Raedeke Associates News

Committed to providing professional and unbiased natural resource evaluations.

New WDOE Wetland Rating Habitat Scores

By Emmett Pritchard

New guidance regarding use of the 2014 Wetland Rating System issued this past summer by the Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE) could have ramifications for project sites that contain certain types of wetlands. The new guidance was provided by WDOE for use by cities and counties in both Western and Eastern Washington in setting buffer widths for wetlands that provide a moderate level of habitat function.

Mazama Pocket Gophers – What Do They Mean For Me?

By Andrew Rossi

In 2014, four subspecies of Mazama pocket gopher endemic to Washington state were listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. The justification for this listing was that an estimated 95% of the gopher’s historic prairie habitat had been lost to development. It can be difficult to understand what the specific implications are if you suspect you may have pocket gophers on your property. Raedeke can help.

Most Recent Waters Of The U.S. Clarification

By Chris Wright

In 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order requiring all government agencies to review their rules and regulations for the purpose of limiting the extent of those regulations. One regulation that was rescinded as a result of the Executive Order was the 2015 definition of Waters of the United States.

Ten New Bioretention Facilities to Monitor for Performance

By Bill Taylor

With new funding, the Raedeke Associates team lead by Bill Taylor, and Clear Creek Solutions as the prime and modeling consultant, has begun monitoring of ten additional bioretention facilities located throughout the Puget Sound Basin.

Local Jurisdictions Wrestle with Federal and State Wetland Mitigation Guidelines

By Emmett Pritchard

Following issuance of rules for wetland mitigation by the Army Corps of Engineers and EPA in 2008 and subsequent policy developed by Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE) establishing a mitigation hierarchy that prioritizes use of mitigation banks and in-lieu fee programs, city and county jurisdictions throughout Washington have been wrestling with how best to revise their regulations to be consistent with the Federal and State guidelines. 

The Clean Water Rule

By Chris Wright

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) earlier this year published the “Clean Water Rule: Definition of ‘Waters of the Unites States'” This new ‘final’ rule was intended to take effect on August 28, 2015. However, rulings in several U.S. District Courts has led to a stay of implementation of the rules until it can be reviewed by the courts. It is likely that this will eventually be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

CESCL Inspection: Protecting Critical Areas / Wetlands & LID Features

By Bill Taylor

As construction of residential and public projects accelerate in the region, regulatory agencies are paying greater attention to project site erosion control. As a result, construction management oversight by Certified Erosion and Sediment Control Lead (CESCL) inspectors is increasingly being expected by local jurisdictions.

A Shift to Credit/Debit for Mitigation is Likely

By Emmett Pritchard

For wetland mitigation projects in Washington, the Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE) is recommending the use of the new Credit/Debit Method (Calculating Credits and Debits for Compensatory Mitigation in Western Washington, Ecology Publication #10-06-011) to analyze whether adequate mitigation is being provided to off-set wetland impacts.

Bioretention Performance Research Being Performed in Western Washington

Bill Taylor

The Department of Ecology and local municipal NPDES stormwater permittees are funding a research study into the hydrologic performance of constructed bioretention facilities. The research project has selected ten bioretention facilities (engineered rain gardens) to be fitted with flow monitoring instrumentation, with the intent to measure how much of the inflowing stormwater is infiltrated below ground.

Rain Gardens and the New Stormwater Manual

by Anne Cline

Under the recently updated Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington, many projects creating or replacing between 2,000 and 5,000 square feet (sq. ft.) of hard surfaces such as a driveway or new building addition, or disturbing soils within an area ranging from 7,000 sq. ft. to 33,000 sq. ft. may use a rain garden to manage stormwater. A rain garden is a Low Impact Development (LID) tool used for managing stormwater by passing runoff through a designed landscape area, thus reducing runoff by evapo-transpiration and infiltration to the local subsurface environment.

Latest Recovery Attempt for The Northern Spotted Owl

by Dale Herter

For the past few years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has been developing a plan to test the assumption that the recent invasion of barred owls from eastern North America is depleting the northern spotted owl population in the Pacific Northwest. The barred owl is a close cousin of the spotted owl and has reached the Pacific Northwest on its own via gradual range expansion westward through forest habitat north of the prairies in Canada. It then expanded its range southward into Washington, Oregon, and California.

Low Impact Development (LID) Design for New and Re-Development: The New Normal for Site Design

By Bill Taylor

With the release of the new 2013 NPDES Municipal Stormwater Permit, local jurisdictions must put into place minimum requirements for controlling runoff from new and re-development, and from construction sites. These requirements are prescribed in the new 2012 Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington (SWMMWW) – or equivalent standards – and rely heavily on promoting Low Impact Development (LID) as “the preferred and commonly used approach for site development.”

Nationwide Permits and Regional Conditions Have Been Re-issued

By Chris Wright

On March 19, 2012, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) issued the latest Nationwide Permits (NWPs) under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Nationwide permits are issued by the Corps for activities in “waters of the U.S.” that have minimal impact on the environment. The Federal Clean Water Act requires the Corps to reissue the NWPs every five years. The current NWPs are valid through March 2017.

Easy Steps to Successful Wetland Mitigations

Nearly all development projects today require some amount of compensatory mitigation for impacts to wetlands and their buffers. Successful wetland mitigation may seem challenging and time-consuming — especially when federal, state and local agencies are involved — however, it can be accomplished with proper planning, timely maintenance and comprehensive monitoring.

Here are some tips to help you along the way. Read More…

Park Improvements Would Honor Zina Linnik

By John Larson The Tacoma Weekly

“Zina Linnik loved to play in McCarver Park, near the school she attended and her family’s house. Now members of her family, neighborhood residents and employees of Metro Parks are working to celebrate her memory with improvements to the park.”