National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak)
- Natural Resource Assessments
- Alternatives Analysis and NEPA
- Regulatory Agency Coordination
- Permitting & Mitigation
Coastal Resources, Inc. (CRI) provided NEPA documentation services, agency coordination, and technical natural resource expertise for the landward portions of the Susquehanna River Bridge Reconstruction and Expansion Project in Harford and Cecil counties in Maryland. CRI was initially scoped to conduct a natural resource assessment within 1,000 feet of the existing railroad alignment along an approximately 6 mile long segment from Furnace Bay in the east to Oakington Road in the west. CRI documented existing natural resource conditions using both a desktop review of available information and an inventory level field assessment conducted from a windshield survey of accessible areas within the project limits. Natural resources documented during the assessment included floodplains; waters of the U.S., including wetlands; forests; terrestrial wildlife; and terrestrial rare, threatened, and endangered species. CRI prepared a technical report summarizing the results of the inventory level assessment, including GIS mapping of study area natural resources. CRI was subsequently asked to provide additional project assistance to support agency coordination on wetland and waterway resources and compilation of the final Natural Resources Technical Report (NRTR) and Environmental Assessment (EA) following refinements of the preliminary project limits. CRI completed a full delineation of wetlands and waterways within the project area and participated in an interagency field walk to review waters of the U.S., including wetlands. CRI conducted a preliminary mitigation site search for opportunities to mitigate potential project impacts to Waters of the U.S. including wetlands, forests and Chesapeake Bay Critical Areas. The site search included a desktop analysis of potential sites within the impacted watersheds using GIS, as well as windshield surveys to preliminarily confirm each site’s suitability for wetland creation, stream enhancement, or reforestation. CRI also participated in Interagency Review Meetings (IRM) periodically during the planning process to characterize waters of the U.S., including wetlands and present potential options for mitigating unavoidable impacts to these resources.
CRI authored the Affected Environment and Environmental Effects sections of the NRTR for landward resources, including waters of the U.S/wetlands, terrestrial habitat (forests) and wildlife, and terrestrial rare, threatened, and endangered species. CRI also provided evaluations and narratives on potential submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) shading impacts from the proposed bridge improvements. CRI worked with the team to compile project resource impact calculations for the NRTR and took on responsibility for the final content and compilation of all sections of the NRTR, as well as summarizing the majority of the natural resource sections into narratives for the EA. Through the planning process, CRI coordinated with the project team on potential impact avoidance and minimization measures for impacted resources. CRI was also responsible for addressing agency and public comments on the NRTR and natural resources portions of the EA, as they were received.