Regulatory Compliance and Permitting Overview

Permit compliance can be more expensive in the long run if corners are cut up front. HDSS data is thorough enough to provide permittees with all the data necessary for long-term compliance with government permitting requirements. Scarce resources can then be dedicated to non-compliance activities rather than permit application problems due to data shortfalls.

HDSS data and video supports compliance with a variety of government regulations, including NPDES, CWA 404 permits, FERC relicensing, SAV permits, T&E species and others.

MS4 Stormwater Compliance

Fundamental to achieving clean water standards is understanding the context, distribution and severity of the problems in your streams and developing effective long-term plans to address them. But collecting this information is time consuming and expensive, which makes effective clean water planning very difficult. A High Definition Stream Survey (HDSS) is a complete system to rapidly document stream and outfall conditions. It will provide information necessary to more effectively manage the stormwater component of cleaner water.

HDSS data and video supports compliance with a variety of government regulations, including NPDES, CWA 404 permits, FERC relicensing, SAV permits, T&E species and others.

The HDSS Methodology
Under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Standards (NPDES), Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) require specific data to complete the permitting process. The high definition stream survey technique (HDSS) provides this critical data and more accurately represents conditions within the stream corridor when compared to traditional methods. This is possible because HDSS is the only method that provides continuous, reviewable data over the entire corridor.

Rehabilitation Scoring
“Rehabilitation scoring” allows stormwater managers to compare the relative cost/benefit of different restoration BMP strategies designed to address problems in an MS4 receiving stream system. Managers can then objectively prioritize restoration efforts within a given range of budget and resource contstraints. Rehabilitation Scores take into account restoration BMP costs and the potential functional uplift that could be achieved with those BMPs. Such BMPs could range from inexpensive (simple tree planting and streamside cleanup done with volunteers) to expensive (total stream restorations requiring engineering, permits and heavy equipment). Contact us to learn more about how Rehabilitation Scoring will enhance the utility of your MS4 stream assessments.

Data Parameters

HDSS data is geo-referenced as continuous or point data with condition and type identified. 

Continuous data (streambeds, streambanks, and riparian zones) are scored on the basis of 01) condition and 2) type (degree of modification).

Point data are discrete man-made or natural features (exposed pipes, road crossings, sedimentation, fish barriers, trash, etc.) that may affect the physical and biological function of the stream corridor. Point data are scored for 1) condition and 2) type.

HDSS is easily adaptable to existing assessment protocols and has been successfully applied to the Maryland Stream Corridor Assessment protocol (Yetman, 2001). Unlike a typical “windshield” survey, HDSS documents continuous and point variables over the entire MS4 watershed with continuous video coverage. Additionally, video documentation makes it possible for multiple stakeholders to remotely review issues at their convenience.

The stormwater mapping requirement in MS4 permit compliance is an opportunity to develop information applicable to many different purposes beyond just MS4 compliance. Using HDSS for your MS4 watershed planning mapping will provide your partners and other interested parties with the data and mapping foundation needed for habitat assessments, dam removal and stream restoration projects, impact assessments, water quality sampling, instream flow modeling, TMDL studies, source water protection planning and much more. The breadth of information provided in a single HDSS application will reduce the long-term costs of water-based compliance issues.

USACE 53 and 27 Permitting: Dam Removal and Stream Restoration Projects

A High Definition Stream Survey Will Facilitate Your Permit Compliance.
Are you certain that your Nationwide Permit 53 or 27 applications adequately address the potential impact to aquatic life? If your waterway data is insufficient to support your assumptions, your permitting process could be prolonged and more costly than it needs to be. A High Definition Stream Survey (HDSS) provides a complete assessment of a stream corridor, including detailed data about T&E species and sensitive habitat. Give yourself the benefit of more confident planning and implementation decisions by ensuring you have the data you need to get your project approved.

The HDSS Methodology
The HDSS technique involves the uninterrupted collection of geo-referenced data over long stretches of waterway (click here to learn more about HDSS). The data can be collected on floatable and non-floatable waterways using an array of video equipment and other sensory equipment that convert blue lines on a map to data-rich GIS layers backed up by video documentation. Aquatic habitat can be thoroughly mapped to show sensitive areas that must be considered in the project. HDSS processing will compile the data and produce deliverables tailored to optimize your permitting requirements.

Don’t limit your data to within a few hundred yards of a project site. While such data may meet technical requirements of a permit, limiting your data can jeopardize the success of your permitting process and the overall goals of the project.

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TMDL Development, FERC Relicensing, SAV Permitting

The Mighty Oak Pathway

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