Lake Ralph Hall Environmental Studies and Permitting, Upper Trinity Regional Water District

Plummer served on the consultant team for the development of Lake Ralph Hall, a proposed water supply reservoir in Fannin County. Plummer’s responsibilities included identifying and assessing environmental resources within the proposed project area for the reservoir and for the proposed water pipeline routes that would transfer water to the service area. Plummer also provided assistance for environmental permitting.

Initial efforts involved preparing a preliminary environmental characteristics study to identify potential fatal flaws for the proposed project area. Subsequent detailed studies included:

  • Surveys for threatened and endangered species 
  • Identification of land cover types within the project area 
  • Preliminary jurisdictional determination of waters of the U.S. for the project area and proposed associated water supply pipeline routes 
  • Preliminary habitat assessment of natural resources and habitat within the project area using the Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Wildlife Habitat Appraisal Procedure 
  • Development of a functions assessment protocol for stream/river and on-channel impoundments for use in evaluation pre- and post-project functions in response to a USACE directive dictating that mitigation be provided on a functions basis 
  • Assessment of the project area after USACE approval of the developed protocol
  • Biological surveys within the North Sulphur River for assessing instream flow requirements in response to a request for information from TCEQ

Plummer developed a model which was used to determine the appropriate amount of compensatory mitigation required for permitted impacts. Although not intended to replace other decision-making tools, the model served to develop relative assessments of environmental functions in the pre- and post-project phases and to provide a realistic basis for determining mitigation needs.

Plummer prepared the 404 permit application including alternatives analysis and proposed mitigation plans based on the functions assessment analysis as well as a NEPA-compliant Environmental Information Document / Environmental Assessment.