Measuring success to achieve regulatory sign-off Sparrow, Ron
For simple sites such as wellsites, the requirements to achieve regulatory sign-off are clearly defined. For more complex sites such as mines (coal, mineral, aggregate pits, and quarries) the legislative requirements are not as clearly defined. The differences between legislative requirements are often a result of the complexity of the sites, which can be amplified by the sheer size of some locations. Using geographical information systems (GIS) with available spatial datasets (wet area mapping, land capability modeling, vegetation cover type, soil classification, surficial geology, wildfires, flooding, wet areas, wildlife habitat, etc.) allows the opportunity to analyze key site characteristics both pre- and post-disturbance and define realistic end targets for a site. The use of GIS spatial datasets during the planning stage makes it possible to relate the site conditions (progressive and final reclamation) at time of monitoring, back to the desired target for a site or sub-component of a site to determine if a site is on target, and to make interventions (weed control, supplement revegetation, wildlife preclusion, etc.), as necessary. Monitoring results over time contributes to continual improvement and creates a legacy GIS database to be used when planning reclamation programs, creating targets for a site, and applying for final reclamation.
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