Applied Ecosystem Services, LLC

  1. Photo of Avoiding Permit Compliance Actions

    Avoiding Compliance Actions

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    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Every business complying with environmental laws can be profitable and sustainable while operating responsibly. Learning how to go beyond minimal permit compliance requirements to avoid regulatory compliance enforcement actions is as important as are other aspects of your job or operations when you are responsible for environmental permits. The rapidly warming climate and resulting more frequent and severe weather patterns such as megadroughts, massive wildland fire, severe flooding, hotter summers, and colder winters affect environmental permit holders in unpredictable ways.
  2. Avoiding permit compliance issues

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    We live in a time of rapid changes and uncertainties in our climate, health, and economy. The “new normal” is not likely to stabilize for at least another year. The western US is entering the third decade of a megadrought that Columbia University’s Lamont Geological Observatory considers to be the worst in 1,200 years. The megadrought affects the area bounded approximately by the Columbia River on the north, northern Mexico to the south, the Rocky Mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west.
  3. Complex environmental data

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    From baseline conditions for environmental impact assessments to compliance with regulatory permit conditions regulated companies collect biological data and report analytical results to regulators and other interested parties. Historically, analyses used biotic diversity and integrity indices. These attempt to summarize highly complex natural ecosystems in a single number believed to make comparisons and decisions easier. While these indices are based on ecological theory they are very difficult, even impossible, to measure and quantitatively compare.
  4. Environmental data acquisition benefits

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    Regulated industries need environmental data to support complex and contentious permit applications, demonstrate that operations do not adversely affect the natural environment, and effectively address concerns of regulators, other stakeholders, and the public. Environmental data are ephemeral: if they are not acquired at a given time they are gone forever. The costs of sampling, measuring, and counting are minor compared to their potential value. Unfortunately, such early actions are not the norm.
  5. Photo of Environmental Decision-Making in Uncertain Times

    Environmental Decision-making

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    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Every business complying with environmental laws can be profitable and sustainable while operating environmentally responsibly. Environmental aspects may not have the same importance to you as other business aspects, but it’s under your control to avoid issues that can cost time and money better spent elsewhere. You should take action now to limit your risk of costly or damaging environmental issues such as permit compliance enforcement. Acting now is especially important because the future is uncertain and the present is constantly changing.
  6. Environmental degradation

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    Answers to these two questions support decisions based on environmental data: Why do we observe the values we have? How can we identify natural variability and anthropogenic effects? The first question can be answered using an appropriate regression model that relates mean or quantile values of the continuous response variable to the range of values of one or more explanatory variables. Explanatory variables frequently are categorical; that is, names such as soil type, compass direction, and dominant vegetation rather than continuous variables such as temperature and slope.
  7. Ground water degradation

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    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.
  8. Is water clean

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    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.
  9. Maximizing environmental data ROI

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    As business operators, regulators, and attorneys you do not need to be environmental scientists to understand the importance of environmental data relationships to economic, natural, and societal ecosystems. You need to be experts in your professions, not in ecology or environmental science. This brief presentation will help you to appreciate that environmental data are an investment whether you are a business owner, executive, or manager; an environmental regulator; or an environmental, natural resources, or water law attorney.
  10. Productive uses of environmental data

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    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.

Providing essential environmental services since 1993.