Feasibility Studies

Meridian's planners and resource specialists work with site developers and their engineers to identify environmental, land use, and permitting constraints associated with new developments in natural environments. Identification, review, and selection of potential development sites are made efficient through Meridian's extensive project experience. Whether siting a hydropower project, a telecommunication site, or a fish hatchery, Meridian knows about the resources, issues, and engineering constraints to assist with site selection and evaluation in the Pacific Northwest and Southeast Alaska.

Pumped Storage Feasibility and Site Selection

Public Utility District No. 1 of Snohomish County, with MWH Americas
Meridian staff worked with civil and hydropower engineers to identify potential sites that could be developed into a pumped storage project. Topographic maps, aerial photos and geographic information system data were used to identify 41 potential sites in the western Cascade Mountains of Washington. Potential sites included those integrated with existing hydropower projects and independent new developments. Sites were filtered through engineering, economic, land use, and environmental criteria in order to evaluate and prioritize their feasibility. Land use and environmental constraints identified by Meridian led to the selection of a small number of sites for further engineering and economic analysis. Meridian's documentation of site attributes and selection criteria provided a concise summary of the site selection process for project managers.

Southeast Alaska Microwave Network Routing Study

AP&T Wireless
Meridian conducted analyses to identify a feasible route for transmitting microwave communication signals between Juneau and Sitka. Topographical features, land use designations, microwave signal transmission constraints, maintenance access, and site engineering design parameters were used to identify locations for potential new communication towers. GIS analysis was used to identify 25 potential sites and review all possible microwave signal paths between Juneau and Sitka to identify a handful of feasible locations for field evaluation. Meridian staff led an engineering reconnaissance survey by helicopter to verify the feasibility of selected sites.

Sockeye Collection Facility Feasibility Assessment

Seattle Public Utilities, with McMillen Jacobs Associates
Meridian is collaborating with McMillen Jacobs to assess the feasibility of alternative adult sockeye collection devices in support of Seattle's Cedar River Sockeye hatchery program. Options for safer and more effective structures are being evaluated. Meridian is assessing the environmental compliance ramifications of each alternative to recommend the most permittable option.

Shortnose Sucker Conservation Aquaculture Assessment

US Fish and Wildlife Service, with DJ Warren & Associates
Since being listed as endangered in the Klamath River Basin, the USFWS has sought to protect the diminishing habitat of the native Lost River sucker, but ultimately chose to evaluate hatchery options to preserve the species and aid in their recovery. Meridian was part of the team that evaluated eight sites throughout the basin to assess the following: a water supply that can be permitted, sufficient space for hatchery facilities and operator housing, biosecurity for a listed species, site access, and potential to obtain regulatory approval. Analyses and recommendations were provided to the USFWS.

Communication Site Power Supply Feasibility

AP&T Wireless
Meridian staff identified four potential routes for the installation of a power line to a remote mountain-top communication site. A direct power line connection to the communication site would reduce costs associated with transporting fuel by helicopter, storing diesel fuel on the mountain-top, and reduce the risk associated with refueling during adverse weather conditions. Engineering, environmental, land use, and permitting information was used to evaluate route options, followed by field investigations to determine the most feasible route to construct.

Aquaculture Feasibility Assessments

Various Federal, Tribal and Private Clients
Meridian has contributed to numerous aquaculture program feasibility assessments throughout the western US for both production and conservation facilities rearing anadromous and ESA-listed fish. For proposed facilities, our role typically is to assess and compare environmental compliance requirements of siting alternatives. For modifications to existing facilities, we identify the permitting requirements and any significant hurdles that may be encountered. We have worked on programs intended to produce sockeye, sturgeon, Chinook salmon, coho salmon, steelhead, ESA listed suckers, and burbot.