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OCR for page 29
Establishing a Water Resource Issue Management Program 29 Lack of understanding of mitigation options; and Insufficient analysis of the interactions between multiple water resource issues. 3. Changes to project function due to Making project design decisions before water resource issues are assessed; Making decisions based on inadequate information; and Unclear method for factoring in environmental considerations into site selection. Effective planning for water resource issues--with a goal of reducing effects on development projects--can be facilitated by establishing a Water Resource Issue Management Program. The program recommended herein includes the following elements: 1. Water Resource Issue Information Catalog-- Water resource inventory, Project characteristics checklist, Core regulatory requirements, and Mitigation facility inventory. 2. Water Resource Issue Management Plan-- Management roles and responsibilities, Protocols for managing the NEPA process, and Protocols for integrating water resource issue management and project implementation process. The Water Resource Issue Information Catalog provides a common baseline of information from which assessment of Key Notes water resource issues on all projects can proceed. The catalog should ideally be established outside of the planning process The first step in efficient planning for water resource such that the information is accessible at the start of the plan- issue management is accurately documenting the ning process; this will allow more informed consideration of existing state of water resources at your site. water resource issues at a point in the planning process where water resource impacts can be most easily avoided. The Water Resource Issue Management Plan establishes the guiding principles, management structure, methods, and strategies that will be used to execute the management of water resource issues within the context of a development project. Documentation of findings during develop- ment of the Water Resource Issue Management Plan development is important. Examples of documentation for key elements of the process are provided in Appendix A and referenced in the subsequent sections. 2.2 Water Resource Issue Information Catalog 2.2.1 Defining Key Terms One of the challenges of facilitating input among stake- Key Notes holders with varying experiences and interests is "speaking the same language." In many cases, the same terms will have Defining a common language for discussing water different meanings to different stakeholders. Some of these resource issues is an important--but often an terms are crucial to effectively communicating during the overlooked--step. development project implementation process.

OCR for page 29
30 A Handbook for Addressing Water Resource Issues Affecting Airport Development Planning Terms associated with water resources are particularly important because they may have regulatory implications. Prior to discussing specific techniques for characterizing the water resources, it may be useful for stakeholders to ensure they have a common understanding of the water resourcerelated terms that will be used in their discussions. The following definitions of key water resourcerelated terms are used in the Handbook and recommended to stakeholders for consideration: Water resources--sources of water that may be located on, near, or off airport property, including Waterways (e.g., streams, creeks, rivers, and swales); Water storage and frequent inundation areas (e.g., wetlands, floodplains, ponds, lakes, and detention/retention basins); Subsurface sources (e.g., groundwater); and Coastal and marine resources (e.g., oceans, estuaries, bays, coastal zones, and coastal barriers). These resources are valued for their beneficial uses and the life-sustaining qualities they offer to humans and aquatic life. In the context of the Handbook, the definition of water resource also extends to zones, boundaries, reaches, and classifications that have been created by regulations to allow for specific protection of water resources and their uses. Water resource impact--a negative effect on a water resource based on the regulatory stan- dards for that resource that is caused by the development project. The term includes any effect that a project may have on a water resource and should not be confused with the term "impact," as used by NEPA. Water resource issue--a potential project effect associated with water resource regulatory requirements that dictates that an airport operator take action. A "water resource issue" moves beyond the direct effect on the water resource as defined by water resource impact and encom- passes the full scope of regulatory and project actions needed to manage the impact--including consideration of avoidance. Water resource issues are associated with particular regulations or groups of regulations. At some point in the development project implementation process, the detailed requirements of those regulations will need to be assessed with respect to the project's water resource impacts. The emphasis on understanding regulation and issue-specific drivers for water resource man- agement is crucial. As such, to support the Handbook and its readers, seven categories for water resource issues have been identified. The categories are distinguished by a combination of the type of physical water resource in the environment and the regulations that are designed to pro- tect those resources for the benefit of human and aquatic life. Each water resource issue category has relatively unique regulatory requirements that must be assessed individually and in different stages of the planning process such that potential significant water resource issues are under- stood. Because of their distinct regulatory requirements and the fact that there are some unique strategy considerations for the management of each water resource issue, individual fact sheets have been prepared for each category. The fact sheets, listed below, are referenced in the remain- der of the Handbook and are found in Appendix B: 1. Physical Impacts to Wetlands and Other Surface Waters, 2. Surface Water and Groundwater Quality, 3. Storm Water Quantity and Floodplains, 4. Hazardous Wildlife Attractants, 5. Aquatic Life and Habitat, 6. Coastal Zones and Barriers, and 7. Wild and Scenic Rivers.