Permitting & Compliance

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MAD Scientist Associates has staff dedicated to environmental permitting that can helps clients understand and successfully navigate increasingly complex regulatory requirements and permit processes to meet project goals as efficiently as possible. When it’s necessary to make an impact, we help clients weigh their options on how to minimize disturbance (and therefore costs) and see the best their land has to offer. We offer full service permitting services in the following categories:

401 Water Quality Certification (WQC)

A required permit through the State of Ohio (EPA) for projects whose proposed impacts also involve a federal permit (such as Section 404) for fill within Jurisdictional Waters of the United States (streams and wetlands). Regulations outlined in the Clean Water Act, Section 401.

Isolated Wetland Permit

A state issued permit for fill within isolated wetlands in Ohio. There are three permit routes that are dictated by wetland category (1, 2, or 3) and acres of potential impact (<0.5 acres, between 0.5 and 3 acres, and >3 acres). Each permit route requires varying degrees of application materials and level of review (internal and public).

Isolated wetlands are those not connected to surface waters or directly adjacent to Jurisdictional Waters of the United States. A wetland delineation is necessary to determine wetland boundaries, which is subject to review by the local Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) district. The ACOE will issue a written jurisdictional determination (JD) that will indicate total acreage of jurisdictional water features exist onsite.

Ohio EPA Director’s Authorization

Some projects that are covered under a nationwide (federal) permit require additional approval from the Ohio EPA, in the form of a Director’s Authorization (DA). This documentation and review process is less intensive than a complete 401 Individual Permit.

General Construction Permit

A state issued general permit (OHC000005) for discharges of stormwater associated with one or more acres of construction/earthwork activity. The purpose is to minimize pollutants often found in runoff from construction sites, such as sediment, waste, pesticides, and oil, that would degrade adjacent natural habitat and waterways.

New applicants need to submit a notice of intent (NOI) and application fee several weeks prior to construction taking place.

In Ohio, the Big Darby Creek Watershed and portions of the Olentangy River Watershed require longer review periods, greater setbacks, and a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan.

404 Individual Permit

This permit regulates any and all dredge material or other fill material (rock, soil, concrete, etc.) into waters of the United States (including wetlands), and their necessary mitigation. In Ohio. there are three US Army Corps of Engineers districts that receive permit applications and oversee mitigation monitoring: Buffalo (northern Ohio), Huntington (central and southeastern Ohio), and Louisville (western and southwestern Ohio). An overview of this section is summarized here.

404 Nationwide Permit

A federally issued general permit for minor fill within Jurisdictional Water of the United States. There are 54 types of nationwide permits that are determined by the type of and size of proposed impact. These permits, once issued, are good for a period of five years.

National Environmental Policy Act Compliance (NEPA)

NEPA requires projects obtaining federal permits that also have the potential to cause significant adverse environmental impacts to develop an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This document catalogs potential environmental impacts (and proposed alternatives to the original plan) and is subject to public review.

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3)

This checklist is necessary for sites requiring general construction permits and need to be completed prior to submitting a notice of intent (NOI). Many local authorities (SWCD, municipalities, etc.) may require approval of this or other sediment management plan prior to construction activities.