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Environmental

Phase I Environmental Site Assessment

Frost GeoSciences has performed thousands of Phase I – Environmental Site Assessments in Texas since 2002. The services to be provided for the environmental assessment include the following tasks:

  • Visual reconnaissance of the property, and improvements thereon, for indications of possible hazardous materials, or potentials for contamination on the property. The reconnaissance will consist of systematically walking the site to provide an overlapping field of view.
  • Visual reconnaissance of adjacent properties, conducted from the project site perimeter, for the presence of potentially environmentally adverse conditions.
  • Reviewing various available regulatory agencies for pertinent information regarding possible sources of contamination within the radii defined by ASTM.
  • National Priorities (Superfund) List
    CERCLIS List
    Landfills/Solid Waste Facilities
    RCRA Hazardous Waste Generators/Handlers
    ERNS Emergency Response Notification System
    Petroleum Storage Tanks – PST Site Reports
    Leaking Petroleum Storage Tanks – LPST Site Reports
    SPILLS
  • Review of existing aerial photographs for obvious evidence of environmentally adverse conditions such as systematic dumping or landfilling on or adjacent to the property.
  • Review of property chain-of-title documents for obvious ownership that may have environmentally adverse implications. These documents include deeds, easements, leases, restrictions, covenants, and clean-up liens from the past 50 years as a minimum.
  • Documentation and photographing the site conditions observed at the time of the on-site inspection.
  • Researching National Wetland Inventory Maps, Flood Insurance Rate Maps, U.S.G.S. 7.5 Minute Topographic Maps, U.S.D.A. Soil Surveys, Geologic Maps, and Hydrologic Literature for the project site and surrounding areas.

Frost GeoSciences is a Small Business Enterprise (SBE), Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) and Emerging Small Business Enterprise (ESBE), registered with the South Central Texas Regional Certification Agency.

Phase II Environmental Site Assessment

Frost GeoSciences also performs Phase II – Environmental Site Assessments to follow up on issues identified in Phase I – Environmental Site Assessments as areas of potential concern. The specific tasks performed in the Phase II – Environmental Site Assessments vary depending on the issues identified but can include the following:

  • Soil/Water testing for contaminants.
  • Screening for asbestos-containing materials and lead-based paint.
  • Routine/Intermediate Level Wetland Investigations.
  • Endangered Species Surveys Reports.

Geologic Assessments for Regulated Activities Over the Edwards Recharge/Transition Zone

Geologic AssessmentsFrost GeoSciences has performed hundreds of Geologic Assessments along the San Antonio/Austin corridor, and is well-versed in the requirements and standards of the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ), formerly the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC).

Karst Habitat Evaluation

Habitat evaluations on the Site will be conducted in accordance with the industry standard for conducting habitat evaluations for karst potential and the ability to support threatened and/or endangered listed karst species by a State-Licensed Professional Geoscientist.  All karst surveys will be performed in accordance with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Section 10(a)(1)(A) Scientific Permit Requirements for Conducting Presence/Absence Surveys for Endangered Karst Invertebrates in Central Texas (2015) through Survey Step 2 as described in Figure 1 on page 4 of the Karst Invertebrate Survey Requirements.

Cave/Solution Cavity Inspections

Cave/Cavity InspectionsFGS provides detailed cave and solution cavity inspections to evaluate the extent of the feature, determine the regulatory statutes governing the protection or in-filling of the feature, and assess whether the feature presents a structural concern for existing or proposed improvements.

 

Habitat Assessment for Threatened and Endangered Species Survey

Currently, more than 1,860 native/foreign plants and animals are listed as endangered.  More than 460 native/foreign plants and animals are listed as threatened.  The purpose of a habitat investigation is to determine if there is evidence to suggest protected species are located on the project site or off-site properties affected by the proposed development.

Habitat evaluations of the Site will be conducted in accordance with the industry standard for conducting habitat evaluations for the threatened/endangered species and for Karst Potential by qualified personnel familiar with state and federal guidelines for conducting such investigations.

Wetlands/Waters of the US (WOTUS) Determinations

Areas of standing and flowing water provide critical ecological functions, may be jurisdictionally regulated and can create habitat for threatened/endangered species.  An area is considered a Jurisdictional Wetland Area only if all three of the wetland criteria are met.  According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Wetland Delineation Manual (1987), and the Federal Interagency Committee for Wetland Delineation (FICWD) Federal Manual for Identifying and Delineating Jurisdictional Wetlands (1989), an area is considered a Jurisdictional Wetland Area only if all three of the following wetland criteria are met.  The evaluation includes a determination as to:

  1. whether the soils are considered hydric or waterlogged,
  2. whether the soils show demonstrable evidence of hydrologic conditions associated with flooding or ponding of water for more than two weeks per year, and
  3. whether 50% of the dominant plants found growing on the site are those commonly found in wetlands.

Wetlands EvaluationAreas that fail to satisfy any one of the three wetland criterion are not considered Jurisdictional Wetland Areas as designated by the aforementioned guidelines.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has authority to permit the discharge of dredged or fill material in Waters of the United States (WOTUS) under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), and permit work and the placement of structures in navigable Waters of the United States under Section 9 and 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (RHA).

Evaluations of the project site will be conducted in accordance with the industry standard for wetlands and/or Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) evaluations by qualified personnel familiar with state and federal guidelines for conducting such investigations.

Archaeological/Cultural Resources Investigations

Archaeological Cultural Resources InvestigationsCultural Resource Management has become a priority in preparation for the development of lands in San Antonio. Archaeological Surveys commonly involve archaeological and archival research, and are often required by the Texas Historical Commission and/or the Corps of Engineers to obtain funding, licensing and permitting for a wide variety of public projects.

The first occupations of Bexar County are indicated by the occurence of scattered Clovis and Folsom spear points. With the arrival of the Spanish in the region in the late 17th century, the native peoples of the period began to go into missions, to protect themselves from the raids by the Lipan Apache indian bands. Here they continued making their distinctive bone-tempered pottery and stone tools. These and other distinctive types of projectile points, scrapers, and stone tools are the focus of our Archaeological Surveys.

Our field investigations are conducted by two of the premier archaeologists in the state: Harry Shafer, PhD, professor emeritus – Texas A&M University, and Thomas R. Hester, PhD, Director, Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, and Professor of Anthropology – The University of Texas at Austin. Important Archaic sites which Frost GeoSciences has investigated include the Culebra Creek and the Panther Springs Creek sites.