Regulatory Compliance

You can’t build your project without wetland, endangered species, cultural resource, and erosion and sedimentation (E&S) clearance. ESI provides clients a one-stop shop for natural and cultural resource permitting and assessment services. Few consulting firms produce the full spectrum of complex and challenging regulatory documents – from compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act to 401/404 permitting for wetlands and waterways to Section 7 and 10 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). ESI’s seasoned experts overcome regulatory hurdles to ensure project deliverables appropriately fulfill regulatory compliance requirements and are successfully completed in a timely manner precluding costly project delays.

The ESA protects over 2,000 species by prohibiting take (harm, harassment, wounding, pursuing or killing). ESI’s regulatory experts specialize in guiding clients through consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) when project activities potentially result in take of a protected species. ESI’s approach is client-specific, addressing projects on a case-by-case basis ensuring efficient ESA compliance by following an appropriate pathway. Compliance efficacy ranges from avoiding take to a Section 10 Incidental Take Permit through preparing a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) to a Section 7 Incidental Take Statement through preparing a Biological Assessment/Biological Opinion (and associated studies).

ESI understands the importance of initiating the NEPA process early in project development and integrating it with related federal and state regulations pulled in under the NEPA “umbrella”. ESI’s NEPA experts complete numerous Environmental Impact Statements, Environmental Assessments/Findings of No Significant Impact, Categorical Exclusions, Environmental Reports, and technical reports facilitating client interests throughout the NEPA process – from project initiation to obtaining a final record of decision.

ESI’s involvement in FERC reviews for high-profile energy projects consistently affords opportunities for clients to alleviate many Section 7(c) filing hurdles. Recognized experts with up to 35 years of experience comprise ESI’s permitting team. ESI’s FERC experience ranges from scientific field studies and reports to preparing detailed Environmental Assessments, Environmental Impact Statements, and Resource Reports.

The CWA protects Waters of the United States (WOTUS) by regulating discharge of pollutants and impacts to waters and wetlands. Whether addressing Sections 401/404 by obtaining a state water quality certification, conducting a jurisdictional waters determination, or by obtaining a Section 402 permit under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), ESI’s certified specialists focus on site-specific water resource issues, precluding costly project delays, fulfilling project needs, and attaining client objectives.

ESI’s engineering services group provides stormwater permitting support for various clients across multiple states. Services include routinely crafting Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans, not only meeting regulatory requirements but also ensuring feasibility for implementation, and meeting client internal standards. General Stormwater Construction NPDES permitting requires seamlessly managing projects of varying size, scope and budget and collaborating with regulators to resolve both simple and complex problems. ESI’s fine-tuned approach and final deliverables allow clients to remain in compliance throughout a project’s life cycle.

ESI’s NHPA permitting and compliance expertise includes Phase I archaeological surveys, architectural view shed analyses, Phase II site evaluations, and Phase III mitigations for private industries (such as land development, surface mining, solar installations, natural gas pipelines, cell towers, and utility lines) and agencies (such as state Departments of Transportation, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Department of Defense). ESI’s certified professionals address all aspects of Section 106 consultation among federal, state, local, and tribal organizations, integrating other federal regulations, such as NEPA, ESA, and CWA and offering firmly established rapport with State Historic Preservation Offices across the U.S.

While federal and state regulations garner most of the attention from a project-compliance perspective, many local governments administer and enforce a variety of environmental ordinances. Without adequate and timely attention, unfamiliar and somewhat obscure local ordinances potentially result in costly project delays. At project inception, ESI’s regulatory experts research and incorporate municipal authority requirements on a project-specific basis, ensuring activities subject to local government jurisdictions comply with mandates and remain on track.