TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The following application has been submitted for Department of the Army (DA) authorization 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 West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) to act on Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the following application.
APPLICANT: West Virginia Department of Transportation
Division of Highways
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Building 5, Room 110
Charleston, West Virginia 25305-0430
PROJECT HISTORY: On October 15, 1996, under Individual Permit LRP-1994-98, the Corps authorized the discharge of fill material into streams and wetlands associated with the construction of a highway project referred to as Corridor H. The permittee has requested the Corps consider modification of the existing permit to authorize the discharge of fill material into streams and wetlands associated with a modified design for an approximate 8.0 mile long section of the 100-mile long highway referred to as Corridor H, Kerens to Parsons, Sections 2 and 3.
The original authorization was set to expire on December 31, 2007. A permit extension was granted by the Corps on March 5, 2008. The existing authorization expired on December 31, 2017. However, the required for additional time was received by the expiration date. The applicant has requested the Corps extend the authorization for 10 additional years.
LOCATION: Corridor H, Kerens to Parsons, Sections 2 and 3, is a proposed 8.0 mile long new four-lane highway in Tucker County, West Virginia. The proposed 8.0-mile long project would begin at approximate Latitude 39.096455 and Longitude -79.735248 and would end at approximate Latitude 39.112707 and Longitude -79.609385, as shown on the attached mapping. The proposed project would be located in Fools Run, Goodwin Run, Sugarcamp Run, Shavers Fork, the Cheat River, Wolfs Run, Roaring Run, their unnamed tributaries and associated wetlands. As shown in the attached tables and drawings, the proposed discharges of fill material into streams and wetlands are at separate and distant locations along the proposed 8.0-mile project corridor.
DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK: Construction of Kerens to Parsons, Sections 2 and 3, would result in the permanent discharge of dredged and/or fill material into 111 streams (31,945 linear feet) and twelve (12) jurisdictional wetlands (7.075 acres) at 38 single and complete project locations as described in the attached Tables 1 and 2.
Temporary sediment ponds and crossings may be utilized to facilitate the construction activities. The permittee is also requesting authorization to temporarily discharge fill material into streams to facilitate project construction. Proposed temporary stream fills are described in the attached Table 3. After completion of the construction activities, all temporary discharges would be removed and the streams would be restored to their approximate original contour. Natural channel design techniques would be utilized for stream restoration activities.
Construction of the Kerens to Parsons, Sections 2 and 3, would result in the permanent discharge of fill material into 343 linear feet of a non-jurisdictional channel located at Station 693+00. This segment may be a water of the State of West Virginia and regulated by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.
MITIGATION: To compensate for the permanent discharge of dredged and/or fill material into the streams as described in the attached Table 1, the applicant proposes to purchase a total of 25,057 stream credits from an approved mitigation bank and/or purchase 28,944 stream credits from the West Virginia In-Lieu Fee Program. The applicant calculated the amount of compensatory mitigation using the Corps’ West Virginia Stream and Wetland Valuation Metric (SWVM). To compensate for the permanent discharge of dredged and/or fill material into the wetlands described in Table 2, the applicant proposed to utilize previously established preservation credits associated with Corridor H.
WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: Modified Section 401 Water Quality Certification is required for this proposal. It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain this certification from the WVDEP.
LEAD FEDERAL AGENCY: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is the lead Federal agency for the Corridor H project. As noted above, the proposed Kerens to Parson’s project is a segment of the overall Corridor H project. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), dated April 1996, was prepared and approved by the West Virginia Department of Transportation-Division of Highways (WVDOH) and the FHWA for Corridor H. A subsequent Record of Decision (ROD) was signed August 1996. Over the life of the Corridor H project, additional supplemental EIS’s (SEIS) and re-evaluations have occurred. The FHWA has completed the NEPA review for the proposed project area. The FHWA has also completed the coordination required by Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Section 106 (106) of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).
The Corps intends to rely upon the information collected by or on behalf of the FHWA, and consultation performed by or on behalf of FHWA in support of our independent evaluation of the permit modification request. A copy of this public notice will be furnished to the State Historic Preservation Office for their review. Comments concerning archaeological sensitivity of the project area should be based on collected data. 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 request 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 guidelines published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) pursuant to Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act (40 CFR part 230). The decision whether to approve a permit modification 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 benefits that 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; of those 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.
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 request. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny the request. 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. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. 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 on these factors 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. The permit modification request will be granted unless its issuance is found to be contrary to the public interest.
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 at the beginning 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:
United States Army Corps of Engineers
Public Notice: LRP-1994-98
502 Eighth Street
Huntington, WV 25701-2070
Please note that names and addresses of those who submit comments in response to this Public Notice become part of our administrative record, and, as such, maybe available to the public under the 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 Sarah Workman of the South/Transportation Branch by telephone at (304) 399-5710 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.