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Land Development Water Resources Ports and Harbors Transportation Energy Parks and Recreation Mitigation Remediation Communications Celebrating 20 Years of Service

Celebrating 22 Years of Service!

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Ports and Harbors

Texas International Terminals Infrastructure Expansion, Texas International Terminals, Ltd.

Texas International Terminals, Ltd. (TIT), is a multi-modal trans-loading facility for deep draft vessels, rail, barges, and trucks along the Galveston Ship Channel in Galveston, Texas. TIT has the capability for liquid trans-loading and storage, dry bulk handling and storage, as well as lay berth facilities for all vessels, including Panamax class ships. TIT continues to expand its customer base and has the need to expand its infrastructure, both seaside and landside, to keep pace with client demand. TIT solicited the assistance of Crouch Environmental Services to acquire the necessary environmental permits for the expansion of both ship loading and rail facilities.

The improvement plan for the ship loading facilities include the construction of a 1,500‑foot‑long by 109‑foot‑wide pile‑supported dock structure, the reclamation of 4.61 acres of submerged lands, the installation of approximately 0.5 miles of combi-wall breakwater, and dredging of approximately 19 acres of submerged lands within waters adjacent to the Galveston Ship Channel. The rail expansion plans include the installation of three rail lines along an approximately 1.3‑mile corridor adjacent to an existing rail line east of the TIT facility. Crouch Environmental Services conducted baseline environmental studies on both the ship loading and rail project sites to gain a thorough understanding of the existing environmental constraints associated with the projects. Included in the baseline environmental studies were wetland delineations, threatened and endangered species assessments, cultural resources investigations, sediment testing, air quality modeling, and ecological modeling.

Following compilation of baseline studies, Crouch Environmental Services prepared and submitted permit applications to regulatory agencies for environmental permits including Section 10 and 404 individual permits from the US Army Corps of Engineers, Section 401 certification from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and submerged land lease applications from the Texas General Land office. To compensate for impacts to environmentally sensitive areas, Crouch Environmental Services developed a mitigation plan for constructing approximately 10 acres of tidal wetlands on the southwest shore of Pelican Island. Development of the mitigation plan required extensive coordination with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the National Marine Fisheries Service. Crouch Environmental Services partnered with Texas A&M University at Galveston to develop a mitigation plan that would serve as an amenity to the university and the general public. Once constructed, Texas A&M University plans on utilizing the mitigation area as a "living classroom" for wetland sciences.

Greens Transport Marine Terminal on Cedar Bayou, Richardson WaterRail

Crouch Environmental Services, Inc. served Richardson WaterRail and J. Jennings Investments, LP by designing, permitting, and assisting in the development of the Green Transport Terminal facility on Cedar Bayou, approximately 400 feet north of State Highway 99 in Baytown, Texas. Prior to planning and construction of the terminal facility, the project site consisted of an excavated basin adjacent to Cedar Bayou that had been previously permitted to a depth of six feet below mean low tide (MLT) by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in 1980 and amended to 10.5 feet below MLT in 1982 and to 13 feet below MLT in 2005. The terminal included the removal of existing shoreline stabilization armoring, the construction of approximately 975 linear feet of sheet pile bulkhead, and the construction of concrete slab on the uplands to support land-based machinery. As part of this scope, the Crouch team successfully obtained Section 10 and 404 permits from the USACE, Section 401 certification from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and lease over state-owned submerged lands from the Texas General Land Office. Crouch Environmental Services also designed and constructed a tidal-marsh mitigation site to compensate for wetland impacts resulting from implementation of the project.

The marine terminal facility was proposed to serve the short sea shipping industry within Galveston Bay. Small, shallow draft barges would utilize the facility for movement of goods across Galveston Bay from two of Houston's largest port terminals, Barbours Cut and Bayport. Initial site preparation for the construction of the facility began in August 2008. Shortly thereafter, and despite regulatory acceptance and many environmental benefits afforded by the project including reduced diesel truck emissions and traffic congestion, the USACE permit for the Green Transport Marine Terminal was challenged by the City of Baytown. The City contended that the quality of life for area residents would be affected due to the site's proximity to Roseland Park. The City approached the USACE headquarters and the Director of Civil Works at the Pentagon in an attempt to rescind the permit. Although the City did not challenge the USACE's decision in federal court, it did pursue other means to attempt to encumber the project until the USACE permit expired. Following litigation in district court, the City lost its case, and the project was allowed to move forward.

Throughout this process, Crouch Communications provided public information services to relay pertinent information to the general public about the project and the benefits that it would provide. This was crucial in curtailing public controversy associated with the project and ultimately helped move the project forward so that construction could be completed, operations could begin, and environmental benefits could be realized.

Bayport Container Terminal Environmental Impact Statement, US Army Corps of Engineers (URS Corporation)

This Port of Houston Authority project was highly publicized due to concerns regarding the environmental impacts and sustainability of the project. Wetland issues served as a trigger for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. Noise, light, truck traffic, and aesthetics were of particular concern regarding the proposed container handling facility.

The purpose of the project was to address a capacity shortage in existing terminal facilities as well as to build a state-of-the-art cruise ship terminal. During the Section 404 and 401 permitting process, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) determined that the development of a large shipping container terminal constituted a large federal action and an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) would be required. Beginning with site selection and alternatives analysis of over 60 potential sites, Crouch Environmental Services acted in a lead role on this project, coordinating daily with professionals at URS. Crouch Environmental Services was tasked with preparing the comprehensive biological sections of the EIS, including an objective appraisal of the impacts associated with the project. Wetland issues drove the necessity for the EIS, so the USACE served as the lead federal agency with several cooperating agencies including the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Texas General Land Office, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and many others. Crouch Environmental Services performed all of the wetland delineations during a period of great upheaval, due to the Supreme Court ruling on the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) v. the USACE.

Crouch Environmental Services cooperated with URS in obtaining data that allowed a thorough assessment of the potential environmental impacts (primary, secondary, and cumulative) that would result from construction of the preferred alternative. The project began in 1999 with site selection and alternatives analysis preceding submittal of the draft EIS. Crouch Environmental Services completed the required biological surveys, compiled the appropriate environmental data, and prepared the corresponding environmental documentation within a short window of time due to budget constraints and scheduling conflicts. Due to Crouch Environmental Services' meticulous work effort and ability to work as a team with URS and the USACE, this project was approved and a Record of Decision (ROD) was issued in December 2003. The Section 404/ 401 permit was issued just one month later, in January 2004. The terminal was opened to the public in 2007. Litigation ensued after the ROD was issued, and Crouch Environmental Services' expertise at project documentation served as critical support throughout the course of legal challenges.

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