Advice from an Environmental Consulting Firm: Winning a Review

5265582279_1a3c9a12c2_zFor oil and gas companies, winning environmental reviews can be a challenge. Getting the appropriate regulatory bodies the information they need can halt the actual construction project, which in turn wastes the company’s time and money.

These issues usually arise when companies are unaware of what is actually required to win an environmental regulatory review and can’t prepare for them properly in the early days of the project. In this post, we’ll discuss several steps you can take to make sure an environmental site assessment goes your way with the least amount of delay possible. Take a look at these points, but also bear in mind that working with professional environmental consulting firms may be worthwhile.

Things you should do to win an environmental site assessment

1. Know what the requirements are

It may sound obvious, but some oil and gas companies are unsuspecting of the environmental regulations that pertain to their project until it’s too late. Factoring in these issues in advance can help remove many of the headaches involved with environmental site assessment.

One way to do this is by building a good working relationship with the environmental agencies that oversee issues related to the project. Environmental regulations change frequently over time, so keeping up with agencies and how they work is the best way to make sure you’re always up to date on the most recent requirements. Since building good working relationships can take years, you can always consider hiring an environmental consulting firm to help you in the meantime. Working with a firm will allow you to piggyback on their expertise and relationships, helping you understand your environmental review requirements going into a project.

2. Make environmental issues an ingrained part of your project from Day 1

Oil and gas companies sometimes run into problems when unexpected environmental issues arise. Once the project is already in development, it can be hard to go back and tack on environmental compliance as an afterthought.

Instead, oil and gas companies can make sure that they win their environmental reviews by preparing for them every step of the way. This means understanding what environmental issues might be included in the project, and taking steps to make sure those requirements are being met before any work begins on the actual construction project itself. In order to accomplish this, it can be beneficial for organizations to ensure cooperation and openness between planners and engineers. Making sure that the right people are working together and communicating with one another is the best way for environmental concerns to be accounted for long before the review process begins.

3. Use the right technology

Finally, organizations must remember that environmental regulations are so complex that even when one has a complete and accurate understanding of what they are, it can still be difficult to act on them correctly. This is where technology comes into play. Using the right technology helps take the guesswork out of environmental reviews, ensuring that an organization has selected the optimal land use patterns that allow them to meet environmental requirements without sacrificing the success of the project.

Once again, working with an environmental consulting firm can be very helpful in this regard. These firms have experience using the latest technology, and know how to put it to use to support your environmental concerns.

Landpoint offers a level of service unlike other environmental consulting firms, giving you the knowledge and resources you need to ensure a successful outcome for your environmental reviews. To learn more about environmental consulting services from Landpoint, contact us today.

Image Source : Centre for Alternative Technology

Common Environmental Review Issues (And How to Fix Them)

environmental consultingOil and gas projects can cover a large geographical area, making environmental review issues a major area of concern. When a company doesn’t prepare to address these issues in advance, they may find themselves scrambling to address them after the project has already started, leading to major delays and budget shortages that can be hard to overcome.

In this post, we’ll discuss some of the major environmental review issues that could interfere with your project and talk about how to prepare your company for these issues so they cause the least amount of complication possible.

Major Environmental Review Issues for Oil and Gas Projects

1. Wetlands Mitigation Regulations and Permitting
Getting a permit to work in or around wetlands is a very time-consuming process, so it’s important that you start thinking about what permits you might need well in advance of your project. Depending on the location, size, and scope of your project, it could take anywhere from 6 to 18 months to get your permit.

Another complicating factor is that the entire permitting process is handled by a single federal organization, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Even if you work with an environmental consulting firm, there is nothing they or anyone else can do to speed up the permitting process. The timeline for securing a permit will depend on the USACE’s schedule.

2. State Regulated Waters
Depending on what state your project is located in, you may need a permit to work around protected waters; this permit would be separate from the 404 permit that covers federal wetlands regulations. An example of this can be found in the Louisiana Scenic Rivers System.

The hard part of these regulations is knowing which bodies of waters are regulated, since the exact rules vary from state to state. Working with a partner that has an intimate knowledge of an area can be extremely helpful in this regard.

3. Well Spacing on Oil and Gas Projects
There will often be cases where you’re unable to secure a wetlands permit. In these instances, you may find yourself having to improvise by relocating a project site. In turn, this could lead to complications when a well ends up being located too far away from its assigned unit.

It’s critical to strike a balance between ensuring proper well spacing on your oil and gas project and complying with all environmental regulations.

4. Endangered Species
Your company must take the time to learn about any endangered species habitats that can be found in the area of your project site. If an endangered species does live in the area, your project will not be allowed to go ahead. It’s important to know about these situations in advance so that you can make other plans.

5. Archeological and Historical Sites
If areas of cultural or historical significance are discovered on the project site, your project will have to be shut down or relocated. These areas could include sites such as Native American mounds or cemeteries. While there may be no way to predict where these sites will be found, you can come up with a contingency plan to use in the event that such sites are found.

6. Wildlife Management Areas
Working in a wildlife management area can be very time-consuming and difficult. These areas are highly protected, and often require special clearances and notifications in order to access them. Once again, working with an environmental consulting firm can help you navigate this issue while also pursuing the satisfactory completion of your project.

To learn more about how to tackle environmental issues and avoid complications and delays, contact Landpoint today.

Image Source : USAG Livorno PAO