the office and can deploy EcoDrones very quickly to complete projects.

Clean Water Act

Our team of stream and wetland scientists can assist with Clean Water Act permitting and compliance with agencies such as the  Corps of Engineers. We can provide jurisdictional determinations for your property, tract of land, or project site. Once a very simple concept, is now a complex process. Located in Lexington, Kentucky we regularly consult with various Corps of Engineers Districts and can help facilitate your project. Can you tell which of these features below are considered jurisdictional?

Jurisdictional Determination Clean Water Act

Jurisdictional Determination Clean Water Act

Jurisdictional Determination Clean Water Act

Jurisdictional Determination Clean Water Act

Biological Systems Consultants performs ecological and environmental studies for Clean Water Act compliance, monitors and assesses water quality, provides hydrological modeling, and develops project alternatives such as watershed management plans that provide a balance of business objectives with agency requirements. Biological Systems Consultants also conducts wetland determinations and delineations, collecting information on vegetation, hydrology, and soils to accurately locate and define the boundaries of wetlands. Based on the results, we develop wetland mitigation strategies and to offset wetland impacts. We provide a full suite of stream and wetland mitigation services.

Biological Systems Consultants prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) and supporting studies for a proposed coal mine operation in Whitley County, KY.

The EA assessed the potential ecological impacts from the proposed mine site on endangered species, streams and wetlands, and archaeological resources on this site. These assessments provided the needed scientific documents to allow for permitting of the NPDES, Corps of Engineers, and SMCRA permits required to begin the operation. This project was found to provide an overall “lift” to the aquatic resources on this site which had been disturbed by pre-SMCRA mining. Our client was able to restore miles of abandoned highwalls and thousands of feet of streams that had been previously impacted. Natural rock and log vanes were used to provide stream habitat for macroinvertebrates and other aquatic life.

Ecological Assessments for Stream Mitigation

Habitat Restoration

Habitat restoration is an important tool for addressing a broad range of environmental challenges including providing permits for mitigation for streams using constructed wetlands. The BSC approach incorporates cost-effective design and build projects for the long-term management of natural resources by employing collaboration across experts from different fields ranging from biologists and ecologists to archaeologists. The site pictured below is currently in the early stages of restoration and are trending toward success thanks to some mitigation efforts and mother nature. Pictured below are restored stream channels, which are providing the revival of biological, chemical, and physical functions. Many macroinvertebrate and fish species have been observed throughout the sites; a great indication of restored habitat. Our experience covers a wide range of project development, from design to construction supervision and monitoring. BSC is also well trained to communicate with multiple regulatory agencies at the state, local, and federal levels. Our team has years of experience successfully negotiating agreements on restoration and permitting issues.

Stream Restoration

Mitigation 34