Environmental Services

Sustainable Solutions to Complex Land and Water Resource Issues

Kleinschmidt has 40+ years of experience helping clients create sustainable solutions to complex land and water resource issues. We have become highly regarded for ecosystem assessments, individual habitat and river restoration projects, watershed management, water supply reservoir management, dam removal, fish passage, and impact studies for wetlands.

Our success lies in our commitment to integrating science, planning, and engineering disciplines. By offering the biologist, the engineer, and the planner as part of one integrated team, we save clients time and money, and we create lasting solutions that benefit the environment.

Wetland and Habitat Investigations

Wetlands provide a variety of functional benefits to society, such as clean drinking water and flood attenuation, in addition to important biological functions such as fish and wildlife habitat. Federal and state agencies regulate impacts to wetlands with the goal of maintaining wetlands as an important resource to people and the environment.

Our scientists work with clients and regulators to avoid and minimize wetland impacts, which typically reduce project costs and streamline permitting efforts. In cases where mitigation is needed, we provide multidisciplinary design and monitoring services.

Kleinschmidt’s Wetland and Habitat Investigations Include:
  • Wetland Delineations & Mitigation
  • Rare Plant & Vernal Pool Surveys
  • Fish & Wildlife Habitat Surveys
  • Environmental Permitting at Local State & Federal Levels
  • Public Outreach
  • Group Facilitation
  • Public Scoping Meetings
  • Proposal Development for Economic Development
  • GIS Data Management & Mapping

Stream Flow Regulation Studies

Our experts lead the way in Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM) studies that include collaborating with interagency study teams to identify all flow related issues, focusing the study scope on applicable parameters, defining evaluation criteria, locating study sites and transects, gathering survey and hydraulic data, developing hydraulic and habitat models, analyzing model output, and preparing written reports and analyses.

We work closely with both the operator and interested stakeholders to successfully select flows that meet project objectives. Results of the model and its recommendations are incorporated into a project’s FERC license application, and also adopted as a tool to support other flow assessment issues in a particular river basin.

Kleinschmidt’s Stream Flow Regulation Studies Include:
  • Instream Flow Analysis
  • Evaluation Criteria Definition
  • Survey & Hydraulic Data Gathering
  • Hydraulic & Habitat Modeling
  • Cost / Benefit Analysis
  • Agency Negotiations
  • Expert Testimony

Fisheries and Aquatic Organism Assessments

We perform and manage studies and analyses, and works with and/or for agencies, conservationists, and developers to mitigate or enhance diverse impacts on freshwater and estuarine and marine fisheries resources. Our expertise includes assessing the health of warm water, coldwater, anadromous and catadromous fish resources and endangered species, in riverine, lacustrine, and tidal environments.

Our clientele includes industry, private landowners, state and federal agencies, tribes, non-governmental organizations, and conservation groups. Kleinschmidt scientists frequently work on interdisciplinary teams that consist of engineers, permitters, other scientists and regulators using scientific data to solve aquatic resource issues.

Kleinschmidt’s Fisheries and Aquatic Organism Assessments Services Include:
  • Fish Population Assessments
  • Fisheries Baseline Studies
  • Aquatic Habitat Assessments
  • IFIM Studies
  • Rare Threatened & Endangered Fish Species Assessments
  • Endangered Species Act Consulting
  • Entrainment & Impingement Studies
  • Water Quality Assessments
  • Biological Monitoring
  • Fish Sorting & Sampling
  • Radio Telemetry/Biotelemetry
  • River or Reservoir Productivity
  • Estuarine Studies
  • Fish Salvage/Fish Rescue
  • Statistical Study Design & Models
  • Fish Barrier Evaluation
  • Water Temperature

Steam Electric 316(a) and (b) Compliance

Our biological and engineering staff have over 3 decades of experience in dealing with 316(a) and (b) issues. By integrating biological science, engineering, socioeconomics and regulatory skills, we provide ample technical expertise to meet the needs of the project.

We seek to define both resource issues and project constraints, helping to identify appropriate options for mitigating environmental impacts with the overall goal of developing project alternatives acceptable to both project proponents and regulatory authorities. We conduct the required studies as well as serve as peer reviewers.

Kleinschmidt’s Steam Electric 316(a) and (b) Compliance Services Include:
  • Impingement Studies
  • Entrainment Studies
  • Source Waterbody Sampling (ichthyoplankton)
  • Thermal Plume Studies
  • Best Available Technology Assessments
  • Peer Reviews

Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Species Assessments

Kleinschmidt provides rare, threatened, and endangered (RTE) species assessments for hydroelectric and other energy relicensing, decommissioning, and compliance projects. In recent years, we have completed RTE species studies and consultation for numerous projects over a wide geographic range for wildlife, fish, and plant species.

We have extensive experience with impact analyses. Typical issues that may need to be addressed include assessing the effects of water level fluctuations on RTE species such as birds, herptiles, mussels, fish and plants. We have executed studies that balance the requirements of multiple species simultaneously (e.g., effects of water levels on nest swamping or stranding, suitable spawning levels, and inundation requirements of plants).

For energy developers, we have developed avian protection plans for birds and bats for issues related to new development (e.g., tree clearing) and operations (e.g., effect on raptors of perching on transmission lines).

Kleinschmidt’s Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Species Assessments Services Include:
  • ESA Section 7 Consultation Coordination
  • Biological Assessment Preparation
  • Development of RTE Study Plans
  • Conduct RTE Studies
  • RTE Species Identification
  • Preparation of Environmental Assessment & Environmental Impact Statements
  • Habitat Conservation Plans
  • Effects of Hydroelectric Project Operations
  • Resource Balancing Assessments
  • Geographic Information Systems Mapping

In-Water Acoustic and Biological Monitoring

Kleinschmidt has provided in-water acoustic and biological monitoring services for over a dozen projects in the northeastern United States. We have worked extensively on construction-related impacts on the endangered Shortnose Sturgeon, Atlantic Sturgeon, and many other native species. Our experience is beneficial to minimize mitigation and monitoring activities during construction or demolition projects, primarily when engaged early on or before the permitting process and negotiation.  

Kleinschmidt’s fisheries scientists and engineers have extensive experience navigating the permitting process and consulting with resource agencies to understand the risk and enact mitigative measures to protect natural resources. We have a practical approach to in-water acoustic monitoring that varies depending on the situation, generating information necessary to protect resources without extraneous pursuits sometimes requested by regulators, adding unnecessary costs and confounding schedules. Our process is backed by science and often includes an in-depth evaluation of the proposed activity and the natural resources that may be affected. 

Kleinschmidt’s In-Water Acoustic and Biological Monitoring Services Include:
  • In-water Construction Sound Monitoring
  • Permitting
  • Data Collection and Recording
  • Biological Assessment and Monitoring
  • Data Visualization and Reporting
  • Protection Plans
  • Fish Assemblage Assessment
  • Aquatic Species Impact Assessment
  • Rare Threatened & Endangered Species
  • Agency Consultation
  • Acoustic Modeling and Monitoring
  • Fish Assessment Surveys
Offshore Wind

Offshore Wind

Kleinschmidt has been assisting clients with navigating the regulatory processes for offshore wind projects since 2010. We assisted the University of Maine with permitting the 1/8 scale demonstration floating project, and we prepared seven submittals to BOEM assessing Wind Energy Areas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off multiple states. Kleinschmidt is currently the third-party contractor for the Sunrise Wind Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which means we work for Sunrise Wind LLC (Orsted / Eversource Joint Venture), but under the direction of BOEM as the Lead Federal Agency. We assist clients with understanding the regulatory requirements to construct and operate an offshore wind farm in the U.S., including conducting upfront surveys for site characterization. We can also assist other integral players in the supply chain (e.g., Ports) with permitting and regulatory requirements.

We actively participate in the industry as members of the Business Network for Offshore Wind (BNOW), American Clean Power (ACP), the Environmental Business Council of New England, National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP) Offshore Wind Working Group, and the Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap Supply Chain, Workforce Development, and Ports/Marine Transportation Working Group.

Offshore Wind Services Include:
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Development of Construction and operations Plans (COP)
  • Wind Energy Area/Lease Area Assessment
  • Federal and State Permitting