Electric Transmission Client
- Environmental Construction Monitor
Coastal Resources, Inc. (CRI) provided environmental compliance inspection services and reporting for the installation of two 3,233-foot long by 38-inch diameter conduits for electric transmission lines by horizontal directional drilling/boring (HDD). The installation began at the corner of US Route 50 west and Seaside Lane in Worchester County, near sensitive resources including tidal wetlands. The proposed transmission line was installed underground, beneath the Isle of Wight Bay, to the existing substation located at 2nd Street in Ocean City.
CRI’s role in this project was to document the conditions of the shorelines and project area prior to, during, and following all construction and HDD related activities on behalf of the State of Maryland’s Board of Public Work to ensure compliance with contract documents and environmental permits. CRI’s Independent Environmental Construction Inspectors reviewed project Erosion and Sediment Control (E&S) Plans, Permits, and other contract documents to gain a thorough understanding of all environmental compliance requirements and commitments.
Inspectors performed regular site visits (weekly and bi-weekly depending on the project and construction schedules) to document that all environmental compliance measures, such as E&S controls and best management practices (BMPs) are installed properly and being followed as permitted. Noncompliance or potential noncompliance issues noted in the field were brought to the contractor’s attention for immediate remediation. Site conditions were documented following each site visit in electronic reports submitted through an Environmental Compliance Achievement Tracking (ECAT) system. Reports noted any issues or potential issues and how they were resolved. Issues that could not be resolved with the contractor immediately onsite were documented and elevated to the client and project leadership to ensure timely resolution.
CRI’s construction inspectors provided coordination between the contractor, regulatory compliance agencies and the client as necessary throughout the project. In addition to regular reporting, CRI staff conducted site visits and reporting following significant rain events (>1/4” within 24 hours) to identify any compliance issues and ensure that no significant discharge of sediment had occurred. Weekly NPDES reports were also prepared to report back to the Maryland Department of the Environment to provide a record of any compliance issues and how they had been addressed.
In addition to daily reporting, a “frac-out contingency plan” was in place during drilling operations in order to respond to hydraulic mud discharge from drilling operations. In the event of a “frac-out” (discharge of hydraulic mud outside of the LOD) the independent environmental monitor was responsible for initiating a stoppage of work in order to begin clean-up operations and notify Maryland Department of the Environment and the USACE of the unintended discharge. After notification was given to the appropriate agencies, and clean-up operations had concluded, a review of site conditions was held between all parties to approve remediation of the frac-out and determine possible preventative steps that could be taken for future unintended discharges.
CRI also participated in weekly project progress and coordination meetings. Staff followed established safety protocols throughout the project and participated in daily safety evaluations of site conditions prior to any site walks. Any noted safety hazards or issues were discussed at project coordination meetings to ensure all staff were alert to potential hazards.