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State Highway Administration

Environmental Programs

Environmental Mitigation and Stewardship Contracts

For information on the Environmental Mitigation and Stewardship Contracts, including preliminary schedule information, click here.

Protecting the Environment

Due to a surplus of compensatory mitigation projects, lower level mitigation projects will be moved to the environmental stewardship list and some lower priority environmental stewardship projects are being replaced.   Please see the PDF's below for more information:

  • Click here to view the Paint Branch Special Protection Area Detailed Subwatershed Assessment.
  • Click here for view the ICC Pre-Construction Conditions Water Quality Report.
  • Click here for the Revision to Compensatory Mitigation and Environmental Stewardship document.
  • Click here for the Current ES/CM Projects List.
  • Click here for the Impacts by Watershed List.
  • Click here for ICC Contract B and C Post-Construction Stream Conditions Report.

Click here for the Paint Branch Subwatershed Detailed Assessment. 

Click here for more details for the Mitigation Project reductions.

Click here to review an interactive map of Environmental Projects.

Protecting the diverse and sensitive natural environment that will be traversed by the Intercounty Connector (ICC) requires extraordinary focus and effort. That is why the ICC’s $370 million environmental program – more than 15 percent of the project’s estimated cost – is both unprecedented in scope and cutting edge in approach.

Symbolizing the ICC project's commitment to the environment are initiatives that go beyond merely meeting requirements to actually correcting certain environmental problems - unrelated to the highway - that otherwise would remain unaddressed. These include 51 environmental stewardship projects that will address environmental stresses caused by past development in the area. Many environmental mitigation and stewardship projects, all of which are located in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties, have been combined into approximately 52 design-bid-build contracts which have an estimated value of over $97 million. For information on the Environmental Mitigation and Stewardship Contracts, please click here.

Construction Complete for Dog Park in Olney

Click here to read about the start of construction of the new Dog Park in Olney Manor Park.  See photos below.

Avoidance, Minimization and Mitigation

In planning the highway, the State Highway Administration (SHA) went to great lengths to create a comprehensive set of avoidance, minimization and mitigation measures to protect the environment to the utmost extent. For example, many ICC bridges over parks and streams will be longer than normal to lessen the amount of environmental impact in these sensitive areas and to allow greater clearance for wildlife and vegetation. And, in many cases, the path of the ICC roadway will be lowered into the ground near existing communities to reduce noise and visual impacts.

Environmental Program Highlights

Newly created wetlands adjacent to Northwest Branch are contained by black canvas erosion-control fencing, which prevents the loose soil from washing into streams during rainstorms.

The ICC project’s environmental mitigation and stewardship efforts will yield benefits in the project area and beyond. Examples include:

  • Nearly 69,000 linear feet of stream restoration in Northwest Branch, Indian Creek and the Paint Branch and Upper Paint Branch watersheds.
  • 2,000 linear feet of fish passage work, which will remove or bridge blockages, thus enabling fish to reach prime upstream spawning areas.
  • More than 57 acres of new wetlands at five major sites. The restoration of wetlands adjacent to Northwest Branch was completed this fall.
  • Approximately 4,300 acres of water quality and stormwater management improvements, including state-of-the-art stormwater controls and 16 stormwater-management sites, in each of the major watersheds.
  • 21 projects, totaling 620 acres, aimed at improving water quality, protecting brown trout and other environmental conditions in the Upper Paint Branch watershed.
  • 44 bridges and culverts (in addition to the bridges at major stream crossings) to provide safe passage for deer and small mammals.
  • More than 700 acres of reforested land to create new forest habitat.
  • Over 775 acres of new parkland to mitigate the approximately 88 acres that will be used for the ICC. One park project was completed in late summer 2006: a new soccer field for the Wheaton Boys and Girls Club has replaced a field that was prone to flooding.

The Wheaton Boys and Girls Club completed their fall 2006 soccer season on this newly created field on Norbeck Road. "We couldn't be happier with the new playing field," said the club president.

  • An extensive program of landscaping, retaining walls and sound barriers to make the ICC less noticeable, helping it fit better within the fabric of adjacent communities.
  • More than 11 miles of bike trails – a centerpiece of the extensive community and cultural resource program, which also includes historic property preservation.

“Building Green”

The same environmental commitment will steer the actual construction of the highway. For example, tens of miles of silt fence – a heavy canvas-like material that prevents loose soil from running off into streams during rainstorms – will encircle many construction areas. Extra effort will be required by contractors to reduce emissions from construction equipment. A team of full-time, on-site, highly-qualified environmental inspectors will be vigilant in ensuring that construction activities do not adversely affect the surrounding environment and that all permit requirements are followed.

Reflective of this "above and beyond" approach is the ICC's Independent Environmental Monitor, who reports not to the ICC project team or SHA at large but to a number of environmental regulatory agencies. Should permit violations or other problems be observed, the Independent Environmental Monitor would report them to agencies that exist to protect the environment, not build highways.

Protecting the environment is a first-order priority of the ICC project. Every activity is assessed through the prism of its potential impact on the environment. This ethic of enlightened environmental stewardship will guide the project until its completion.

Connecting with the Natural Environment

Connecting with Community Stewardship

NW 128 Initial Monitoring Activities

Click here to view the pdf of the Power Point Presentation.

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