Wetlands & Other Waters of the U.S.

Wetlands & Other Waters of the United States The Clean Water Act was instituted in order to protect and restore the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of waters of the United States. Because of this act, permits for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States including wetlands are required. Sphere 3 can help you navigate the biological and regulatory maze that surrounds these important natural features.

Wetland Delineation

Will your intended project have any impacts on wetlands or other waters of the United States? Sphere 3 has a highly trained staff of biologists and environmental scientists who can determine the presence or absence of wetlands or other waters of the United States within a project area based on the specific requirements and criteria set forth by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Our staff utilizes database research, field investigations, and GIS analysis to aid in their determination. Once the boundaries of any wetlands or other waters of the United States have been determined, our scientists aid clients in avoiding impacts, minimizing impacts, or mitigating impacts.

Functional Assessments

Different types of wetlands function in different ways based on a variety of factors. Wetland function is an important parameter in determining the severity of impacts resulting from a particular project as well as determining appropriate mitigation measures to compensate for loss of those functions. Wetlands can function in a variety of environmental processes ranging from flood storage and groundwater recharge to filtration of pollutants and providing habitat for fish and other wildlife. Functional assessment methods are often unique to specific USACE districts and may change as the regulatory environment changes. Sphere 3 is experienced with implementing currently mandated functional assessment methods and techniques required by the USACE.

USACE Permitting

Projects which will impact jurisdictional wetlands or streams must be authorized under a USACE permit. Sphere 3 can assist you in determining which USACE permit to utilize and what level of USACE coordination is required for your project whether it is gas and oil, residential, commercial, or institutional development. Sphere 3 maintains a strong working relationship with many of the USACE districts and can streamline the permitting process by preparing applications on your behalf and coordinating with the USACE throughout the authorization process. Applications to the USACE must include a mitigation plan that outlines efforts to offset unavoidable wetland impacts. Sphere 3 aids clients in determining the most appropriate form of mitigation for a particular project and then tailors the wetland mitigation plan to most effectively and efficiently satisfy the USACE mitigation requirements while keeping the best interest of our client and the environment in mind.

Wetland Mitigation Bank Establishment

The majority of projects permitted through the USACE require compensatory mitigation. The easiest, and often USACE-preferred, method of providing mitigation to off-set the impacts of activities in wetlands is to purchase credits from a mitigation bank. Mitigation banks provide the permittee with a “third party” solution that removes them from the future responsibility of mitigation success, maintenance, and monitoring. Whether you are establishing a mitigation bank for your private use or as a business venture, Sphere 3 can help you with every aspect of mitigation banking from assistance in site selection to the mitigation bank being authorized by the USACE and other members of the Interagency Review Team. Sphere 3 has been working with mitigation banks for fourteen years and has permitted three mitigation banks and acts as the environmental consultant for two additional banks. Once your bank is established we can provide any level of service you desire from simply being on call for credit calculation questions from permitees to maintaining credit ledgers and coordinating with the USACE on credit transactions.

Post-Construction Monitoring

You have obtained your wetland permit and construction of your project is complete, but are your permit conditions fulfilled? The USACE often requires post-construction restoration and monitoring as conditions of your wetland permit. The post-construction requirements may be as simple as verifying that the project is complete and has met the terms and conditions of the permit or a long-term vegetation restoration project on a portion of the project area. Whether you have a one-time requirement or a long-term post-construction monitoring and reporting requirement, Sphere 3 has the staff and experience to assist you with fulfilling the final requirements of your wetland permitting process.

Sphere 3 is Here to help YOU!
We can work with you to create a custom project that meets all of your environmental and regulatory needs. We have a diverse staff of professionals to help with minor or major permitting and compliance efforts. We pride ourselves on customizing our services to the needs of each client.