If you have or are in the process of procuring a piece of land, you may need an environmental permit to do what you want to do. These allow companies to move forward with activities that have the potential to have an impact on the local ecosystem and may impact the health of people living in the area. The whole point of the environmental permitting process is to limit that impact and lower the risk of harm to human health. To be successful, companies look to experts at an aerial survey company and/or contract with a civil engineering firm. Here are some terms to help you get that permit you need to do the work you want to do:
- It is better to start earlier than later. The process of getting an environmental permit approved is longer and more complicated than it should be. If you get an early start and do your research on the land in question, you will have time to remedy any issues that you find. In fact, you should start the process before you think you really need to. If you are able to start the process knowing it will take a longer time than you may think it should will make it a less stressful process to deal with. With some patience, you will make it through.
- Make sure you are clear and what agency is responsible for every part of the process. If you are dealing with a property that has surface waters or wetlands, you will need to deal with the Army Corps of Engineers, your state’s department that handles this, and a local agency. Before you start doing anything, learn what departments you will need to consult.
- Get to know the process. You will be working with experts in this, such as the people at the aerial survey company, but nothing should prevent you from doing your due diligence. To be successful with this process, you need to understand it completely. You will give yourself more peace of mind if you are well versed in how the process should go.
- Get to know the officials who will deny or approve your permit application. Everyone approaches their job in their own way. This is very true when it comes to the people who review environmental permit applications. Knowing the people who will review what you send in can make a difference. Some people in government agencies care more about some issues than others. When you know what they care about, you can fill out the standardized forms in a way to address their individual concerns.
- Build in enough time for the agencies to conduct their reviews. When you are dealing with the environmental permitting process, you will have to have a number of assessments done and deal with a multitude of federal, state, and local agencies. Each of them is going to want to conduct their own reviews of the land and your application. All of this takes time. They will also want to see the results and data that is collected from the aerial survey company and any other experts you have come in and look at the land. Build a lot of time into your schedule for all of this. It will be a longer than you may expect process.
Many companies shy away from having an environmental consulting company do a survey of a property that they want to buy or one that they already own. It can be hard to go ahead and contract with an aerial survey company to provide real-time information about a site. This is unfortunate because, in addition to helping with the environmental permitting process, this can be very helpful. If you are in the position to buy a property, this can give you better insights into the shape of the land and may make you rethink your options. If you own the land already, problems found during this process can lead you to make changes in how you do things and can motivate you to clean up any problems found in order to avoid liability lawsuits.