Acting months ahead of the competition, Chagrin Valley Engineering, Ltd. has secured the crucial environmental permits for two Northeast Ohio school districts under an innovative new pilot dprogram endorsed by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA). Chagrin Valley Engineering, Ltd. is helping to expedite the construction of the new school facilities projects by taking advantage of a pilot in-lieu-fee wetland mitigation agreement expected to take effect in 2013. The mitigation projects were streamlined to the point of being nearly as simple as having the school districts write a check to the State of Ohio. The OEPA proposes to utilize funds pooled from multiple applicants to create mitigation sites as required to satisfy the applicants' requisite mitigation.
Under the new pilot in-lieu-fee agreement, OEPA has the power to immediately issue applicants an Ohio Isolated Wetland Fill Permit upon the payment of a negotiated fee. Historically, applicants have been required to mitigate impacts to isolated wetlands under Ohio Revised Code Section 6111. This process required the construction of wetlands and regularly called for long-term monitoring to verify that the mitigation was successful. Another available option was to purchase wetland credits from a mitigation bank located within the same watershed. Locating, and negotiating fees with, qualifying mitigation banks became the responsibility of the applicant and problems arose frequently when mitigation banks were either sold out or unavailable within the pertinent watersheds.
At Chagrin Valley Engineering, Ltd, we believe that this pilot program will prove to be good policy for the environment and good policy to help the needs of our clients. Streamlining the OEPA permitting process has already saved our clients thousands of dollars in potential application preparation, mitigation design, and monitoring fees. Most importantly, we have saved our clients the critical time associated with meeting the current regulations required to secure a wetland mitigation permit. Carefully reviewing and efficiently addressing permitting issues helps our clients to better focus on the true task at hand. In this case it's constructing the state of the art facilities to help educate our next generation. Keeping informed and spearheading changes associated with regulatory initiatives is another reason Chagrin Valley Engineering, Ltd. can promise creative engineers with intelligent solutions.