Environmental Services

Regulatory Permitting

Our team has a firm grasp on the intricacies of environmental regulations. At McGill Associates, we consider and plan for necessary permitting requirements early on in every project. By addressing permitting at the onset, we are able to develop a strategy and establish a well defined schedule that enables us to tackle any issues that may arise in a timely fashion. This preparedness ensures that permit acquisition and compliance is done properly and in accordance with the broader project schedule. Whether its roads, culverts, temporary access, coastal management, dams, ponds, buffers, mitigation, or whatever the project needs, McGill Associates can obtain the necessary permits to keep your organization in compliance. Furthermore, our established and lasting rapport with the regulatory agencies gives us an advantage when dealing with difficult and complex permitting issues.

case study

CLIENT: City of Asheville

McGill Associates served as program manager to oversee a major public infrastructure improvement project of the heavily-traveled Azalea Road area, a popular destination in East Asheville that encompasses a residential neighborhood, WNC Nature Center, playground and pool, City of Asheville recreation staff offices, and a large regional soccer complex. The project was funded by a combination of federal, state and local dollars and, when completed in January 2015, provided multiple benefits in the areas of flood management, multi-modal transportation, and public works.

The flood management component involved a comprehensive structural evaluation and hydrologic model of the former Lake Craig dam on the property in order to determine its feasibility to serve as a future mitigation measure to address downstream flood impact, particularly in Biltmore Village. The project included floodplain fill removal and bank restoration along the Swannanoa River. A series of three public input meetings took place to satisfy NEPA requirements, and McGill Associates worked extensively with the City to promote public interest in the project through social media and on-site kiosks.

The transportation portion of the project included a new vehicular bridge – complete with a bike lane and pedestrian walkway – crossing the Swannanoa River, linking Gashes Creek Road to Azalea Road, and converting Azalea Road – a narrow, heavily-traveled unmarked winding road – into a one-way traffic pattern. A new traffic signal was installed at the intersection of Swannanoa River Road and Azalea Road to address congestion at the intersection. Overall, the new traffic pattern allows for efficient vehicular flow patterns, thereby reducing times that cars sit idle in traffic. Innovative stormwater measures were implemented and wetlands protected throughout the site, including the introduction of a new roundabout that included a rain garden with a landscape design of a soccer ball. Finally, a new waterline extension to the soccer complex was completed to retire an unreliable, non-potable well water source and provided safe drinking water and fire protection to the facility.

Some of the challenges with this project included maintaining traffic flow to the Gashes Creek neighborhood with one way in and out, to the WNC Nature Center, and to the soccer complex during construction. Additionally, the project site was once a lake in the 1920s, and therefore an archaeological study was required – the study uncovered the foundation of an old grist mill near the current dam, which had to be protected. The area was prone to environmental concerns, and wetland protection was of the utmost importance along the Swannanoa River. These challenges were overcome with proper planning, investigation, and communication with the City of Asheville and the general public.

This project was truly a multiple-disciplined effort and unique civil engineering assignment that was completed on time and within the budget.

at a glance
  • Wetland Delineations and Jurisdictional Determinations
  • Regulatory and Environmental Compliance Consulting
  • Clean Water Act 404/401 Permitting
  • Permitting Material Assessments
  • NEPA / SEPA Compliance
  • Wetland Delineation/Mitigation Plans & Reports
  • Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA)
  • Threatened & Endangered Species Surveys
  • NC Fish and Wildlife
  • State Historic Preservation Office
  • Local and State
  • US Army Corps of Engineers
  • Dam Safety
  • Water Quality
  • Air Quality
  • Land Quality
  • Erosion and Sediment Control
  • EPA