National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
dse provides technical services for natural resources under NEPA for a variety of ecosystems across the southwest and central United States. Services range from delineating wetlands and waters of the U.S., to performing biological assessments, species surveys and natural habitat assessments, to project alternative development, evaluation, cost estimating and impact assessment. In addition to the Federal Highway Administration and TXDOT NEPA guidance, dse personnel are familiar with field methods and NEPA project evaluation requirements under CERCLA, United States Department of the Interior, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Under the NEPA scoping process, typically, an environmental regulatory checklist is completed for each proposed action that involves Federal funds. This checklist reviews the project to assess whether the criteria for a CATEX are met, or whether extraordinary circumstances apply that would require either an EA or EIS. Recent (2008) dse experience includes the following projects:
New Control Tower/LOC/DME
Abilene Airport, Abilene, Texas
dse performed two draft EAs for the construction/installation of a new Control Tower and LOC/DME for RWY 17R. dse developed the scoping documents and work plan, and provided recommendations and letters for additional compliance/permits including compliance with §7 of the Endangered Species Act, §106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and consultation with the state wildlife agency regarding state-sensitive species, as needed. A list of “stakeholders” and agencies (Federal, State and/or local) that needed to be included in the NEPA process was prepared. dse also prepared an EDDA under FAA protocol for property exchange. dse facilitated the public hearings and other public relations tasks for this EA. All three reports are awaiting Client review to finalize.
Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) on behalf of the City of Arlington, Texas
Arlington Municipal Airport, Arlington, Texas
CATEX Review, Environmental Assessment, 404 Permitting and Archaeological Survey
The initial project scoping for the Arlington Airport MALSR Lighting Project indicated that the project merited a CATEX because the project was required to meet Federal mandates associated with the Homeland Security Act. However, the initial dse review of the CATEX, (as prepared by others) indicated that the CATEX did not address jurisdictional wetlands, floodplain construction requiring a Section 404 permit, Section 4(f) park impacts associated with a city trail, and cultural resources. Thus the project merited an EA. (In addition, the Homeland Security Act is not formally included on the list of allowable exclusions related to the CATEX process). dse developed the Draft EA on an expedited timeframe, and completing the formal community input and public information process, including contacting over 200 individual landowners that are located within one-half mile of the proposed airport lighting improvements. dse also subcontracted and oversaw the completion of an Archaeological Survey.
City of Plano and Texas Department of Transportation
CATEX Checklist and Environmental Report
dse prepared the CATEX Regulatory Checklist for a project that involved improvements to the intersection of Coit Road with Spring Creek Parkway. This project involves minor roadway intersection improvements for about 0.28 miles of urban arterial type roadways, with associated sidewalks and other pedestrian improvements. The accompanying CATEX report outlined purpose and need for the project, affected environment, and potential social, economic, and environmental effects of the proposed project action. Because of the existing suburban setting, there were no significant impacts identified with this action, and the project qualified for a CATEX under 23 CFR § 771.117. This CATEX checklist was completed under an expedited project schedule in order to provide immediate project implementation by the City.
City of Dallas and Dallas County, Texas
Preliminary Environmental Corridor Screening
dse is providing preliminary environmental screening of an approximate one-mile segment of a planned urban arterial roadway corridor in south Dallas, Texas. The screening is intended to provide information and data to support preliminary roadway planning efforts. The proposed alignment passes through an area with historical industrial activities, landfills, and sand and gravel operations. Efforts include literature and map reviews, limited soil vapor and soil sampling, and verification of the potential for other environmental conditions such as threatened and endangered species, floodplains and jurisdictional wetlands. Soil vapor and soils data indicated the presence of elevated concentrations of methane and chlordane along the project corridor. dse summarized this screening effort in a report that outlines the results of the field efforts, identifies other potential concerns found during the screening, and provides concepts for addressing the identified concerns.
City of Fort Worth, TX
dse prepared draft NEPA reports, reviewing potential endangered species, cultural resources, historical structures, and other environmental issues for two segments of recreational bike trails. dse also helped prepare documents and participated in the public meetings in support of the City personnel for two recreational bicycle trails as part of the Trinity River Vision project, Fort Worth, TX. Due to potential environmental concerns, dse advised that work be discontinued on one trail alignment, with consideration of an alternate route.