CIVIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL - ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE
Location: Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Wetlands and surface waters around the North Palm Beach County General Aviation Airport attract birds and other wildlife that contribute to wildlife hazard issues and increase the potential for bird strikes. The client determined that a wildlife hazard assessment therefore was needed for wetland areas located near the runways at the airport. Michael Baker International determined the limits of wetland and surface waters and performed the assessment, which included surveys; performance of a biological assessment for state and federally protected species such as the wood stork, sandhill crane, and gopher tortoise; completion of uniform mitigation assessment method (UMAM) forms for each wetland; development of exhibits depicting the extent of the wetlands; descriptions of proposed direct and indirect wetland impacts within the study area; development of wetland mitigation concepts; and preparation and processing of state and federal permits.
Permits were issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). Following the wetland delineation and assessment, Michael Baker met with regulatory agencies to determine the feasibility of filling and mitigating for impacts to wetlands. After the agencies determined that this was feasible, the environmental resource permit application was submitted along with mitigation options to implement the wildlife hazard abatement measure, and mitigation credits were purchased from a public restoration area to compensate for the impacts.