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LRH-2019-198-LMR

Published April 12, 2019
Expiration date: 4/27/2019

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:  The intent of this Public Notice is to provide an opportunity for the public to express their views on proposed adverse effects to historic properties associated with the Batavia Low-Head Dam Removal Project.

APPLICANT:            Mr. Andy Dickerson

                                    Valley View Foundation

                                    790 Garfield Avenue

                                    Milford, Ohio 45150

LOCATION:  The proposed project is located within the East Fork of the Little Miami River, between South Riverside Drive and Foundry Avenue in the City of Batavia, in Clermont County, Ohio (39.077 latitude, -84.182 longitude) (Sheet 1).

DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant has requested a Department of the Army (DA) permit authorization for the proposed discharge of dredged and/or fill material into waters of the United States in association with the Batavia Low-Head Dam Removal project.  The proposal would involve the removal of a low-head dam, installation of in-stream restoration features, and stabilization work in order to re-establish a natural flow regime and enhance aquatic and riparian habitat.  These activities would require the discharge of dredged and/or fill material into approximately 658 linear feet of the East Fork Little Miami River and 97 linear feet of an Unnamed Tributary to the East Fork Little Miami River.  The East Fork Little Miami River is a navigable water of the United States from the mouth of the river to mile point 6.4. The proposal would be located upstream of this limit.  All work would be conducted in accordance with the Valley View Foundation Design Drawings for the Batavia Dam Removal and the Nature of Activity Map prepared by Stantec Consulting Services, Inc., and submitted with the pre-construction notification materials (Sheets 2-3).

The United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) will be the lead federal agency for this undertaking, as the only federal action in association with this proposal is the requirement to obtain authorization under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the discharge of dredged and/or fill material into waters of the United States. The proposal is under review for possible authorization under a Nationwide Permit (NWP) #27 as described in the January 6, 2017 Federal Register, Issuance and Reissuance of NWPs (82 FR 1860) pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.  

The Corps is mandated by the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) to ensure no federal undertaking, including a Corps permit action, which may affect historic resources, is commenced before the impacts of such action are considered and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) are provided the opportunity to comment as required by the NHPA, 36 CFR 800, and 33 CFR 325, Appendix C. 

A Phase I Archaeological Investigation and a History/Architecture Investigation for the Proposed Batavia Low-Head Dam Removal Project in Batavia Township, Clermont County, Ohio (report) was completed by Weller & Associates, Inc. on behalf of the applicant.  Based upon the findings in the submitted reports, the Batavia Low-Head Dam (CLE0081707) and the associated pump house (CLE0081807) have been determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) under Criterion A as they served a key role in Batavia’s public utilities history.  The applicant has proposed to remove the Batavia Low-Head Dam as it is no longer operated and poses a safety concern.  Therefore, based on a review of documentation and recommendations provided by the applicant’s agent and the Ohio History Connection, it has been determined that the proposed undertaking would have an adverse effect on the NRHP eligible Batavia Low-Head Dam and its associated pump house.   

The applicant understands that mitigation would be required for the adverse effect and a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) would be required and made a part of any Department of the Army authorization of the proposed project. In order to compensate for adverse effects to the Batavia Low-Head Dam, the applicant has proposed to develop an interpretive sign to provide context and information on the history and significance of the Batavia Dam, and to signify the former presence of the dam.  The sign would be illustrated with current and historical photographs and will be accessible to the general public along the top of the riverbank overseeing the original location of the dam.  This Public Notice serves to solicit public input on potential mitigation activities to resolve the adverse effects to the Batavia Low-Head Dam and its associated pump house.

 

PUBLIC INTEREST:  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 proposed adverse effect on historic properties. Should you wish to express your views on the undertaking’s effects on historic properties, or provide comments, objections or mitigation proposals associated with the proposed undertaking, please forward this information to our office prior to the close of the comment period of this Public Notice. 

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.  Persons wishing to submit comments or objections concerning this proposal should write:

                        United States Army Corps of Engineers

                        ATTN: CELRH-RD-N

                        Public Notice No. LRH-2019-198-LMR

                        502 8th Street

                        Huntington, West Virginia 25701-2070

Please note, the names and addresses of those who submit 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.   If you have any questions concerning this public notice, please contact Ms. Katie Samples at (304) 399-6933, by mail at the above address, or by email at: katie.e.samples@usace.army.mil.