Applied Ecosystem Services, LLC

The Environmental Issues Doctor

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.

Like the real estate agent representing the seller’s interest, the regulator represents the state’s interest, not yours. The state’s interest in water quality is commonly determined by comparing single constituent concentrations to a maximum concentration limit (MCL). This simplistic approach is scientifically and statistically incorrect and does not accurately assess a project’s role in the environment, or whether it adversely impacts a specific designated beneficial use. Because the regulator’s interests are not aligned with the permittee’s best interests, the latter’s should be protected by using all available environmental data to define inherent natural variability and whether adverse project impacts can be identified. Analyzing all environmental data is one way to make productive use of these data for compliance reporting.

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Providing essential environmental services since 1993.