Maryland State Highway Administration – Environmental Programs Division
- NEPA Documentation (NETR, DEIS, FEIS, ROD)
- Water Quality and Biological Monitoring
- Environmental Management
- Environmental Construction Inspection
- Manage ES/CM/CS Projects
- Design for Stream Restoration and Wetland Creation
This mega project ($2.6 billion) includes the construction of a controlled access, 18 mile multi-modal roadway linking I-270 and I-95/US 1. Coastal Resources, Inc. (CRI) was a key consultant on natural resources during the planning/NEPA/permitting/mitigation process and was the Environmental Manager during Design and Construction of the mainline and the compensatory mitigation (CM) and environmental stewardship (ES) projects.
During planning, CRI researched, gathered, analyzed and summarized existing data on water quality, watershed characteristics, reservoirs, geomorphology, fisheries, brown trout, and wetlands within the study area watersheds. CRI conducted extensive field studies including chemical and temperature sampling, macroinvertebrate and fish sampling, and geomorphic assessments to supplement the existing information on the streams. Geomorphic assessments of existing stream conditions were conducted at 40 stream reaches. Data were analyzed, and the bankfull geometry, hydraulic characteristics, Rosgen stream classification, and stream stability of each reach were evaluated. In addition, over 100 acres of wetlands, and over 8 miles of streams were mapped within the study corridors. Functional assessments were completed for each wetland using the New England Method. CRI led field reviews of wetland/waterway boundaries, obtained a jurisdictional determination, and led the Clean Water Act (CWA) permitting process with state and federal regulatory and resource agencies. CRI summarized the NETR for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), addressed agency and public comments, and compiled updated information for the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). CRI participated in numerous community meetings and provided displays to inform and educate the public. An extensive mitigation site search was conducted for unavoidable impacts to wetlands and streams (40-57 acres of wetlands and 25,000-37,000 linear feet of stream) as well as ES opportunities within the affected watersheds. A mitigation database was created documenting existing mitigation site searches and applied a ranking system to prioritize the hundreds of sites investigated. CRI provided agency field tours, meeting minutes, and obtained agency concurrence on CM and ES packages for each planning alternate. CRI was also responsible for the creation and management of the Record of Decision (ROD)/permit special conditions tracking database used to track environmental compliance of the mainline and the ES/CM projects.
As lead of the Environmental Management Team during construction, CRI manages and/or executes a wide range of environmental compliance/review and permitting, while also conducting technical assessments for the mainline construction, along with design management and monitoring for ES/CM projects. CRI led all Reforestation Law permitting activities for the mainline, and prepared NEPA re-evaluation documentation, CWA permit modifications, and Forest Conservation Act compliance documents/permits for all highway design changes and ES/CM projects. CRI conducted natural resource inventories such as wetland delineations, forest characterizations, large tree surveys, and habitat and RTE assessments at each mitigation site. All resources were documented, surveyed, and mapped in GIS and CADD.
CRI coordinated with SHA, the Box Turtle Advisory Group and the Design Build contractors to devise and implement a plan for removing box turtles from the alignment before construction. Turtles, within the limits of disturbance, were relocated to M-NCPPC approved off-site locations. A final report was prepared documenting the numbers of box turtles relocated (totaling over 900) from each contract segment, outlining best practices used in the conservation of box turtles during construction.
CRI managed the design and construction of 52 ES/CM projects including providing design review and environmental construction inspection. CRI conducted pre-construction biological sampling up and downstream of the ICC at 20 stream crossings to assess water quality before and after construction. Biological sampling is also being conducted at 21 of the ES/CM sites before and after construction to measure overall success of the projects in improving water quality and aquatic conditions. The results of monitoring were compiled into technical reports detailing methodologies and results. CRI continues to conduct post-construction biological monitoring at selected sites as part of the various post-construction monitoring teams.
CRI provided complete design and permitting services for 4 stream restoration sites and 2 wetland mitigation sites as part of the ES/CM package for the ICC Project (PB-37, PB-8/108, PB-119, IC-62, PB-1, & SC-19). In general, these projects have included geomorphic assessments, stream and riparian ecological assessments, wetland delineations, forest stand delineations, hydrologic and hydraulic analyses, groundwater monitoring, and all aspects of the environmental permitting process. CRI completed preparation of Joint Permit Applications, Preliminary Investigation (30%), Semi Final (60% Design), Final (90% Design), and PS&E (100% Design) submittals, and erosion and sediment control plans for each of these sites. The goals and design approaches included: water quality improvements through reconnecting the stream to its floodplain, and reducing bank erosion and in-stream sedimentation; maintaining/ enhancing aquatic habitat; removing fish blockages; improving riparian buffers; stormwater management; invasive species removal and reforestation; and the creation of wetlands for mitigation and to provide water quality treatment for agricultural lands. Designated Specialist services were provided for these ES/CM sites during construction. CRI also assisted with the design of NW-160/170, including extensive assessments of large woody debris, stream facies mapping and analysis, bank erosion analysis, and the preparation of plans and specifications. Post-construction monitoring plans were provided for all ES/CM wetland, water quality, and stream restoration sites, which include between 5 and 10 years of monitoring.
CRI continues to act as the Post Construction Monitoring Manager for the environmental stewardship and compensatory mitigation projects. In this role, CRI provides oversight of 25 sites being monitored by 3 consultant teams, providing QA/QC of the all annual reports for submission to the SHA and agencies and coordinating remediation efforts as needed. CRI also calculates credit at each compensatory mitigation site against actual project impacts to determine if sites can be used as banks for future SHA projects.
For more detailed descriptions of the ES/CM projects, click the following links: