Permitting and NEPA Compliance

Environmental Permitting

Hood River Production Program, Environmental Compliance for Development of Fish Facilities and Fish Passage Restoration

Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon
Meridian managed environmental compliance for development of a new fish acclimation facility on the West Fork Hood River; one fish weir monitoring station; modification of a natural falls to aid in fish passage which was created during a recent massive debris torrent on the Middle Fork Hood River; and a new fish ladder/biomonitoring station on the West Fork Hood River. Meridian delineated wetlands and streams near the construction zones; prepared Biological Assessments to meet ESA compliance needs for Bonneville Power Administration; prepared Army Corps and State Lands fill/removal permit applications and Hood River County applications for floodplain and stream protection overlay standards review.

Columbia River North Jetty Reconstruction Permitting

US Army Corps of Engineers
Meridian was retained during final design to obtain construction permits and to complete a wetland banking instrument for reconstruction of the failing jetty at the mouth of the Columbia River. We prepared a water quality protection and monitoring plan for work in the intertidal zone and in saltwater wetlands. A stormwater pollution prevention plan was approved by the state and the county approved Meridian's Shoreline Substantial Development Permit. Meridian biologists completed wetland banking agreements to mitigate for saltwater wetland effects.

Hydropower Facilities in Washington, Oregon and California

Various utility and private clients
Meridian staff conducted all environmental studies and obtained construction permits for eight new hydropower projects built in the Pacific Northwest, including new dam construction and adding generating facilities to existing dams. We performed NEPA compliance, obtained FERC licenses, conducted agency consultation and obtained all federal, state and local permits for construction and operation of these facilities. Construction occurred on USFS and state park lands and at Corps of Engineers' and Bureau of Reclamation dams.

Kootenai River Habitat Restoration Program

Kootenai Tribe of Idaho
Meridian prepared all permit applications for the first five years (2011 through 2016) of restoration project construction under a 50-mile-long habitat restoration program. Collaborating with River Design Group, permits were obtained for extensive bank and side channel stabilization and restoration along the mainstem of Kootenai River. Meridian continues to work on environmental planning for aquatic and terrestrial restoration projects scheduled beyond 2016.

Walla Walla Hatchery Construction Permitting

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation and BPA
The Umatilla Tribes are expanding their spring Chinook holding and spawning facility on the South Fork Walla Walla River to include smolt production within a new hatchery building, modify the water intake system, add circular rearing tanks, and develop new operator housing. Meridian contributed to the Master Plan for this site and then was retained to obtain construction permits. These include approvals from the Corps of Engineers, Oregon DEQ, Oregon Water Resources Department, the EPA and review by the County.

Lake Cushman Recreation Traffic Count and Destination Survey

Tacoma Power
Meridian designed a sampling program to collect traffic count data at numerous segments of the North Lake Cushman Road to determine vehicle use of the road system. A recreation user survey was also developed to determine the distribution of recreational use among numerous recreation sites and several land owners. The data was used to establish an equitable allocation of road maintenance costs among the different land owners.

Kootenai Native Fish Conservation Aquaculture Facility

Kootenai Tribe of Idaho
All construction permitting for a new burbot and white sturgeon hatchery was obtained by Meridian in collaboration with TetraTech engineers. Water rights, instream work authorizations and facility operational approvals were obtained from federal, state and county authorities.

Environmental Analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

Tyee Transmission Line Off-Road Vehicle Use EA

Southeast Alaska Power Agency
Meridian evaluated site conditions and prepared an Environmental Assessment to obtain approval for off-road vehicle use in designated areas. SEAPA conducts vegetation maintenance along the transmission line throughout the year that requires personnel access to remote areas. Access to transmission line segments by helicopter are being replaced by an off-road vehicle, where feasible, to reduce maintenance costs. The primary issues addressed were the effects of vehicle travel on soils and wetlands, stream crossings, and the spread of invasive species. Meridian also assisted SEAPA with mitigation planning and permitting for off-road vehicle use on non-Federal land.

Flathead Irrigation System Minimum Streamflow EA

Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
Meridian evaluated the effects of implementing minimum flows for 30 streams within the Flathead Indian Reservation that are controlled by the Flathead Indian Irrigation System. Minimum flows were identified to balance the needs of land owners with the needs of fish, including ESA listed species. The Flathead Indian Irrigation System is managed by the BIA to provide water for patented water rights of tribal and non-tribal land owners within the Flathead Indian Reservation. Court decisions have specified that instream flow rights for fish on the Reservation are senior to all other water right claims. The EA provided information for the Tribe to conclude legislative negotiations for water rights adjudication within the Reservation.

Lyle Falls Fishway Improvement EIS

Bonneville Power Administration (with DJ Warren and Associates)
Meridian prepared an EIS to modify and expand an existing fishway on the Klickitat River. We performed all NEPA coordination with BPA and analyzed terrestrial, aquatic, recreation, and land use resources. In addition to assisting BPA with NEPA public involvement, Meridian completed a BA that addressed potential effects on Middle Columbia River steelhead and Columbia River bull trout. The project was sponsored by the Yakama Nation.

Southeast Alaska Electronic Communication Sites EAs

AP&T Wireless, Alaska
AP&T is improving communication between communities in southeast Alaska through the development of microwave communication sites to transmit digital data and voice signals. New communication sites on the Tongass National Forest required amendments to the Forest Plan to authorize their installation. Since 2006 Meridian has prepared NEPA EAs, biological evaluations, and permitting documents for numerous microwave tower projects. The primary issues addressed were effects on visual resources, roadless areas and migratory birds. Meridian also assisted AP&T with construction permitting and mitigation planning. Meridian has continued working with AP&T to evaluate the feasibility of additional communication sites.