Wetland Delineation

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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.

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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)

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

Aerial Ecological Assessments (EcoDrones)

Aerial ecological assessments using the newest technology (EcoDrones) available to us we have now integrated aerial imaging into our list of services. Our custom built EcoDrones (UAVs, sUAS) allow us to capture low-elevation high resolution color video or still photos for ecological assessments of watersheds. This allows us to further document ecological resources in a way we have not been previously capable. Environmental assessments will never be the same.

Using drone technology  we can provide ecological assessments using low-elevation high-resolution imagery of the ecosystem within a project area or site. Restoring and maintaining the natural environment continues to be an important issue.  BSC specializes in helping clients solve the challenges of growing their businesses while addressing environmental concerns.

Ecological Assessments Using Drone (UAV, sUAS). Wetland and Stream Delineation.

We conduct ecological assessments including biological, aquatic, fish, bird, plant, tree, wetland, stream habitat, and other natural resource assessments. BSC provides expertise in both water resources and aquatic systems management, which requires the understanding  of input and output relationships between water systems and their its influence on natural processes. We develop client specific solutions that protect sensitive resources and infrastructure including roads, wetland habitat, rivers, streams, recreational facilities, and infrastructure.

Our client was looking to open a new operation, and hired BSC to perform a preliminary evaluation on an area encompassing 2,000 acres. Our study identified the potential of the proposed mines impacts to archaeological resources, streams and wetlands, prepared a stream restoration plan for the SMCRA permit, a jurisdictional determination or the Corps of Engineers (section 404), and a Section 401 (Water Quality Certification) for the State of Kentucky. The Corps permit was able to be avoided by revising the footprint of the permit while still achieving an economically beneficial project.

Ecological Assessments Using Drone