We promote an environment where people and projects succeed.

electric power transmission & generation: environmental consulting services

Our professional, experienced staff provide environmental services to secure all levels of permits and approvals for electric power projects.

high voltage post or High-voltage tower in a field

Merjent staff have decades of specialized experience working on numerous renewable and traditional energy generation projects and hundreds of miles of transmission projects throughout the United States.

Our team’s energy project experience includes commercial scale wind energy facilities (i.e., wind farms), solar, and hydropower projects, as well as experience with traditional generation facilities, such as natural gas, nuclear, and coal.

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES FOR TRANSMISSION LINE PROJECTS

We understand the complexities of transmission line project economics and scheduling, and we fully appreciate the demands that construction compliance obligations can place on both.

Our staff are prepared to provide comprehensive support for high-voltage transmission line project planning, public outreach and agency engagement, agency consultation, cultural resources and environmental (biological and wetlands/waterbodies) reviews and field surveys along powerline corridors, environmental permitting/approvals, and environmental construction inspection services.

Merjent offers a wide range of environmental services to support our electric power transmission and generation clients:

planning and feasibility

  • pre-feasibility and feasibility studies
  • preliminary environmental due diligence review
  • suitability modeling
  • constraints analyses
  • pre-permitting strategy development and scheduling for critical path efforts
  • comprehensive project permit matrix
  • siting alternatives analyses for power generation facilities
  • routing alternatives analyses for linear electric transmission
  • GIS mapping
  • GIS-based land use analysis

public and agency outreach and stakeholder engagement

  • strategizing options for public outreach efforts
  • creating mailing lists and management of lists (landowner, agencies, municipalities, etc.)
  • coordinating with agency and municipal representatives
  • preparing project introduction and request for comment letters
  • supporting public and agency meeting
  • comment tracking, analyses, and summaries
  • updating project information for use with outreach efforts

environmental reviews and field surveys

  • environmental due diligence (desktop and field review)
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review
  • federal environmental assessment (EA) and environmental impact statement (EIS) preparation
  • equivalent state-level environmental review document preparation
  • phase I environmental site assessment (ESA) preparation
  • coordinating aviation, lighting, noise, shadow flicker, and electromagnetic field assessments
  • conducting visual impact photo simulations
  • performing biological services for threatened and endangered (T&E) species and wetlands/waterbodies:
    • agency consultations
    • project-specific species habitat assessments and field surveys (federal and state)
    • wetland and waterbody assessments and delineations
    • biological and wetland mitigation and monitoring plans
  • cultural resources services:
    • agency coordination
    • GIS-based predictive modeling
    • state historic preservation office (SHPO) reviews
    • federal Section 106 compliance
    • historic architectural inventory
    • cultural resources review
    • avoidance, mitigation, and unanticipated discovery plans

regulatory assessment, coordination, and negotiations for permits, approvals, and mitigation

  • federal:
    • federal resource agency consultations and approvals (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Farm Service Agency, National Forest Service, and Natural Resources Conservation Service)
    • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
    • U.S. Department of Agriculture
    • U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utility Service
    • U.S. Department of State
    • U.S. Department of Energy
    • U.S. Department of Interior – Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Indian Affairs (BIA)
    • National Park Service
    • USDA Forest Service
    • Federal Aviation Administration
    • third-party permitting and approval analyses (e.g., EIS, EA, and Presidential Permit)
  • state and local:
    • certificates of need, certificates of public convenience and necessity, and related purpose and need documents
    • state high-voltage transmission line route permit applications
    • state large energy generation project site permits
    • agricultural impact mitigation agreements, best management practices, pre-construction surveys, and post-construction monitoring
    • natural resource permits, approvals, and consultations (wetland and waterbody crossing permits, natural heritage consultations, special use authorizations, construction stormwater discharge permits, stormwater pollution prevention plans [SWPPP], water quality certification, and wetland practical alternative analyses)

construction and restoration, operations and maintenance

  • project-specific environmental mitigation plans to address construction activities and implementation of permits and approvals
  • permit book preparation (contacts, permits and their conditions, relevant construction and environmental management plans, etc.)
  • permit training for inspectors and contractors
  • applicant and third-party environmental inspection and documentation (i.e., agency compliance monitoring) including daily, weekly, and closeout reports
  • construction stormwater permitting, SWPPP development, and associated compliance inspections
  • spill prevention, containment, control and countermeasure plans (SPCCC)
  • facility response plans
  • tablet-based data reporting and management system technology solutions
  • health and safety support (development and management of project-specific plans and field survey programs)
  • restoration “punch-lists” of areas requiring additional work (e.g., erosion controls, rutting repairs)
  • post-construction monitoring

expert witness testimony

  • review and analyze/interpret applicable project documents
  • draft direct and rebuttal testimony
  • analyze and draft responses to data requests
  • prepare for and testify at hearing
Photo: high voltage post or high-voltage tower in a field

select experience

planning/permitting

  • Nemadji 115kV Project
  • Bear Creek Distribution Project
  • 39 Line Relocation Project
  • Bayfield Loop Transmission Upgrade Project
  • Kohlman Lake to Goose Lake Transmission Project
  • St. Cloud Loop 115kV Project
  • Medford to Prentice Transmission Line Rebuild Project

third-party environmental monitoring

  • Badger-Coulee Transmission Line Project