Pennsylvania DEP Releases New Assessment Protocols for Wetlands, Streams, & Lakes

June 30, 2017
image_pdfimage_print

wetland

Pennsylvania will likely require wetland, riverine, and lacustrine assessments to be completed as part of Environmental Assessments (EAs), including joint permit applications, through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) under 25 Pa. Code Chapter 105 regulations.  The changes will be effective upon publication of the final notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, which may be released sometime this year  These assessments are intended to supplement existing requirements.  Current regulations have not been changed; however, it is likely that DEP will use current data to establish future permit requirements.

The goal of the Pennsylvania Wetland Condition Level 2 Rapid Assessment Protocol is to provide guidelines for evaluating the condition of each delineated wetland within a project area.  The Wetland Protocol assesses wetland condition using six sub-indices, including zone of influence, roadbed presence, vegetation, hydrologic modifications, sediment stressors, and water quality stressors.  Each index is rated on a scale from Optimal (20) to Low Poor (1).

The goal of the Pennsylvania Riverine Condition Level 2 Rapid Assessment Protocol is to provide guidelines for evaluating the condition of each delineated stream or river within a project area.  The Riverine Protocol assesses stream and river condition using five sub-indices, including channel/floodplain, riparian vegetation, zone of influence, instream habitat, and channel alteration.  Each index is rated on a scale from Optimal (20) to Low Poor (1).

The goal of the Pennsylvania Lacustrine Condition Level 2 Rapid Assessment Protocol is to provide guidelines for evaluating the condition of each delineated lake within a project area.  The Lacustrine Protocol assesses lake condition using four sub-indices, including average depth, shoreline vegetation, zone of influence, and human alterations.  Each index is rated on a scale from Optimal (20) to Low Poor (1).

EnviroScience’s biologists have experience across multiple states that require similar wetland, riverine, and lacustrine assessments.  Our staff are recognized experts in the field of wetland, river, and lake delineation and have regulatory experience in both very high and very poor quality systems.

This experience gives our biologists the tools to evaluate water resources in Pennsylvania objectively and accurately based on the new Assessment Protocols issued by Pennsylvania DEP, while providing guidance in the best interests of our clients relative to the law and the environment.

Contact Laura Sayre, Manager of Natural Resources / Wetland Biologist at EnviroScience with questions. She can be reached at 330-688-0111 or LSayre@EnviroScienceInc.com.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *