The world is now more aware and sensitive to the environmental impact of human action. The preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning are key considerations in modern planning and engineering projects. Developers are faced with new regulations and requirements to ensure they are compliant with legislative and regulatory measures at all levels of government.
Nearly all development projects require some form of environmental assessment to ensure reasonable alternatives and environmental effects are considered prior to implementation. When there is conflict with the natural environment and potential for impacts, provincial and federal legislation to protect wildlife and their habitat is likely to be enacted. A key component to understanding impacts is to document and characterize existing conditions. Project-specific field survey programs are developed following provincial and industry standard protocols and practices to evaluate the form, function, and ecological sensitivity of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Consultation with regulatory agencies during the development of the field survey programs is critical to overall project success. This early engagement enables all considerations to be incorporated into the design and provides a clear path forward to obtain the necessary approvals and permits.
The changing environmental landscape has shifted how engineering and planning projects are conceptualized and ultimately completed. To some, the idea of environmental considerations and increased rules and regulations during engineering and construction may sound like more of a barrier than an opportunity. LEA understands that the long-term benefits far outweigh the short-term costs, and that by incorporating an environmental services partner early in the project cycle, the long-term benefits can be realized without any disruption to project schedule.
We recognize how important it is to have an integrated team that can offer environmental services alongside our longstanding design, planning, and construction services. The sensitive nature of environmental issues that arise during construction require proven solutions with quick turnaround times. An integrated team offers costs savings, better project delivery, and ultimately a more organized and efficient completed product. Working closely together ensures everyone is on the same page, and the lines of communication are clearly established. LEA’s specialist staff work collaboratively with clients to successfully manage environmental assessment and to navigate the intricacies of ecosystem management.
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Bradley Dufour, M.Sc., CAN-CISEC, CPESC
Manager, Senior Environmental Specialist