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Ecological Resources

12-Spotted Skimmer Dragonfly Image

Twelve-Spotted Skimmer Dragonfly

Several laws and rules (including NEPA, Endangered Species Act, Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and the Clean Water Act) require that all proposed federally funded projects undergo studies to determine the degree and effect impacts resulting from projects on the natural environment. More specifically, they require analysis of the impacts on the natural environment with emphasis on certain special areas of concern, particularly endangered species, streams and wetlands, and surrounding terrestrial environments. For ODOT, these studies focus on the impacts resulting from transportation projects, whether it is new construction projects or maintenance activities.

Ecological Surveys

For projects involved in stream work, wetlands or significant amounts of new right-of-way, ecological surveys are performed to inventory the resources in the vicinity of the proposed project. These data are summarized in the Ecological Survey Report. This report contains ecological spotted salamander pictureanalyses of water quality, aquatic ecosystems, endangered species, wetlands and terrestrial ecosystems. Some projects may require additional separate reports for specific resources such as mussel surveys, endangered species surveys, Biological Assessments, Coastal Consistency, and others. The Ecological Survey Report and any other resource-specific reports are used to coordinate the project impacts with the resource agencies in order to solicit comments and approvals. The coordination effort and any subsequent environmental commitments are included in the NEPA document. Environmental commitments made resulting from ecological coordination may be carried forward in the form of plan notes, avoidance and minimization measures, species surveys, and/or compensatory mitigation or conservation measures.

Manual & Forms

A comprehensive, step-by-step manual complements this program and leads environmental teams through the ecological data collection, documentation, and coordination procedures for use on ODOT related projects.

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Technical Guidance & Methods

Ecological Resources staff pulls together and updates the latest technical guidance from ODOT and state agencies Ohio Department of Natural Reources (ODNR) and Ohio Environmental Protecvtion Agency (OEPA) as well as federal agencies U.S. Fish & Wildlife (USFWS) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

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Relevant Agreements

Along with documentation to support ecological work are the agreements between state and federal agencies that clearly outline and denote responsibilities and duties as it applies to state and federal laws protecting the environment. 

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Literature Review & Related Links

Available research links to assist with ecological survey work:

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