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Establishing a Water Resource Issue Management Program 37 interpretations by various stakeholders. In the end, there is no substitute for careful review of the applicable regulations and interpretation of their meaning by qualified environmental profession- als, legal counsel, and regulators for the specific potential impacts to water resources on a project. Prior to the detailed, project-specific analysis of regulatory requirements that must occur, how- ever, it can be valuable to airports to identify the core regulatory requirements for guidance in the early planning processes. Greater awareness of the core regulatory requirements prior to planning can reduce the risk of impacts to project function, airport operations, schedule, and cost. The core regulatory requirements for individual water resource issue categories should be rel- atively consistent from project to project at a given airport. Understanding those requirements can provide airports with greater facility in assessing issues that may arise and their effects on the development project planning process. Having a common understanding of the core regulatory requirements can save time and money at the start of project planning and can provide a more- informed means of screening initial project alternatives. The core regulatory requirements should include documentation of the following: Potentially applicable regulations (federal, state, regional, and local); Regulatory documents to reference; Agencies with jurisdiction and regulator points of contact; Regulated parameters; Compliance requirements; Submittal requirements for the regulatory approval process; Mitigation criteria; and Statutory timeframes. To assist in developing this understanding, flow charts illustrating the recommended steps for defining the core regulatory requirements are provided in each individual fact sheet in Appen- dix B. The flow charts are specific to the water resource issue. An example of one of the flow charts is provided in Figure 3. Documenting a summary of the core regulatory requirements for each water resource issue at an airport for a project can be a useful communication tool. An example of a summary sheet for core regulatory requirements is given in Worksheet 3 in Appendix B. 2.2.5 Creating a Mitigation Facility Inventory It is the goal of most stakeholders to avoid impacts to water resources if possible. It is hoped that implementation of the methods in the Handbook will facilitate a greater degree of avoidance. In cases where water resource impact avoidance and meeting project objectives are incompatible, impacts can be allowed if authorized by regulatory agencies with appropriate jurisdiction. Approval of impacts will typically require some form of mitigation to offset the loss of the water resource or reductions in its value. Mitigation can take many forms: there are typically hierarchies of preferred mitigation measures associated with individual regulations and regulatory agencies. The hierarchies include use of existing facilities specifically designed to support mitigation from multiple projects. At the earliest stages of planning, it is useful to have an understanding not only of the general mitigation requirements (obtained from documentation of the core regulatory requirements), but also of the mitigation facilities that might be available in the airport's locale. It is recommended that operators identify these mitigation facilities for inclusion in the Water Resource Issue Information Catalog. Potential mitigation facilities to seek out include Wetland mitigation areas specifically developed by airport operators to support multiple air- port projects;

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38 A Handbook for Addressing Water Resource Issues Affecting Airport Development Planning Figure 3. Example process for defining the core regulatory requirements for physical impacts to wetlands and other surface waters. Wetland mitigation banks approved by the USACE; Stream mitigation areas approved by the USACE (these may be available within some wetland mitigation banks); Regional storm water management facilities that can be used to manage storm water quantity compliance requirements from development projects; and Publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) that can accept discharges of storm water or process wastewater. In addition to these facilities, airport operators may want to consider local waterways that might be suitable for stream restoration actions or for creation of conservation easements that would protect the streams from development in perpetuity (provided they do not create or enhance habitats attractive to wildlife hazardous to aviation).