RES is Awarded Contract for Environmental Mitigation for Bois d’Arc Lake Project
17,000-acre Mitigation Project is Nation’s Largest Permittee-Responsible Ecological Mitigation Project to Date
December 11, 2018
RES LLC, the nation’s largest environmental solutions provider, has been awarded the contract for the largest permittee-responsible ecological mitigation project to date, to restore an approximately 17,000-acre portion of a watershed as part of the Bois d’Arc Lake Project. The board of the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) voted on July 26 to verify the decision of the project team to select RES, following a comprehensive bidding process.
“The scale of this project is exciting and challenging, and we’re gratified that the District has entrusted us with this responsibility,” says Elliott Bouillion, CEO of RES. “Our operating model for large-scale mitigation gives us a unique ability to deliver an ecologically rich site that meets all permitting requirements, with the certainty of fixed costs for the District over the long term.”
The environmental mitigation is one important component of the Bois d’Arc Lake Project, an approximately 16,600-acre reservoir being built in Fannin County to provide critical new water services to 80 communities in the District. RES will provide complete stewardship of the mitigation site, from design and implementation through monitoring and maintenance over the next 20+ years, in accordance with the environmental permits for the lake project. The permits require that NTMWD offset the unavoidable environmental impacts of building the lake by restoring and permanently protecting wetlands, forests, grasslands, and streams at the mitigation sites.
The mitigation plan encompasses over 8,500 acres of wetland restoration and enhancement in Fannin and Lamar Counties, which will provide wildlife habitat and improve water quality in North Texas and Oklahoma. As part of the project, RES will restore or enhance over 369,000 linear feet (70 miles) of streams and plant more than five million trees. In addition, RES will restore or enhance over 3,200 acres of native grasslands and over 2,600 acres of forests. RES will maintain full-time onsite staff on the Riverby Ranch property as well as provide full project management of design, construction and monitoring of the site to ensure the restoration project is successful.
“We’ve been planning the permitting and the execution of the environmental mitigation part of this project for years, and we are pleased to have RES as a partner to carry it through,” says Steve Long, NTMWD Project Manager. “RES was selected following a rigorous procurement process. We needed a full service mitigation contractor who could build the entire project and guarantee performance of the mitigation plan. Having a single, integrated contract for environmental mitigation allows our lake project team to focus on the larger project of building this new reservoir, which is a critical part of a comprehensive long-range strategy to meet the region’s water needs for several decades.”
Bouillion says the RES team is excited to deliver the environment benefits of a project at this scale. “Ecological professionals spend their whole career building up to this volume of restored acres under permanent protection,” he says. “If the area we’re restoring were a state park, it would be one of the largest – of the 99 state parks in Texas, only eight would be larger. The chance to restore an entire ecosystem at this scale and ensure it functions for the long term is an unprecedented opportunity to provide a positive environmental legacy for the citizens of North Texas, as well as support an important public works project for their water security.”