The Obama administration this week proposed a long-awaited rule that promises to protect more than 6,000 miles of streams around the country from the impacts of both surface and underground coal mining.
The U.S. Department of Interior’s proposed stream protection rule adds requirements for companies to monitor and test streams before, during and after mining. The agency describes it as incorporating new information about mining’s impacts and following the 1977 Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. The rule would require companies to restore land and waterways to pre-mining conditions and purposes, and to re-vegetate disturbed areas with native plants unless regulators agree to a different land-use plan. It also implements tougher bonding requirements. >Read More
A white paper recently released by the National Mitigation Banking Association provides critical guidance for seven universal principles of compensatory mitigation regardless of regulatory authority. While environmental offsets would likely be as diverse as the impacts themselves, consistent mitigation standards should be applied to all mitigation to assure the offset is fully provided in function over time. This free concise resource for government, non-profits, and industry was authored to support high environmental standards and to enable increasingly streamlined permitting. >Download White Paper via Universal Principles of Compensatory Mitigation by NMBA
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published A Primer on Using Biological Assessment to Support Water Quality Management. This technical document serves as a primer on the role of biological assessments in a variety of water quality management program applications including reporting on the condition of aquatic biota, developing biological criteria, and assessing environmental results of management actions. The primer provides information on technical tools and approaches for developing strong biological assessment programs and examples of application of biological assessment information by states and tribes.
Before you start that fisheries enhancement project or erosion control project, you need to ask the right questions. Our free consumer report “Buyer Beware: A Warning to Consumers about the Industry” will give you the Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Aquatic Resource Consultant. In the report, we also identify the five most common problems in today’s aquatic resource consulting industry are:
Lack of industry standards or professional certification for practitioners
Assessments that are no more than opinion disguised as science
No consideration for multiple project alternatives
Use of “cookbook” design strategy without consideration of site specific conditions and factors
Poor understanding of liability issues
High degree of uncertainty about how to measure project success or failure
The last four of these can be solved by insisting upon a repeatable, scientifically-valid, resource assessment including a written report derived from solid data. Never hire a company that shows up, looks at the site, kicks the dirt, and starts offering solutions. Make sure the company intends to perform a thorough assessment before providing “answers,” or quoting a price. Ask what the assessment report will include. Assessment parameters will vary depending upon the type of resource (stream, lake, wetland), but a scientifically-based, repeatable assessment is simply mandatory. To receive a free copy of the consumer report mailto:email@example.com or to learn more www.troutheadwaters.com