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Airport Planning and Development 69 The sponsor or authorized representative may elect to release or reduce any monies retained to the contractor, depending on the work identified for completion on the final inspection. The contractor is generally required to submit an affidavit of wage-rate compliance. The engi- neer should develop a list of variations in quantities (with explanations) and a materials book that documents the testing of materials and certifications received during construction. Environmental Considerations Prior to any undertaking, the airport is responsible for ensuring that it is in compliance with applicable environmental regulations. This section of the guidebook is intended to provide a brief summary of applicable regulations for airport actions and to familiarize an airport with the environmental process. It is intended to provide general guidance. In addition to FAA requirements associated with federal actions, there are other federal, state, and local regula- tions that airports should be aware of and consider prior to starting a project. It is recom- mended that airports consult with the FAA airports district office, state aviation office, or environmental professionals for specific project guidance. In general, the goal is for an airport to be aware of resources that may have special regulations associated with them. Conducting baseline environmental studies can identify environmental constraints. The better informed the airport is about these issues, the greater likelihood that planning and project implementa- tion will go smoothly. Regulatory Overview Federal Regulatory Process. The FAA Office of Airports is responsible for analyzing the envi- ronmental effects of proposed airport actions, verifying that the evaluation process complies with NEPA, and implementing regulations issued by the Council on Environmental Quality. Prior to the FAA issuing grants or other approvals, documentation that the project complies with the gov- erning acts and regulations is required. The FAA has issued the following three documents for guid- ance and instruction: · FAA Order 1050.1E, Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures. FAA, Washington, D.C., FAA, June 2004. · FAA Order 5050.4B, NEPA Implementing Instructions for Airport Actions. FAA, Washington, D.C., FAA, April 2006. · Environmental Desk Reference for Airport Actions. FAA, Washington, D.C., October 2006. NEPA may require three types of documentation. In order of simplest to most complex level of analysis required, the three types of NEPA documents are 1. Categorical exclusion, 2. Environmental assessment, and 3. Environmental impact statement. FAA Orders 1050.1E and 5050.4B describe these documents as well as when they are required. The FAA has identified several types of projects and federal actions that can be categorically excluded. Even if the project is on this list, however, verification is still required that special circum- stances that would trigger the need for an environmental assessment do not exist. In addition to NEPA, other federal environmental regulations such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act must be adhered to. FAA Order 1050.1E and the FAA Environmental Desk Reference provide instruction on how to comply with these various laws. The following sub- sections provide basic information on these issues. This document is not intended to be all- inclusive. Please refer to both FAA Order 1050.1E and the Environmental Desk Reference for more complete guidance.
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70 Guidebook for Managing Small Airports State Regulatory Process. States vary in how they implement NEPA and other environmen- tal regulation for airports. The FAA has delegated its NEPA processing oversight and other specific responsibilities for nonair-carrier airports to states with block grant programs. The states are then charged with providing oversight and guidance on the environmental process to ensure it complies with FAA regulation. The FAA still has ultimate responsibility for the final decision or finding on the environmental document, depending on the specific block grant agreement. In addition to these block grant programs, states may also have their own state Environmental Policy Act regulations that airports must adhere to in addition to the FAA requirements. Examples include California, with its California Environmental Quality Act process, and Minnesota, with an environmental quality board overseeing this process. Sometimes these state and federal processes can be completed concurrently; at other times the requirements of each are different and do not lend themselves to this parallel process. It is important that an airport be aware that additional state processes may be applicable to it. Local Regulatory Process. The previous two subsections identified federal and state processes originating from NEPA. Cities, townships, and counties may have jurisdiction and regulatory oversight over certain airport activities. It is recommended that airports establish relationships with these local jurisdictions and contact them at the onset of projects and studies as appropriate to familiarize them with the airport, gain their input, and determine if any local permits or approvals are applicable or required. Water Resources Many airport activities have the potential to affect water resources. Resources include surface water and groundwater quality and quantity. Both temporary impacts, such as those created dur- ing construction, and long-term ones, such as those associated with increased pavement and deicing systems, should be considered. The following subsections present a brief overview. Federal and State Regulations. The Clean Water Act is the principal statutory framework for considering water quality. States and local municipalities have adopted regulations that allow them to enforce this federal law. These regulations include the issuance of Water Quality Certificates (WQC) from either the U.S. EPA or from a state if the state has been delegated Clean Water Act oversight. A WQC is required for any dredging or filling activities that require a Section 404 per- mit (described in the "Wetlands" subsection later in the chapter). State and Local Regulation and Ordinances. As previously noted, some states provide WQCs. Many local jurisdictions also have stormwater ordinances that airports must comply with. These ordinances typically include design standards for new projects. Floodplains. If a flooding source such as a creek, river, or lake exists on or in the vicinity of airport property, a determination must be made as to whether any proposed actions could affect this floodplain. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has issued Flood Insurance Rate Maps and Flood Hazard Maps, available from the FEMA website (www.fema.gov/hazard/ flood/info.shtm), which should be reviewed. If a project would affect a floodplain, alternatives should be developed that minimize the impact. Executive Order 11988 is the primary regula- tion, with DOT Order 5650.2, Floodplain Management and Protection, and FEMA guidance also applicable. Stormwater Management. It is important that airports manage runoff from their facilities-- both the quantity and quality. The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program requires NPDES permits for facilities that have a point source discharge into a naviga- ble waterway. These permits (or notices of intent) are required when more than one acre of ground disturbance is planned. These permits are typically issued by the same entity that can
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Airport Planning and Development 71 issue WQCs. Many smaller airports are currently covered under general NPDES permits, while larger airports may have an individual permit. Airport managers should keep informed of reg- ulatory developments in the NPDES area to ensure that their permits are current and valid. Coverage by these permits requires that airports have a stormwater pollution prevention plan. This plan requires periodic monitoring of stormwater facilities, which in many cases is conducted by airport staff, and documentation of stormwater management practices currently in place. Some stormwater practices, such as wet detention (permanent wet ponds) for water quality, pro- vide wildlife attractants and are therefore discouraged at airports. Air Quality Regulations. The Clean Air Act and NEPA are the two regulations to be considered. Many airport actions are too small to require detailed air quality analysis under NEPA. General Conformity, State Implementation Plans. The EPA has established National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six criteria pollutants: carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide. States are responsible for identifying or "des- ignating" areas that are in attainment, nonattainment, or maintenance for each of these six pollu- tants. States are required to develop EPA-approved state implementation plans to achieve or maintain the NAAQS. Airports should verify the designation of the area in which they are located. If an airport is in a nonattainment or maintenance area, it is recommended that the airport contact its local air agency to confirm what analysis or permits are required for projects. In some states, permits may be required for indirect sources such as boilers. Noise The noise from airports, particularly aircraft noise, can be a source of controversy for any air- port. FAA guidance requires a noise analysis be conducted for general aviationrelated actions if, during the period the environmental document covers, the projects would involve more than · 90,000 annual piston-powered aircraft operations (257 average daily operations) in approach categories A through D, or · 700 annual jet-powered aircraft operations (about two average daily operations). Under FAR Part 150, local jurisdictions can prepare and submit to the FAA a noise exposure map for the airport's environs and a noise compatibility plan. This voluntary program applies to all publicly owned, public-use airports included in the NPIAS. Other provisions established by FAR Part 150 include · Making the decibel A-weighted (dBA) scale the universal noise measurement tool, · Making the Day-Night Level (DNL) the universal noise contour measure, and · Defining acceptable land uses for areas within each DNL noise contour. Hazardous Materials The potential of contamination and pollution from hazardous materials should be assessed and each state's regulations complied with. Due Diligence Environmental Audits If the airport is planning to acquire land or disturb areas of land, a due diligence audit should be conducted and FAA guidance should be sought. This audit reviews historic and current use of land and obtains known pollutant sources (records search) to assess the potential for the lands to be contaminated.
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72 Guidebook for Managing Small Airports Spill Prevention Countermeasure and Control Plans Airports should have a current spill prevention countermeasure and control plan completed that could be implemented in case of a spill. Wetlands Applicable Regulation. Wetlands are regulated under Executive Order 11990, Protection of Wetlands; the Clean Water Act, Section 404; the Rivers and Harbors Act, Section 10; and the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act. Agencies with regulatory authority include the EPA, U.S. Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and state environmental agencies. Airport Responsibilities. Airports are responsible for activities occurring in wetlands within their property. The most common activities are filling or dredging within wetlands under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Corps of Engineers or the state. Tree clearing, if clearing and grubbing is involved, is also considered a regulated activity. It is recommended that airports have wetland delineations performed to verify the extent, type, value, and function of wetlands in areas of potential disturbance. The amount of fill or dredging determines the type of per- mit. Efforts must be made to try to avoid the impact by looking at other alternatives. If avoid- ance is not possible, then efforts must be made to minimize the impact and mitigate the effects. On-site mitigation is generally not desirable because of the potential for affecting wildlife. Many states have wetland mitigation bank programs to help with mitigation. If a special or unique resource is affected, regulatory agencies may request site-specific mitigation. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service helps the FAA review mitigation plans for wildlife conflicts. Fish, Wildlife and Plants Consideration must be given to the flora and fauna in the vicinity of an airport. Endangered or threatened species or their habitats are protected by the Endangered Species Act with over- sight by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Additionally, states may have a state list, often found in a National Heritage Inventory. Airports should learn if such special species exist in their vicin- ity so that this information can be considered in airport plans. Farmlands Farmland Protection Policy Act. The intent of this regulation is to protect prime farmland from being converted into non-agricultural uses. The Natural Resource Conservation Service oversees this program locally. Airports should contact this agency if there is the potential to acquire or convert farmland. Additionally, states and local jurisdictions may have programs that place encumbrances on property associated with agricultural use. Prior to conversion, the exis- tence of such encumbrances should also be determined. Possible Conflicts with Wildlife. FAA AC 150/5200-33B, Hazardous Wildlife Attractants on or near Airports, Section 2, identifies the potential for conflict from the proximity of agricul- tural land to airports because the land can attract wildlife. Many airports have undertaken wildlife assessments, the results of which are used to develop a site-specific wildlife manage- ment plan. Recommendations may include taking land from agricultural use or planting it with certain crops. Historical, Architectural, and Cultural Significance The FAA Environmental Desk Reference for Airport Actions defines a historic property as "any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in, or eligible for inclu- sion in, the National Register of Historic Places maintained by the Secretary of the Interior (36 CFR
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Airport Planning and Development 73 Section 800.16(I)). Properties or sites having traditional religious or cultural importance to Native American tribes and Hawaiian organizations may qualify." Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act is the implementing regulation that applies to activities that may affect such properties. Airports should be aware that such a regulation exists. Compliance with this regulation involves consultation with a state historic office. Depending on the state, either the FAA office or state avi- ation office will contact the state historic office. Sustainable Development Sustainable development marries two important themes: that environmental protection does not preclude economic development and that economic development must be ecologically viable now and in the long run. Common use of the term "sustainability" began with the 1987 publica- tion of the World Commission on Environment and Development report, Our Common Future. Also known as the Brundtland Report, this document defined sustainable development as "devel- opment that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future genera- tions to meet their own needs" (15). This concept of sustainability encompasses ideas, aspirations, and values that continue to inspire public and private organizations to become better stewards of the environment and that promote positive economic growth and social objectives. The princi- ples of sustainability can stimulate technological innovation, advance competitiveness, and improve our quality of life. Examples of sustainable concepts include · Passive lighting, · Reduced emissions, · Improved air quality (in hangars and buildings), · Hydrant in-ramp fueling, · Recycling, · Buildings designed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards, and · Energy-efficient fixtures. A good resource for aviation-related concepts is the Airports Council InternationalNorth America (ACINA) Airport Sustainability Committee website (www.sustainableaviation.org). Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED is a program that provides certi- fication for implementing sustainable features, although it is geared more toward buildings and associated development. The Airport Sustainability Committee. The Airport Sustainability Committee, which con- sists of members of the ACINA joint Environmental and Technical committees, was formed to develop a plan of action for sustainability, including quantifying and promoting sustainable ben- efits for airports of all sizes and demographics. Its goals include helping airports document and quantify these efforts and providing support. Airport sustainability considers the economic via- bility, operational efficiency, natural resource conservation, and social responsibility of an airport for developing a holistic approach to managing an airport. Initiatives will continue to develop for practicing sustainability at airports. The Airports Sustainability Committee recognizes that sustainability applies not only to new facilities and con- struction but also to business practices including operations, maintenance, component renewal costs, and life-cycle costs. Airports should consider a business model that includes sustainability as an initiative.