Glossary

Description
Easement
Access given to individuals other than the owner, allowing them to use a property for a specific purpose. Some examples are temporary construction and utility easements. (CG)
Ecosystem Enhancement Program (EEP)
NCDOT and NCDENR partnered to create the Ecosystem Enhancement Program, in order to deal with a rapidly expanding transportation program that would impact acres of wetlands and streams. The EEP protects the state's natural resources through the assessment, restoration, enhancement, and preservation of ecosystem functions, and through identifying and implementing compensatory mitigation programmatically, at the watershed level. Created by MOA between DENR, NCDOT, and USACE; Performs compensatory mitigation for stream and wetland projects (both DOT and in-lieu fee projects).
Edge of Pavement
The dividing line or point of intersection between the pavement and earth shoulder of a highway or roadway. The line or lines indicate the limits of the pavement.
Effect [See Environmental Effect]
As a general term, an effect is something brought about by an agent or cause. Synonyms include consequence, outcome and result.
Efficient Transportation Decision-Making (ETDM)
It is a project development process developed by the State of Florida, which includes extensive use of GIS data layers, and early interactive involvement by agencies into decision-making. The process creates linkages between land use, transportation systems and environmental resources to develop reasonable and feasible project alternatives.
Elevation Process
General phrase which most often refers to the Merger Process Guidelines, Appendix B, "Implementation Guidance for Conflict or Dispute Resolution". There are other types of specific elevation processes under Federal laws and regulations, including NEPA and Section 404 of the CWA.
Emergent Vegetation
A rooted herbaceous plant species that has parts extending above a water surface (USACE; Technical Report Y-87-1, Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual, Department of the Army, Waterways Experiment Station, January 1987;).
Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA)
See Glossary of Environmental Laws
Endangered Species Management Plan (ESMP)
A plan required by the ESA for Federal facilities (e.g., Fort Bragg) for all listed and proposed threatened and endangered species that can be used as a tool to achieve conservation objectives for populations of threatened and endangered species and to minimize effects to the facility's primary mission. These plans should be consistent with the FWS's published Species Recovery Plans.
Enhancement [Wetland Mitigation]
1. The manipulation of the physical, chemical, or biological characteristics of a wetland site (undisturbed or degraded) to heighten, intensify, or improve specific function(s) or to change the growth stage or composition of the vegetation present. Enhancement is undertaken for specified purposes such as water quality improvement, floodwater retention, or wildlife habitat. Enhancement results in a change in wetland function(s) and can lead to a decline in other wetland functions, but does not result in a gain in wetland acres. This term includes activities commonly associated with enhancement, management, manipulation and directed alteration (USACE, Regulatory Guidance Letter 02-2, Guidance on Compensatory Mitigation Projects for Aquatic Resource Impacts Under the Corps Regulatory Program Pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, 24 December 2002;).
  
  2. Activities conducted in existing wetlands or other aquatic resources which increase one or more aquatic functions (60 FR 228, pp. 58605-58614, "Federal Guidance for the Establishment, Use and Operation of Mitigation Banks," 28Nov95).
  
  3. Increasing one or more of the functions of an existing wetland by manipulation of vegetation or hydrology (15A NCAC 2H .0506 (h)(4)(A), (B), (C), and (D);).
  
  4. The net improvement an alternative plan, or project, makes to fish and wildlife resources (singularly or collectively) compared with the "without" plan or project conditions (USACE; Engineer Regulation (ER) 1105-2-100, 15Dec89;).
Environmental Assessment (EA)
The preliminary environmental document, which includes those, project or program actions which do not have a significant environmental impact. The FHWA criteria and procedures for EA's are contained at 23 CFR 771.115 and 771.119.
Environmental Effect
See Direct and Indirect Effects
Environmental Features Map
A topographic or photogrammetric map of the study area illustrating resource areas of concern, both natural and human environment. This mapping is used to identify alternatives that warrant study on a screening level basis.
Environmental Impact
See Direct Effects and Indirect Effects
Environmental Justice (EJ)
Under Merger Process, it is both the analysis and principals applied to transportation planning efforts under the Executive Order 12898 to ensure full and fair participation of low income and minority populations and communities in the decision-making process. There are three fundamental environmental justice principles
  
  1. To avoid, minimize, or mitigate disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental effects, including social and economic effects, on minority populations and low-income populations.
  
  2. To ensure the full and fair participation by all potentially affected communities in the transportation decision-making process.
  
  3. To prevent the denial of, reduction in, or significant delay in the receipt of benefits by minority and low-income populations.
Environmental Management Commission (N.C. EMC)
See Acronym Cross Reference
Environmental Restoration
[See Restoration]
Environmental Stewardship
A general Federal and State initiative which demonstrates the care and commitment for preserving and enhancing the natural and human environment in delivering and maintaining an improved transportation system.
Environmental Streamlining
An initiative aimed at identifying ways that transportation and environmental agency representatives can more effectively work together in a collaborative and cooperative manner to avoid unnecessary delays in processing environmental documents, approvals and permits. The environmental streamlining provision was contained in TEA-21.
Ephemeral Stream
Generally, streams that form only during and immediately after precipitation (usually dry within 48 hours after a rain event). Ephemeral streams often do not have a well-defined channel and there may be no clear demarcation from other surface runoff. Some commonly used names for ephemeral streams include stormwater channel, drain, swale, gully, hollow, or saddle. In North Carolina, ephemeral channels are not normally regulated under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
Erosion
The general term referring to the 'natural' wearing away of the soil and land by precipitation, wind or other geological forces. Erosion is often accelerated and intensified by land-clearing human activities related to farming, residential and commercial development and public improvement projects such as highway construction. Accelerated erosion typically has adverse environmental effects to water quality and aquatic resources, increased air-borne particulate matter, and declines in arable land, etc.
Essential Fish Habitat (EFH)
EFH consists of both the water column and the underlying surface (e.g., Seafloor) of a particular area and NMFS designated areas essential to the long-term survival and health of our Nation's fisheries. This includes breeding, spawning, nursery, feeding and protection habitat functions for managed fishery species.
Estuarine Waters (CAMA) Access
In the 20 Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) counties of North Carolina, the rules of the Coastal Resources Commission require that "Development shall not impede navigation or create undue interference with access to, or use of, public trust areas or estuarine waters." Estuarine waters are defined by CAMA to include all the waters of the Atlantic Ocean within the boundary of North Carolina and all the waters of the bays, sounds, rivers and tributaries thereto seaward of the dividing line between coastal fishing waters and inland fishing waters. The boundaries between inland and coastal fishing waters are set forth in an agreement adopted by the Wildlife Resources Commission and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and in the most current revision of the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Regulations for Coastal Waters, codified at 15A NCAC 3Q .0200.
Estuary
A generally broad portion of a river or stream near its outlet that is influenced by the marine water body into which it flows. The demarcation line is generally the mean tide level. Executive Order (E.O.) - An order signed by the President of the United States that has essentially the full force and effect as a Federally-promulgated law or regulation.
Expressway
A facility with a functional purpose of high mobility and low to moderate access. The facility has limited or partial control of access, no traffic signals, and a minimum of 4 travel lanes with a median. Connections are provided only at interchanges for major cross streets and at-grade intersections for minor cross streets.
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