Services: Environmental Services

picture of soil testing and environmental servicesArthur H. Howland & Associates, P.C. is equipped to perform the following Environmental Services that are essential to any construction project:

Wetland Soil & Watercourse Delineation
Soil Investigation & Testing
Inland Wetlands & Watercourses Permitting
Hydrology & Stormwater Management
Sedimentation & Erosion Control Plans
Floodplain Studies & Analysis

Factors Limiting Development Potential

In order to preserve valuable natural resources, all construction projects are subject to scrutiny and review by local, state, and federal regulatory agencies. As part of any plan of development, it is necessary to determine the existence and extent of any natural resources located on a property. The existence of wetlands, floodplain, vernal pools, endangered or protected species, archeological, or any other form of natural resource found on a property can greatly limit the extent and means in which a property can be developed.

Preservation of Valuable Resources

Wetlands and watercourses provide an extremely valuable function to our environment. They support a wide variety of plant and animal life by providing a source for nutrients and habitat. In addition, they also provide a means of pollutant renovation and nutrient removal through biological and chemical processes that is unrivaled by other types of habitat. It is therefore extremely important to protect and preserve valuable wetland areas during the development of a property. In order to determine the extents in which a property can be developed, it is important to determine if wetlands exist on a property and the extent in which they do exist.

Wetland, Watercourse, and Natural Resource Delineation and Assessment

Arthur H. Howland & Associates, P.C. provides wetland delineation, assessment, and soil testing services that can determine the existence and boundaries of any wetland areas on a property or site. Once the boundaries and location of wetlands and watercourses on a property are determined, they are then located by our survey field crew. Once the wetland and watercourse locations are located by the field crew, this information is then passed on to office staff where it is added to the existing conditions mapping. Other research is also done by office staff to determine the potential and location of any other natural resources which also may be present on the property.

Soil Testing for Development Potential

Our office also provides soil testing services to determine adequacy of an area of a site for construction of a subsurface sewage disposal (septic) system, stormwater infiltration system, and other aspects of a plan of development. During this process our Soil Scientist looks for limiting factors that would affect construction on the site. These limiting factors typically include determining the existence and depth to ledge and seasonal high groundwater levels. This is typically done by conducting “deep test” pits on site. These “deep test” pits are machine dug by an excavator and then read by our Soil Scientist to determine the depth to the aforementioned limiting factors. Once the existence and depth to ledge and/or seasonal high groundwater levels are determined, the soil scientist then conducts “percolation tests” which determines the ability of a site’s soils to infiltrate water into the ground. Occasionally “permeability samples” are also taken within a “deep test” pit to determine the ability of a soil layer to transmit water. Once the necessary testing is done, the information is then passed to the civil engineering office staff who determine the ability of a septic system or stormwater infiltration system to be constructed properly.

picture of watercoursePlan of Development

Once the location of the known natural resources and limiting factors found on a property have been added to the existing conditions mapping, it is at this point where a plan of development (site plan) can be developed for the property. The client will then work with the civil engineering staff at Arthur H. Howland & Associates to develop a layout which preserves the property’s valuable resources while still being functional for the intended use of the project. It is during this process in which stormwater management systems, septic systems, and a sedimentation & erosion control plan are developed to allow development with regard to natural resource preservation.

Permitting Processes

Once a site development plan, which details all aspects of site construction, is created, all applications, plans, and reports need to be submitted to the appropriate local, state, and federal land use agencies for approval. This process typically involves the presentation of the project to the public at “night meetings” held within the municipality where the project is proposed. During this process, a review of the project is typically conducted by town staff to determine if there are any concerns or issues with the project. If any issues are brought up, our office responds quickly and diligently to address whatever concerns may arise. Our ability to take a project from the initial stages through design and construction combined with our proven track record in obtaining land use permits for our clients (in often challenging circumstances) is what separates Arthur H. Howland & Associates from its competition.

Above and Beyond

The Environmental Services staff of Arthur H. Howland & Associates is here for you every step of the way to answer any questions you may have regarding any of your current or past projects with us. If you have any questions regarding the Environmental Services we offer or you are interested in working with us on a current or upcoming project, contact us at (860) 354-9346 to discuss how we can be an asset on your next land use project. You won’t regret it!

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