WETLANDS IDENTIFICATION ON COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES
How do wetlands affect commercial property development?
The development of a commercial property can be very difficult if it has wetland areas within construction areas specified for the site. Wetlands are important to the environment since they work as earth's natural sponge filtering out contaminants and preventing flooding, as well as providing a sustainable habitat for aquatic plants and animals, and migratory birds. Trying to develop a commercial property that has wetlands requires assessments and permits as well as the ability to maintain compliance with it. For these and other reasons, before planning any construction it is crucial to identify if wetlands are present, if they would be impacted by the development, and determine if the wetlands are jurisdictional or non-jurisdictional.
Do you know what constitutes the presence of a wetland?
Wetlands are constituted by three different characteristics that need to be present in order to be considered a wetland. These characteristics include: Hydric Soil, Hydrophytic Plants, and High-Water Marks.
1.Hydric Soil is a type of soil that is formed under conditions such as flooding, ponding, or saturation that in the end, result in anaerobic conditions that are found in wetlands.
2.Hydrophytic Plants are of those plants that have adapted to grow in or on water, not needing much oxygen to survive.
3. High-Water Marks - Field indicator that shows how high a body of water has been over land
If not all of the characteristics can be determined, but a site shows up on national wetlands inventory map at the subject property, a field determination should be made by an ecological professional. If determined to be a wetland, then a jurisdictional determination should be required. If determination is jurisdictional, then a Pre-Construction Notification (PCN) is required to be submitted to the US Army Corps of Engineers for approval. If the wetlands is determined to be non-jurisdictional, the report should be kept on file for future reference.
OUR PROJECT SPOTLIGHT
CRG Texas recently completed a Wetlands and Threatened & Endangered Species assessment for permitting of the right of way widening for a major through fare in Fort Bend County.
Activities included: Wetlands and T&E Assessments and Delineation, Jurisdictional Determination, and Pre-Construction Notification to the US Army Corps of Engineers.