Infrastructure Project

Linear Construction Environmental Oversight and Permitting Support

Confidential Telecommunications Provider National

Solution Overview

Trenching operations equipment in a wooded area at a linear construction project site

Client:

Confidential telecommunications provider

Business Challenge:

  • Complex challenges associated with linear development, including easements, jurisdictional/agency coordination, and stakeholder management

Solution:

  • An intelligent and strategic approach that saves significant time in obtaining approvals and permit authorizations across jurisdictions

Results:

  • A happy client who has partnered with Apex for these services for close to three decades

Challenge

Linear construction support involves land use constraints, easement issues, access challenges, and a myriad of cross jurisdictional natural resource and environmental permitting concerns. While typically associated with relatively benign land uses (buried conduit) and construction methods with short construction cycles locally, the projects typically impact multiple landowners, land types/uses, and political subdivisions across their route.

Linear projects essentially become multiple projects with a common scope and have unique local issues along the route. Apex Companies understands the complexity of dealing with multiple variables of the same issue, often obtaining the same authorization from multiple agencies, separated by nothing more than a river, but each having different requirements.

Solution

Apex team members have managed and provided senior oversight and permitting support for linear construction projects for this national telecommunications and digital content provider since the 1990s. Over the last three decades, Apex has supported and permitted several thousand miles of infrastructure to include fiber optics, and general telecommunications services.

To manage these challenges, Apex typically conducts an initial desktop route evaluation assessing likely constraints, sensitive areas, agency jurisdictions, and approval lead times. The goal of this exercise is to identify issues and areas of the routes that could significantly impact project cost and/or timing. Problem areas are then communicated to evaluate potential mitigation options and to assist in project planning. Desktop information is also used to generate an initial permits list and identify project environmental data needs. Once environmental data is obtained, and permit needs verified, Apex uses utilizes geographic information system (GIS) and AutoCAD technology to incorporate environmental constraints and requirements into the client project data set to show environmental data in the context of other project construction data all in one place.

This approach supports the goal of being a project partner, obtaining authorizations and communicating controls that support the project while maintaining regulatory compliance.

Projects involve regulatory programs and multiple agencies at the federal, state, and local levels.

Projects all contain variants of the following compliance issues:

  • Construction stormwater permitting
  • Wetlands
  • Stream crossings
  • Section 404/nationwide permitting
  • Section 10 navigable waters crossings
  • Levee crossings
  • Flooding and drainage control districts
  • Protected species clearances
  • Cultural resources/State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)/National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Section 106
  • Sensitive area screening and avoidance planning
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • Water resource issues
  • Directional boring frac plans
  • Water withdrawal permits (boring water)
  • Water discharge permits
  • Water source impacts mitigation and resolution

Results

These types of projects include significant coordination between various federal, state, and local regulatory agencies. At the local level in particular, linear projects often involve coordination of the same approval with multiple adjacent jurisdictions. Apex is familiar with needed coordination and looks early in the project to consolidate the requirements between agencies.

Whether it is providing Internet to a new residential subdivision, natural gas and cooling water to a power plant, siting options on a transmission route, or supporting the national backbone communications network, Apex understands the challenges in coordinating multiple approvals.

Apex strives to be a project partner, assisting the execution and management of the larger project through the identification of environmental constraints and risks, and communicating the likely project costs in both time and compliance dollars. Apex realizes there are often variables of how and where certain activities are conducted along a linear route. We strive to communicate and coordinate environmental challenges so project variables may be effectively managed, and risks mitigated.

This approach has resulted in the several decades of partnership with this client, and the expansion of our telecommunications services to other providers across the country.

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