SURFACE DISTURBANCES AND 
ECOLOGICAL RESOURCES ASSOCIATED 
WITH OIL & GAS DEVELOPMENT
Jana White, PhD 
Ecologist
July 9, 2...
Presentation Outline:
1. Current status and future 
challenges
a. Key regulations 
b. Case studies
2. Future industry dire...
Ecological Resources
 Vegetation
 Wetlands
 Sensitive habitats
 T&E Species
 Raptors
 Sage Grouse
What do operators ...
Regulations – The Big Ones
 NEPA (1969)
 Endangered Species Act (1973)
 Clean Water Act (1977)
 State of Wyoming Execu...
Vegetation Management and Revegetation
 Agency‐specific  
 Based on mineral 
rights ownership 
 State and private 
mine...
Vegetation Management and Revegetation
Sustainable Development
Interim reclamation
minimize impacts of 
development on oth...
Vegetation Management and Revegetation
Pre‐development 
Planning
 Data for cover and 
species prior to 
development
 Ass...
Wildlife Regulations – T&E Species
Wyoming: 18 listings
Colorado: 35 listings
Wyoming Toad Photo: US FWS
Wildlife Regulations – T&E Species
 1973 Endangered Species Act
 Affects all sites – public and private
 Initial T&E Sp...
Wildlife Regulations
 State‐listed species, species of concern
Hierarchy of Evaluation
Federally listed T&E Species
BLM S...
Wildlife Regulations – Raptors
 Migratory Bird Treaty Act
 Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act
Protects birds, eggs, an...
Wildlife Regulations – Raptors (WY)
Raptors of Conservation Concern
Common Name
Spatial buffer 
(miles) Seasonal buffer 
G...
Raptor Case Study
 What do we do if a raptor nest is present?
Wildlife Regulations – Sage Grouse
State of Wyoming Executive Order (EO) 2011‐5. 
Management and regulations focused on Co...
Wildlife Regulations – Sage Grouse
Source: WY Game and Fish Department
Wildlife Regulations – Sage Grouse
Source: WY Game and Fish Department
Wetlands & Waters of the U.S.
The Challenge:  What is a wetland?  Is it jurisdictional?
Wetlands & Waters of the U.S.
The Challenge:  What is a wetland?  Is it jurisdictional?
Intermittent & Ephemeral Wetlands ...
Wetlands & Waters of the U.S.
Regulatory Jurisdiction:
 Section 10 Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899
 Section 404 Clean Wat...
Wetlands & Waters of the U.S.
Types of Permits:
1)  Individual Permits
‐ wetland removal
2)  General/Nationwide Permits
‐ ...
Wetland Case Study
Future Industry Directions
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BES)
Guidance document 
drafted by 2 global 
industry grou...
Future Industry Directions
BES Categories:
Source: www.ipieca.org
Future Industry Directions
Future development prioritization based on ecological 
resource and ecosystem services assessme...
Contact Information:
Jana White
jwhite@trihydro.com
307/745‐7474
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Surface Disturbances and Ecological Resources Associated with Oil & Gas Development

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Presentation for 2013 EORI CO2 Conference in Casper, WY July 9, 2013.
Jana White, Ph.D. Ecologist for Trihydro, has nearly 15 years of experience working on diverse environmental projects. Her expertise includes biogeochemistry, botany, fate and transport modeling, and systems hydrology.

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Surface Disturbances and Ecological Resources Associated with Oil & Gas Development

  1. 1. SURFACE DISTURBANCES AND  ECOLOGICAL RESOURCES ASSOCIATED  WITH OIL & GAS DEVELOPMENT Jana White, PhD  Ecologist July 9, 2013
  2. 2. Presentation Outline: 1. Current status and future  challenges a. Key regulations  b. Case studies 2. Future industry directions  and potential hurdles ‐ Using ecosystem services  metrics for development  prioritization
  3. 3. Ecological Resources  Vegetation  Wetlands  Sensitive habitats  T&E Species  Raptors  Sage Grouse What do operators encounter when an area  is proposed for development?
  4. 4. Regulations – The Big Ones  NEPA (1969)  Endangered Species Act (1973)  Clean Water Act (1977)  State of Wyoming Executive Order 2011‐5  Migratory Bird Treaty Act (1918)  Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (1940)  WY Environmental Quality Act  BLM, Forest Service, State, Local Statutes
  5. 5. Vegetation Management and Revegetation  Agency‐specific    Based on mineral  rights ownership   State and private  mineral rights – WOGCC, WDEQ  Federal mineral rights – BLM Reclamation plan required as part of POD, APD, or  master development plan
  6. 6. Vegetation Management and Revegetation Sustainable Development Interim reclamation minimize impacts of  development on other  resources and uses Final reclamation character and productivity  of the land and water are  restored Wyoming BLM photo, BMP Guide
  7. 7. Vegetation Management and Revegetation Pre‐development  Planning  Data for cover and  species prior to  development  Assist in setting  reclamation goals
  8. 8. Wildlife Regulations – T&E Species Wyoming: 18 listings Colorado: 35 listings Wyoming Toad Photo: US FWS
  9. 9. Wildlife Regulations – T&E Species  1973 Endangered Species Act  Affects all sites – public and private  Initial T&E Species Evaluation Required on  Proposed Oil and Gas Permits Wyoming: 20 listings Black‐footed ferret, FWS photo Blowout penstemon, FWS photo
  10. 10. Wildlife Regulations  State‐listed species, species of concern Hierarchy of Evaluation Federally listed T&E Species BLM Sensitive Species State‐listed Mountain Plover, FWS photo/Fritz  Knopf Wyoming Pocket Gopher, FWS photo Pygmy Rabbit
  11. 11. Wildlife Regulations – Raptors  Migratory Bird Treaty Act  Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act Protects birds, eggs, and nests
  12. 12. Wildlife Regulations – Raptors (WY) Raptors of Conservation Concern Common Name Spatial buffer  (miles) Seasonal buffer  Golden Eagle 0.5 January 15 ‐ July 31 Ferruginous Hawk 1 March 15 ‐ July 31  Swainson's Hawk 0.25 April 1 ‐ August 31 Bald Eagle see our Bald Eagle information web page Prairie Falcon 0.5 March 1 ‐ August 15 Peregrine Falcon 0.5 March 1 ‐ August 15 Short‐eared Owl 0.25 March15‐ August 1 Burrowing Owl 0.25 April 1 – September 15 Northern Goshawk 0.5 April 1 ‐ August 15 Seasonal noise limitations, buffers, and timing restrictions to reduce the  impacts of construction, operations, and noise. 
  13. 13. Raptor Case Study  What do we do if a raptor nest is present?
  14. 14. Wildlife Regulations – Sage Grouse State of Wyoming Executive Order (EO) 2011‐5.  Management and regulations focused on Core Population Areas and  identified leks.  Maximum permissible disturbance  Density of O&G development FWS photo
  15. 15. Wildlife Regulations – Sage Grouse Source: WY Game and Fish Department
  16. 16. Wildlife Regulations – Sage Grouse Source: WY Game and Fish Department
  17. 17. Wetlands & Waters of the U.S. The Challenge:  What is a wetland?  Is it jurisdictional?
  18. 18. Wetlands & Waters of the U.S. The Challenge:  What is a wetland?  Is it jurisdictional? Intermittent & Ephemeral Wetlands and Streams
  19. 19. Wetlands & Waters of the U.S. Regulatory Jurisdiction:  Section 10 Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899  Section 404 Clean Water Act of 1977
  20. 20. Wetlands & Waters of the U.S. Types of Permits: 1)  Individual Permits ‐ wetland removal 2)  General/Nationwide Permits ‐ minor road projects, utility  line installation, dam  reconstruction activities
  21. 21. Wetland Case Study
  22. 22. Future Industry Directions Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BES) Guidance document  drafted by 2 global  industry groups which  formed the Biodiversity  Working Group Fundamental Question: What is the business case  for protecting and  enhancing biodiversity and  ecosystem services?
  23. 23. Future Industry Directions BES Categories: Source: www.ipieca.org
  24. 24. Future Industry Directions Future development prioritization based on ecological  resource and ecosystem services assessments Example – Pipeline Construction • Proper pipeline location can significantly reduce or  eliminate impacts to cultural, scenic, biological, and  other environmental factors • Right of Way should be selected by considering 4  BES categories (Regulating, Provisioning, Cultural,  and Supporting)
  25. 25. Contact Information: Jana White jwhite@trihydro.com 307/745‐7474

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