DD: Cement Terminal Site Assessment & Permitting
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Cement Terminal Site Assessment & Permitting



Lindsay James


Service Lines

Project Summary

Blackstone Environmental, Inc. supported the development of a new cement terminal in the Des Moines area by conducting a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) and wetland delineation for a proposed site location and then preparing air quality permit applications for the proposed equipment.

Phase I Environmental Site Assessment

Blackstone conducted the Phase I ESA for a 15.09-acre agricultural property that was identified as a potential location for the cement terminal. The Phase I ESA assessed site conditions, both past, and present, for indications of recognized environmental conditions (RECs) at the Site prior to purchase. Land use in the area included recent light industrial development and agricultural/undeveloped properties. Aerial photos reviewed indicated that the site had been vacant or agricultural land since at least the late 1930s. Blackstone reviewed environmental database records, interviewed the current landowner, and conducted site reconnaissance, and did not identify indications of RECs associated with the historic use of the site or adjoining and nearby properties. Indications of potential wetland conditions were identified during the Phase I ESA site visit, and Blackstone recommended a wetland delineation be completed prior to development of the property.

Wetland Delineation

Following the Phase I, Blackstone was contracted to complete a wetland delineation of the property to request jurisdictional determination or permitting related to future development. Two wetland delineators assessed the 15.09-acre property by reviewing background data and conducting an onsite assessment to identify potential wetlands and streams within the site. Data reviewed included topographic maps from the U.S. Geological Survey, LiDAR data from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the National Wetlands Inventory Remap from US Fish and Wildlife Services, NAIP Aerial Photography from the National Resources Conservation Web Soil Survey, Polk County SSURGO Data, and antecedent rainfall data from Weather Underground.

Wetland boundaries were identified in the field, drawn on high-resolution photographs, and recorded with GPS equipment with sub-meter accuracy. Wetland vegetation, soil indicators, hydrology indicators and other data were recorded at 7 sample points within the site and other plots were sampled to refine the wetland boundaries before the boundaries were recorded. The site did not contain any streams or potential waters of the United States. One wetland of 0.48 acres was identified. A jurisdictional determination was requested from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who determined that the wetlands were not jurisdictional because there was no significant nexus to any downstream traditionally navigable waterways.

Air Permit Application Development

Once plans were set to develop the property, Blackstone prepared air quality construction permit applications for emission sources associated with the new cement terminal. The proposed facility consisted of a cement storage dome, four storage silos, train and truck material unloading, and truck loadouts. Blackstone was provided the engineering plans and vendor quote documentation for the new facility and utilized the information to determine emission sources and emission points. Blackstone developed an emissions inventory, including potential and actual emissions, for each emission point. The potential emissions for the project and each point did not exceed the significant emission rates and modeling was not required.

Blackstone prepared application materials for each emission unit, each control device, and each emission point, as required by Polk County, Iowa, including the development of process flow diagrams for each emission point and adding emissions unit and emission point information to the vendor-provided process flow diagrams. Blackstone communicated with the Polk County Air Quality Division (AQD) local contact during the application process. Blackstone reviewed the draft permit for each emission point and provided comments back to Polk County AQD prior to final permit issuance.