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The Lower Colorado River Authority Transmission Services Corporation hired SWCA in 2009 to consult on a project to provide transmission of wind-generated power from west Texas to the rest of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas grid. SWCA prepared and submitted an Environmental Assessment addressing all relevant impacts; acquired a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services permit to authorize the incidental take of federally listed endangered species; and developed a habitat conservation plan to address impacts to endangered species, which included a mitigation plan to compensate for impacts from construction and maintenance of the transmission lines.
Salt Lake City hired SWCA to develop restoration goals and designs for two sites along the Jordan River. SWCA prepared and submitted federal, state, and county regulatory permits with four separate agencies and participated in public outreach meetings. SWCA led the design process and was able to phase and scale the project in a way that allowed segments of the restoration process to be completed separately and then implemented into a full restoration, keeping the project on budget and allowing greater flexibility.
SWCA has been working in the Uinta Basin in northeastern Utah since 2004, performing endangered species clearance, wildlife surveys, paleontological studies, and monitoring paleontological resources. SWCA has extensive experience in the basin working on small and large projects, on lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, as well as on private, state, tribal, and trust lands. SWCA’s working knowledge of the land, as well as our good working relationships with the overseeing agencies, allows our team to accurately forecast project length and cost, keeping projects on schedule and on budget.
SWCA was hired by the City of Hillsboro, Oregon, in 2012 for cultural resource services. SWCA completed an archaeological and historical resources study for a proposed road improvement project to widen and extend NW 253rd Avenue from Evergreen to Meek Road. SWCA completed a remote sensing survey of portions of the project corridor, prepared and submitted archaeological excavation permit applications to the Oregon Office of History and Archaeology, and participated in extensive meetings between the City of Hillsboro and the Oregon State Historic Preservation Officer and State Archaeologist. An SWCA architectural historian assessed the historical significance of standing structures located within the project viewshed.
SWCA’s Pittsburgh office provided biological inventories and assessments at seven stream crossings in the Ohio River Basin in Ohio’s Monroe and Noble counties. Survey data were used to assess habitat quality and determine whether threatened and endangered species or indicator species were present along the proposed REX Seneca Lateral subterranean natural gas pipeline route.
SWCA biologists monitored water quality and inventoried fish, salamander, and macroinvertebrate communities living in streams the pipeline proposed to cross and provided the results to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. One of the seven survey sites was found to contain high-quality habitat and contained a wide variety of fauna that could be impacted by construction activities. To minimize impacts, the SWCA team designed a pipeline crossing method involving fish and salamander relocation, flow diversion, and dry cutting the pipeline trench to minimize downstream impacts to the stream’s aquatic life and water quality. All other sites were found to be free of threatened/endangered species or high-quality habitats, allowing project permitting to proceed. SWCA worked with the client and the Ohio EPA to design a creative and sound crossing method, expedite permitting, and avoid damaging the sensitive environmental resources along the pipeline route.
NextEra hired SWCA between 2009 and 2011 to provide environmental services for two 99 MW wind-powered electrical generation systems in Oklahoma’s Caddo and Grady counties. SWCA assisted with micro-siting to identify potential environmental and cultural constraints associated with the proposed turbines, access roads, and collection facilities. SWCA also prepared a Waters of the U.S. and floodplain investigation, cultural resource surveys, Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, avian surveys, federal easement identifications and digitization, and a substation report.
NextEra hired SWCA between 2009 and 2011 to provide environmental services for a 100 MW wind-powered electrical generation system in Oklahoma’s Beckham and Roger Mills counties. SWCA assisted with micro-siting to identify potential environmental and cultural constraints associated with the proposed turbines, access roads, and collection facilities. SWCA also prepared a Waters of the U.S. and floodplain investigation, cultural resource surveys, Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Wildlife Hazard Assessments, and federal easement identification and digitization.
SWCA is providing cultural resources and endangered species consulting for the 700-mile Plains & Eastern Clean Line transmission project. Plains & Eastern will transport roughly 3,500 MW of wind energy produced in western Oklahoma, southwest Kansas, and the Texas Panhandle to consumers in eastern U.S. markets via overhead, high-voltage direct current transmission lines spanning Oklahoma and Arkansas and terminating at Memphis, Tenn.
SWCA is assisting with regulatory requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act. Cultural resources services include desktop studies; agency coordination with the Department of Energy, State Historic Preservation Offices, and the National Park Service; Programmatic Agreement development; tribal coordination; and public outreach. For endangered species, SWCA is conducting bat habitat surveys and studies in compliance with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protocols, as well as lesser prairie chicken habitat assessments with related biological assessments.