The airport’s proposed runway extension required seven separate environmental permitting processes at the most stringent regulatory levels. GZA has served as the natural resource consultant for this coastal airport—which has rivers and wetlands at both ends of the runway and rare species associated with the immediately adjacent habitats—for many years.
The MEPA/NEPA process was used as a “big-table” permitting and mitigation strategy tool, bringing all the permit authorities together. In addition to leading all environmental permitting, GZA’s most client-critical role was devising a wetland and rare species mitigation package, including:
- Bass Creek and Green Harbor River at Runway Ends – GZA coordinated with regulators to establish reasonable mitigation measures
- Direct Wetland Impact (>1 acre)/Entire Runway in Flood Zone – GZA designed a 3+ wetland mitigation area as replacement and coordinated with regulators to establish “in lieu fee” for Bass Creek
- Removal of Trees in Airspace Within Wetlands – GZA’s field review characterized all cutting areas and a Vegetation Management Plan minimized impacts
- Protected Box Turtle – GZA conducted a Turtle Telemetry Study, designed and permitted turtle nesting sites, and facilitated purchase of an adjacent farm for habitat replacement
GZA also provided ecological compliance monitoring for the construction and mitigation elements of the project, as well as long-term ecological monitoring for the restoration of Bass Creek.
GZA’s extensive knowledge of the facility, surroundings, and regulatory environment facilitated the successful permitting for much-needed airport infrastructure.