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Soft Surroundings
Distribution Center Expansion

Mexico, Missouri

Soft Surroundings

Soft Surroundings planned on expanding their mid-Missouri distribution center into a wooded portion of their property that contained a small stream. Terra Technologies conducted a Jurisdictional Assessment of the property to determine the extent of wetlands and streams and was their agent through the Clean Water Act Section 404 & 401 permitting process.

The Jurisdictional Assessment confirmed the presence of two ephemeral streams in the planned construction area. Alongside the stream, a linear wetland had formed because of the flat topography. Wetland vegetation such as sedges and green ash were found growing in and around the shallow water provided by the flow of the stream. Additionally, another small wetland existed within a drainage swale that led to the stream. Terra Technologies determined that the streams and wetlands were within the regulatory jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and would require mitigation if disturbed.

Terra Technologies explained the different mitigation options and resulting costs to Soft Surroundings. These options included on-site mitigation, off-site mitigation, and mitigation banks. It was determined that there was no suitable location for an on-site mitigation project. Additionally, there was not a mitigation bank whose service area included the project site and Soft Surroundings decided that off-site mitigation would not be cost effective for them.

Because of the high mitigation costs, Soft Surrounding decided to expand into their parking lot instead of into the area containing the streams and wetlands. This lowered the project’s cost, avoided a significant environmental impact, and eliminated the need for a time consuming permit process. Terra Technologies gave the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers a revised plan showing that the proposed work would not affect the wetlands or streams and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a No Permit Required letter that stated that no Section 404/401 authorization was need to perform the proposed activities.





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