Clients: Green Lantern Group ~and~ Green Mountain Power
Fitzgerald Environmental Associates (FEA) has worked with several clients to complete desktop and field reviews of large parcels throughout Vermont to determine suitability for commercial solar development. Remote desktop reviews were completed for all sites to identify natural resource considerations (e.g., deer wintering; Indiana bat habitats; prime soils; groundwater protection areas; rare, threatened, and endangered (RTE) plants and animals; etc.). Wetland delineations were completed for all sites, typically ranging from 5 to 50 acres. Wetland boundaries and classifications and RTE mapping were reviewed with Vermont Dept. of Environmental Conservation staff. FEA completed written testimonies as required by Public Utility Commissions and other oversight agencies, then assisted with additional permitting requirements and wetland impact mitigation to bring sites into compliance prior to solar development.
Three sites required additional remediation and design effort to address contaminated soils. To date, 12 of these commercial solar projects are completed and operational, representing over 10MW of electrical production.
FEA has also assisted with solar development on two former military properties. FEA completed wetland delineations and permitting for the Alburgh missile base, which now houses a 150kW solar array. FEA completed a site review, wetlands delineation, and RTE inventory for the former St. Albans Air Force station. All permitting for this project is complete and construction of a 500kW solar array began in 2022.
2016 - 2017: Wetland Restoration Prioritization and Mapping
Client: Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
Fitzgerald Environmental Associates (FEA) was part of a consulting team selected by the Vermont Dept. of Environmental Conservation (VTDEC) to target sites for wetland restoration within three large watersheds draining to Lake Champlain. The primary goal of the project was to identify sites for potential wetland restoration, rank them based on site characteristics for their ability to mitigate phosphorus loading, and develop project packets for outreach to landowners. FEA scored 3,850 sites in the Lake Champlain Basin based on phosphorus retention scores, size, and proximity to mapped floodplains and river corridors. FEA helped develop project packets for 100 sites in the Missisquoi Bay Basin and 25 project partner-selected sites with the wetland area of interest, site characteristics, landowner information, and projected easement boundaries. Future work included developing another 125 project packets for sites primarily located in the South Lake and St. Albans Bay Basins.
Client: Village of Swanton
The Village of Swanton was required by the Vermont Dept. of Environmental Conservation (VTDEC) and the Army Corps of Engineers to remove a portion of a compost facility from jurisdictional wetlands and develop a restoration plan for the impacted area. Fitzgerald Environmental Associates (FEA) was hired by the Village to perform an assessment of the original wetland functions and values and to develop and oversee the restoration plan.
The work involved negotiations with State and Federal regulatory staff to develop a plan that was amenable to all parties. Once the restoration plan was approved, FEA staff worked with the Village Department of Public Works to remove the fill and implement the restoration work. FEA developed a comprehensive planting plan for the wetland and buffer zones and worked with the Village to purchase and install the plants in spring 2022.