Hanson Aggregates BMC, Inc.
- Terrestrial Habitat Surveys
- Threatened & Endangered Species
- Surveys/Wildlife Surveys
- Endangered Species Act coordination
Hanson Aggregates BMC, Inc. (Hanson) is an affiliate of Lehigh Hanson, a large national aggregate mining company and the fourth largest aggregate producer in the United States. Hanson was looking for assistance in coordination with US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) due to the presence of federally listed bat species in the vicinity of its proposed facility expansion in western Pennsylvania.
There are two known bat hibernacula within a quarter mile of the project area. The USFWS determined that surface disturbance within a quarter mile buffer around hibernacula was likely to result in harm to the listed species and the project could not move forward without further coordination. Hanson needed to build an access and air handling portal in this new area in order to expand its underground mining operations into a large reserve that the company owns. Without the portal, safe air quality for the workers would not be able to be maintained.
CEC reviewed USFWS’s correspondence and determined there were some possible paths that would allow Hanson to move forward while satisfying its obligations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). CEC and Hanson met with the USFWS to clarify the project footprint, overview avoidance and minimization efforts taken so far, and discuss how these measures were likely to affect the listed bats. Following the meeting, CEC conducted a habitat assessment and developed a mitigation plan that was approved by the USFWS and the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC).
The mitigation plan is two-fold: installation of artificial roost structures that simulate dead trees for use during the summer maternity season, and installation of bat-friendly gates on two caves known to be used by hibernating bats. Installation of the artificial roosts occurred in March 2018 and installation of the cave gates occurred in the fall of 2018.