The Keystone Pipeline System is an oil pipeline system in Canada and the United States owned by TransCanada Corporation. Clark Engineering’s environmental staff was part of a consulting team selected in 2016 to perform specialty services for the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline pipe replacement project at Wolf Creek near Bridgewater, South Dakota.
Work involved monitoring the installation and removal of temporary stream crossings for access to the project location. Wolf Creek is a Topeka shiner (Notropis Topeka) designated stream. Section 404 permits under the Clean Water Act are required to follow the Programmatic Biological Opinion on these streams. The Programmatic Biological Opinion is an agreement between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to simplify the Section 404 permitting process on Topeka shiner streams. When working in Topeka shiner habitats, reasonable and prudent measures are needed to minimize mortality rates by relocating them from isolated work zones. The fish seining portion of the project included monitoring the stream, inspecting pump screens, seining the waters, and relocating the endangered species downstream.
During the pipe replacement, daily monitoring of the downstream conditions took place. This ensures the provision of fish passage and protection during construction of projects that would impact the habitat of this federally endangered species. Clark Engineering provided the fish seining services. Clark’s biologist is approved by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to perform these unique services.