SGM’s environmental consulting team provides a range of services to support approvals and permits for projects required by the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, State mining regulations, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and other environmental regulatory programs. Services include: wetland delineation, Section 404 permitting, water quality sampling, environmental and biological Assessments (EAs and BAs), discharge permitting, bioassessments, vegetation inventories, mitigation plans and environmental monitoring. Our advice and guidance is based on our extensive regulatory knowledge and scientific expertise, and we work closely with clients to maximize cost efficiencies, regulatory compliance, and risk reduction. Our staff understands maintains excellent working relations with regulatory personnel which facilitates the permitting process.
Clean Water Act Compliance and Implementation
SGM is very experienced with Clean Water Act projects, including Section 106 projects (water pollution control programs) and Section 319(b) projects (non-point source management programs). SGM develops surface water and groundwater quality monitoring programs, non-point source pollution assessments and management plans, and Quality Assurance Project Plans.
Wetland Delineation and Section 404 Permitting
Wetlands are protected under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Authorization from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) regulatory program is required in order to discharge dredged or fill material into any Waters of the U.S., including wetlands. Development projects that effect wetlands typically require a wetland delineation, Section 404 permit, and a wetland mitigation plan. SGM’s staff is experienced in wetland regulations per the Army Corp standards and can provide assistance in the Section 404 permitting process, including the Interim Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual. SGM also is experienced in developing wetland mitigation and monitoring plans approved by the USACE. Many counties and cities require setbacks from wetlands or have expanded on the Army Corps wetland definition. SGM stays current with existing County and City wetland regulations.
SGM’s environmental scientists and biologists specialize in wetland studies, threatened and endangered species studies, and NEPA compliance (including biological and environmental assessments). SGM is experienced in conducting avian surveys, vegetation surveys, soil and irrigation studies as well as fish and macroinvertebrate studies. Additional specialties include:
- Construction observation
- Revegetation and monitoring plans
- Wetland mitigation planning
- Reclamation vegetation monitoring
- Habitat mitigation planning
- Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments
- Water measurements, including stream gauging, flume installations, and stream gauge calibration
- Irrigation studies, including irrigated wetlands
- Geothermal water
Geologic Hazards Analyses
Geologic land-use reports are commonly required in geologically sensitive areas in the southwest. Many counties require that geologic hazards be adequately mapped and mitigated for prior to final development design. SGM reviews existing geologic information of the project area prior to a site visit to assess geologic conditions. SGM identifies geologic hazards and develops mitigation measures to the subject property based on available information and the field investigation. The Colorado Geologic Survey provides an agency review of the geologic hazards analyses prepared by SGM.
Aquatic Biology and Bioassessments
Biological information is being used increasingly in water quality permitting and management decisions. This is because aquatic organisms make excellent indicators of the health of a stream. SGM staff has solid experience and capabilities with completion of bioassessments, habitat evaluations, and other work related to aquatic biology. The findings from this work can assist with discharge permitting, stream classification hearings use attainability studies and related matters. Our services include testimony at state water quality hearings and negotiations with regulators.
Stream and Lake Enhancements
Lakes naturally age and can become filled with weeds and algae. Streams can be affected by sediment and water diversions causing low flows. These situations can often be remedied to return the lake to its original condition, or improve a stream for fishing. SGM provides services for lake restoration and stream improvements. We believe in a comprehensive approach to lake restoration that addresses the underlying causes, and not just the symptoms. Services for lake restoration and studies include preparation of lake management plans, lake enhancement programs, and lake dredging. Services for stream improvements include preparation of habitat improvement plans for fishing and stream enhancement.
Meet the Environmental Services Team
For more information about our environmental services, please contact Alex Nees by email or phone at 970.384.9004.