With new and ever changing regulations from agencies like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), managing the natural and cultural resources aspect of midstream pipeline projects has become a complex and often confusing process to follow for many Oil and Gas companies. Apex was recently challenged to develop a turnkey system for managing a significant portion of the overall natural and cultural resources program for a large midstream firm.
Apex's natural resources experts were prepared to take on the challenge. The team quickly developed an innovative and comprehensive program to provide natural and cultural resources functions in support of the client's impending construction schedule and proposed maintenance programs. A key milestone in the successful initiation of the program was a training session conducted for the client's various functional group staff to review compliance obligations under the Endangered Species Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Clean Water Act, and National Historic Preservation Act. Apex offered immediate solutions regarding integrating Apex's proposed program into their internal procedures while minimizing the impact to their operations.
As part of the program, the client requested that Apex provide a natural resources expert to be embedded in the client's offices 2-3 days per week to facilitate the management of natural and cultural resources compliance for their projects and to facilitate communication between the various functional groups. Apex's services include:
- Natural and cultural resources compliance reviews for all proposed projects;
- Coordination of necessary field surveys for various federally-listed species and for archeological resources;
- Incidental Take Permit implementation plans;
- Mitigation credit calculations and supporting documentation; and
- Serve as a subject matter expert to the client's staff.
The benefits of this program were recognized and acknowledged immediately throughout the client's organization. The increased communication between the operations group and Apex's liaison dramatically reduced the project turnaround time, as expected. Specifically, this allowed for shorter delays in the project planning process for the client and enabled them to maintain a high level of service to their downstream customers—a win-win, for all involved parties.