GIS Mapping & Wetlands Permitting
Underground Utility Upgrades
National Telecommunications Utility Various Municipalities in Massachusetts
The utility project is the replacement of existing underground utility conduit with upgraded conduit to facilitate the installation of fiber optic service to many service areas in Massachusetts. The intrusive construction work parallels existing roadways for miles within many communities. Frequently the proposed work areas pass within the regulated buffer zones of protected resource areas including: wetlands, ponds, perennial streams, intermittent streams, vernal pools, mapped Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), and mapped NHESP Estimated Habitat of Rare Wildlife in Wetland Areas. In order to complete the work in the jurisdictional areas, wetlands permits are required.
We conducted field inspections to identify regulated resource areas proximal to the proposed work areas. Utilizing GIS, plans were developed depicting the work areas, mapped resource areas (wetlands, ponds, perennial streams, intermittent streams, vernal pools, mapped Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), and mapped NHESP Estimated Habitats of Rare Wildlife), and buffer zones to the jurisdictional resource areas. The plans were presented on a town-wide scale, allowing for ease of review by the conservation commission and better communication of the project details.
We worked with the utility and its contractor to foster open communications with the local regulating Conservation Commissions and state agencies. Working with the national utility and its contractors, we utilized GIS to obtain the required wetlands permits for the completion of underground utility upgrade work (installation of fiber optic service) in ten different towns throughout eastern Massachusetts. By communicating the scope and scale of the project to the local regulators, the application process was streamlined and roadblocks to acceptance were avoided. We developed a reasonable erosion control plan to satisfy the requirements of local regulators without placing an undue burden on the contractor.