The Evolution of an Environmental Monitor

by Peter J. Dodds, Environmental Mgr.; KCI Technologies, Inc., Baltimore, MD,
R. Scott Sternberger, Proj. Mgr.; KCI Technologies, Inc., Baltimore, MD,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1992, Vol. 62, Issue 6, Pg. 56-58

Document Type: Feature article


After more than 40 years of planning, litigation, design and construction, one of the nation's most controversial highway projects is finished. The completion earlier this year of Interstate 476 in Pennsylvania marks the success of the first independent environmental consultant ever assigned to monitor a U.S. transportation project. Community groups throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, backed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, had long opposed Interstate 476, fearing it would ruin the area's stream valleys and historical and recreational resources. A major portion of the project winds through the remaining wooded open space of the otherwise densely populated areas near Philadelphia. The Federal Highway Administration and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation finally resumed design and construction on I-476 in the early 1980s. At that time, the Department of the Interior asked the President's Council on Environmental Quality to assign an environmental monitor. So in 1982, KCI Technologies, Inc., Baltimore, stepped in as the first independent environmental consultant assigned to monitor a large-scale project. This referral process has always been available, though untried, to resolve interagency disagreements.

Subject Headings: Highway and road design | Infrastructure construction | Environmental issues | Consulting services | Litigation | Light rail transit | Rivers and streams | Historic sites | United States | Pennsylvania | Philadelphia | Baltimore | Maryland

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