Palustrine Forests
Forested areas which are typically wet (wetlands) and include general habitats and sub-ecosystems such as Palustrine Emergent (PEM), Palustrine Scrub-Shrub (PSS), Palustrine Forested (PFO) and Palustrine Open Water (POW). A general forest classification apart from coastal, riverine and lacustrine (lake) forests.
Participating Agencies
See Federal Participating Agency, or Non-Federal Participating Agency.
Partnering Agencies
The agencies identified as partnering agencies within the Memorandum of Understanding: "Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and National Environmental Policy Act Integration Process for Surface Transportation Projects in North Carolina." Partnering agencies have a significant role as project team members in the Merger Process, and in some cases, may have a statutory compliance role or regulatory function to fulfill. The partnering agencies are as follows: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; National Marine Fisheries Service; N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission; N.C. Department of Cultural Resources; U.S. Coast Guard; U.S. Forest Service; Tennessee Valley Authority; National Park Service; Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation; and Metropolitan Planning Organizations.
Peak Hour
The 1-hour period during which the roadway carries the greatest number of vehicles. Traffic impacts are typically evaluated during the morning and afternoon peak hours when the greatest number of motorists are traveling to and from work. (CG)
A term used to describe when the bottom of a culvert is elevated above the streambed or ditch elevation (usually due to degradation of the streambed or from improper installation).
Perennial Streams
Streams that contain water year-round during a year of normal rainfall; flow occurs in a well-defined channel; the aquatic bed is located below the water table for most of the year; groundwater is a primary source of water, but the stream also carries stormwater runoff; exhibits the typical biological, hydrological, and physical characteristics commonly associated with a continuous conveyance of water.
Permit Area (USACE)
In the context of potential effects to cultural resources or endangered species, those areas comprising the waters of the US that will be directly affected by the proposed work or structures (those that require Section 10 or 404 permits) and uplands directly affected as a result of authorizing the work or structure. (33CFR325, App. C; December 5, 1991 Memorandum from John P. Elmore, USACE, to Major Subordinate Commands and District Commands).
Phase II (Stormwater plans/Stormwater permits)
Regulation that builds upon the existing Phase I program by requiring smaller communities and public entities that own and operate a municipal separate storm sewer system to apply and obtain an NPDES permit for stormwater discharges.
Phased Projects
Larger projects, which are divided into segments and are funded at different timeframes for right of way acquisition and construction.
See Bent
A deep foundation consisting of a heavy beam of timber, concrete or steel usually driven into the earth as a foundation or support for a bent. A pile distributes loads from the above structure to the surrounding soils.
Pipeline Projects
Merger eligible projects that were already underway at various stages of project development when the Original Merger process and/or the Merger Process were implemented. the Merger Process Owners decide if a pipeline project will be placed in the merger process and the appropriate concurrence point.
Freshwater shrub/scrub wetland communities (i.e. non-Estuarine shrub/scrub) dominated by evergreen shrubs, often mixed with pond or loblolly pines. Typically occur on saturated, acid, nutrient poor, sandy or peaty soils; usually removed from large streams; and subject to periodic burning.
Point Source (of pollution)
Readily identifiable inputs where waste is discharged to the receiving waters from a pipe or drain.
A condition in which water stands in a closed depression. Water may be removed only by percolation, evaporation, and/or transpiration. [versus Flooded - A condition in which the soil surface is temporarily covered with flowing water from any source, such as streams overflowing their banks, runoff from adjacent or surrounding slopes, inflow from high tides, or any combination of sources.] (USACE; Technical Report Y-87-1, Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual, Department of the Army, Waterways Experiment Station, January 1987;).
Poured Shaft
See drilled pier
Practicable [versus Practical]
Available and capable of being done after taking into consideration cost, existing technology, and logistics in light of overall project purposes. Practical means capable of being used or put into effect. The difference between practical and practicable lies in the feasibility of an action. Practicable means "feasible" as well as "usable". An action may be practical but not practicable.
Practical [versus Practicable]
[See practicable.]
Predictive Models
[See Archaeological Predictive Model]
Preferred Alternative
A NEPA term for the alternative, which the lead agency believes, would fulfill its statutory mission and responsibilities, giving consideration to social, economic, environmental, technical and other factors.
Preformed Scour Hole
A preshaped, riprap-lined basin located directly downstream of the outfall of a drainage structure to dissipate energy and promote diffuse flow.
Preformed Scour Holes
Preliminary Design
Specific design that includes horizontal and vertical alignment, edge of pavement, construction limits, roadway superelevation and right of way limits. Preliminary designs are prepared on preliminary mapping in order to evaluate constructability, impacts to the human and natural environment and to re-establish project cost.
Preliminary Mapping
Topographic mapping (plan design files and contours) at a scale of 1"=100'and 1"=200'. Mapping will contain topographic features and delineate wetlands and streams. The accuracy of the 1"=100' topographic mapping (used primarily in urban areas) is plus or minus 0.5 feet in the x,y,z axis. The accuracy of the 1"=200' topographic mapping (used typically in the rural and cross-country areas) is plus or minus 1 foot in the x,y,z axis. Design Public Hearing Maps are developed using Preliminary Mapping.
Preservation [mitigation]
1. The protection of ecologically important wetlands or other aquatic resources in perpetuity through the implementation of appropriate legal and physical mechanisms. Preservation may include protection of upland areas adjacent to wetlands as necessary to ensure protection and/or enhancement of the aquatic ecosystem. (60 FR 228, pp. 58605-58614, "Federal Guidance for the Establishment, Use and Operation of Mitigation Banks," 28Nov95);
  2. Protection of existing habitat conditions, generally through acquisition or easement in perpetuity, or at least for the duration of project impacts. (USFWS, CFR 46(15):7656-7663, 1981);
  3. The protection of wetlands through purchase donation or conveyance of a conservation easement to an appropriate government or non-profit agency for management. (15A NCAC 2H .0506 (h)(4)(A), (B), (C), (D));
  4. Activities or practices done to protect existing human or natural resources, such as an historic architecture site.
Primary MOU Signatory Agencies
The agencies identified as primary signatories within the Memorandum of Understanding: "Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and National Environmental Policy Act Integration Process for Surface Transportation Projects In North Carolina." The primary agencies (i.e. sponsor agencies) are the process owners of the Merger Process, and are responsible for the successful implementation of the Merger Process. They are the primary decision-making authority with regard to NEPA and Section 404 permitting and are responsible for conflict or dispute resolution. The primary agencies are as follows: N.C. Department of Transportation; Federal Highway Administration, North Carolina Division; N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources; and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Primary Nursery Area
Located in the upper portions of creeks and bays. These areas are usually shallow with soft muddy bottoms and surrounded by marshes and wetlands. Low salinity and the abundance of food in these areas are ideal for young fish and shellfish. To protect juveniles, many commercial fishing activities are prohibited in these waters; including the use of trawl nets, seine nets, dredges or any mechanical methods used for taking clams or oysters.
Prime [or Unique] Farmlands
Land classified under the FPPA that has the best combination of physical and chemical characteristics for producing food, feed, fiber, forage, oilseed, and other agricultural crops with minimum inputs of fuel, fertilizer, pesticides and labor and without intolerable soil erosion. Unique farmland is land other than prime farmland that is used for the production of specific high-value food and fiber crops, such as citrus, tree nuts, olives, cranberries, fruits and vegetables.
Process I
The Merger Process implementation procedures for Projects on New Location. Generally, Process I will be followed for all projects with any portion of the project on new location. However, if the new location segments are considered minor, then Process II can be used if agreed to by the Project Team.
Process II
The Merger Process implementation procedures for widening and other improvement projects.
Process III
The Merger Process agency coordination process for bridge replacement projects that are processed as categorical exclusions. Programmatic categorical exclusions will not be done for projects that follow this process. The project team will review each project at its initial meeting to determine the appropriate merger process that the project should follow. For example, a Bridge Replacement/CE project that needs project team concurrence on purpose and need would follow Process I or Process II instead of Process III.
Process Owners
[See primary MOU signatory agencies]
Project Development and Environmental Analysis (PDEA)
The Project Development and Environmental Analysis Branch (PDEA) was formed in response to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, which called for efforts to prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and the biosphere. PDEA's mission is to responsibly develop transportation projects in an environmentally sound manner and in partnership with all stakeholders.
Project Management Improvement Initiative (PMii)
PMii provides modern project planning and execution tools and methods for NCDOT projects and provides fiscal information to the Business System Improvement Project (BSIP). It is the NCDOT department wide project-scheduling tool.
Project Study Area
The area between logical termini in which alternatives can be developed that meet the Purpose and Need for the proposed improvement.
Public Trust Areas (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." Public trust areas are defined by CAMA as all waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the lands thereunder from the mean high water mark to the seaward limit of state jurisdiction; all natural bodies of water subject to measurable lunar tides and lands thereunder to the normal high water or normal water level; all navigable natural bodies of water and lands thereunder to the normal high water or normal water level as the case may be, except privately-owned lakes to which the public has no right of access; all water in artificially created bodies of water containing public fishing resources or other public resources which are accessible to the public by navigation from bodies of water in which the public has rights of navigation; and all waters in artificially created bodies of water in which the public has acquired rights by prescription, custom, usage, dedication, or any other means. In determining whether the public has acquired rights in artificially created bodies of water, the following factors shall be considered: (1) the use of the body of water by the public; (2) the length of time the public has used the area; (3) the value of public resources in the body of water; (4) whether the public resources in the body of water are mobile to the extent that they can move into natural bodies of water; (5) whether the creation of the artificial body of water required permission from the state; and the value of the body of water to the public for navigation from one public area to another public area.
Public Trust Doctrine
The Public Trust Doctrine is the principle that the State holds title to submerged land under navigable waters in trust for the benefit of the public. The doctrine dates back to English common law and became part of North Carolina's common law after the Declaration of Independence.
Purpose and Need (P/N) [Statement]
In a broad context, the general intent and justification for an intended action to address a specified transportation-related problem. The statement should clearly demonstrate that a 'need' exists and should define the 'need' in terms understandable to the general public. The statement should clearly describe identified and documented problems that the proposed action is to correct. Under the Merger Process, the phrase 'Purpose and Need' generally refers to Concurrence Point 1.
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