Applied Ecosystem Services, LLC

The Environmental Issues Doctor

  1. Ground water degradation

    Ground water pollution is a nationwide concern associated with landfills, hazardous waste disposal sites, mine mills, tailing ponds, power plants, and similar industrial facilities. While regulators might state explicit instructions for ground water sampling and chemical analyses, not all the statistical models are appropriate or capable of separating natural variability from anthropogenic influence. Download the PDF.
  2. Is water clean

    The objective of the 1972 Clean Water Act is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of waters in the US. Water quality standards define clean; therefore, how standards are set is important for policy and regulatory decisions. Standards based on maximum concentration limits (MCL) of toxic chemicals apply to potable waters but not to aquatic life, wildlife, livestock, human recreation, irrigation, or industrial uses. MCLs provide no knowledge of the physical or biological integrity of the water body.
  3. NEPA compliance documents

    NEPA, CEQ regulations, and agency directives describe in detail what is to be done in preparing an EA or EIS that is compliant with the law and all regulations. It does not direct staff or external contractors how each requirement is to be met. This white paper presents specific requirements and explains how the APPLIED ECOSYSTEM SERVICES’ quantitative approximate reasoning model, Eikos™ fulfills these requirements so that the results are demonstrably technically sound and legally defensible.
  4. Photo of Preparing For Change

    Prepare for Change


    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Climate warming, unpredictable weather, and other factors that you cannot control could harm your business’s profitable sustainability. Understanding environmental science and regulatory permits and compliance provide you with the knowledge and tools to quickly adapt to these changes. Acting now is especially important because the future is uncertain and the present is constantly changing. Avoiding environmental permit compliance actions is much better than resolving them after they appear. This commentary explains environmental science as it affects compliance with regulatory permit conditions and helps you defend against litigation alleging your operation adversely effects the natural environment.
  5. Productive uses of environmental data

    The relationship between a company requiring environmental permits and environmental regulators is equivalent to that of a prospective house buyer and a real estate agent. Until the early 1990s all real estate agents and brokers were required by statute to represent only the seller’s interests; most still are. This means a buyer has to be aware of the agent’s agenda (get more money for the seller and his commission) and act to protect his interests.
  6. Profiting from environmental data

    Across the western US drought, wildland fires, cheatgrass, Western juniper, Lahontan cutthroat trout, bull trout, salmon, bald eagles, desert tortoise, and sage grouse all affect where and how natural resource companies operate. Project planning and approvals can be greatly facilitated by application of advanced statistical and spatial models to environmental data. Causal relationships between explanatory variables such as habitat, food, and predators to response variables (species numbers and distributions) are explained by linear regression models.
  7. Quantifying sustainability

    Sustainability means different things to different people. It is so subjective that there is no consensus definition of what it means; some have described it as a process rather than as a goal. While there are two broad categories in which sustainability appears in the business world, they are just different ways of expressing the same societal values and beliefs. More importantly, many senior executives around the world expressed a need to better incorporate a meaningful measure of corporate contributions to sustainability, to learn how they can do better, and to change the approaches they have applied in the past1.
  8. Reference areas

    Natural ecosystems are complex and highly variable at multiple size scales. Because of the difficulties of accurately summarizing complexity and variability in an index number, regulators often require a reference area for comparison with a proposed or reclaimed project area. Agreement on a suitable reference area may be a requirement prior to permitting or bond-release decisions for mining and logging operations. It is common for selection of an acceptable reference area to take a long time.
  9. Regulatory science models

    Environmental regulations should be based on technically sound and legally defensible data analyses that are interpreted using the best available science. This tutorial compares mathematical deterministic process models with stochastic statistical models to answer regulatory decision-making questions. The models used to support environmental regulations under conditions of uncertainty have not kept pace with our increased understanding of ecosystems and their responses to human industrial activities, nor to advances in statistics that fit the unique attributes of environmental data.
  10. Responding to appeals

    There are organizations and individuals whose business is objecting to natural resource projects, particularly those of the extractive industries. Administrative appeals and legal challenges have the goal of delaying or stopping projects. Effectively refuting their claims saves proponents, consultants, and attorneys time and money. A common tactic used by project opponents is to claim that “we think|believe|feel…” the proposed project will have significant negative impacts. Supporting data or objective substantiation of this claim are not required for acceptance by the regulator or court.

Providing essential environmental services since 1993.