Environmental Monitoring

As linear and land development projects transition from design and permitting to construction, ensuring continued, uninterrupted compliance with permit requirements, applicable regulations, and good practices is critical to keeping projects on track and avoiding costly violations and construction delays. ESI’s engineering and environmental inspectors offer not only continuity support, but augment project oversight processes with custom-designed programmatic controls, facilitating overall workflow and compliance from project inception through construction. Offerings include developing procedures allowing clients to “self-monitor” project activities. ESI applies innovative strategies for maximizing project efficiency while meeting or exceeding environmental quality standards.

Before construction starts, ESI’s engineers and scientists collaborate with clients and determine advantageous implementation of erosion control devices and other project-specific best management practices. As projects progress, impacts are compared to background conditions documented during pre-construction monitoring. ESI uses value engineering principles to assess appropriate field modifications, ensuring a project remains in environmental compliance while requiring less costly alternatives or field design changes. ESI’s post-construction monitoring oversees site restoration and/or recovery, including ongoing inspections of erosion control devices and best management practices until re-vegetation thresholds are achieved.

Site restoration ensures long-term use and sustainability well after construction is complete. ESI’s accomplished ecological professionals offer expert assistance with planning and designing effective stream, wetland, floodplain, and habitat restoration to offset project impacts. Ongoing stormwater control monitoring verifies features installed meet environmental compliance standards while also promoting site longevity. Although the idea of restoration is simple, planning and execution are not and require consideration of: geography, topography, physiography, and climate; soil composition; invasive plant species presence and abundance; adaptability of seed mix elements and plants; and seed application/planting methods, among others. Recognizing restoration as an important project development component, and engaging ESI’s trained professionals produces timely, successful, cost-effective, outcomes.

Avoiding impacts to endangered and threatened species during project construction, including snakes, bats, and avian species ensures a project remains compliant with federal and state requirements. ESI’s expert team of nationally recognized biologists offers specialized skills for developing and implementing practical, agency acceptable, monitoring plans, specifically designed to maintain regulatory compliance and avoid unnecessary construction delays.

Sustainable restoration objectives encompass both prevention and control (via use of mechanical tools and applied chemicals) for managing invasive species. ESI’s specialists assist with planning and complete field monitoring to establish baseline conditions and track restoration progress, providing clients timely information to implement adjustments as warranted and maintain cost-effective invasive species control procedures.

Designing and permitting sound erosion and sediment controls prior to construction are essential considerations for maintaining compliance and avoiding costly project delays and violations. ESI engineers specifically tailor erosion and sediment controls to suit project needs, selecting effective yet economical devices affording efficient implementation and maintenance throughout the life of the project. Ensuring erosion control devices function appropriately and in compliance with environmental standards, ESI engineers and scientists complete field oversight and monitoring at regular intervals and address any deficiencies detected.

Surface water runoff and stormwater outfalls require monitoring at regular intervals, both during and after construction, to validate compliance under various environmental permitting programs, such as Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4), National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), and local/state Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP). ESI develops strategically planned protocols and effectively administered test documentation to maintain project compliance and keep scheduling on track. For projects requiring constant observation, ESI deploys probes supporting real-time access to water quality conditions before and after construction. ESI sedimentation experts also develop sampling protocols for tracking impacts resulting from grading, slips, and other earth disturbance activities.