ODOT Environmental Guidance Statement GUIDANCE STATEMENT • ODOT will carry out its mission consistent with sound environmental stewardship and best management practices. We strive to meet the spirit and intent of environmental laws. We comply with regulations, and we will enhance the environment, balancing such enhancement with the scope and purpose of our ODOT mission. • Valuing Oregon’s environment is the responsibility of every ODOT employee and it is reflected in our decision and actions.
Definition of the term “Environment” All of the external factors affecting an organism, including living organisms and non-living variables such as water, soil, climate, light and oxygen. All of these factors together make up the environment.
Best Management Practices • Avoid • Minimize • Mitigate
Resource Topics • Archaeology • Historic Resources • Biology and Endangered Species • Water Quality • Wetlands • Air Quality • Noise Quality • Erosion Control • Hazardous Materials
Potential range of impacts: • Ground disturbance: • Staging of equipment and material • Embankment • Guardrail installation/flaring • Culvert extensions, etc. • Other ground disturbing activities beyond backslope of ditch
Historic Resources • What are Historic Resources? • Buildings, Sites, Objects, etc., which are significant in history • Must be at least 50 years old • Must meet eligibility criteria for the National Register of Historic Places for federal regulatory laws to apply
Maintenance Project Issues - Historic Resources • Bridge rails, transition rails, guardrail • Masonry features - parapet rails, culverts, stone facing, pedestrian features • Memorial features - historic signs, plaques, markers • Effects to setting - fill, removal of landscaping, new visual elements
SMA’s for Plants and Wildlife • Sensitive Management Area (SMA) is a voluntary program initiated by Environmental Services in 1994 in response to the increasing number of state and federally listed species and resources found along ODOT right-of-way. There are approximately 40 SMA sites found along ODOT right-of-way
RES and RAZ Mapping Tools • a tool that field crews could use to help avoid impacts to sensitive resources. • RES (Resource and Sensitive Area) • RAZ (Restricted Activity Zone)
Endangered Species • The federal Endangered Species Act (1973) requires agencies “insure that their actions are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat of such species.” • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) regulates listed plants, wildlife, invertebrates (including birds), and resident fish. • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries (NOAA Fisheries) regulates listed ocean-going (anadromous) fish and marine mammals.
Endangered Species Act ESA defines “take” to include: -- “harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect…” -- “Harm” is further defined to include: “…significant habitat modification or degradation that results in death or injury…” -- “Harass” is further defined to include: “…significantly disrupt normal behavior patterns which include, but are not limited to, breeding, feeding, or sheltering”. --Critical Habitat - “the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the listed species on which are found those physical or biological features which: -- are essential to the conservation of the species. -- may require special management considerations . -- PERMITTED WORK required
Clean Water ActSection 404 • Federal Law enacted in 1972 • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) regulates • Establishes a federal connection (nexus) if a permit is required. • Authorized States to administer their own general permit program for dredged or fill material. • Oregon Division of State Lands (DSL) has regulatory control.
Riparian Area Critical Habitat Designations (NOAA Fish, and USFWS) can include an area up to 300 linear feet from the Ordinary High Water Elevation.
Riparian Area Areas adjacent to the stream that provide: • Shade • Sediment transport control • Nutrient or chemical regulation • Streambank stability • Inputs of large woody material or organic matter
Wetlands Hydrology- ground and surface water Hydric Soil – abundance of moisture Vegetation 3 defining characteristics of a wetland
Resource Topics • Water Quality - runoff treatment, floodway, floodplain. • Air Quality – alignment, traffic lanes, signalization, regulatory study. • Noise Quality – alignment, traffic lanes, sound barriers, restrict work periods. • Erosion Control – sedimentation into waters of the STATE (loss of soil) • Hazardous Materials – spills, cleanup, remediation
Examples of Non Compliance (Courtesy of NOAA Fish Enforcement Staff)
Acronyms • BMP – Best Management Practice • CWA – Clean Water Act • DSL – Oregon Division of State Lands • ESA – Endangered Species Act • FHWA – Federal Highway Administration • IVM – Integrated Vegetation Management • NOAA Fish – National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Fisheries • ODA – Oregon Department of Agriculture • ODF – Oregon Department of Forestry • ODFW – Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife
Acronyms • ODF – Oregon Department of Forestry • ODFW – Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife • RAZ – restricted activity zone • RES – Salmon Resource and Sensitive Area • RMA- Riparian Management Area • SHPO – State Historic Preservation Office • SMA – Sensitive Management Area • USACE – US Army Corps of Engineers • USCOE – US Army Corps of Engineers • USFWS – U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service