Wading through the Regulatory Process

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Whether your project is a proposed wetland mitigation bank or a culvert replacement for your driveway, we will help you to achieve the goals of the project while balancing your economic realities with the permitting requirements of the regulatory agencies

Our Professional Wetland Scientists are highly skilled in the assessment, regulation and management of wetland systems. They bring vast experience with agency coordination and the rules governing the regulatory process and can guide our clients through permitting and offer creative mitigation options

The outcome of your project depends on an accurate assessment of proposed wetland impacts and potential mitigation requirements. Identifying wetlands and assessing functional values requires scientists skilled in the identification of hydric soils, hydrophytic vegetation, and hydrologic indicators. The Quest Team brings extensive experience in the application of wetland functional assessments including the Wetland Assessment Procedure (WAP) and Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM). These, combined with years of project planning experience, are used to assess the landscape setting, hydrological environment, vegetation composition and zonation, and indications of stress to evaluate potential avoidance and minimization measures, determine permitting requirements, and identify compensatory mitigation alternatives.

Lee Cook wading through wetlandsOnce the wetland evaluation is complete, Quest can efficiently and effectively navigate the appropriate local, state and federal resource agencies to obtain applicable permits. From applying new WOTUS rules to State 404 assumption and beyond, the Professional Wetland Scientists at Quest work daily with local, state, and federal regulators and keep current on frequent rule changes that affect your project. We specialize in guiding clients through all wetland permit types as applicable including Environmental Resource Permits, State 404 Permits, Nationwide Permits, Standard Permits, State Programmatic General Permits, Letters of Permission, Propriety Authorizations to use State Lands, and Permit Exemptions, to name a few!

When on-site wetland mitigation is required as a permit condition from the resource agencies, Quest can provide mitigation and restoration design services. Design parameters can be as simple as removing exotic plant species and replanting with a native wetland plant community, to restoring historic hydrologic conditions that allow for greater water storage and wetland-dependent wildlife habitat. Off-site mitigation alternatives are often recommended to avoid the costs and pitfalls of permittee-responsible mitigation. Quest staff can provide the coordination needed to secure credits from an approved mitigation bank and negotiate details with agency staff and the banker.

Quest is also experienced in permit compliance, from construction oversight to ensure permit conditions and minimization measures are followed, to mitigation monitoring, reporting, maintenance, and site management. Mitigation monitoring typically requires field data collection to assess vegetation composition and cover, wildlife utilization, nuisance/exotic species cover, and overall assessment of wetland function and success. This information is used to gauge site success and implement any required maintenance or management activities, including but not limited to, herbicide application, erosion control, supplemental planting, or prescribed burning.

When maintenance events are needed, we have licensed herbicide applicators on staff to conduct the work or we can provide oversight of the maintenance contractor to ensure permit conditions are followed. An investment up front in assuring that the restoration is on track and maintenance is performed correctly and according to the original design can ensure that success criteria are met in a timely manner and unexpected additional costly maintenance events are not required. Similarly, implementing short and long-term management activities will ensure protection and continued progress of the mitigation area.