Planning and Permitting
Natural Capital and the Key to No Net Loss
Having a full understanding of the requirements to plan and permit a new project must include the natural capital that will be impacted, and the natural capital that will be required for the project to be sustained over time. Before any impacts can be identified, a thorough, quantified project-area baseline must be determined.
Integrating natural capital of the spatial area of the project, including the baseline level of the ecosystem services that natural capital provides, will reliably support the determination of an accurate project footprint. If mitigation is deemed necessary, then appropriate mitigation can be scaled.
Joule Tree employs quantification methodology that was designed by the US federal government to quantify baseline ecosystem services. This methodology has been extensively tested, litigated and upheld. This approach ensures a much greater trust factor among stakeholders and has the capacity to shorten the permitting process. An indirect benefit resulting from this approach is enhancement of environmental stewardship reputation by demonstrating the achievement of balance between economic generation and environmental protection.
After a baseline is established, a determination is made regarding what natural capital will be required to implement and sustain the project. Being in possession of a complete site-specific natural capital inventory supports the identification of opportunities. Opportunities might include identifying areas where natural capital that is not ideal for human consumption could be utilized to benefit the project. Another opportunity might be to recycle specific natural capital components to minimize costs and enhance the environmental stewardship reputation in concert with sustaining project operations.
Joule Tree’s services in this arena include:
- Natural Capital Inventory
- EISHA – Environmental and Social Impact Assessment
- EA – Environmental Assessment
- EIS – Environmental Impact Statement
- Geospatial Services
- High Resolution Aerial Imagery
- Topographic Maps
- Surface Hydrology
- Erosion Analysis
- Vegetation Inventory
- Mitigation Strategies
- Regulatory and Stakeholder Negotiation