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  LRH 2017-979-SCR
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LRH 2017-979-SCR

Posted: 2/11/2019

Expiration date: 3/12/2019


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 United States Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District has initiated alternative permitting procedures in accordance with 33 CFR 325.2(e)(4).  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. Jeremy Wenner

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 within the floodplain adjacent to the Lake White Dam, on State Route 104, between State Route 551 and State Route 552, at Waverly, in Pike County, Ohio (39.10518, -83.00875).  The project site is in the Pee Pee Creek watershed of the Scioto River, a 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 (Sheet 2) in accordance with the emergency provisions of Section 1501.011 of the Ohio Revised Code in order to implement this structural risk reduction measure. 

On December 13, 2017, the Corps authorized the construction of a filter berm at the toe of the existing Lake White Dam in order to address dam safety concerns related to seeps and boils at the dam under our emergency procedures.  The construction of the filter berm involved the discharge of approximately 8,814 cubic yards of stone and earthen material into 5.22 acres of wetland. The ODNR constructed a 1,200 foot long filter berm between Sta. 166 and Sta. 178 by April 2018.  Between April and October 2018, the ODNR completed additional geotechnical studies and seepage analysis of the floodplain area along the east toe of the Lake White Dam and found that under certain lake and tailwater elevation combinations, unacceptable low factors of safety against boils, heave, and uplift or piping of foundation soils still exist in the downstream areas of the dam and as shown on the attached drawings titled Proposed Filter Berm (Aerial) and Filter Berm Typical Sections Property Exhibit (Sheets 3 - 6).  The ODNR determined there is a high risk of dam failure when the lake pool level rises to the top of the dam and determined additional filter berm construction is necessary to fully address the public safety risk.  On December 21, 2019, the ODNR requested to extend the full filter berm from Station 178 to Pee Pee Creek in accordance with the Corps’ emergency procedures.

Description of Work:  The applicant, the ODNR, has requested an emergency authorization to discharge dredge and/or fill material into waters of the U.S. associated with the emergency construction of additional sand and gravel filter berm in the floodplain area along the east toe of the Lake White Dam from Station 178 to Pee Pee Creek. 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 additional filter berm would discharge approximately 18,144 cubic yards of stone, sand and earthen material into 3.21 acres of wetlands (additional 2.22 acres of Category 3 wetland (Wetland 11), 0.987 acre of Category 2 wetlands (Wetlands 6, 6a, 6b, and 6c)) and 1.65 acre of ponds (Ponds 1 and 2) in order to construct the additional filter berm. The filter berm would be constructed of stone, sand, gravel and earthen material and would be located along 2,150 feet of the floodplain below Lake White Dam, with a width of 200-400 feet, as depicted in the figures titled Proposed Filter Berm (Aerial), Filter Berm Typical Sections Property Exhibit (Sheets 3-6).  

Urgency of Work: 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. 

Time to Complete the Emergency Work:  The applicant proposes to commence emergency construction of the proposed filter berm in early 2019 and complete the project by June 2019.

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION:  A total of 2.22 acres of Category 3 wetland (Wetland 11), 0.987 acre of Category 2 wetlands (Wetlands 6, 6a, 6b, and 6c) and 1.65 acres of ponds (Ponds 1 and 2) would be affected by the proposed project.  The applicant would 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 rule 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 will perform expedited reviews with respect to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.  The Ohio State Historic Preservation Office stated, in a letter dated 13 June 2018, 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 will perform expedited reviews with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in accordance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.

PUBLIC INTEREST:  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 U. S. Environmental Protection

Agency pursuant to Section 404(b) (1) of the Clean Water Act. Interested parties are invited to state any objections they may have to the proposed work.  The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact 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 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.  The District will make a permit decision after considering/addressing any comments submitted by the agencies. It is anticipated that this process can be finalized within 24-48 hours for most actions.

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: Laurie Moore, 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. Laurie Moore may also be reached at 304-399-5210 or laurie.a.moore@usace.army.mil.