ASWM Webinar Series on Improving Aquatic Resource Protection through §401 Certification of Linear Energy Transmission Project Permits 

Project Background:

Energy projects, particularly pipelines, affect a range of aquatic resources, including wetlands.  A single pipeline can cross hundreds of wetlands and streams.  Disturbance of wetlands during pipeline development may also release greenhouse gasses.  State §401 Certification review of energy development projects is a highly complex and time-consuming task, one that challenges most state wetland programs.  The use of Section §401 to effectively participate in the FERC, DOE and other permit planning and review process relies on understanding about how energy permitting processes work.  Early, upfront coordination between the state wetland program, federal permitting agencies, developers and their consultant intermediaries has been shown to be a key to successful aquatic resource protection.  

To support this work, ASWM has been working with a national workgroup to develop documents detailing pipeline permitting processes, points of access for wetland managers, key points of consideration for permit reviewers, best practices for mitigation of both permanent and temporary impacts, and template energy project review materials to be adapted by state wetland programs.  ASWM is also developing an online resource page with links to guidance, templates, tools, recorded webinars and contacts.  The goal of ASWM’s project is to enhance the capacity of state wetland programs to protect aquatic resources threatened by energy development through more informed and effective §401 Certification.  The project has been funded by an EPA Wetland Program Development Grant and the Switzer Foundation.

As part of this project, ASWM will be delivering four webinars on topics that have been identified to address specific training needs:

ASWM Pipeline Permitting Project Webinars: 

  • November 7, 2018 - Pipeline Permitting 101 - Clifford Brown, West Virginia Department of Natural Resources; Robert Parker, Ollsson Associates; and Brenda Zollitsch, Association of State Wetland Managers