Maryland State Highway Administration – Project Planning Division
- Environmental Assessment
- NEPA Documentation
- Water Quality Monitoring
- Interagency Coordination
CRI was responsible for assessing natural resources for a Tier I & II NEPA study of the US 301 Southern Corridor, from MD 381 in Prince George’s County to the Governor Nice Bridge in Charles County, Maryland. CRI identified and flagged 105 wetlands and waters of the US within the proposed alignments of the Waldorf bypass (38 miles) and other constrained areas throughout the US 301 southern corridor. During the wetland delineations, observations of wildlife, forest interior dwelling birds were recorded. CRI completed functional assessments for each wetland identified using the New England Method, conducted agency field reviews (jurisdictional determination) and prepared field review minutes detailing agency comments. CRI authored a Natural Environmental Technical Report (NETR) that discussed existing conditions and descriptions of each wetland including function and value.
CRI researched and compiled existing data on all of the streams within the corridor which included information on floodplains, benthic macroinvertebrates, fish communities, anadramous fish spawning areas, sensitive aquatic habitats, and submerged aquatic vegetation. CRI conducted macroinvertebrate sampling of surface waters using EPA’s Level 2 Rapid Bioassessment Protocols (RBPII) for Mattawoman Creek, Piney Branch, Old Woman Run, Pages Swamp, Kerrick Swamp and Zekiah Swamp tributaries. CRI identified all macroinvertebrates to family level using taxonomic keys and then applied integrated benthos data into RBP’s biotic matrices. CRI analyzed the chemical components of selected surface waters by sampling for temperature, DO, pH, conductivity, total nitrogen, phosphates, total suspended soils, total dissolved solids, turbidity, acidity and alkalinity. Stream habitat, biological and physical parameters were evaluated in order to establish a baseline condition that could be used to assess potential impacts to aquatic biota.
Using the existing and newly gathered data on surface waters, floodplains, water quality and wetlands, CRI prepared the Affected Environment sections of the preliminary Draft Environmental Impact Statement for these resources.