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 Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) to act on the Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the following application:
APPLICANT: Mr. Paul Hammersmith
City of Dublin
Department of Public Works
6555 Shier Rings Road
Dublin, Ohio 43016
LOCATION: As depicted on the attached Sheet 1 of 3, the proposed project would be located within the watershed of the Scioto River (Latitude 40.097033, Longitude -83.167260) on a 140-acre parcel north of Shier Rings Road and west of Avery Road along U.S. 33, in Dublin, Franklin County, Ohio. The waters on-site flow to Cosgray Ditch, a direct tributary to the Scioto River, a navigable water of the United States.
DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK: The applicant has requested a DA authorization to discharge dredged and/or fill material into 0.22 acre of one (1) emergent wetland and 3,007 linear feet (0.69 acre) of one (1) intermittent stream in conjunction with the proposed construction of the Rings Farm and Shier Rings Road Corridor Project (reference attached Table 1). The overall commercial development would include the construction of six (6) buildings with approximately 679,400 square feet of available space, 3,709 associated parking spaces, site entrances and drives, stormwater basins, utility infrastructure, and roadway improvements. Plans for the proposed project are attached to this Public Notice (Sheet 2 of 3).
ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS: As a result of the proposal, fill material would be discharged into 0.22 acre of one (1) emergent wetland and 3,007 linear feet (0.69 acre) of one (1) intermittent stream. The project does not require access or proximity to or siting within waters of the United States to fulfill its basic purpose and is considered a non-water dependent activity. The Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines state for non-water dependent activities, practicable alternatives that do not involve wetlands are presumed to be available, unless clearly demonstrated otherwise. The applicant is required to provide an alternatives analysis that must overcome this presumption prior to receiving authorization for the discharge of dredged and/or fill material. The applicant has submitted an alternatives analysis and it is currently under review. A complete copy of the applicant’s alternatives analysis can be reviewed by appointment at the above address. No permit will be issued until our review of the alternative analysis clearly demonstrates that practicable upland alternatives are not available to achieve the overall project purpose.
AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION: In evaluating a project area containing waters of the United States, consideration must be given to avoiding impacts on these sites. If waters of the United States cannot be avoided, then the impacts must be minimized. A total of 1.05 acres of two (2) emergent wetlands, 3,776 linear feet of one (1) intermittent stream, 0.56 acre of two (2) open water ponds, and 982 linear feet of one (1) ephemeral ditch are located within the proposed project area. The applicant has proposed to avoid 0.83 acre of one (1) emergent wetland and 769 linear feet of one (1) intermittent stream on-site. Stormwater management planning would incorporate best management practices and water pollution controls necessary to maintain compliance with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and Ohio Water Pollution Control Act. Stormwater management and erosion control systems would be implemented during construction, including silt fences, mulch and/or earthen berms, temporary seeding, hay bales, inlet protection, temporary collection basins, diversion ditches, and construction entrances. All disturbed areas would be seeded and/or revegetated with native plant species and native seed mixes after completion of construction activities.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION PLAN (CMP): To compensate for the loss of waters of the United States associated with the proposed project, the applicant proposes to purchase 0.4 acre of non-forested wetland mitigation credit from the Stream and Wetlands Foundation Big Darby Hellbranch Mitigation Bank and to relocate 3,000 linear feet of Cosgray Ditch on-site using natural channel design (Sheet 3 of 3). The applicant’s CMP is currently under review. A complete copy of the applicant’s CMP can be reviewed by appointment at the above address. After review of all the submitted information, the Corps will make a determination of the appropriate compensatory mitigation in the event a decision is made to issue a DA authorization.
WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: A Section 401 Water Quality Certification is required for this project. It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain the Section 401 Water Quality Certification from the OEPA.
HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES: A Phase I Cultural Resource Management Survey for the Approximately 74 Acre 6600 Shier Rings Road Property Located in the City of Dublin, Franklin County, Ohio dated December 2, 2016 was completed by EMH&T, Inc. on behalf of the applicant for 74 acres of the proposed 140-acre site. The Phase I survey resulted in the identification of three (3) previously unrecorded archaeological sites (33 FR 2760-2762) and the re-identification of one (1) previously recorded archaeological site (33 FR 2384). The former Alvin Rings Farm (FRA-8825-1) which was previously located within the project area was found to be demolished. The applicant provided the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office (Ohio SHPO), the Ohio History Connection, a copy of the Phase I for review and comment prior to the submittal of the DA permit application to the Corps for the proposed project. By letter dated February 7, 2017, the Ohio SHPO concurred that sites 33 FR 2760-2762 and 33 FR 2384 do not meet the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) criteria for eligibility. Supplemental historic and cultural resource investigations were completed by EMH&T, Inc. on behalf of the applicant for the proposed project in 2019 and will be submitted to the Ohio SHPO for review and comment. The NRHP has been consulted and it has been determined there are three (3) properties currently listed on the NRHP which could be indirectly or directly affected by the proposed work. The Louis Rings Residence and Barns are located immediately adjacent to the permit area and were listed on the NRHP on April 11, 1979 (NRHP reference # 79002765, 79002767, and 79002769). The Louis Rings Residence and Barns are completely surrounded by modern housing developments and a golf course. The proposed project would be clearly visible to the NRHP properties; however, the loss of the rural setting and development of the accompanying farmland has irreversibly altered the setting of the NRHP properties. Therefore, the Corps has determined the proposed project would have no adverse effect on historic properties eligible or potentially eligible for inclusion on the NRHP. A copy of this public notice will be furnished to the Ohio SHPO for their review and response. Comments concerning archaeological sensitivity of the project area should be based on collected data.
THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES: The proposed project is located within the known or historic range of the endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), the threatened northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), the endangered running buffalo clover (Trifolium stonloniferum), the endangered Scioto madtom (Noturus trautmani), the endangered clubshell mussel (Pleurobema clava), the endangered northern riffleshell mussel (Epioblasma torulosa rangiana), the endangered rayed bean mussel (Villosa fabalis), the endangered snuffbox mussel (Epioblasma triquetra), and the threatened rabbitsfoot mussel (Quadrula cylindrical cylindrical). The 140-acre site consists of active agricultural land, two (2) emergent wetlands, one (1) intermittent stream with a narrow riparian corridor, 0.56 acre of two (2) open water ponds, and 982 linear feet of one (1) ephemeral ditch. The proposed project area could provide potential habitat for the Indiana bat and the northern long-eared bat. Approximately five (5) acres of forested habitat would be cleared by the applicant to facilitate construction of the proposed project. The applicant has agreed to conduct tree clearing operations prior to April 1 and after September 30, as recommended by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), to minimize effects on the Indiana bat and the northern long-eared bat. The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely adversely affect either the Indiana bat or the northern long-eared bat. The Corps has consulted the most recently available information and information provided by the applicant and has determined the proposed project area does not provide suitable habitat for the running buffalo clover, Scioto madtom, northern riffleshell mussel, rayed bean mussel, snuffbox mussel, and rabbitsfoot mussel. The Corps has determined the project would have no effect on the running buffalo clover, Scioto madtom, northern riffleshell mussel, rayed bean mussel, snuffbox mussel, and rabbitsfoot mussel. This Public Notice serves as a request for concurrence from the USFWS for the aforementioned effect determination and 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. Our evaluation will also follow the guidelines published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act (40 CFR part 230). 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 the protection and the 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; 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. Requests for public hearings shall state, with particularity, the reasons for holding a public hearing. 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 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 on page one 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: LRH-2019-643-SCR
502 Eighth Street
Huntington, WV 25701-2070
Please note names, addresses, and comments submitted 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. If you have any questions concerning this Public Notice, please contact Ms. Kayla Adkins of the North Branch, at 304-399-5210, by mail at the above address, or by email at email@example.com.