Wilmington, North Carolina

PO Box 2181
Wilmington, North Carolina 28402
Phone (910) 520-0784
Fax (910) 383-6049

Office Contact: Matt Smith is the lead scientist in the Wilmington office with primary responsibilities over the operations in that office. He is responsible for the management of projects throughout Southeastern North Carolina. In addition to project management, Mr. Smith is also responsible for conducting wetland delineations, CAMA delineations, permit evaluations, preparing permit applications, mitigation planning and oversight, coordinating with the federal and state regulatory agencies, environmental assessment studies, and threatened & endangered species surveys.  

Mr. Smith is listed as an approved surveyor by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in the state of Virginia to conduct evaluations for sensitive joint-vetch (Aeschynomene virginiana), smooth coneflower (Echinacea laevigata), and Virginia spiraea (Spiraea virginiana).  In addition, Mr. Smith has conducted numerous assessments for federally protected plants including: American chaffseed (Schwalbea americana), Canby’s dropwort (Oxypolis canbyi), Cooley’s meadowrue (Thalictrum cooleyi), dwarf-flowered heartleaf (Hexastylis naniflora), golden sedge (Carex lutea), harperella (Ptilimnium nodosum), Michaux’s sumac (Rhus michauxii), pondberry (Lindera melissifolia), rough-leaved loosestrife (Lysimachia asperulaefolia), Schweinitz’s sunflower (Helianthus schweinitzii), seabeach amaranth (Amaranthus pumilus), and small whorled pogonia (Isotria medeoloides).  Mr. Smith is also experienced and knowledgeable in dealing with a wide range of rare coastal north Carolina plant species including Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), spring-flowering goldenrod (Solidago verna), and many-flowered grass pink (Calopogon multiflorus).

*ESI partners with select engineering and surveying firms in North Carolina for engineering and survey projects.

Representative Projects

Bald Eagle Management
ESI prepared a management plan for a bald eagle nest located within a proposed residential development that was approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. ESI staff spent several seasons monitoring the nest site and reporting on the bald eagles response to construction activity. In addition ESI, prepared educational materials for residents of the development to educate them on living in harmony with the bald eagles. The development has since been constructed and the bald eagles are continuing to nest within the development.

Croatan National Forest – Woodpecker West Botanical Inventory
ESI completed ecological community mapping and conducted surveys for U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Proposed, Endangered, Threatened, and Sensitive (PETS) species within the Croatan National Forest. During the course of this survey ESI staff identified previously undocumented occurrences of Florida adder’s mouth (Malaxis spicata) and shadow witch (Ponthieva racemosa).

I-40 Connector
ESI completed a Natural Resource Technical Report covering multiple alternative study corridors for the approximately 7-mile connector proposed between I-40 and US 17 north of Wilmington.  The Natural Resource Assessment included wetland delineation and Threatened and Endangered Species surveys, including aerial surveys for red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) cavity trees along preliminary study routes.   ESI also prepared a Biological Assessment (BA) to address potential impacts to RCW foraging habitat partitions and to rough-leaved loosestrife, a federally Endangered plant.  ESI developed a mitigation strategy encompassing identification of tracts containing rough-leaved loosestrife for preservation and a plan for relocation of plants potentially impacted by the project.

Dominion Project
ESI conducted field evaluations to determine the presence or absence of Virginia spiraea (Spiraea virginiana) for an approximately 10-mile new powerline right-of-way in Wise and Russell Counties, Virginia.

NC 211 Shopping Center
ESI provided a range of environmental consulting services for a new shopping center in southeastern Brunswick County including wetlands delineations and permitting and hazardous materials assessments.  Obtaining wetland permits for this development involved coordinating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and N.C. Division of Water Quality (DWQ) to develop a mitigation plan for unavoidable stream impacts prior to the regulatory agencies issuing the Section 404 permit and Section 401 Water Quality Certification.

River Road Residential Development
ESI completed a wetlands delineation including identifying coastal wetland areas subject to CAMA regulations for an approximately 150-acre waterfront residential subdivision in Brunswick County.  ESI also provided valuable assistance to our client by evaluating potential health concerns associated with a wastewater land application field within the proposed subdivision.  

Oak Island Food Lion
ESI obtained regulatory approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and N.C. Division of Coastal Management (DCM) for our client to construct a Food Lion store on Oak Island.  Due to the location of this project within an Area of Environmental Concern (AEC), a CAMA Major permit was required to authorize construction.  Prior to the USACE issuing a Section 404 permit for the project, suitable mitigation needed to be identified for unavoidable project impacts.  Due to the unique location of this project typical mitigation options were not available and ESI presented an on-site mitigation option that was approved by the USACE.  ESI oversaw the construction of the mitigation areas and is conducting the ongoing monitoring of the mitigation areas.

McKean Maffitt (Southside) Wastewater Treatment Plant
ESI conducted an intensive archaeological survey of the proposed expansion area for the McKean Maffitt (Southside) Wastewater Treatment Plant in New Hanover County, North Carolina.  One newly recorded site, 31NH802, was subjected to significance testing and found to be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.  ESI has undertaken data recovery excavations at the site to mitigate against adverse effects following a Memorandum of Agreement between the client, the permitting agency, and the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office.

Biofuels Manufacturing Facility

ESI completed an Environmental Assessment (EA) in compliance with the North Carolina State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) for a proposed Biofuels manufacturing facility in southeastern North Carolina.  This EA including evaluating multiple alternatives for the proposed facility and evaluating the potential environmental impacts associated with each site to development a preferred alternative that meets the requirements of SEPA.

Underground Storage Tank Closure

ESI provide oversight of the removal of a 4,000-gallon diesel underground storage tank (UST) at a former communications facility for Brunswick County.  The UST closure consisted of removal of residual liquids from the tank, physical removal of the UST, and collection of confirmation soil samples for the bottom and sidewalls of the excavation.  Upon removal of the UST, diesel impacted soil was detected in two sidewall samples collected from the excavation.  Initial abatement activities included the removal of over 500 tons of contaminated soil for disposal at an approved facility and confirmation sampling.  A permanent groundwater monitoring well was also installed to evaluate for the presence of diesel contamination in the groundwater down gradient of the UST excavation.

Phase I ESA and Phase II Subsurface Assessment
ESI completed a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) at vacant property proposed to house a private school in New Hanover County.  The Phase I ESA findings indicated two potential sources of contamination to the property.  The potential sources of contamination included the presence of a heating oil underground storage tank (UST) on the property and a former automotive repair facility on an up-gradient adjacent property.  Due to the potential for soil and/or groundwater impact to the property, a Phase II Subsurface Assessment was conducted that include advancing shallow soil borings and the installation of temporary monitoring wells to facilitate the collection of soil and water samples.  The samples collected due the Phase II Subsurface Assessment  were submitted for laboratory analyses.  There was no contamination detected in any of the samples collected.

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