Enbridge hired Barr to provide permitting assistance and develop a fen management plan (FMP) as required by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to perform excavations for pipeline repairs. The FMP included an ecological characterization of the fen; proposed construction methods; environmental impacts from construction; mitigation measures to minimize the impacts; restoration measures; and post-construction monitoring methods. Barr conducted the site characterization, developed construction plans, quantified the environmental impacts, and identified ways to minimize the impacts to secure DNR approval. Barr also designed and implemented a hydrology monitoring plan to document changes in groundwater dynamics before, during, and after construction and modeled expected dewatering. Barr obtained all necessary permits and approvals including a permit for incidental take of threatened and endangered plant species.
The final phase was a performance monitoring plan designed to demonstrate successful restoration. The plan outlined performance criteria for hydrology, soils, and vegetation, with an overall objective of ensuring the site maintains groundwater chemistry, hydrology, soils, and vegetation appropriate for calcareous fen ecosystems. A key component of the monitoring plan was to develop realistic performance criteria and schedule that met regulatory requirements and limited long-term financial liability. Barr successfully advocated for shorter-term, more flexible monitoring than was required for a similar project nearby. The maximum monitoring period was half the length adopted for the nearby project. The plan also included a provision that if performance criteria were met for two consecutive years, monitoring would cease within five years.
Barr conducted required construction monitoring during pipeline maintenance and prepared a report demonstrating compliance with the FMP and applicable permits.