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LRH 2017-979-SCR

Published Dec. 14, 2017
Expiration date: 12/29/2017

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The purpose of this notice is to advise the public that the following request has been submitted for a Department of the Army (DA) emergency permit under the provisions of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the discharge of fill material into waters of the United States (U.S.) associated with the construction of a structural risk reduction measure at the Lake White Dam in response to the detection of significant seepage and numerous boils at the structure.  The U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District have implemented alternative permitting or special procedures in accordance with 33 CFR 325.2(e)(4) for processing this request.  An “emergency” is a situation which would result in an unacceptable hazard to life, a significant loss of property, or an immediate, unforeseen, and significant economic hardship if corrective action requiring a permit is not undertaken within a time period less than the normal time needed to process the permit application under standard procedures.

 

APPLICANT:            Mr. Hung Thai

Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR)

Division of Engineering

2045 Morse Road, Building E3

Columbus, Ohio 43229

 

Location of Work:  The proposed project site is located adjacent to the Lake White Dam, southeast of the intersection of State Route 551 and State Route 104, in Waverly, Pike County, Ohio (39.098593, -83.016763).  The project site is in the Pee Pee Creek watershed of the Scioto River, a traditional navigable water of the U.S.  The project site is shown on the figure titled Project Location Map (Sheet 1). 

 

Cause of Emergency:  In June 2017, significant seepage and numerous boils were detected along the toe of the dam during an inspection.  Also of significant concern, was the amount of sediment observed being transported by the water boils.  The ODNR also observed water levels in Lake White dropping by 0.5” to 1.0” per day.  The ODNR classified Lake White as a Class 1 potential high-hazard structure.  The seepages and boils under the dam could result in failure of the structure and therefore pose a significant public safety risk.  The ODNR immediately began detailed inspections and increased monitoring, and immediately lowered the lake to three (3) feet below the winter pool level.  The results of monitoring and data analysis led

to the recommendation to construct a sand and gravel filter berm at the dam toe to ensure public safety.  The ODNR authorized a Declaration of Public Exigency in accordance with the emergency provisions of Section 1501.011 of the Ohio Revised Code in order to implement this structural risk reduction measure (Sheet 2). 

 

Rationale for emergency authorization (and Description of Work):  The applicant, the ODNR, has requested an emergency authorization to discharge fill material into waters of the U.S. associated with the emergency construction of a sand and gravel filter berm at the toe of the existing dam.  The purpose of the project is to address dam safety concerns related to seeps and boils at the dam in order to ensure public safety.  The proposed construction of the filter berm would discharge approximately 8,814 cubic yards of stone and earthen material into 5.22 acres of wetland in order to construct a filter berm. The filter berm will be constructed of stone, sand, gravel and earthen material and will be located along 2,100 feet of the dam toe, with a width of 200 feet, comprising a total area of 10 acres as depicted in the figure titled Project Site Plan (Sheet 3).  

 

The applicant proposes to proceed as quickly as possible with a structural risk reduction measure to ensure public safety.  Failure of the structure poses a significant public safety risk.  Additional information may be found at the following ODNR web link: http://engineering.ohiodnr.gov/dam-risk-reduction-program/current-projects/lake-white-dam#overview

 

Time to Complete the Emergency Work:  The applicant plans to commence emergency construction of the proposed filter berm in December 2017 and complete the project within six (6) months.

 

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION:  A total of 5.22 acres of the existing 19.74 acres of forested wetland will be affected by the proposed project.  The applicant will be required to obtain a stormwater permit and implement a stormwater pollution protection plan as needed for site construction following the requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program.

 

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION PLAN:  To compensate for the losses of waters of the U.S. associated with the proposed project, the ODNR is fully committed to implementing appropriate mitigation, in accordance with 33 CFR 332 and the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 3745-1-54, including the purchase of wetland credits from a Corps approved wetland mitigation bank and/or in-lieu fee program, and/or permittee responsible mitigation.  

 

WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION:   Per the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s  rules for emergency authorizations, a Section 401 Water Quality Certification is required for this project.

 

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES:  The work is being considered an emergency under 33 CFR 325.2(e)(4).  In accordance with the emergency procedures, the District performed an expedited review with respect to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.  The Ohio State Historic Preservation Office has indicated (by correspondence dated 1 December 2017), the project will not affect historic properties. 

 

THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES: The project is located within the known or historic range of the endangered the Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis).  Tree clearing would be required to construct the proposed project.  The applicant proposes to avoid removing suitable habitat trees whenever possible, and any tree that cannot be avoided would be removed between October 1 – March 31 in order to minimize impacts to the aforementioned bats.  Based on the applicant’s commitment to implement seasonal tree clearing, the project may affect, but is not likely to affect either the Indiana bat or the northern long-eared bat. Based on the project location and lack of suitable habitat, the proposed project would have no effect on the clubshell mussel, the rayed bean mussel, the northern riffleshell mussel, and the running buffalo clover.  Based on this information, the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the continued existence of any endangered species or threatened species, or result in the destruction or adverse modification of habitat of such species which has been determined to be critical.  In accordance with the emergency procedures, the District performed an expedited review with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in accordance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. The USFWS concurred with the Corps’ effect determination on December 12, 2017.

 

PUBLIC INTEREST:  In accordance with the emergency procedures, the District performed an expedited review in accordance with 33 CFR 320‑332, the Regulatory Program of the Corps, and other pertinent laws, regulations, and executive orders.  Our evaluation followed the guidelines published by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act. The decision whether to issue an emergency permit was based on an evaluation of the probable impact, including cumulative impacts, the proposed activity would have on the public interest.  All factors that may be relevant to the proposal which have been considered, including the cumulative effects thereof, include: 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.  Interested parties are invited to state any objections they may have to the proposed work.

  

FINAL PERMIT DETERMINATION:  In accordance with the alternative permitting or special procedures outlined in 33 CFR 325.2(e)(4), the Huntington District has determined, based upon information provided by the applicant, the proposal complies with the Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, and Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines, is not contrary to the public interest, and has been authorized under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

 

COMMENTS:  Comments and requests for additional information should be submitted to:

 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

502 Eighth Street

Huntington, West Virginia 25701-2070

ATTN: Teresa Spagna, CELRH-RD-N

Public Notice No. LRH-2017-979-SCR

 

Please note that submitted comments in response to this Public Notice become part of our administrative record and, as such, are available to the public under provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.  Thank you for your interest in our Nation's water resources.  Ms. Teresa Spagna may also be reached at 304-399-6910 or teresa.d.spagna@usace.army.mil.