Element 4 - Financial Assistance Center (FAC) Wastewater Construction Permitting and GIS

The ArcReader application, PermitViewer v1a, is used to identify environmentally sensitive areas, such as wetlands, for the environmental review according to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Financial Assistance Center, or FAC, has recently had PermitViewer installed on engineer and coordinator computers to assist with the environmental review process as required by 10 CSR 20-4.050 and 10 CSR 60-13.030. The PermitViewer mapping software includes features such as NPDES outfalls, impaired streams, stream classifications, wetlands and watersheds. FAC engineers can use this information along with environmental clearances to draft environmental determinations for FAC management review and signature. Such environmental determinations include a Categorical Exclusion, Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI) or Record of Decision (ROD).

The environmental determination documents typically contain maps showing the extent of the project and/or environmentally sensitive areas. FAC staff may generate these maps using the PermitViewer or other GIS mapping software. These documents are made available for public review. Currently, the FAC is researching the need for ArcMap software for more functionality, creating custom maps for the environmental determination documents.

FAC coordinators utilize the PermitViewer when reviewing Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) applications to assist with determining priority points. Staff look at the NPDES outfalls, stream classifications/beneficial uses, sensitive waters and targeted water bodies for those impaired steams. Priority points are then assigned according to Clean Water Commission regulations found in 10 CSR 20-4.010.

GIS is also used when a construction permit application for a new or upgraded wastewater treatment facility and/or collection system is received by the FAC. CWSRF engineering staff review the construction permit and use GIS applications to locate the proposed wastewater system. Staff check that the geographical information provided in the construction permit application is correctly identified. GIS applications are also used to identify locations of permitted outfalls and classifications of receiving streams. Similar to NPDES permits, CWSRF engineers use GIS to develop protective operating permits.

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Predicted to be more prevalent in the future, communities will use GIS to map their wastewater collection systems and other proposed infrastructure. The communities can use this information to determine exact locations of utilities and to aid in scheduling repairs and rehabilitation endeavors. Communities could then provide the department with accurate locational information on the plans when applying for a construction permit. A GIS layer containing the infrastructure improvements can be provided by the engineering consultant and mapped with GIS software for use by the department during engineering review of proposed projects. This information can also be used to enhance communication during public participation through easily understood maps and graphics.