Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Fall 2009


Increased developmental pressure to strengthen infrastructure, support population growth, and meet economic needs necessitates policymakers to evaluate current environmental parameters and standards of regulation and compliance. One particular technology that has had rapid growth in infrastructure development is horizontal directional drilling (HDD). As HDD emerges as a means to implement energy, coastal development, communications, and navigation projects, it must be contextually examined regarding the environmental permit and regulation process. This study examines the role of HDD in coastal zone development and determines if the environmental processes, permitting and regulation, and execution of these drilling associated projects are conducted using the best management practices. Specifically, this study 1) evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the regulation process of permitted HDD projects 2) determines the utility of adaptive management in HDD technology 3) recommends best management practices for HDD projects to implement in order to minimize environmental impacts in coastal zone settings. This study finds that government agencies of federal, state, and local levels are overloaded. Government oversight is lax, and regulation needs to align itself with sustainability. To accomplish this goal, this study encourages local and public review of proposed HDD projects, as well as the use of an ecosystem based management approach. HDD management strategy also needs to facilitate adaptive management, as this is the best approach to adapt to unforeseen impacts, utilize best known methods, and incorporate precautionary steps.


Department: MAF

Location: Not Specified

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