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  • Environmental Clearinghouse
  • Environmental Clearinghouse
  • Environmental Clearinghouse
  • Environmental Clearinghouse

Environmental Clearinghouse

Straughan Environmental is serving as the Environmental Clearinghouse for a multi-year project by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) to address and correct issues related to sanitary sewer overflows in its service area in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, Maryland. The project is proceeding on an aggressive schedule to meet deadlines mandated in a Consent Decree, with six design teams simultaneously preparing plans for work sites across the two-county service area.

To support this schedule, Straughan created standardized protocols, guidance documents, and report templates to streamline the regulatory agencies’ review of permit applications and other required submittals. Straughan also coordinated with the regulatory agencies early in the project to develop a streamlined approach for issuing wetlands/waterway permits for the project. Straughan utilized GIS tools to estimate impacts to wetlands, waterways, floodplains, and forests which allowed advance permitting activities to go forward prior to the completion of wetland delineations in the field. During project design, Straughan’s technical experts provided recommendations to mitigate construction-related environmental impacts for approximately 867 wetland temporary crossings and 1,295 waterway temporary crossings.

Throughout the project Straughan acted as liaison with regulatory and permitting agencies, including the Maryland Department of the Environment, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the National Park Service, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Commission.

A major component of this project is the stabilization and restoration of more than 200 stream reaches with exposed sewer pipes and manholes. Straughan’s experts conducted assessments of many of those stream reaches and provided restoration recommendations and design concepts as well as technical review of designs prepared by others. During construction, Straughan provided on-site monitoring to ensure compliance with permit conditions and other environmental requirements.

Straughan is further supporting this complex project by assisting WSSC in public outreach and communication efforts and in coordinating landowner agreements that are needed for WSSC to access private property.