Olsson Associates

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Navigating the Clean Water Act; Olsson can help

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Chris Thomas, PWS, Environmental Assessment

The Clean Water Act has had a profound effect on the quality of our nation’s water since it was enacted in 1972. Section 404 of the Clean Water Act has been a particular game-changer in the act’s success. Chris Thomas, a project scientist with Olsson’s Kansas City Southland Environmental Assessment team, has begun a series of presentations on Section 404 that can help clients better understand this important regulation and save them time and money in the process.

The Clean Water Act was enacted to curb pollution occurring in the nation’s waters. At the time, approximately two-thirds of the country’s waters were deemed unsafe for swimming or fishing. Section 404 of the law specifically regulates the discharge of dredged or fill-material into a body of U.S. water. Chris’ presentation includes a brief summary of the history of the Clean Water Act and how it relates to Section 404. He also discusses the extent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s and the Army Corps of Engineers’ regulatory authority over streams and wetlands.

One main point of the presentation is to show permitting timelines and to enhance understanding of what is involved in obtaining a Section 404 permit, including those factors that affect a project’s scope and fee. It is shown that clients’ funds and time could be saved by involving the Environmental Assessment team early in the design process. Client resources could also be saved by avoiding regulated U.S. waters. 

For further information, or to request an electronic version of the presentation, please contact Chris Thomas at 913.381.1170 or cthomas@olssonassociates.com.

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