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LRH 2015-00192-MAU

Published Dec. 21, 2016
Expiration date: 1/19/2017

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:  The following application has been submitted for a Department of the Army Permit under the provisions of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.  This notice serves as the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) request to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to act on Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the following application.  

 

APPLICANT:  Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)

1980 West Broad Street, Mail Stop 4170

Columbus, Ohio 43223

           

LOCATION:  The proposed project, referred to as WOO/LUC-64-12.03/0.00, PID 92088, is located at the State Route (SR) 64 crossing of the Maumee River in the City of Waterville, Wood and Lucas Counties, OhioLogical termini of the linear project are as follows:

West Terminus: 41.50028 North, 83.71706 West

East Terminus:  41.49971 North, 83.70934 West

 

Waters of the U.S. within the proposed project area include approximately 2.953 acres of nine (9) wetlands and the Maumee River, a traditionally navigable water (TNW).

 

DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant has requested authorization to discharge fill material into waters of the U.S. to replace the SR 64 bridge crossing the Maumee River on a new alignment immediately south of the existing bridge and to demolish the existing bridge after construction of the new bridge.

 

The applicant has indicated permanent discharges of fill material into approximately 210 linear feet of the Maumee River and 0.429 acre of four (4) wetlands and the temporary discharges of fill material into approximately 215 linear feet of the Maumee River are necessary to construct the project.  Permanent fills in the Maumee River and wetlands would consist of concrete for the new piers, rock channel protection along the river banks, and earthen and granular fill to grade the river banks.  Temporary fills in the Maumee River would be discharged to construct a temporary causeway.  Please refer to Table 1 for a summary of proposed discharges.  Plans of the proposal are attached to this notice. 

Table 1 – Nature of Proposed Discharges into Waters of the United States

 

Aquatic Resource ID

Type of Fill Activity

Permanent

Temporary

Fill Volume (cy)

Fill Area (ac)

Length (lf)

Fill Volume (cy)

Fill Area (ac)

Length (lf)

Maumee River

Concrete, Rock Channel Protection, Earthen and Granular Fill, Temporary Access Fill

2,011

0.233

210

30,250

4.255

215

Wetland D

Rock Channel Protection, Earthen and Granular Fill

450

0.062

NA

0

0

NA

Wetland E

Earthen and Granular Fill

534

0.073

NA

0

0

NA

Wetland F

Concrete, Rock Channel Protection, Earthen and Granular Fill

1,917

0.264

NA

0

0

NA

Wetland G

Earthen and Granular Fill

217

0.030

NA

0

0

NA

Wetland Totals

3,118

0.429

NA

0

0

NA

 

 

ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS:  As a result of the proposal, permanent fill material would be discharged into 0.429-acre of jurisdictional wetlands.  The project does not require access or proximity to or siting within the wetlands to fulfill its basic purpose and is considered a non-water dependent activity.  The Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines state that for non-water dependent activities, practicable alternatives that do not involve wetlands are presumed to be available, unless clearly demonstrated otherwise.  The applicant is required to provide an alternatives analysis that must overcome the presumption prior to receiving authorization for the discharge of fill material.  No permit would be issued unless the alternatives analysis clearly demonstrates that practicable upland alternatives are not available to achieve the overall project purpose.

 

While the applicant has submitted an alternatives analysis, which is currently under review.  The alternatives analysis can be reviewed, by appointment, at the location described at the beginning of this Public Notice.

 

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION:  In evaluating a project area containing waters of the U.S., consideration must be given to avoiding waters of the U.S.  If waters of the U.S. cannot be avoided, the discharge of fill material into waters of the U.S. must be minimized.  Approximately 1,006 linear feet of the Maumee River and 2.822 acres of six (6) wetlands subject to Section 404

Clean Water Act regulation are present within the proposed project area.  According to the applicant, on-site alternatives were considered and avoidance and minimization efforts were incorporated into the project design.  The applicant has indicated that during the design phase, longer spans would be utilized to reduce the number of bridge piers from eight to seven in the Maumee River.  The project has been designed to completely avoid discharges of fill material into emergent Wetlands A (0.075 acre), B (0.029 acre), C (0.012 acre), H (0.030 acre), and I (0.026 acre).  The applicant has indicated that the Maumee River and Wetlands D, E, F, and G are unavoidable and that no fill material would be discharged into waters of the U.S. in excess of the minimum needed to complete the project.  Minimization of adverse effects to aquatic resources would also be achieved through adherence to the applicant’s Construction and Material Specifications and the implementation of construction Best Management Practices for sediment and erosion control.  Such measures may include the installation of silt barriers, silt fence, and ditch checks appropriately placed prior to construction.

 

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION PLAN:  To compensate for the discharge of fill material into 215 linear feet of the Maumee River (Hydrologic Unit Code [HUC] 04100009), the applicant proposes to deduct 430 linear feet of stream mitigation credit from ODOT’s St. John’s Dam Pooled Mitigation Site (HUC 04110011) on the Sandusky River in Seneca County, Ohio.

 

To compensate for the permanent discharge of fill material into 0.135 acre of Category 2 emergent wetlands, the applicant proposes to purchase 0.3 acre of non-forested credits from the Pearson Mitigation Bank in Lucas County, Ohio.  To compensate for the permanent discharge of fill material into 0.294 acre of Category 3 wetlands, the applicant proposes to purchase 0.8 acre of non-forested credits from the North Coast Regional Council of Park District In-Lieu Fee Program.

 

The applicant’s proposed compensatory mitigation plan is open to comment and is subject to change based on comments received.  

 

WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION:  A Section 401 Water Quality Certification is required for this project.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain certification from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

 

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES:  Pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327(a)(2)(B) and a Memorandum of Understanding executed on December 11, 2015 between the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and ODOT, FHWA assigned, and ODOT assumed, responsibility for compliance with the Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.  Based on previous cultural resources surveys, the applicant determined the subject undertaking would have no effects on any historic property.

 

In support of our independent permit decision, the Corps intends to rely upon the information collected and consultation performed by ODOT regarding the effects to historic properties.  A copy of this Public Notice will be sent to the Ohio History Connection for review.  Comments concerning archaeological sensitivity of the project area should be based upon collected data.

 

THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES:  The proposed project is located within the known or historic range of the following endangered (E) or threatened (T) species:

  • Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) (E)

  • Northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) (T)

  • Kirtland’s warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii) (E)

  • Piping plover (Charadrius melodus) (E)

  • Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) (E)

  • Rayed bean mussel (Villosa fabalis) (E)

  • Eastern prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea) (T)

  • Rufa red knot (Calidris canutus rufa) (T)

  • Eastern massasauga  (Sistrurus catenatus) (T)

 

Pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327(a)(2)(B) and a Memorandum of Understanding executed on December 11, 2015 between FHWA and ODOT, FHWA assigned, and ODOT assumed, responsibility for compliance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.  The applicant has determined the project would have no affect on the Kirtland’s warbler, piping plover, Karner blue butterfly, rayed bean mussel, eastern prairie fringed orchid, rufa red knot, or the eastern massasauga.  The applicant has determined the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect, the Indiana bat and the northern long-eared bat.  Through informal consultation completed between the applicant and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service on February 4, 2015 the Service concurred with these determinations for the Indiana bat and northern long-eared bat.

 

In support of our independent permit decision, the Corps intends to rely upon the information collected by ODOT, and consultation performed by ODOT, regarding the effects to threatened or endangered species.  This public notice serves as a request to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for any additional information they may have on whether any listed or proposed to be listed endangered or threatened species may be present in the area which would be affected by the activity, pursuant to Section 7(c) of the Endangered Species Act of 1972 (as amended).

 

PUBLIC INTEREST REVIEW AND CUMULATIVE EFFECTS:  This application will be reviewed in accordance with 33 CFR 320‑332, the Regulatory Program of the Corps, and other pertinent laws, regulations, and executive orders.  Our evaluation will also follow the guidelines published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act (40 CFR part 230).  The decision to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts, including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity, on the public interest.  That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources.  The benefit which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments.  All factors that may be relevant to the proposal will be considered including the cumulative effects thereof; among those factors are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historic properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.  A permit will be granted unless its issuance is found to be contrary to the public interest.

 

SOLICITATION OF COMMENTS:  The Corps is soliciting comments from the public, Federal, state and local agencies and officials, Indian Tribes and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity.  For accuracy and completeness of the administrative record, all data in support of or in opposition to the proposed work should be submitted in writing setting forth sufficient detail to furnish a clear understanding of the reasons for support or opposition.  Any person may request, in writing, within the comment period specified in the notice, that a public hearing be held to consider the application.  Requests for public hearings shall state, with particularity, the reasons for holding a public hearing.  Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny a permit for this proposal.  To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. The comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.  The comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.  Written statements received in this office on or before the expiration date of this Public Notice will become a part of the record and will be considered in the final determination. 

 

CLOSE OF COMMENT PERIOD:   All comments pertaining to this Public Notice must reach this office on or before the close of the comment period listed on page one of this Public Notice. 

If no comments are received by that date, it will be considered that there are no objections. Comments and requests for additional information should be submitted to:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District

ATTN: CELRH-RD-S-OT Public Notice No. LRH-2015-00192-MAU

Building 10 / Section 10

PO Box 3990

Columbus, OH 43218-3990

 

Please note comments submitted in response to this Public Notice become part of our administrative record and, as such, may be available to the public under provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.  Thank you for your interest in our nation’s water resources.  If you have any questions concerning this Public Notice, please contact Tim Long of the South/Transportation Branch, at (614) 692-4654, by mail at the above address, or by email at Timothy.M.Long@usace.army.mil.