RES Enables Volvo’s Environmentally Responsible Approach
September 28, 2015
RES has been selected to supply the mitigation offset solution for Volvo’s new manufacturing plant in Berkeley County, South Carolina. Volvo broke ground on Friday for its new 1.5 million square foot manufacturing facility to be developed on a 575-acre tract in the Lowcountry. Siting such sizeable projects is always difficult because all construction projects disturb the earth’s surface and impact the environment one way or another. All such impacts require appropriate permits from regulatory agencies and many of those permits require mitigation for unavoidable project impacts.
RES supplied a comprehensive mitigation work plan for preservation, enhancement and restoration of 2,458 acres of protected land including permanent protection of 1,533 wetland acres in the Dean Swamp and Walnut Branch watersheds, tributaries of Four Hole Swamp that are defined by the National Audubon Society as critical priority areas in need of protection.
- The primary mitigation tract will place 1,667 acres under a permanent protective agreement with South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the Low Country Land Trust with the intent to dedicate the tract as a Heritage Trust Preserve. This tract includes 905 acres of wetland preservation and enhancement and protects 2.64 miles of Cedar Swamp, Sandy Run and associated unnamed tributaries.
- The other tracts in the mitigation work plan include the protection and enhancement of 629 acres in Four Holes Swamp. These tracts will be owned and managed as part of the 17,000acre Audubon Center and Sanctuary at Francis Beidler Forest, a Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance and Globally Important Bird Area.
- These activities will all be conducted within timeframes approved in the Volvo project permit and satisfy the requirements of federal Compensatory Mitigation regulations implemented in 2008.
Through a collaborative approach with the South Carolina Department of Commerce, leading private company experts, federal and state regulatory agencies, and regional conservation groups, Volvo was able to permit one of the largest economic development projects in South Carolina in record time. And, the effort will result in the restoration and protection of 2,458 acres of land critical to protecting one of South Carolina’s natural treasures, Four Hole Swamp.