When beginning a new project, whether it involves infrastructure, water resources, transportation or other engineering, there are various hurdles to overcome before construction can even begin. Often times, the first phase of the project involves evaluating the environmental considerations, such as the site itself and the potential regulations or permits that may be required. Our Environmental group works with clients to identify and plan for environmental concerns or regulations that need to be addressed prior to construction. Design of a housing or commercial development, upgrading or constructing a highway, finding solutions to flooding issues or addressing water quality concerns by stabilizing a stream channel are examples of projects that all require evaluation of potential environmental concerns. Our Environmental group works across our company to assist our engineers identify potential environmental concerns early in project design. This allows us to advise our clients and provide them with the best possible solutions that will fit their needs, while considering the potential environmental impacts of the project and regulatory considerations. Our in-house Environmental group helps our engineers and clients successfully implement our projects. The Environmental group offers assistance with the regulatory process, environmental review, planning, water quality project implementation, grant writing and public engagement.
The regulatory process can be complex and can require many types of approvals from a variety of local, state and federal agencies. The process is not always easy nor glamorous. However, it is necessary to get a project constructed and operating successfully. Environmental regulations gained momentum in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s with the passing of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 and other environmental policies by the federal government. In general, NEPA requires environmental review of any major federal action significantly affecting the environment. The States followed with their own sets of environmental laws that regulate a wide range of activities and resources, such as wetlands, shoreland, air quality, stormwater, wastewater, solid waste, and the list goes on. Recognizing that we share this planet, the intent of these regulations was to prevent and/or mitigate negative impacts to the environment and our Earth.
During that same time period, the first Earth Day occurred on April 22, 1970 to educate the public about environmental issues. This year, 2020, marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day celebrated in the United States, and is also recognized globally. As the effects of climate change are becoming more and more evident across the globe, this year’s theme is climate action.
This year also marks the first full year that Moore Engineering has offered in-house environmental services. Our Environmental Group Leader, Amy Denz, and Project Coordinator, Tara Ostendorf, bring decades worth of experience in regulatory approval, permitting, environmental review, grant writing, and project implementation.
Amy has over two decades of government and consulting experience in the environmental industry. She specializes in environmental review of a wide variety of projects for both public and private industry clients. Her projects have included municipal, transportation, renewable energy, mining, solid waste, water resources, and other types of development. Amy’s career has given her a diverse set of project management and problem-solving skills. Amy enjoys generating ideas and strategies with our engineers and clients on how to implement their projects, while balancing client needs with regulatory requirements.
Tara has spent her lifetime in central Minnesota, known for its lakes and rivers, agricultural land, and rural communities, giving her a genuine understanding of the importance of water quality to people and their communities. As a previous watershed district and Board of Soil and Water Resources (BWSR) staff, she has an extensive background and expertise to assist water resources clients in project planning and implementation. Tara enjoys working with clients to identify the potential causes to lake and stream impairments and finding feasible solutions to resolving those problems, resulting in healthy water ecosystems.
Earth Day is Every Day
Each of us plays a role in conservation of our Earth’s resources...every day. Amy and Tara are helping Moore Engineering and our clients on a daily basis to consider the environment in their projects and navigate the potential regulatory hurdles to successful implementation.
Every day Moore Engineering is improving lives by building strong and resilient communities.