Cold Springs Road Corridor Reconstruction

Hudson River Comprehensive Restoration Plan

Ecological Resource Services

Expert Witness Testimony

Frontier Town

Blanding’s and Bog Turtles

Advanced Power

Iroquois Pipeline

National Grid Karner Blue Butterfly Habitat Survey

Cold Springs Road Corridor Reconstruction

Stillwater, NY

Chazen was the project administrator, town designated engineer and supporting technical consultant assisting the Town of Stillwater with the re-development of approximately 6.3 miles of road. Chazen developed the design report for SEQRA compliance which included an evaluation of impacts to surface water and wetlands, an ecological evaluation and a Toler Analysis.

Chazen completed wetland permitting and ecological reviews including a Joint Permit Application to the Corps of Engineers under Nationwide Permit 14, and to the NYSDEC for Freshwater Wetland Permits, Stream Disturbance Permits and a Section 401 Water Quality Certificate. Chazen reviewed all culvert crossings of the roadway for habitat and hydraulic connectivity and recommended improvements to culverts where they were perched or inadequately sized for expected high flows. Chazen developed a wetland mitigation design, monitored construction and conducts annual monitoring of a 0.9-acre wetland mitigation site.

Hudson River Comprehensive Restoration Plan

Various Locations, NY

Chazen was selected by The Nature Conservancy to serve as a Technical Lead for the Water Access and Navigation chapter of a new Comprehensive Restoration Plan for the Hudson River. Chazen assembled Hudson River water access and navigation experts who together evaluated the River’s history, current trends, drivers and stressors associated with water access and navigation. The evaluation included mapping of resources using GIS.

Chazen’s team developed a list of action items and restoration targets to address commercial navigation, ports, safety, dredging, waterfront development and water access. Meetings were held with Nature Conservancy staff and other technical leads to discuss synergy and conflicts among the various technical components of the plan.

A 12-page summary was submitted to The Nature Conservancy to be incorporated into the finished Hudson River Comprehensive Plan document.

Ecological Resource Services

Chazen’s environmental scientists have extensive experience working with rare plants and animals at the federal and state level. Chazen’s biologists include federally-recognized Phase 1 and Phase 2 bog turtle surveyors. Our scientists also have New York State licenses to handle Blanding’s turtles, timber rattlesnakes, Karner Blue Butterflies, and Frosted Elfins.

For Karner Blue Butterflies and Frosted Elfin, Chazen prepared the first federal Habitat Conservation Plan in the northeastern United States under Section 10 of the federal Endangered Species Act. Chazen has completed habitat and population studies for Karner blue butterflies, Blanding’s turtles, bog turtles, and timber rattlesnakes, and has concluded environmental monitoring for utilities, highways, public use and commercial facilities for many of these species. Chazen has obtained NYSDEC Incidental Take Permits for Blanding’s turtles, Timber Rattlesnakes and Short-eared owls. Chazen also regularly undertakes consultation for federally and state-listed bat species.

Chazen’s biologists are recognized specialists in rare plant surveys, and Chazen has also completed invasive species management assessments, surveys, plans, and monitoring.

 

Expert Witness Testimony

Marcy, NY

 

Chazen was retained to provide expert witness analysis and testimony on behalf of NYSDOT regarding the extent of wetlands and floodplains on a property and their impact on development potential.

To prepare for this assignment, Chazen completed a wetland delineation, survey, and floodplain assessment of the property, and incorporated that information into an expert witness report discussing federal and state regulation of the wetlands, and local regulation of the floodplain.

Chazen then provided expert testimony in the NYS Court of Claims. The Court’s ruling relied extensively on Chazen’s expert witness report and expert testimony in its final decision, which was favorable to NYSDOT.

Frontier Town

North Hudson, NY

Chazen has been working with the Open Space Institute on the proposed redevelopment of the Frontier Town property (aka Gateway to the Adirondacks) since 2016. Frontier Town was a wild west theme park that opened in the 1950s, and has been vacant since it closed in 1998.

Among other assignments, Chazen has been responsible for conducting wetland delineations and ecological assessments on the 205-acre site, including coordination with the NYSDEC to identify regulated protected streams with the Adirondack Park Agency wetlands, and with the US Army Corp of Engineers to identify federally regulated aquatic resources.

New site programing being proposed will be responsive to the natural resources identified on the property.

 

 

Blanding’s and Bog Turtles

LaGrange, NY

Chazen has provided a variety of services related to endangered Blanding’s and Bog Turtles, include:

  • Development of NYSDEC required Incidental Take Permit applications for two projects.
  • Development of Blanding’s Turtle Encounter and Relocation Plans and providing training for contractors at four project sites.
  • Monitoring construction at two highway projects including one project for over 12 months, with three daily site visits.
  • Monitoring construction at a new irrigation system and irrigation pond project for a state agency.
  • Monitoring construction at a new fire station.
  • Monitoring construction for a Central Hudson Gas and Electric utility project upgrade.
  • Coordinating a two-year Blanding’s Turtle population study on a site managed by a state agency.
  • Monitoring for bog turtles at a Metro North Railroad Training Facility construction site.
  • Monitoring for bog turtles on a utility line construction site.

Advanced Power

Various Locations, NY

Chazen provided support to Epsilon Associates Inc. for preparation of a PSC Article VII Environmental Management & Construction Plan (EM&CP) for Advance Power’s 14-mile long Cricket Valley Transmission Line, from Pleasant Valley to the NY/CT state line.

Ecological tasks included monitoring for endangered rattlesnake and turtle species, agricultural inspections and clearing oversight. A Chazen certified arborist completed a Danger Tree Assessment along the transmission line corridor. Data collected for each tree included position, description (species, size) and rationale for danger tree identification. Chazen also provided a qualified Agricultural Inspector to develop the project’s Agricultural Lands Management Plan. This included developing site specific agricultural information such as fields under active cultivation or agricultural use, unique croplands, vulnerable soils, land or water management features and site specific techniques to avoid impacts. Chazen also provided staff to lead the Pre-Construction Invasive Species Assessment which included development and implementation of the invasive species study protocol at all new pole locations and laydown areas, and consolidating collected data into an invasive species report for inclusion in the EM&CP.

Chazen is providing full environmental monitoring support as work progresses, and developed Work Zone Traffic Control access plans in support of the EM&CP for 24 access points along the corridor.

 

Iroquois Pipeline

Chazen has held a term contract with Iroquois Gas Transmission System LP since 2012 to assist with wetland and ecological activities along their utility corridor stretching from the St. Lawrence River through Connecticut to Long Island.

Assignments have included delineation of streams and wetlands, reviews for endangered species, and identification of concentrations of invasive species in advance of vegetative mowing practices along rights-of-way. Chazen monitors vegetation maintenance activities to ensure compliance with timing restrictions for stream crossings, wetlands, endangered species, and to minimize the spread of invasive species.

Chazen also delineates wetlands and streams, identifies endangered species, and completes permitting for pipeline maintenance activities including installation of cathode protection, corrective stream subsidence and bank stabilization efforts. Chazen provides construction monitoring of those activities to ensure permit compliance.

 

 

National Grid Karner Blue Butterfly Habitat Survey

Chazen has conducted surveys for the federally and NYS endangered Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides Melissa samuelis) and state threated frosted elfin (Callophrys irus) as well as blue lupine (Lupinus perennis), the host plant for butterfly larvae. Surveys were conducted along approximately 161 miles of utility rights-of-way near Albany in eastern New York, the Tonawanda region of western New York, and the Rome Sand Plains of central New York. Surveys consisted of mapping populations of blue lupine and butterflies with Trimble GPS units. Lupine stands were surveyed using GPS/GIS receivers which were then mapped onto aerial photographs with GIS. All work was documented and peer reviewed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).

Chazen was also retained to complete the first Habitat Conservation Plan in the northeaster United States under Section 10 of the federal Endangered Species Act for Karner Blue Butterflies.

Chazen has subsequently been hired over multiple years to re-survey habitats and butterfly populations in support of the approved Habitat Conservation Plan.