Effective environmental risk management isn’t done in isolation. In fact, project after project, it has become pretty clear to us: managing risk is a collective process that involves contractors, owners, the environmental monitoring team, and the Agencies. It’s a fine balance between understanding the risk, its effect on the receptors, and appropriately understanding how effective a mitigation strategy might be. Without the perspective, contribution, and understanding of all parties involved, relationships erode, greater problems arise, and projects may temporarily stray. Although we’ve learned to become comfortable standing between a rock and a hard place, we’ve also learned to promote discussion around risk to reduce the chance of a project heading for hot water. Our part in risk management can take form in many ways, from identifying risks, to shedding light on mitigation effectiveness, to helping evaluate the severity and consequence of a non-compliance with the regulatory framework. Collectively, pragmatic strategies are found that meet everyone’s needs, and risks are adequately managed. Might not be perfect, but better than being in hot water!
Many developments require erosion and sediment control (ESC) plans as conditions of their construction permits. We have in-house, specialized staff that have spent a significant portion of their careers developing ESC plans for small and large-scale projects. Whether for urban, residential projects or for industrial developments, we understand the risks involved in sediment transport and deposition, and have a pragmatic approach to erosion control. We have worked in challenging environments, helping contractors prevent and control the movement of large exposed areas of clay soils, and have assisted others reclaim land post-construction to ensure long-term soil stability.
Our staff have developed numerous ESC plans (simple to complex), have acted as third-party reviewers on large land-slide ESC management plans, and have assisted developers on road construction projects in highly sensitive, glacial and marine till environments. We have also developed ESC plans for residential developments in a number of communities on Vancouver Island. Our specialists have helped plan, identify ongoing and upcoming ESC risks, and have inspected ESC measures and reported on their performance.
EDS has been a member of the International Erosion Control Association (IECA) for almost a decade, and continues to stay abreast of new technologies and techniques to help its clients work through challenging ESC problems. In partnership with other consulting firms, we have helped develop plans and complex sediment movement monitoring programs for major in-stream work programs (e.g., construction of dams capable of diverting more than 195 cubic meters of water per second). We also have, on roster, a specialist that has trained professionals in ESC for Vancouver Island University.