Partner performed a Wetland Determination and Delineation for a communications tower compound in the City of West Monroe, Louisiana. The Wetland Determination and Delineation was designed to assess concerning wetlands and streams in response to proposed ground disturbance associated with a proposed capital improvement project to repair the gravel access road at the subject property.
The scope of work for this Wetland Determination and Delineation included a review of topographical maps, the National Wetlands Inventory map, and aerial photograph resources to assist with identifying suspect streams and wetland areas on the subject property; a property site reconnaissance including wetland and stream data point sampling and flagging wetland boundaries; the preparation of a map depicting approximate locations of wetlands and streams observed on the subject property; and a written report that includes site characterization information, a discussion of applicable data, and recommendations for the subject property.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), Community Panel Number 22073C0145F, the subject property appeared to be located in Flood Zone AE, defined as “special flood hazard areas without base flood elevation and areas within the regulatory floodway.” Most construction activities within the regulatory floodway or floodplain, including those proposed at the subject property, require coordination with FEMA and the local Floodplain Administrator (FPA).
At the time of the site reconnaissance, the suspect wetland areas were dominated by hydrophytic vegetation. The evaluation of the soil revealed the presence of a depleted matrix and redox depressions at each sample location, which are hydric soil indicators. The soils within the suspect wetland areas were considered hydric. A hydric soil is a soil that forms under conditions of saturation, flooding, or ponding long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic conditions in the upper part.
In addition to flagging the wetland boundaries, the ordinary highwater mark of Black Bayou was flagged along the eastern property boundary. According to our delineation, preliminary resource document review, and field observations, two isolated emergent wetland areas are located within the boundaries of the proposed site improvements on the subject property.
In Partners opinion, the wetland areas were isolated and would not be considered jurisdictional and regulated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE); however, because these features were located within the regulatory floodway, the USACE may consider the isolated emergent wetland areas jurisdictional. In the event the USACE considers the observed features to be jurisdictional, proposed impacts to the features could require a Section 404 Permit. It was Partner’s understanding that proposed development onsite will impact the observed features and USACE regulatory concurrence should be obtained prior to future development activities.