SPR 2013 Prime KTC: Mitigation Exemption Low Quality Streams

  • McCormack, Sarah (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


KTC researchers will work with both the Louisville District USACE and KYTC to determine more efficient methods of handling mitigation exemptions for low quality streams. KTC will with KYTC to conduct meetings with the Louisville District USACE to 1) understand the criteria set forth by this district; 2) identify the existing differences between the Louisville District and other USACE Districts; 3) understand the reasoning and existence for these differences; and 4) how to bridge the gap between understanding and implementing mitigation exemption in Kentucky. KTC will request Louisville USACE to provide sample cases of stream mitigation exemption success stories in the context of roadside ditch relocations with a goal of identifying best practices to be followed when applying for a mitigation exemption. KTC will work with KYTC SAC members to identify potential relocation projects that could be included in the study. Pre relocation study will be conducted on at least one selected site. Currently, the USACE considers any jurisdictional stream impacted by highway projects to be a total loss for the length of disturbance. In instances when the stream being impacted is of very poor quality, the stream reestablished is often equal or better in functional quality than what it replaced. This research aims to demonstrate, using appropriate data, that Kentucky is matching and in many cases enhancing the quality of certain low-quality streams (e.g. ditches) with the streams that they reconstruct during the construction process, which should provide a basis for a mitigation exemption. This study would also help determine the appropriate habitat score that would serve as the threshold for using the “self-mitigation” exemption.
Effective start/end date7/1/126/30/13


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