Port of Grays Harbor (POGH) contracted ELS to conduct a “second opinion” review of another consultant’s wetland determination. The previous consultant had determined that an apparent abandoned dewatering ditch located within an approved fill area was a jurisdictional wetland. This determination resulted in significant anxiety and concern for the Port and its client, who needed to start construction quickly on a critical expansion of their project site. The Corps of Engineers’ initial review confirmed the determination of jurisdictional wetlands and forecasted a lengthy permitting process.
ELS evaluated the site and reviewed its history and found that the determination was inaccurate. The ditch in question was located on top of permitted fill, and POGH had maintained the ditch and the fill for several decades. Using site data, historical aerial photo review, and contract files from POGH, ELS documented that the ditch was a maintained structure, and is indeed a dewatering ditch for a permitted spoils deposition area.
After reviewing this information, the Corps of Engineers reversed its opinion and formally verified that the ditch was not jurisdictional, thereby allowing the project to proceed, with significant cost and time savings for the POGH and its client.
Programmatic Mitigation for the Port of Chehalis
With the assistance from ELS the Port of Chehalis was issued a Regional General Permit (RGP) from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. By working together ELS and the Port developed a programmatic mitigation strategy that accomplished the following objectives:
- Provide the Port with predictability in permitting, and provide potential Port landowners or tenants with development-ready properties.
- Avoid costly delays caused by multiple and redundant permitting processes.
- Integrate a thoughtful environmental process with local job creation, economic development, and long-term tax benefits for local governments.
- Achieve compensatory mitigation prior to initial critical area impact.
- Focus economic resources where they provide the most benefit by allowing mitigation to be concentrated at selected, pre-approved sites.
- Prevent a piecemeal approach to permitting wetland impacts.
Completed Port Projects
Port of Kalama
East Port Master – Sub-consultant for Critical Areas Consulting and Expert Witness
Port of Camas-Washougal
East Industrial Site Master Plan – Land Management and Wetland Delineation
Port of Chehalis
Corps Regional General Permit for Industrial Development Wetland Delineation Sites 2-6 Langus, Unzelmann
Port of Longview
Large Woody Debris and Installation Plan
Port of Willapa Harbor
Skidmore Slough Tide Gate
Dick Taylor Industrial Park
Airport Hanger Expansion
Port of Ridgefeld
Delineation – Project #1 of Discovery Ridge Sub-consultant for Due Diligence/Site Investigation Sub-consultant for Lake River Site
Port of Olympia
Sub-consultant for 3 Catellus Sites
Port of Grays Harbor
Sub-consultant for Terminal 1 Site
Terminal 4 Fender System Replacement
Terminal 2 Piling Replacement
Westport Bankline Reconstruction
South Shore Propertes
Maintenance/Rayonier Dredging Biological Assessment
Port of Woodland
Permitting and Wetland Mitigation – Rail Spur Project
Port of Vancouver
Port of Ilwaco
Jessie’s Fish Co. Bulkhead replacement
Port of Astoria