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OCR for page 31
Establishing a Water Resource Issue Management Program 31 2.2.2 Creating a Water Resource Inventory An important Handbook principle is that airport staff know its water resources. Knowing water resources involves Key Notes understanding the types of resources as well as their loca- tion(s), extent, quality, regional functions, and regulatory It is difficult to make good planning decisions on designation or status. water resource issues if the characteristics of the water resources at the site are not sufficiently Typically, the depth of knowledge of water resource understood. increases as the project proceeds through the project imple- mentation phase. Having comprehensive and credible information on water resources available prior to project conception or during early project implementation phases is a crucial aspect of making good decisions and minimizing the effects of water resource issue management on the devel- Key Notes opment project. Deciding to fund early assessment of water resource One means of having water resource information available issues is a cost- and risk-based decision that may early in the project implementation process is through the vary from project to project. development of a Water Resource Inventory. This can be done independent of project planning or as part of the planning process itself. A Water Resource Inventory should provide a baseline characterization of existing water resources on the airport site, as well as water resources on surrounding areas that may be affected by or affect airport development projects. A well-conceived inventory provides the following benefits: Data for better informed initial siting and layout decisionmaking during the Conceptual Plan- ning Phase; Information for initial discussions with regulators; Information to support the NEPA process; A common reference point for assessing water resources on multiple projects; Information with documented sources and levels of accuracy to provide more representative comparisons of potential impacts for multiple projects; Cost savings by avoiding the need to reassess water resources on a project-by-project basis; Reductions in schedule impacts during early planning by potentially avoiding a data consoli- dation and collection step; and Reductions in negative impacts to the development project function, airport operations asso- ciated with the development project, project schedule, and project costs resulting from deci- sions made using insufficient water resource data. The information contained in an inventory may vary depending on the water resources and local regulatory conditions, but generally should include the following, as available: Maps showing general locations of the various resources, including Wetland inventory maps (jurisdictional and non-jurisdictional); Surface water maps for the local watersheds; Onsite detention, retention basins, ponds, lakes, swales, ditches, creeks, streams, and regulated outfall locations; Off-site features including basins, ponds, lakes, bays, oceans, ditches, creeks, streams, and rivers; 100-year floodplain boundaries and floodway boundaries; Coastal zone boundaries; Hydrogeological maps; Drainage or flood management district boundaries; and Environmental or ecological zones.

OCR for page 31
32 A Handbook for Addressing Water Resource Issues Affecting Airport Development Planning Narrative descriptions of the resources Known past issues or regulatory actions, and Comments on public interest. Regulatory designations, including designated uses and quality ratings. Other existing documentation, including Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs); Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plans, Best Management Practice (BMP) manuals, NPDES permits, and Existing or historical permits for the facility. Adjoining community or other land use plans. Supporting information that may not specifically be a water resource, but supports assessment of water resources Topographical maps, Land use maps for the airport and adjoining communities, Storm water infrastructure drawings, Deicer use records and deicer application locations, Water quality data, and Water quantity data. Information for completing a Water Resource Inventory can come from a variety of sources. Typically, inventory information for identifiable water resources can be obtained from several sources, including Publicly available information from historical characterization that an airport operator can obtain directly (e.g., National Wetlands Inventory [NWI] maps or watershed maps); Publicly available information that can be obtained upon request from regulatory agencies (e.g., presence of endangered species and their habitats or floodplain boundaries); and Regulatory documents. Information from these sources is typically easy and economical to obtain. The quality of the information, however, needs to be carefully considered in relation to its effect on project decision- making. The information in publicly available documents is frequently acquired from higher-level assessments that do not always capture important site details. The data also may not represent current conditions. Over reliance on data from these sources to characterize site-specific issues can increase the risk to project function, costs, and schedule from misinformed decisions. If it is determined that significant risks exist, the Water Resource Inventory can be supplemented by information from the following sources that may provide more detailed, site-specific data: Information held by entities owning land surrounding the airport that may have been obtained from site-specific characterization. This should be limited to areas that can Key Notes potentially impact or be impacted by the development project. It is crucial that the project team ask environmental Existing site-specific characterization data at the airport compliance specialists to define the degree of accu- from previous environmental inventories, previous proj- racy required in characterizing water resources for ect investigations, and past permit applications. the purpose of assessing compliance. If integration of this existing information proves insuffi- A lack of sufficient accuracy may trigger the need cient to reduce risk to the desired degree, it may be necessary to collect additional field data on water resources to acquire detailed data from new field surveys. Obtaining late in the project. site-specific information can be costly, and it may be difficult to justify the expense early in the planning process, espe-