Wetland Mitigation--A Guidebook for Airports

Current and planned airport construction, expansion, and safety improvements often result in the unavoidable loss of wetlands, as many airports were constructed in or adjacent to wetlands. In addition, the size and scale of airports and supporting infrastructure is extensive, which has made it difficult to completely avoid impacting wetlands. Passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972 led to the regulation of impacts on wetland resources; and Executive Order 11990, issued in 1977, required federal agencies to avoid and minimize wetland impacts where possible. In 1989, the United States government established a “no net loss” policy (Army-EPA Memorandum of Agreement on Mitigation Under the § 404 Program). The goal of the policy is to compensate for the loss of wetland resources through mitigation. In 2008 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) jointly issued the “Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources; Final Rule.” This rule established the national policy on compensatory wetland mitigation; however, the implementation of this rule continues to be affected by varying regional interpretation and by differing state laws. In addition, meeting the regulatory requirements for wetland mitigation while maintaining safe airport operations can be challenging because of the link to potential wildlife hazards. More detailed information on the techniques and strategies of wetland mitigation compatible with aviation operations would benefit both airports and appropriate federal and state agencies in implementing effective forms of mitigation. The objective of this research was to prepare a Guidebook to facilitate implementation of effective wetland mitigation in support of airport expansion and development, including safety-related improvements. In preparing the Guidebook, the research addressed a broad range of issues: (1) Concerns over the creation of potential wildlife hazards; (2) Existing requirements, which may or may not be conflicting; (3) Impact to existing and future airport development; and (4) Airport considerations of cost and logistics in developing mitigation and related life-cycle obligations.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $400000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 02-70

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Goldstein, Lawrence

  • Performing Organizations:

    Smart Associates Environmental Consultants

    Concord, NH  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Smart, Glenn

  • Start Date: 20160928
  • Expected Completion Date: 20181015
  • Actual Completion Date: 20181015
  • Source Data: RiP Project 40171

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01572149
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 02-70
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 1 2015 1:30AM