Licensing and Permitting

Minimizing Roadblocks and Providing Solutions

Many of our clients experience frustration due to government regulations’ complicated, bureaucratic nature. Trying to sort through regulatory agency jurisdictions and their requirements, regardless of the project size or complexity, is often characterized as a daunting task. We have been helping companies like yours navigate the regulatory process for more than 4 decades; this is an area where experience matters! Our experience has helped companies save millions of dollars.

Federal/State/Provincial Permitting and Approvals

Our staff is well versed in the site plan and submittal requirements for all agencies, allowing us to provide “one-stop shopping” for most projects. Inherent in our permitting approach is our role as mediator and negotiator to ensure projects meet the client’s purpose and need while satisfying regulatory requirements. We advocate a proactive, cooperative approach to most permitting projects involving jurisdictional agencies at the onset of the design and implementation stages.

Our excellent rapport with local, regional, and federal regulators allows for frank and decisive discussions and resolutions for our projects. This approach minimizes regulatory roadblocks by allowing for early input from regulators, proactive problem-solving, and expedient issuance of permits.

Federal/State/Provincial Permitting and Approvals Services Include:
  • National Environmental Policy Act
  • Natural Resource Protection Act
  • Site Law
  • Stormwater Management
  • Shoreland Zoning
  • Land Use Regulatory Commission
  • Army Corps of Engineers
  • 401 Water Quality
  • Stream Alteration
  • Environmental Permitting & Compliance
  • State Environmental Compliance
  • CEQA
  • SEPA
  • SEQR Compliance

FERC Licensing

We have experience of managing more than 100 projects through the complete Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing process. We know what FERC requires and how to keep the licensing process moving – we served for 10 years as part of FERC’s environmental contractor team. Our team identifies potential resource issues and develops realistic studies based upon a nexus to the project as necessary to acquire data or develop appropriate protection, mitigation and enhancement measures.

By integrating planning, biological science, socioeconomic, and licensing skills, we provide a full suite of capabilities necessary for developing a workable relicensing strategy. This experience has proven successful in developing documents that meet FERC’s requirements and expectations, resulting in lower costs for our clients.

FERC Licensing Services Include:
  • Strategic Planning
  • FERC Licensing and Relicensing
  • License Exemptions
  • Preliminary Permits
  • License Amendments
  • Consultation & Negotiation
  • Study & Process Management
  • Stakeholder Identification and Facilitation
  • Schedule Management
  • Permitting and Compliance

NEPA

We have extensive experience in preparing environmental assessments and environmental impact statements under the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA for various lead and cooperating federal agencies (i.e., U.S. Forest Service, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, U.S. Department of Energy, National Telecommunication and Information Agency, Federal Highway Administration, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), private clients, and project types.

Our scientists, engineers, and regulatory staff work with applicants, permittees, agencies, and project partners to assess a wide range of potential approaches, costs, and environmental effects to arrive at a preferred alternative or the least environmentally damaging practicable alternative.

NEPA Services Include:
  • 3rd Party Contracting
  • Issue Identification and Scoping
  • Alternative Analysis
  • Environmental Impact Analysis
  • Study Planning and Implementation
  • Stakeholder Identification and Facilitation
  • Cumulative Effects Analysis
  • Agency Consultation
  • Mitigation and Enhancement Measures
  • Record of Decision Preparation
  • NEPA Training

Regulatory Compliance and Reporting

We have managed over 100 relicensing projects for hydropower owners throughout North America during the past 30 years and have the knowledge and expertise to assist licensees in meeting complex Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) compliance requirements. We provide different options for compliance management based on the level of assistance needed, the project-specific complexities, the size of the project portfolio, and the kind of compliance requirements mandated by FERC and other agencies.

Regulatory Compliance and Reporting Services Include:
  • License Implementation & Compliance Plans
  • Design & Conduct Compliance Related Studies
  • Provide Engineering Designs for Compliance Measures
  • Catalog FERC Articles from Orders & Water Quality Certification Conditions
  • Catalog Historic Compliance Filings
  • Conduct Compliance Audits
  • Develop & Maintain Compliance Databases
  • Develop Turnkey Solutions
  • Evaluate Compliance Tracking Software

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)
  • Wind Energy Area/Lease Area Assessment
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Federal and State Permitting
  • Development of Construction and Operations Plans (COP)
Expert Testimony

Expert Testimony

Our team of experienced scientists and engineers have provided expert testimony and technical support to the Department of Justice, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Native American Tribes related to water rights adjudicatory proceedings in the upper Klamath Basin, Oregon; the Snake and Salmon River, Coeur d’Alene and Spokane River, and Palouse River basins in Idaho; Rio Chama River in New Mexico, and Nookachamps Creek in Washington.

Expert witness testimony and support for these projects was provided by a unique collection of hydrologists, hydraulic engineers, fish biologists, riparian and aquatic ecologists, statisticians, and GIS specialists to quantify the instream flow and lake level needs of indigenous fish species.

Expert Testimony Services Include:
  • Water Rights Adjudications
  • Habitat Impact Assessments
  • FERC Actions
  • State Water control Board Hearings
  • Natural Resources Damage Assessments
  • Fish Passage
  • Land Use Hearings