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Natural Resources Management

The natural resources consulting experts at aci consulting are qualified professionals with the ability to successfully navigate the complexities of environmental projects.

aci has extensive experience to ensure compliance with the primary federal environmental regulatory acts: 1) the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 2) Clean Water Act, and 3) the Endangered Species Act, including Section 7 consultations and 10(a) permits. Under the NEPA, aci prepares categorical exclusions, environmental assessments, and environmental impact statements. Under the Endangered Species Act, aci conducts habitat evaluations, censusing surveys and permitting for protected species including most recently: the Texas ayenia in southern Texas; the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse along the front range of Colorado; red-cockaded woodpecker in East Texas; and aquatic species in New Mexico. Under the Clean Water Act, aci has conducted hundreds of wetland delineations; processed permit applications and established wetland and stream mitigation banks.

Under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act of 1972, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is responsible for regulating activities within “waters of the U.S.” aci has conducted hundreds of wetland delineations for public and private sector projects, many of which required permitting through the USACE for discharges into local streams and rivers.

Jurisdictional Waters Determinations and Report Preparation

  • Desktop Assessments
  • Field Surveys
  • Wetlands Delineations / Rapid Assessment Models
  • Plant Identification, Soils Analysis
  • Riparian Corridor Assessments

Nationwide Permit Authorizations

  • Impacts Analysis (Discharges)
  • Document Preparation
  • Mitigation Plan Preparation
  • USACE Negotiations
  • Public Notice Preparation

Individual Permit Authorizations / Letters of Permission

  • Impacts Analysis (Discharges)
  • Document Preparation
  • Avoidance and Minimization Strategies
  • Compensatory Mitigation Planning
  • USACE Negotiations
  • Section 401 and 402 Certification
  • Public Notice Preparation, Public Comment Resolution
  • Consulting Agency Comment Resolution

Post Permit Compliance

  • Mitigation Enhancement/Creation Design
  • Develop Success Criteria
  • Restoration and Planting Implementation
  • Monitoring for Success

Mitigation Banking

  • Develop Environmental Lift Concepts
  • Stream Restoration, Mitigation Banking Documentation
  • Negotiations with USACE

Public Comments Preparation for Interested Parties

  • Permit Analysis, Draft Comments to USACE

Endangered Species
The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), administered by U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), regulates impacts to federally-listed threatened and endangered species.

aci has extensive experience working with both public and private sector clients to ensure Endangered Species Act compliance, including Section 10 Incidental Take Permits.

Desktop Analysis—GIS analysis based on In-house and agency data
Habitat Evaluations—Site Visits to Determine Potential for Species to Occur
Censusing Surveys—USFWS Protocols to Determine Locations and Numbers of Species
Take or Adverse Affects Determinations—Analysis Direct, Indirect, and Cumulative Affects of Proposed Activity on Species
Section 4 Listing Issues—Analysis and Preparation of Public Comments
Section 4(d) Threatened Species Rule Review—Analysis of Special Conditions that may Alter “Take” Assessments and Mitigation Requirements
Federal-State Cooperative Agreements—Compile, Update, and Maintain Lists of Federal-State Agreements; Prepare and Process Documents as Required By Agreements
Section 7 Consultations
– Action Agency Interaction, Obtaining Federal Designee Authorization
– Drafting Biological Assessment, USFWS Negotiation, & Finalizing Biological Assessment
– Review and/or Draft Biological Opinion; Finalize Biological Opinion
– Finalizing Section 7 Consultation;
– Post-Consultation Compliance (Field Work/Annual Report, Incorporate BO into NEPA documentation)

Transfer of Federal Programs to States/Interagency Cooperative Agreements

Section 9—Take, Harm, Adverse Affects

  • Conduct Site Investigations
  • Censusing Surveys; and Habitat Evaluations; Draft Reports, Produce Maps
  • Review Best Scientific Information to Make Take/No Take Determinations

Section 10—Incidental Take Permits, Experimental Population Permits, Post Permit Authorization Compliance

  • Processing Section 10(a)(1)(B) Permits
  • Conduct Site Investigations including Censusing Surveys and Habitat Evaluations
  • Draft Habitat Conservation Plan and Related NEPA Documentation
  • Develop Take and Mitigation Strategies, Negotiate Permit Conditions with USFWS
  • Negotiation Conditions to Implement Agreement; Complete Work Associated with Expected/Unexpected Issues Identified in Post Permit Authorization Compliance

Section 11—Enforcements and Expert Testimony

  • Assess Impacts Associated with Potential to Adversely Affect Federally-Listed Species
  • Censusing Surveys and Habitat Evaluations; Take Assessments; Mitigations