parametrix inspired people blog

Clean Water Act Updates: Will Changes to WOTUS and the Water Quality Certification Rule Affect Your Project?


By Irina Lapina and Taya MacLean 

Section 404 Waters of the United States definitions

Recently, Waters of the United States (WOTUS) definitions under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act changed, which will have an immediate effect on any project proposing impacts to streams, lakes, ponds, ditches, or/and wetlands.

In August 2021, the most recent WOTUS definitions and rule was vacated nationwide following a U.S. District Court of Arizona order. The order takes us back to the pre-2015 definition of WOTUS from 1986 and the Supreme Court’s 2006 Rapanos and Carabell decisions regarding significant nexus. Based on the pre-2015 significant nexus rule, the agencies will place greater protection over wetlands or waters for which “flow characteristics and functions would significantly affect the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of downstream traditional navigable waters.”

Wetla... (more)


American Wetlands Month: Learn More from the Wetland Scientists of Parametrix


May is American Wetlands Month, a time when we celebrate and recognize the importance of wetlands. Not only do wetlands help improve water quality and supply while reducing flooding, they also provide critical habitat for plants, fish and wildlife.

Learn more about wetlands from a few of the wetland scientists of Parametrix: Kaylee Moser, Josh Wozniak, and Taya MacLean.

What do wetlands scientists do?

Josh: Wetland scientists look at plants, soils, and groundwater to understand the legal limits of wetlands; study features such as topography and outlet features to estimate wetland functions, and work with design teams to develop sustainable infrastructure that meets project needs, preserves wetland functions, and complies with local, state and federal regulations!

Tell us about the history of wetlands in the United States.

Kaylee: Wetlands we... (more)


Three Things to Know about the Navigable Waters Protection Rule


Parametrix wetland scientists delineating wetlands in Mason County, WA.

The final rule for defining waters of the United States (WOTUS) was approved in January 2020. The new rule eliminates Clean Water Act protections for the majority of the nation's wetlands and more than 18% of streams, according to the US Geological Survey’s National Hydrology Dataset.

The Navigable Waters Protection Rule, also known as the Waters of the US, or WOTUS, rule, replaces regulations that have been in place since the Reagan administration.

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Bringing Solar Energy to Rural Oregon: Parametrix Conducts Natural Resources Survey and Permitting for Solar Facility


By Richard Roché, RG, LHG

Each year, Parametrix selects three projects of the year that exemplify our core values, mission, client service, and innovation. The Airport Solar project was named among the top three 2019 Parametrix Projects of the Year. Read about the project below.

Parametrix recently conducted a natural resources survey on the site of a solar energy electricity generating facility near Lakeview, OR. The team also monitored water resources, including mapping playas and potential wetlands within the 160-acre site.

Airport Solar project Mapping

The project included over 100 miles of mapping

Due to the very complicated site hydrology and soil conditions, challenges regarding defining playa edges, and evolving regulatory guidance, the project technical... (more)