WWC is an environmental site assessment and monitoring provider, with experience in Phase I and Phase II assessments. We understand the necessity to collect accurate and representative data in a timely manner, since the majority of these projects include strict regulatory requirements such as baseline and annual operational monitoring reports.
WWC engineers specialize in geotechnical investigations, modeling, analyses, and design. WWC is experienced in supervising geotechnical drilling, logging boreholes, and directing geotechnical sampling. WWC utilizes the computer program GeoStudio with modules such as SLOPE/W© and SEEP/W© to analyze slope stability and seepage based on the geotechnical data collected during drilling and testing.
Since our founding, a key component of our practice has been the preparation of NEPA documents, ranging from complex environmental impact statements (EIS) to environmental assessments (EA) and more simple categorical exclusions (CE). We understand all aspects of NEPA analysis and have in-house capabilities for the majority of key resources. A point of pride for WWC is that of the dozens of NEPA documents we have prepared, not one has been overturned on administrative appeal. NEPA documents prepared by WWC consist of readable, informative text accompanied by clear, concise graphics. Our documents are Section 508 compliant.
WWC staff are experienced in municipal landfill design and permitting, methane monitoring and remediation plans, design of waste disposal facilities, as well as closure design, permitting and closure oversight.
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In order to move forward with development of its private coal resource in Sheridan County Wyoming, RAMACO required a land use change from Sheridan County for property it owned. WWC met with RAMACO and RAMACO’s legal counsel to discuss the regulatory process, public outreach, and legal challenges surrounding this change. WWC and RAMACO’S legal counsel partnered to prepare the necessary regulatory text, tables, and exhibits, each relying on their individual strengths to prepare the document. This team also shared in the public outreach responsibilities that included contacting stakeholders in their respective professions. The result was a successful land use change for RAMACO approved by the Sheridan County Commission. This was a pivot point for the client and meant the continuation of their coal development.
Strata Energy approached WWC regarding greenfield permitting of an in-situ uranium project through multiple state and federal processes. Strata required turn-key permitting services from the initial baseline data collection through execution of construction and uranium recovery operations. WWC evaluated state and federal guidelines for licensing an in-situ uranium project, developed a schedule to establish baseline, mining and reclamation plans, along with a host of other plans necessary for the multitude of permits required to conduct in-situ uranium mining. The schedule met Strata’s expectations upon which WWC executed the plans through eventual submittal of five significant permit applications (WDEQ-LQD Permit to Mine, WDEQ-AQD New Source Permit, WDEQ-WQD Class I UIC Permit and US NRC Source and Byproduct Materials License, US DOI-BLM Plan of Operations). The recovery operation has been operating since December 2015 and WWC had remained continually involved in both regulatory compliance and engineering capacities.
In 2016, the United States District Court for the District of Montana ruled that National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) violations had occurred associated with the U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management 2012 approval of Spring Creek Mine’s federal mining plan modification. As part of the NEPA process for the federal mining plan modification approval, an environmental assessment (EA) was prepared to evaluate the direct and indirect environmental effects of the SCM federal mining plan modification request. The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) had prepared this EA in conjunction with the SCM. The Court required correction of the NEPA violations by preparing an updated EA that reevaluated the direct and indirect environmental effects of the SCM federal mining plan amendment and ordered OSMRE to complete the updated EA within 240 days of the Court’s decision. The coal included in the federal mining plan revision was being mined and was vital to the SCM and the 240-day completion period, which was a relatively short time for the completion of the reevaluation. WWC, SCM, and OSMRE personnel partnered to prepare the document, including text, tables, and maps. The team determined that building on the 2012 EA would be the best approach, in that the required information could be integrated into the revised EA without compromising the schedule. The result was a success, the EA was completed, and the court order was vacated. SCM could continue mining according to the reapproved federal mining plan.
Snowy Mountain Development Corporation (SMDC) is a non-profit organization with a board of directors representing both the government and the public at large. Its focus is community and economic development, including feasibility studies, planning grants, infrastructure projects, job creation, job retention, workforce training, business technical assistance (including business start-up, business plans, gap financing) and more. WWC determined the level of environmental health at sites to determine a path forward for cleanup and redevelopment. The project assessments and cleanups would help towards redevelopment of communities and incrementally improve the economies of the communities and region. WWC collaborated with SMDC to determine a preferred cleanup alternative or option that best served the needs of the community while achieving cleanup goals. WWC’s assistance helped support the mission of SMDC and the EPA to improve communities.
The problem was that a lined disposal pond had a damaged liner. Process water was exiting the liner and contaminating soils and groundwater. WWC guided the client through the process of regulatory compliance for environmental reporting and cleanup. WWC and the client chose to excavate contaminated soils to the maximum possible extent. Excavated soils were hauled to a nearby disposal facility. WWC directed excavation to minimize excavation of soils clean enough to remain in place. The result was that the regulatory agency required the installation of groundwater monitor wells to sample water and measure contaminant levels. Ongoing monitoring has shown that by removing the highly contaminated soils, groundwater contamination is below cleanup levels, indicating that further remediation will likely not be necessary.
Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) in coordination with the private landowner and irrigator who own and operate the lands and ditch affected by the project, studied fish entrainment in Harmony Ditch during the 2006 and 2007 irrigation seasons. WGFD estimated Harmony Ditch entrained 55,415 fish in 2007. From a landowner’s perspective, the problem was achieving the irrigation goals of the operation, without being detrimentally affected by the screening and passage goals of WGFD. WWC proposed a two-phase, irrigation-friendly design was initiated. Phase I was to install the screening facility, and the second phase was to install a natural channel design grade control. WWC partnered with an expert in fish passage and screening, One Fish Engineering, and later with a natural channel design firm, 5 Smooth Stones to successfully complete the project.
WWC Engineering (WWC) was contracted by United States Bakery/Franz Family of Bakeries (the Bakery) to assist in developing a stormwater mitigation plan to address flooding issues that were being experienced at the Bakery property in Billings, Montana. The Bakery wished to tie their stormwater management system into the City of Billings storm drain collector piping that was recently installed adjacent to their property. WWC guided the Bakery through the City of Billings stormwater requirements for allowance to tie into the City storm drain.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) manages the Riverton, Wyoming Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Site on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Due to shallow groundwater contamination from the historical milling operations, DOE funded construction of the Alternate Water Supply System to provide safe water to residents within the institutional control boundary. WWC was contracted by the DOE’s Legacy Management contractor, Navarro, to assess the condition of the water system and make recommendations for improvements, including:
WWC prepared construction specifications and necessary reports to meet environmental compliance during construction of stormwater utilities through a tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) orphan plume. WWC arranged for proper offsite disposal of PCE- and TCE-contaminated groundwater and soils. WWC also included provisions in the specifications to require the contractor to maintain OSHA compliance for safe trenching activities, as the contaminated soils and groundwater caused vapors to accumulate in open trenches.