This restoration project takes place on the mainstem of the Napa River, south of Saint Helena. Over the years, the Napa River watershed has been confined to become more narrow, has been impacted by habitat destruction, and is highly susceptible to bank erosion and channel degradation. Adjacent properties have been subject to this erosion and riverbank instability and have lost vineyards lands and subsequently made costly repairs.

Tully Consulting Group prepared the SWPPPs, provided SWPPP Inspections as well as QSP/QSD services throughout the course of the restoration. They also did a lot of sampling for these and met with the water board several times during the different phases.

Learn more about this project here.

If you are interested in these types of River restoration projects, especially on “salmonid streams” – John has over 15 years of projects, many described in his recent webinar “Alternatives to Rip Rap – Environmentally-Sensitive streambank Stabilization Methods”. Available soon!

 

 

Construction WorkshopStorm Water Awareness Week (SWAW) goes virtual…

And DirtTime’s John McCullah, presented “The ABCs of BMP Installation at Construction Sites” at the 2020 Storm Water Awareness Week (Learn More).

Overview

John McCullah, a nationally and internationally recognized expert in erosion and sediment control, (interviewed by WGR’s John Teravskis), talks about very pragmatic tips when it comes to controlling erosion and sedimentation on construction sites. He shares some clips from his award-winning Dirt Time videos. Even very seasoned and experienced QSPs and QSDs can learn valuable field tips from John and his instructional videos.

View the video presentation here.

 


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John here at dirttime.tv recently interviewed Kaeli Tully, QSP at Tully Consulting Group (TCG).

Tully Consulting Group - Onsite

1.   Tell me a bit about your company?  How long have you been in business and how many employees do you currently have?

We are a Stormwater Management and Civil Engineering firm located out of Dixon, California. Robin Tully, PE, QSD, and President of Tully Consulting Group (TCG), founded our company in 2005. She initially provided traditional Civil Engineering services, but when the new California Stormwater Construction General Permit was released, she dove into the Stormwater field and really loved the combination of environmental and civil engineering work.

Stormwater Management has since become our main focus. Our company provides comprehensive SWPPP Inspection, Monitoring, and other Stormwater Management services to a wide variety of clients, both public and private. Typically, we’re hired as a subcontractor by the prime contractor on a project to provide SWPPP services and/or to satisfy a DBE, WBE, or SBE requirement. Tully Group Stormwater Inspectors, QSPs, QISPs, QSDs, and Civil Engineers work to implement the Stormwater Construction General Permit and Industrial General Permits to keep our clients compliant.

Team Photo Tully Consulting GroupTCG Civil Engineers and QSDs develop the SWPPPs and Environmental Plans needed while the Inspectors and QSPs implement the plan on-site. We assist our clients with the permitting process; writing the WPCP, SWPPP, Creek Diversion, Dust Control, ESCAPE, Erosion Control Plan, or other Plans as needed; perform the Weekly, Quarterly, Annual, Pre, Post, and During Storm Inspections with the corresponding Sampling Reports; prepare the Annual Report; draft Winterization Plans; perform SMARTS Data Entry; sample and monitor for 401/404 In-Water work; communicate with regulators; assist with closing out the permit, and practically anything else you will need to manage stormwater on-site.

Our team has grown to over 30 employees over the last 15 years. We have worked on various Caltrans projects, wetland restorations, creek diversions, bridge replacements, etc. This year we calculated how many projects we’ve been involved with and were surprised to see that we’ve served as the Water Pollution Control Manager and/or assisted with Stormwater Management on over 600 projects. It’s an incredible feeling.

2.   What services do you provide?  Give me an “snap shot” at what a typical working day might be like for your staff.

On a typical project- we prepare the SWPPP or WPCP, serve as the Water Pollution Control Manager/QSP/QSD, provide weekly inspections, perform the rain event inspections (Pre-, During-, and Post-Storm), prepare Rain Event Action Plans (REAPS), take stormwater samples, provide the quarterly and annual inspections, amend the SWPPP/WPCP throughout the course of construction, assist with the NOI and NOT process, input data into SMARTS, and perform the Annual Report.

On many of our projects that work in or near a water body, we assist our clients with the applicable 401/404 permits, perform the Water Quality Monitoring as needed, and provide any Diversion and Dewatering Plans as well.

A typical day for a Stormwater Inspector involves getting up pretty early to get out to their sites, they check the weather and calibrate equipment, and once they get to their sites they perform a Stormwater Inspection to check for BMPs and erosion control. They then contact the contractors to keep them updated throughout the course of construction. Once the inspector gets back to the office they prepare their reports, add in any sampling data, and send it to the contractor.
Upon arrival at the Jobsite, an inspector will walk the project, note potential sources of pollution, check for areas needing erosion control, and take samples of flowing stormwater. They run the stormwater samples through a series of tests, such as Turbidity and pH testing. It’s our goal to work with our clients to provide both formal and informal training to explain the importance of proper stormwater management and erosion control and to work with our clients to work towards a common goal of preventing pollution. We have a lot of fun collaborating on solutions that balance budget, scheduling, and effectiveness to mitigate any situations. It’s really important to us, though, to emphasize preventing a problem before it happens.

Tully Consulting Group - Onsite

3.  The Tully Consulting Group has sent several staff to our BMP SUMMITS at Shasta College.  Tell me a bit about your Company’s policy of Continuing Education for your staff.  Has that policy paid off in your experience?

It’s extremely important to us that we properly train our team. We want to provide high-quality Stormwater Management services and hire a select crew of candidates. Effective training is needed to be able to give quality advice. From the start, when someone is hired at Tully Consulting Group, they go through some pretty rigorous training, and throughout their employment, we provide weekly team training as well as attend various workshops, CISEC courses, QSP/QSD training, and more. We’ve actually prepared our own Tully University for internal training uses to keep things consistent. It’s a program we are developing and working on weekly, and it already has so much good information in there. It’s nice to have that online training ready to go for our team.
We want our team to learn from various reputable professionals in the industry to expand their wealth of knowledge. In particular, the Dirt Time BMP Summit has been a TCG favorite. Our most experienced Inspectors have said that they learned something new and valuable. It offers another perspective and gets you thinking outside of your box. We’re grateful to have a team of individuals who crave and seek new training, they really appreciated this course.

4.  Does the Tully Group provide training itself?

We work hard to provide consistent training for our team. It’s a weekly investment for us, at the least. Every week we prepare training on a topic and create corresponding videos as well.

Tully Consulting Group - Onsite

 

6.   Anything else you’d like the dirttime.tv folks to know about the Tully Consulting Group?

We’re incredibly thankful to be where we are at. We have an awesome group of people who have chosen to work for Tully Consulting Group. They are passionate, hard-working, and enjoy what they do. Our clients are becoming increasingly aware of stormwater pollution and are doing a great job of improving their practices and preventing pollution. We are getting more involved with our community to do our part to educate the public about preventing stormwater pollution. It’s fulfilling to be involved with a company that’s working towards protecting and preserving water quality, we feel very lucky.

NEW Course – The ABCs of BMP Installation including Canadian Edition and BMP Manual Download is ready! This 0.5 CEU Video Course covers (14) standard, benchmark BMPs, from Soil Preparation/Soil Roughening, to Turf Reinforcement Mats, to Stabilized Construction Entrance, to Sediment Barriers for Slope Interruption and Toe-of-Slope Applications.  The course also includes the free download of BMP Manual – Best of the BMPs Guidance Manual, 5th Edition to help reference the Construction Specifications and Inspection and Maintenance Recommendations for each BMP.

Here is what Graham Tait, Stormwater Specialist, Calgary, Alberta has to say;

“Congratulations, John, Kevin, and Team!
I love the content – it’s engaging, well laid out, and thorough! It really ‘hits the nail (or the wood stake) on the head’ for everything industry personnel need to know about ESC best practices. It is essential and informative training for beginners to experts alike!  And I like that people will be able to refer back to the videos and supplementary materials such as drawings and notes once they have signed up. Superb work!”

USD$250.00 – CAN $340.00
Canadian Edition for nearly CAD$70 off for CAN-IECA Chapter members*
Special Offer over 20% off for CAN-IECA
Members CAN$270.00
(use coupon code “CAN-IECA”)

The video course takes the learner to a level un-available via the standard webinar format.  The student will have to ability to recognize that specified installation rates were applied, see Straw Mulch applied at 1T/ac (2000kg/ha), and then compare it to what 2T/ac (4000kg/ha) looks like.  How is a tackifier applied?  Also compare BFM applications of 3.500-4,000#/ac (4000kg/ha) to a lesser amount.  See, first-hand (almost!) what BFM applied at 100% coverage looks like in the field.

*Professionals who are current members of AustralasiaIECA Chapter will receive a discount.

Sadly the 2020 StormCon Conference in Seattle was cancelled because of the Covid19 pandemic. “Out of crisis comes opportunity” ………. subsequently dirttime.tv is producing two NEW Environmentally-Sensitive Stream “Restoration” Techniques Courses.

Of the 2 new Video Course developments, one (1.) will be entitled :

“Alternatives to Rip Rap – Environmentally-Sensitive Bank and Channel Protection Methods. This learning event, sponsored by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, will be organized as a 3-hour Online Workshop. “We would like to surpass the 1000 attendees threshold for this important presentation”, Glenn MacMillan. The workshop is scheduled for September 9, 2020. Contact https://trca.ca for more information as it becomes available. More info now available here.

 

Concurrently Course number two (2) we will be developed as an expanded dirttime.tv Video Course worth 0.5 CEUs – “Alternatives to Rip Rap – How to Design and Build Stream Protection Methods and Practices that are Environmentally-Sensitive”.

 

 

“ This video clip was taken during the second phase of a Stream Bank Protection (and golf course) Project completed in November 2017. This project, and many more that have been designed and built since 2005, have featured and are examples of techniques exclusively taken from the NCHRP Report 544- Environmentally-Sensitive Channel and Bank Protection Measures, McCullah, J., Gray, D., et.al., 2005, Transportation Research Board, Washington D.C. (aka- Alternatives to Rip Rap or E-SenSS). This project, for instance, featured redirection components (Bendway Weirs) and a Longitudinal Fill Stone Toe (to Bank Full elevation), Live Willow Siltation, and Vegetated Mechanically Stabilized Earth. The Bendway Weirs move the thalweg, the focus of highest velocity and energy, away from the outer bank, and, in this case, we constructed an “active” flood terrace along the outer bank. These thalweg and morphological changes eliminate the need for riprap to line the entire 500-ft length to the top of the bank. 

Upon being asked when taking rip rap (rock slope protection) to the top of the bank is recommended, David Derrick, Potomologist replied ” If you are standing on the roadway shoulder and upon looking under the guardrail you see the river, then employ armoring to the top of the bank.”

The 3-year research and ‘Report (on CD)’, was peer-reviewed and approved for publication by a panel of Highway Engineers delineated over 50 techniques that could represent alternatives to just rip rap. Do you have projects where the environmental concerns and habitat sensitivities preempt the use of excessive rock? The main criteria for being listed as environmentally sensitive is the technique has to exhibit, scientifically determined, environmental and aquatic habitat enhancements. For instance, biologic assays of the fringe and substrate near Bendway Weirs and Rock Vanes (Spurs) revealed a substantial increase in an aquatic habitat, while rock deflectors and Groins (Groynes) exhibited no such improvements! 

Are you interested in hearing more about E-SenSS? Water Quality: Are you interested in how projects have been built in live, environmentally sensitive habitats while meeting Water Quality Standards of 1-2 NTU increase? The “Report” includes not only the 50-some BMPs but also Design Criteria, Construction Standards, and Typical Detailed Drawings provided in AutoCAD or Microstation. “The proof is in the pudding”. Over 2-dozen stream projects built over 15-years provide case studies and proof of the efficacy that environmentally-sensitive, sustainable, bioengineered, Biotechnical methods can provide. 

See our offering of E-SenSS at our Store

 https://dirttime.tv/product/esenss/

 

 

Nov 2017 During Construction of Flood Terrace and Bendway Weirs: The NEW thalweg will be now at the tips of the Bendway Weirs.

 

AFTER VMSE INSTALLED

During Construction

4 Bendway Weirs spaced over 500 ft used to “move thalweg stream ward”  Weir crest designed about 1-ft lower than OAHW with “active Flood terrace” designed at Bankfull Discharge Elevation.  Upper bank section protected with VMSE.  The proximity of Golf Course prevented rebuilding bank completely  from above

 

After two winters – 2-2019 After several large flow events with floodwaters measured 6-8-ft above the Flood Terrace.  After two seasons the structures VMSE are difficult to see through the extensive vegetation.

NEW Course – The ABCs of BMP Installation will be released this week. This 0.5 CEU Video Course covers (14) standard, benchmark BMPs, from Soil Preparation/Soil Roughening, to Turf Reinforcement Mats, to Stabilized Construction Entrance, to Sediment Barriers for Slope Interruption and Toe-of-Slope Applications.  The course also includes the free download of BMP Manual – Best of the BMPs Guidance Manual, 5th Edition to help reference the Construction Specifications and Inspection and Maintenance Recommendations for each BMP.

Here is what Graham Tait, Stormwater Specialist, Calgary, Alberta has to say;

“Congratulations, John, Kevin, and Team!
I love the content – it’s engaging, well laid out, and thorough! It really ‘hits the nail (or the wood stake) on the head’ for everything industry personnel need to know about ESC best practices. It is essential and informative training for beginners to experts alike!  And I like that people will be able to refer back to the videos and supplementary materials such as drawings and notes once they have signed up. Superb work!”

USD$250.00 – CAN $340.00
Special Offer over 20% off for CAN-IECA
Members CAN$270.00
(use coupon code “CAN-IECA”)

The video course takes the learner to a level un-available via the standard webinar format.  The student will have to ability to recognize that specified installation rates were applied, see Straw Mulch applied at 1T/ac (2000kg/ha), and then compare it to what 2T/ac (4000kg/ha) looks like.  How is a tackifier applied?  Also compare BFM applications of 3.500-4,000#/ac (4000kg/ha) to a lesser amount.  See, first-hand (almost!) what BFM applied at 100% coverage looks like in the field.

You will be able to sign up soon.

John

 

“ This video clip was taken during the second phase of a Stream Bank Protection (and golf course) Project completed in November 2017. This project, and many more that have been designed and built since 2005, have featured and are examples of techniques exclusively taken from the NCHRP Report 544- Environmentally-Sensitive Channel and Bank Protection Measures, McCullah, J., Gray, D., et.al., 2005, Transportation Research Board, Washington D.C. (aka- Alternatives to Rip Rap or E-SenSS). This project, for instance, featured redirection components (Bendway Weirs) and a Longitudinal Fill Stone Toe (to Bank Full elevation), Live Willow Siltation, and Vegetated Mechanically Stabilized Earth. The Bendway Weirs move the thalweg, the focus of highest velocity and energy, away from the outer bank, and, in this case, we constructed an “active” flood terrace along the outer bank. These thalweg and morphological changes eliminate the need for riprap to line the entire 500-ft length to the top of the bank. 

The 3-year research and ‘Report (on CD)’, was peer-reviewed and approved for publication by a panel of Highway Engineers delineated over 50 techniques that could represent alternatives to just rip rap. Do you have projects where the environmental concerns and habitat sensitivities preempt the use of excessive rock? The main criteria for being listed as environmentally sensitive is the technique has to exhibit, scientifically determined, environmental and aquatic habitat enhancements. For instance, biologic assays of the fringe and substrate near Bendway Weirs and Rock Vanes (Spurs) revealed a substantial increase in an aquatic habitat, while rock deflectors and Groins (Groynes) exhibited no such improvements! 

Are you interested in hearing more about E-SenSS? Water Quality: Are you interested in how projects have been built in live, environmentally sensitive habitats while meeting Water Quality Standards of 1-2 NTU increase? The “Report” includes not only the 50-some BMPs but also Design Criteria, Construction Standards, and Typical Detailed Drawings provided in AutoCAD or Microstation. “The proof is in the pudding”. Over 2-dozen stream projects built over 15-years provide case studies and proof of the efficacy that environmentally-sensitive, sustainable, bioengineered, Biotechnical methods can provide. 

See our offering of E-SenSS at our Store

 https://dirttime.tv/product/esenss/

 

 

 

During photos 11-2017

 

After Photos  2-2019

 

Give us a shout regarding your interest in Channel and Bank Protection.   In the meantime –  Mark Your Calendars – John will be teaching;

Repairing Entrenched and Degraded (Urbanized) Streams – Techniques and Case Studies

Natural Channel Design and Bioengineering

August 17, 2020 – Seattle WA

This class will be offered on the opening day of StormCon, August 17-19, 2020.  At the Washingtons State Convention Center

https://www.stormcon.com

 

 

The “Big Four” Erosion Control (raindrop) BMPs

I often inform my students that an estimated 90% of the erosion in the world is caused by raindrop erosion. You know, the energy from a falling raindrop onto bare soil is like a bomb!! Or actually millions of little bombs during a decent storm.  It is this energy (Raindrop Impact) that detaches and dislodges soil particles, by a magnitude, at least, over tractive forces of flowing water erosion (Rills, Channel Bank, Bed, and Gully Erosion) My physics professor in college demonstrated that the raindrop, average size 1cm3, shaped to minimize friction, need only fall about 30-ft to reach maximum velocity.  That raindrop erosion energy causes the first detachment and breakup of soil particles, and now that soil surface ready now for transport and delivery from sheet flow (sheet erosion).  Note that Sheet Flow doesn’t have much excess energy to needed to dislodge – for that the energy comes from raindrop impact energy.

 

Envision Junior raindrop hitting bare soil and causing the explosion all the while it also hurts his tush.  Junior will then get a bad attitude and begin running off!  That is how rills start.  That is why, in practicing good erosion control, we are being like good parents and not letting Junior get going too fast.  Junior loves it when we leave the soil surface smooth and hard.  But “good parents” will slow Junior down by roughening the soil surface and putting slope interrupters, like fiber rolls down across the slope/

Go to Jr raindrop Blog

 

 

Now envision Junior landing on grass or nice soft Mulch, making a cushion for his tush. He can then slowly infiltrate into the soil. Remember the axiom; “Less runoff from a site correlates to less discharge and less discharge greatly reduces the likelihood of receiving a regulatory action!”

The prerequisite for Raindrop Impact Erosion is laying the soil bare by removing the soil cover. This is usually an anthropogenic (human-caused) land-use problem. Therefore one of the MOST effective BMP is what I call the ‘thinking persons” BMP, which is a do-nothing BMP. That BMP is a “practice” and it is to, whenever possible, Reduce the Amount of Disturbed Area During the Rainy Season. This BMP is related to “Minimize Disturbance BMP” and that is “Leave a Vegetative Buffer BMP”. If a regulator or plan reviewer asks “Where are your Silt Fences”, I like to be able to reply – “See I have designated a Vegetative Buffer capable hydraulically to …..”

Back to the Raindrop Erosion 

Let’s combine the assertion that 90% of the erosion in the world is caused by raindrop erosion with the fact that our “industry” has 4 (four) types of BMPs that are better than 90% effective in reducing Raindrop Impact Erosion. Stated another way, we currently have the Best Available Technology (BAT) that could reduce 90% of the erosion in the world, and that especially includes construction sites. Let’s note these are BMPs that are widely used, tested, and non-vegetative in that they are BMPs that are immediately effective upon application.

Can you guess what the BMPs are? Note I’m not including grasses, seeding or other types of vegetation because even grass seeding takes 3-weeks or more to get protective cover.

The four commonly used BMPs, I call them the “Big Four”, are; 1.) Straw Mulch (94% effective), 2.) Rolled Erosion Control Products (RECPs) (92% – 96% effective), 3.) BFM Hydromulch (some products are 95% – 98% effective, and 4.) Compost Blanket (the uniform coverage of soil with STA Certified Compost, 1.5-inch to 2-inch thick covering, on up to 1:1 slopes**.

 

Generally, the “Big Four” are recommended for slopes approximating 2:1 but the can be and are occasionally used successfully on steep slopes (up to 1:1 or steeper). However, design considerations are even more important.

In 2010 Caltrans Department of Landscape Architecture developed guidance for steep slopes, see this link for more information:

https://dot.ca.gov/programs/design/lap-erosion-control-design/tool-1-lap-erosion-control-toolbox 

Direct Run-on Away From Slope: To successfully implement erosion control (the Big Four) on slopes all concentrated runoff must first be directed off the slope – only raindrop erosion, please. The Junior Raindrop video taught us the difference between raindrop erosion (hurting Junior’s ‘tush’ as he dislodges particles) versus the tractive forces erosion when Junior and his gang start running. Two entirely different physical processes are involved, gravity and the falling raindrop, vs. kinetic energy – and shear and tractive forces of flowing water. 

 

Selection Criteria for the “Big Four”

1. Straw Mulch: SM is generally restricted to 2:1 slopes and the ability to anchor the straw effectively with a strong tackifier. Generally, the 2:1 slope should be groomed uniformly and roughened. For the tack coat, I like to use wood fiber hydromulch @ 700# /ac and Guar @ 100-120 # /acre for steep slope applications of Straw Mulch @ 1.5-2.0 T/ac. See the BMP Manual and “Straw Talk”. https://youtu.be/m91AWMLeAoU

 

2. Erosion Control Blankets (ECB) and Mats: The primary prerequisite to selecting Rolled Erosion Control Products is the ability to grade the slope uniformly (not slick and compacted) to allow “intimate soil contact” and you will be limited by your ability to anchor the ECB with pins. If your slope is excessively rocky and/or there are stumps and clods then you may want to select an equally effective BMP, such as Hydromulch BFM, that doesn’t require anchor pins. Also putting laborers on steep slopes can be challenging. Both BFM (applied hydraulically) and Compost Blanket (applied pneumatically with blower truck) are worthy of considering for steep slopes**.

Always seed the slope before placing the ECB. Some practitioners will Hydroseed the slope before mat installation but hand seeding is also acceptable, be careful, don’t allow workers to disturb seed much while anchoring ECB.

Another criteria for selecting an appropriate ECB is durability and how fast it will degrade. The ECB chosen should not degrade before the vegetative cover can become established. For example, in New Mexico, the DOT determined it took about 3-years for the “native grass/sage regime” to become established. Therefore only Coir Blankets or Excelsior Blankets had the durability to provide the protection needed until the natives took over.

 

3. Hydromulch BFM: In my experience, and the research bears this out, it takes a BFM Hydromulch to perform in the 96% effective range. The fiber type is important when selecting a BFM, with virgin wood fiber having the most internal friction and tensile strength. But the most important component of an effective BFM is the tackifier(s) that are used – guar and a thermally altered derivative of guar. Yes, the secret sauce recipe is finally been revealed!

BFM, to be 96% effective must be applied for 100% coverage at a rate of 4000 lbs./acre. FYI, one cannot achieve 100% cover over 1 ac of bare soil with 3500 lbs./ac. Also note, if you surface roughen the soil before Hydromulching (preferred practice) you will inadvertently increase the surface area of the soil. It is estimated that dozer tracking a slope will increase the soil surface area by approximately 30%. One can see that BFM applied at 4000#/ac as a minimum is necessary for 100% coverage. Question, How many bags should the Contractor show up with to apply BFM at 4000#/ac? BFM and all hydromulches come in 50# bags. How many bags will it take if you also plan on Track Walking?

  

4. Compost Blankets: First of all, Compost Blankets as a BMP is defined as a blanket of compost placed over the soil surface at specified thickness AND the Compost must the STA Certified Compost

https://dot.ca.gov/programs/design/lap-erosion-control-design/tool-1-lap-erosion-control-toolbox/tool-1k-11-compost

Before compost application, “the Contractor shall provide the Engineer with a copy of the compost producer’s Compost Technical Data Sheet and a copy of the compost producers STA certification. The Compost Technical Data Sheet shall include laboratory analytical test results, directions for product use, and a list of product ingredients.”

Here is an example of the STA Compost Test Certificate from Colorado.

 

 

THIS FREE WEBINAR WAS HOSTED BY FILTREXX AND RECORDED LIVE ON THURSDAY APRIL 9,
John has been using compost for over a decade and in this presentation, he shows the “actual, in the field” use of Compost Blankets (99%+ effective for erosion protection), Compost Socks (aka: Growsoxx, Siltsoxx), and Compost Berms.  See projects in far-flung locals like New Zealand, the Canadian Rockies along with CA.  Do you believe compost will wash if put on a steep slope?  Do you believe compost will leach nitrogen to waterways?  Find out why Compost Incorporate is touted as an important new BMP by Caltrans (see Caltrans EC Toolbox) and others looking for solutions to Hydromodification, Carbon Sequestration, and Incised streams.  I’ll never forget my College Natural Resources Lecturer said – “OM (organic matter) is the panacea to the world’s problems”. Watch this presentation to learn how true this statement might be.
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