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Wetland Delineations



ImageAERO-ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS - To meet agency requirements wetland delineations must be completed during the growing season so wetland plants can be identified and the required soil profiles can be made.  Regulatory agencies will not approve or accept wetland permit applications if plant and soil data are not included.  Wetland plants are progressing from their blooming cycles to the fall season.  Species identification is still possible but it becomes very problematic after October 15 when the regulatory agencies generally no longer accept delineation reports for the season. So it's time to schedule delineations now to allow for the earliest start-up date of the construction season. 

Typically Aero-Environmental Consulting adds high resolution aerial views of wetland project sites to enhance our delineation reports. Combined with standard delineation report requirements our documentation provides a level of detail not provided by other wetland delineators. 

Also, if you are a consultant veiwing this website, consider contracting Aero-Environmental Consulting to take aerial photography of your project areas.  The high resolution, site specific aerial images we provide can assist you in expediting your project not to mention the enhancements high resolution aerial photographs can provide for your reports.  Please call or e-mail if you want to discuss potential upcomining projects.

After a property owner was told that he wouldn't be able to build a cabin on his lakeshore property he called Aero-Environmental Consulting for help.  Following an on-site visit to the property to conduct a preliminary wetland delineation and to measure the MN-DNR shoreline setback distances, an aerial photography mission was conducted.  The resulting near vertical image (see at right) was annotated with the wetland and shoreline setback information so it could be submitted with the client's building permit application.  Because of the additional detail provided by the high resolution annotated image the client easily received approval of his building permit.

If more than a quarter acre of wetlands will be impacted by a development project, permits are required before the construction can begin.  Some project areas (especially small ones) may clearly be located with no potential for wetland impacts.  However, larger project areas often contain wetlands.  Since the U.S. Clean Water Act requires that no net loss of wetlands occurs, a formal wetland delineation provides the best way to minimize impacts to wetlands before planning a development project. 

If any potential for wetland impacts exists, a comprehensive wetland delineation should be conducted even before starting conceptual engineering and/or survey design.  By conducting the wetland delineation first, permitting costs and expenses for any required wetland credits needed before the land development begins are minimized.  In addition, conceptual plans are less likely to require extensive modifications if the wetlands are defined first.  Note that most preliminary plats require a formal wetland delineation before regulatory agencies will issue permits for the development.

Aero-Environmental Consulting performs wetland delineations, including preliminary aerial inspections, and when project scope requires it, we partner with highly qualified and experienced associates to assure the delineation will be accepted by the regulatory agencies that permit development projects.  Our goal is to expedite project schedules while minimizing development expenses


Environmental Assessment Worksheets

ImageMinnesota statutes define an Environmental Assessment Worksheets (EAW) as a brief document which is designed to set out the basic facts necessary to determine whether an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required for a proposed action.?


The Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB) further states the purposes of the EAW process is to disclose information about potential environmental impacts of a project; it is not an approval process.  The information presented in the EAW is used to determine if an EIS is needed, and to indicate how the project can be modified to lessen its environmental impacts; such modifications may be imposed as permit conditions by regulatory agencies.

Information provided by the EAW process includes three sources: the completed EAW, comments received on the EAW and the responses to the comments made by the Regulatory Government Unit (RGU) and the project proposer.

The EAW process includes four major steps:

Step 1.  Project proposer (and/or their consultant) provides all necessary data to RGU.

Step 2.  RGU prepares the EAW.

Step 3.  EAW is distributed with public notice for agency and/or public comment for 30 days.

Step 4.  the RGU responds to comments and makes decision on the need of an EIS.  The RGU and/or other units of government may require modifications to the project to mitigate environmental impacts.

Aero-Environmental Consulting assists developers to compile and supply the RGU with all the EAW data required to initiate the process and helps the proposer with any necessary responds to RGU comments so that the project can proceed.









Phase II - Stormwater Pollution Prevention and Erosion Control Planning

ImageAfter all environmental assessments, wetland delineations, conceptual and preliminary survey platting and other required permits have been obtained, the actual construction of a development can not begin without obtaining an National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. 

The US EPA Phase II - NPDES permit requirements are administered by the MPCA in Minnesota.  All construction projects that will disturb more than one acre (or less than an acre, if part of a larger development project) require the NPDES permit.  An approved Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) must be developed and submitted in the permit application.  The SWPPP must identify all potential receiving waters (lakes, streams, rivers and/or wetlands) and provide descriptions of the pre-construction, construction and post-construction erosion control best management practices (BMP) that will be used to protect the receiving waters of the state.

Aero-Environmental Consulting assists clients, developers and their construction contractors with NPDES permitting including development of stormwater pollution prevention and erosion control plans so that projects can proceed on schedule.

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans with Erosion Controls are now mandated before most construction projects can begin.