The Clean Water Act (CWA) is fundamental to protecting our nation’s water resources. The objective of the Act is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters. Determining CWA protection for streams and wetlands can be confusing and complex. AmaTerra can help guide you through this process with trained, experienced personnel.
Waters of the U.S.
Wetlands are areas where water covers the soil, or is present either at or near the surface of the soil all year or for varying periods of time during the year. These areas support primary products such as pastures, timber and fish, and recreational and tourist activities. Our wetland scientists have been trained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to identify the presence or absence of wetland areas and, when necessary, delineate them. If a wetland area is present, our scientists can assist and prepare the appropriate level of mitigation to help reduce project impacts while maintaining good water quality.
Waters of the U.S. are regulated by the CWA and include all waters that are currently used in interstate or foreign commerce, were used in the past, or may be susceptible to use in the future. Waters of the U.S. can include interstate lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, or natural ponds. AmaTerra staff have extensive experience in determining whether water bodies in your project area are jurisdictional and fall within the CWA regulations.
Our staff is experienced in preparing both nationwide and individual Section 404 permits applicable to most construction projects. AmaTerra scientists can assist you by preparing the permit application, developing the appropriate documentation to support the permit decision, provide an analysis of the environmental impacts of the project, and formulate the appropriate mitigation plan and measures (if needed). We have worked extensively with multiple USACE Districts, covering the entire permitting process.
AmaTerra staff prepared and coordinated a wetland mitigation plan for the Texas Ski Ranch (TSR) in New Braunfels, Texas. Our wetland biologists designed an on-site preservation, creation, and enhancement plan for jurisdictional wetlands and Waters of the U.S. We also developed a long-term vegetative management plan and provided oversight for implementation of the mitigation plan. The mitigation plan was accepted by the USACE - Fort Worth District as an appropriate use of avoidance, minimization, and compensation for impacts to jurisdictional Waters of the U.S., while providing TSR with an aesthetically pleasing and functional landscape. The end result of this project converted a low-diversity, intermittent drainage channel into a permanent water facility without disrupting natural drainage flows. The new diverse vegetative community attracted new colonies of aquatic and amphibious species while providing a natural and efficient filtration process for water entering and exiting the TSR’s lake systems. The project’s mitigation plan included 10 years of annual monitoring.
Client: Texas Ski Ranch
Location: New Braunfels, Texas
Take-Away: Successful completion of an individual permit and 10-year monitoring plan.
Texas Ski Ranch Wetland Delineation and Mitigation Plan
USACE Individual 404 Permit for Proposed Natural Gas Well Developments
Client: Abaco Operating, LLC.
Location: Lake Surprise, Moody National Wildlife Refuge, Chambers County, Texas
Take-Away: Successful development of an Individual 404 permit and mitigation plan in an extremely environmentally-sensitive area.
AmaTerra staff prepared the USACE Individual Permit and Wetland Mitigation Plan for proposed natural gas drilling well sites and pipeline routes in the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. Our wetland scientists designed an on-site preservation, creation, and enhancement plan for jurisdictional wetlands and Waters of the U.S. Our staff provided oversight for the implementation of the mitigation and monitoring plan and produced a long-term vegetative management plan, which included semi-annual biological and vegetative monitoring. Since the project was located on a National Wildlife Refuge, it required extensive coordination with the USACE, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, local governmental agencies, and wetland mitigation banks. The mitigation plan was accepted by the USACE - Galveston District as an appropriate use of avoidance, minimization, and compensation for impacts to jurisdictional Waters of the U.S. and associated wetlands.
AmaTerra has a trained team of wetland scientists that can identify, delineate, and develop mitigation plans for wetlands and Waters of the U.S. within your project area. Our scientists have completed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wetland Training and Delineation courses, along with specialty courses on Field Indicators for Hydric Soils and Federal Wetland/Water of the U.S. Regulatory Policy. AmaTerra’s senior wetland staff includes a certified Master Naturalist Wetland Delineator.