Table 1.1-1  Programmatic Avoidance and Minimization Measures for Transmission Line Projects

Practice

Type

Potential Resources Impacted

Discussion

Resource Studies

Preconstruction

Biological

Conduct field studies to identify sensitive areas and areas of potential concern. Consult with appropriate regulatory agencies and use existing public sector environmental data to plan and direct study work. Types of studies may include, but are not necessarily limited to, wetland delineation, RTE species habitat assessments and species-specific studies, raptor nest surveys, and Phase IA/B and Phase II cultural resource studies.

Engineering Design Minimization

Preconstruction

Biological, geologic, agricultural, aesthetic, cultural

Consider construction in existing utility corridors, avoid wetlands, relocate structures out of sensitive areas, incorporate environmental data into engineering plans, and minimize visual impacts. Conduct alternative route analysis studies when required.

Access Road Evaluation

Preconstruction

Biological, geologic, agricultural, aesthetic, cultural

Study aerial photographs and conduct field investigations to identify potential access routes. Use existing access roads to minimize any new development and disturbance. Minimize access road width and the construction of any permanent roadways.

Timing Restrictions

Preconstruction and Construction

Biological

Incorporation of timing restrictions into the construction schedule(s) to reduce impacts on sensitive species. Timing restrictions for forest interior dwelling species, bald eagle, osprey, bog turtle, amphibians, vernal pool habitats, rare plants, etc.

Construction Manual Employment

Construction

Biological, geologic, agricultural, aesthetic, cultural

Develop and use a construction manual that incorporates worker awareness, biological monitoring, permit conditions, fencing of sensitive areas, trash and construction management, access routes, communication protocols, chain of command, and project reporting requirements.

Lay-Down/ Staging Area Evaluation

Preconstruction and Construction

Biological, geologic, agricultural, aesthetic, cultural

Use of lands in upland areas and areas already paved, graded, or covered for staging areas to avoid or minimize new impacts.

Due Diligence

Preconstruction and Construction

Hazard and hazardous materials, soil, water resources

Conduct Phase I Environmental Site Assessment for proposed land purchases, due diligence for work in existing ROW, including reviewing database reports for potential hazardous waste sites in order to avoid potential impact. Conduct limited site characterization and soil testing to determine soil conditions if a risk is revealed during due diligence.

Minimizing Agricultural Impacts

Construction

Agricultural

Design Project to avoid irrigation systems or other farming operations to ensure structure placement does not impede farming operations. Schedule considerations for crop harvest and monetary compensation for crop loss due to construction activities.

Minimizing Archaeological Resource Impacts

Construction

Cultural and archaeological

Employ agency coordination to identify high potential sites. Minimize earth disturbance and avoid structure placement in archaeological areas.

Minimizing Avian Impacts

Preconstruction and Construction

Biological

Conduct studies to locate existing nests. Design structures and lines in accordance with construction recommendations in accordance with Avian Power Line Interaction Committee (APLIC) Suggested Practices for Avian Protection on Power Lines:¬† The State of the Art in 2006 and Reducing Avian Collisions with Power Lines: The State of the Art in 2012. Edison Electric Institute, APLIC, and the California Energy Commission. Washington, DC, and Sacramento, CA.

Erosion and Sediment Control

Construction

Soil, mineral

Use of approved BMPs for erosion and sediment control as documented in 2011 Maryland Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control. Appendix D of this ERD contains BMPs on erosion and sediment control.

Waste Minimization

Construction

Human health, biological, water resources

The Project Construction Manual contains waste minimization and material management sections.

Hazardous Waste Impacts Minimization

Construction

Human health, biological, water resources

Incorporating health and safety measures in the Project Construction Manual, including a Health and Safety Plan, worker awareness training, and spill response protocol.

Spill Prevention

Construction

Human health, biological, water resources

The Project Construction Manual contains spill response procedures.

Health and Safety Measures

Construction

Human health

The Project Construction Manual contains a project-specific health and safety plan.

Worker Training

Construction

Human health

The Project Construction Manual contains worker training for spill prevention, environmental awareness, and worker safety.

Environmental Monitoring

Construction

Biological

Employment of environmental monitors to ensure proper placement of protective matting, construction access, erosion and sediment BMPs, compliance with permit conditions, etc.

Mitigation Plan

Post- Construction

Biological

If impacts to sensitive species or wetlands are unavoidable, Delmarva Power mitigates as necessary.

Minimizing Aesthetic Impacts

Construction

Aesthetic, cultural

During Project construction, the work site is kept clean of debris and construction waste. Material and construction storage areas are selected to minimize views from public roads, trails, and nearby residences.
Structure placement to avoid potential sensitive areas, structure height considerations to minimize the area of potential effect, and considerations given to potential visual impacts to cultural resources.

Minimizing Impacts to Biological Resources

Preconstruction and Construction

Biological

Resource and targeted species studies, field protection of sensitive areas by marking or flagging, construction manual with permit conditions and BMPs outlined, environmental/biological monitors on-site during construction, construction timing restrictions, and engineering design practices.

Minimizing Impacts to Aquatic and Water Resources

Preconstruction and Construction

Biological

Avoid placing new structures within wetlands, watercourses or floodplains to the greatest extent practicable. Where access across watercourses is necessary, place temporary bridging to span watercourses. Use vehicles with low impact tires and construction equipment (e.g., excavators) with rubber tracks to minimize impacts to water resources. When access across wetlands is necessary, temporary matting will be placed to minimize impacts and to allow vegetation to naturally return to preconstruction conditions. Employ BMPs to minimize erosion and sediment impacts and work during non-sensitive time periods for aquatic species of concern. If spills of materials associated with construction equipment occur, quickly control and clean the spill and remove contaminated soils.

Minimizing Impacts to Green Infrastructure

Preconstruction and Construction

Biological, land use, vegetation, wildlife

Avoid changes to existing land use/management within existing Green Infrastructure corridors. When possible or practical, encourage vegetation management and land use practices that support or enhance Green Infrastructure corridors.

Minimizing Noise Impacts

Preconstruction and Construction

Noise, land use

Limit construction activities to weekday and daytime hours to the greatest extent practicable. Conduct routine maintenance/inspection of equipment.

Minimizing Air Quality Impacts

Preconstruction and Construction

Air quality, land use

Properly maintain construction vehicles. Apply water or dust surfactants as appropriate to control fugitive dust emissions. Visually monitor air quality during construction activities.