Palmer Environmental Consulting Group Inc. (PECG) was retained by 22226561 Ontario Inc. (Taggart Investments) to complete a Feature-Based Water Budget (FBWB) Assessment for the proposed Fernbank Quarry Project located southeast of Stittsville, Ontario, near the City of Ottawa. The site contains two Provincially Significant Wetlands (PSWs) and a small watercourse.
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) expressed concerns over expected changes to the site from the development, and how these changes may potentially affect the water budget and hydroperiod of the wetlands on site. PECG, with the assistance of J.F. Sabourin and Associates and Muncaster Environmental Planning, completed a FBWB Assessment to quantify the potential effects of quarry development on the wetlands and recommend mitigation measures, if required, to protect the form and function of these natural features following development.
A critical step in conducting the FBWB Assessment was using aerial photograph interpretation and ground truthing to reinterpret the surficial geology for the site. A previously unmapped clay till unit was found underlying the PSW communities and, upon further study, was shown to control a perched water table supporting wetland function. Based on this finding, it was concluded through a FBWB Assessment that the wetland features would not be adversely affected by the proposed quarry development.