1. What is the new Material Source Approval Process, in a nutshell?
The new Material Source Approval Process has changed as of 2009. The old process was based on PROJECTS. The new process is based on LOCATIONS. The purpose of the new process is to streamline the review process, in response to feedback from stakeholders involved in the process.1) Check the NDDOT Material Source Certificate of Approval Website to see if the location you intend to use has been issued a Certificate of Approval (COA). If a COA has been issued, the Applicant shall print and submit the COA to the Project Engineer. The Project Engineer will make it part of the project record. Material Source Locations that are included in the plans or bidders proposal do not need to be reprinted at the time of construction. All conditions listed on a COA must be followed. 2) If the location has not been approved, submit SFN 58466: NDDOT Material Source Approval Request Form, along with a map to email@example.com. If there are any issues with a location that requires further coordination with State or Federal Agencies, the NDDOT Environmental and Transportation Services Division staff will contact the applicant. After the source has been approved, a COA will be published on the NDDOT Material Source Certificate of Approval Website. The Applicant shall print and submit the COA to the Project Engineer. The Project Engineer will make it part of the Project Record.
2. Why does the Department require the completion of the Material Source Approval Process?
The Department is required to comply with all Federal and State laws and regulations which govern the protection of wetlands protected under the Clean Water Act and Executive Order 11990, threatened and endangered species protected under the Endangered Species Act, and Section 4(f) properties protected under Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act. In addition, the Department must comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). Federal law, such as the Endangered Species Act, requires that the potential of any activity performed in conjunction with a transportation project be evaluated before initiating such activity. Material sources are considered part of the Federal undertaking for transportation projects in North Dakota. Material sources include rip-rap and material from commercial sources, and any other area of planned ground disturbing activities, such as staging area(s), plant site(s), stockpile area(s), waste site(s) and haul road(s). The Department is also required by a condition in the Section 404 permits issued by the United States Army Corps or Engineers (USACE), “to provide the locations of all material sources to be utilized for each phase of construction, along with documentation of cultural and endangered species clearance for each site, prior to use.”
3. Is SFN 58466 Material Source Approval Request available on the web page?
Yes, SFN 58466: NDDOT Material Source Approval Request Form is available on the webpage.
4. What type of map should be included with the Material Source Approval Request Form?
United States Geologic Survey Topographic Maps (quad maps) and/or aerial images are preferred. The maps should clearly identify the location to be used and published at a scale greater than 1:10,000 but less than 1:24,000. Please include the Township, Range, and Section on the map and verify that it reflects the legal description provided on the Material Source Approval Request Form. Maps are preferred in color; however black and white maps will be accepted, provided the site is clearly identifiable. Please do not fax requests. Most maps that are sent via fax are not legible and will result in a delay. The clarity and definition of the map reduces potential delays, including but not limited to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Easement coordination and additional cultural reviews.
5. What type of map should be included with the Material Source Approval Request Form?
6. Does the Contractor have to submit every pit for Material Source Approval?
The Contractor must present the Project Engineer with a valid (current year) COA for each contractor optioned area to be used on a NDDOT project. If a COA posted on the web does not reflect the current year, contact the Environmental and Transportations Services Division at firstname.lastname@example.org. COAs are available on the NDDOT Material Source Certificate of Approval Website. If a COA is not available for the source, the contractor must submit SFN 58466: NDDOT Material Source Approval Request Form. Be sure to attach a map showing the boundary of the area you intended to be used. Every location that is used on a project must have a COA.
7. How quickly can the Environmental review process be completed before starting the Cultural review process?
Within 5 working days of receipt of the information from the Applicant, the Environmental Services Section will meet with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to obtain clearance. If further review is required, the Environmental Services Section will coordinate with the local U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wetland Management District office to review the location(s) in the field. The purpose of this is to identify avoidance areas and areas that can be used. This additional review in the field may take up to an additional 10 working days to schedule. Seasonal limitations may apply.
8. Why does the entire process take 30 days to complete?
The Department must coordinate with Federal and State agencies on the proposed clearance. In some cases we need to work with out-of-state records. It may take less than or more than 30 days to complete, but on average it can take 30 days to complete the Material Source Approval Process. Seasonal limitation may apply.
9. What is the Project Engineer’s responsibility in this process?
The Project Engineer is responsible for ensuring that all contractor optioned areas have been issued a COA prior to utilizing the site and enforce all site conditions listed on the COA. In addition, Project Engineer will make the COA part of the project record for each material source used on a project. Material Source Locations that are included in the plans or bidders proposal do not need to be reprinted at the time of construction but conditions listed on the COA must be followed.
10. What should the Project Engineer do when the Contractor notifies him of a sighting or discovery?
The Project Engineer shall contact the Environmental Services Section Leader (Sheri Lares 701-328-2188), or Cultural Resource Services Section Leader (Robert Christensen 701-328-4539), Program Manager (Chad Orn 701-328-4587), or the Environmental and Transportation Service Division Director (Mark Gaydos 701-328-4417) to begin consultation with the resource and regulatory agencies.
11. Why should the Project Engineer report the sighting or discovery immediately upon being notified by the Contractor?
Federal and State laws require reporting certain types of discoveries within 24 hours. Depending on what you discover, and the location, the Department may be required to consult with law enforcement, tribes, the State Historic Preservation Officer, and the Advisory Council. The quicker the discovery is reported, consultation can begin and the quicker work may resume on the project. The same holds true with threatened and endangered species; the Project Engineer must notify the Environmental Section immediately. The Department needs to notify the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service within 24 hours of a sighting. The quicker the sighting is reported, consultation can begin and the quicker work may resume on the project.
12. Why can’t work continue on the project, away from the area where an endangered or threatened species is sited?
Construction noise and activity can disturb the species, therefore until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service observes the species and physical surroundings, no work can continue.
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