A full wetland delineation is a known quantity. It’s an established report whose contents and format are done the same way by everyone who perform wetland delineations professionally. There are drawbacks to a full wetland delineation. They take time to schedule and complete. They are the most involved and therefore the most expensive option available. Often, they’re the right tool for the job. But sometimes, a full wetland delineation is overkill for the needs of our clients. What they would like is something less, something faster or less expensive.
There are four major parts to a full wetland delineation:
- Wetland Screen – Desktop review of databases and maps to predict the probability and location of a wetland.
- Upland & Wetland Field Work – Actually going to the site, digging, sampling, inspecting, flagging, & delineating.
- Wetland Delineation Report – The work-product of this kind of consulting is always a report. In a full delineation, the report you receive at the end is good enough for the Army Corp of Engineers and / or your county stormwater agency
- Jurisdictional Wetland Permitting – If jurisdictional wetlands are found, permit applications need to be submitted.
- Jurisdictional Determination Request – This is a letter from the regulatory bodies agreeing with the wetland delineation. This document is the proof needed by most that they can start designing and engineering their future project.
Wetland Determination Scope of Work
A wetland determination is less than a full delineation, it involves just the first two bullet points on the list above. The first part of the process is desktop environmental research known as the wetland screen. Using Federal, State, County and Municipal sources, we comb through maps and databases looking for information regarding the subject property. This work falls into what is known as environmental due diligence because it typically happens when a commercial property is set to change ownership. Environmental due diligence can also include Phase I ESA, Phase II ESA, endangered species surveys and in this case, wetland due diligence. The difference between a standard wetland screen and a wetland determination is our certified wetland delineators will physically go out to the property and inspect it. They will dig test holes in the most likely areas wetlands could be found and determine if wetlands do, in fact, exist.
Wetland Determination Deliverable
As with all our work, the end result is a report which provides answers you will need in making a decision on whether to purchase a property or not. This report will include everything a wetland screen includes but will also have a section describing what was found when our scientist was on site for their field work. The answer will come back as wetlands were found, “Yes” or “No”. If wetlands were not found, you can be even more certain than with just a wetland screen, that your future plans will not be impacted by wetlands. To be clear, this report is not enough to satisfy the Army Corps of Engineers or the county stormwater agencies. You may still need to do future work but the full wetland delineation can be delayed until after the purchase of the property. The purpose of the wetland determination is to make informed decisions without having to pay for a full wetland delineation which may ultimately kill the project in the first place.
Wetland Determination Cost
The cost of a wetland determination is the cost of a wetland screen (agriculture or non-agriculture) plus a site visit. It’s driven by the distance the project is from our closest wetland delineator. For a frame of reference:
- Non-Agriculture Wetland Determination Cost: $1050 + Travel & Time on site.
- Agriculture Wetland Determination Cost: $2050 + Travel & Time on site
Once I have a Wetland Determination, what happens next?
As I mentioned earlier, a wetland determination isn’t good enough to submit to the Army Corp of Engineers or your county stormwater agency. It is however, the first step in the process of a full wetland delineation. We, or any other consultant you hand the report to, can use our work as the first step in the full delineation, should you need it.
Call A3E for Wetland Due Diligence
Whether it’s wetland screens, wetland confirmations, wetland delineations or a jurisdictional wetland determination, A3 Environmental Consultants can get your project done. Call (888) 405-1742 or email us at Info@A3E.com and let’s talk about your project.