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LRH 2018-323-ELK

Published March 27, 2019
Expiration date: 4/26/2019

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:  The following application has been submitted for a Department of the Army (DA) 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 West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) to act on Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the following application.

 

APPLICANT:          Mr. Chuck Wilson

     Board of Education of Kanawha County

                                                3300 Pennsylvania Avenue

                                                Charleston, West Virginia 25302

 

LOCATION:  The proposed project would be located within a 293-acre parcel near Elkview, in Kanawha County, West Virginia at approximately latitude 38.45437, longitude -81.478812. Reference attached Sheet 1 of 6. 

DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant has requested DA authorization for the discharge of dredged and/or fill material into Givens Fork and unnamed tributaries (UNT) to the Elk River to facilitate construction of the Herbert Hoover High School Development Project.  The proposed 95-acre development would include the construction of a new high school building, athletic fields, associated paved parking and access roads, green spaces, and storm water control basins (See sheet 2 of 6).  The Herbert Hoover Development Project would include a cut and fill volume of 2,300,000 cubic yards (cy).  Implementation of the proposal would result in the discharge of 1,120 cy of permanent fill material below the ordinary high water mark of 6,722 linear feet (lf) of fifteen (15) streams, as described in the attached Table 1.  Proposed discharges of fill material include discharges resulting from cut/grade/fill work within the site, culvert replacement or installation, the installation of storm water control features, and/or stream relocation.

ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS:  As a result of implementation of the proposal, dredged and/or fill material would be discharged into fifteen (15) streams, as described in the attached Table 1.  The applicant is required to show that no other less damaging practicable alternatives, which do not require the discharge of fill material into waters of the United States, are available that would achieve the overall project purpose. 

The applicant has submitted an alternatives analysis for review.  The applicant’s alternatives analysis includes an assessment of a “no-action” alternative, the preferred alternative, and three off-site alternatives for the proposed project.  Under the no build alternative, no discharge of dredged and/or fill material would occur in waters of the United States.  The applicant has indicated this alternative would not meet the overall project purpose.  The applicant has indicated three off-site location alternatives were evaluated for site selection, under the West Virginia Department of Education Policy 6200.  Based on the alternatives analysis, the applicant has indicated the other alternatives considered would result in greater costs and socioeconomic impacts, and are not feasible alternatives considering logistics and topography.  The applicant’s alternatives analysis is currently under review.  A complete copy of the applicant’s alternative analysis can be reviewed, by appointment, at the above address. 

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION:  In evaluating a project area containing waters of the United States, consideration must be given to avoiding discharges of dredged and/or fill material into these waters.  If waters of the United States cannot be avoided, then impacts must be minimized.  The applicant has indicated avoidance and minimization efforts were incorporated into the project development plan.  Forty-five (45) streams, totaling 20,475.87 lf, are located within the project area.  According to the information provided, a total of 13,754.09 lf of thirty (30) streams (67% of waters on-site) would be avoided.  The applicant has indicated proposed culverts have been designed to pass both low and high water flows, to accommodate fluctuating water levels, and to maintain circulation and faunal movement.  The applicant states best management practices would be implemented to minimize downstream sedimentation and turbidity. 

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION PLAN:   To compensate for the permanent discharge of dredged and/or fill material into the streams as described the attached Table 1, the applicant proposes to purchase stream credits from an approved mitigation bank, the West Virginia Stream Mitigation Banks’ Oxbow Mitigation Bank.  Utilizing the West Virginia Stream and Wetland Valuation Metric (WV SWVM), the applicant has indicated a total of 3,605.8 stream mitigation credits would be required to compensate for the permanent discharge of dredged and/or fill material within 6,722 lf of stream within the site.  As part of our evaluation, the Corps will review the applicant’s SWVM calculation sheets for accuracy. 

The applicant’s mitigation proposal is currently under review, and is available for public review.  The proposed CMP is open to comment and is subject to change based on comments received.  After review of all the submitted information the Corps will make a determination of appropriate mitigation, in the event a decision is made to issue a permit. 

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 WVDEP.

LEAD FEDERAL AGENCY:  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the lead Federal agency for this proposal.  In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the FEMA is currently preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) for this project. The Corps intends to rely upon the information collected by or on behalf of the FEMA, and consultation performed by or on behalf of the FEMA, in support of our independent evaluation of the permit request. 

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES:  As lead Federal agency, the FEMA is responsible for compliance with the Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.  The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) has been consulted and it has been determined there are no properties currently listed on the NRHP that would be indirectly or directly affected by the proposed work.  In support of our independent permit decision, the Corps intends to rely upon the information collected and the consultation performed on behalf of the FEMA regarding the effects to historic properties.  A copy of this Public Notice will be sent to the State Historic Preservation Office for review.  Comments concerning archaeological sensitivity of a 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 proposed endangered (PE) species: Indiana bat (E), Myotis sodalist, northern long-eared bat (T), Myotis septentrionalis, gray bat (E), Myotis grisescens, Virginia big-eared bat (E), Corynorhinus (=Plecotus) townsendii virginiaus, diamond darter (E), Cystallaria cincotta, clubshell mussel (E), Pleurobema clava, fanshell mussel (E), Cyprogenia stegaria, northern riffleshell mussel (E), Epioblasma torulosa rangiana, pink mucket pearly mussel (E), Lampsilis abrupta, snuffbox mussel (E), Epioblasma triquetra.

As the lead Federal agency, FEMA is ultimately responsible for compliance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.  In support of our independent permit decision, the Corps intends to rely upon the information collected by or on behalf of the FEMA, and consultation performed by or on behalf of the FEMA, 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.  The decision whether 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. 

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.  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.  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.  A permit 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

ATTN: CELRH-RD-S

Public Notice: LRH-2018-323-ELK

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 Lauren Pritt of the South/Transportation Branch by telephone at (304) 399-5710 or by email at lauren.a.pritt@usace.army.mil.