Provan & Lorber provides soils analysis and wetland delineation for projects requiring state or federal (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) permits. Our strategy is to identify wetland compliance issues at the beginning of the concept phase of the project and initiate communication with the regulatory agency. This approach helps to minimize delays on submission and review of applications. Permits have been obtained for logging operations and small culvert construction projects to large multi-functional wetland and diversion projects requiring wetland mitigation.
What is a Wetland?
Wetlands are generally described as areas saturated or covered with water all or part of the year and which support certain species of vegetation. Wetland areas are regulated by the Federal government through Section 404 provisions of the Clean Water Act. In New Hampshire, the alteration of wetland areas have been regulated since 1967. The State of New Hampshire Wetlands Bureau has been given approval by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) to administer projects impacting three acres of wetlands or less, under the New Hampshire Programmatic General Permit
Wetland Delineation and Permits
To ascertain whether your project will impact wetland areas, one first needs to know whether your parcel indeed has wetland areas, and if they exist, you need to know precisely where they are located. A wetland delineation study will define the location of wetland area(s).
The very first task involves collection of any existing data that may be available. Such data might include a review and interpretation of National Wetland Inventory maps, aerial photos and a review of existing soil and wetland mapping and floodplain delineation information which is normally available at a Soil Conservation Service office near your project. An initial screening level sitewalk may also be made by a wetland scientist who is trained in wetland habitats, to identify any possible wetlands that may be on the site.
If wetland areas are suspected to be present, a thorough wetland delineation study needs to be undertaken to adequately define the wetlands in accordance with state and federal criteria. Wetland delineation must be conducted by a wetland scientist in accordance with the current Federal Manual for Identifying and Delineating Jurisdictional Wetlands. The delineation may include a cross-section of soil types and vegetative community from upland to wetlands to define the magnitude of the area. Some projects may require public hearings on proposed projects and impacts.
To delineate the wetlands, the wetland scientist places flagging at the boundary of these areas. Once identified, a land surveyor will provide precise location information of the flagged areas. This data is then shown on an existing conditions topographic site plan which is made a part of the project plans. Provan & Lorber has on-staff certified wetland scientists and land surveyors who can create this existing conditions site plan.
Once the wetland areas have been graphically shown, our civil/site engineer will locate, layout and design your site improvements such that impacts to the wetland areas are either avoided or minimized.
Should a site development project impact wetland areas, permits will be needed from federal, state and local agencies. Further information regarding the wetland permit process is found in our White Papers section.