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LRH 2019-422-NEW

Published Oct. 21, 2019
Expiration date: 11/19/2019

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 (U.S.) 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:                        Kanawha Stone Company
                                      409 Jacobson Drive

                                Poca, West Virginia  25159

 

LOCATION:  There are two discrete project locations, referred to as the Green Valley Site and the Airport Site. 

  1. The proposed Green Valley Site is located within three unnamed tributaries (UNTs) of the South Fork of Brush Creek, and their associated wetlands, on Bull Trail Hollow Road, near Bluefield, Mercer County, West Virginia, at Latitude 37.29660556 and Longitude -81.1772.  See Sheet 1 of 4.
  2. The proposed Airport Site is located an unnamed tributary (UNT) to Middle Fork Brush Creek, along Hurricane Ridge Road, near Bluefield, Mercer County, West Virginia, at Latitude 37.304178 and Longitude -81.186667.  See Sheet 3 of 4.

 

DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant has requested DA authorization for the proposed discharge of dredged and/or fill material into waters of the U.S. in conjunction with the construction of two spoil disposal sites, the Green Valley Site and the Airport Site.  The proposed spoil disposal sites would be used for the storage of excess spoil material generated by excavation of a proposed highway project in the vicinity.  The applicant has indicated the two sites would have a capacity for approximately 6,000,000 cubic yards of material. 

  1. For construction of the proposed Green Valley site, the applicant proposes to discharge permanent fill material into a total of 864 linear feet of three streams and 0.25 acre of two wetlands, as described in the attached Tables 1 and 2.
  2. For construction of the proposed Airport site, the applicant proposes to discharge permanent fill material into 260 linear feet of one stream, as described in the attached Table 3.

     

Plans of the proposal are attached to this notice. 

ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS:  Construction of the proposed Green Valley site would result in the permanent discharge of fill material into a total of 864 linear feet of three streams and 0.25 acre of two wetlands.  Construction of the proposed Airport site would result in the permanent discharge of fill material into 260 linear feet of one stream.  The proposal does not require access or proximity to or siting within the wetlands to fulfill its basic purpose and is considered to be a non-water dependent activity.  The Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines state that 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 the presumption prior to receiving a DA authorization for the discharge of dredged and/or fill material.  No permit would be issued unless the alternatives analysis clearly demonstrates that practicable upland alternatives are not available to achieve the overall project purpose.  The applicant has submitted the required alternative analysis, which is currently under review.  The applicant has indicated they selected the proposed project locations to serve as a disposal area for excess spoil from a highway project in the vicinity.  A complete copy of the applicant’s alternative analysis can be reviewed, by appointment, at the above address.  No permit will be issued until the alternative analysis clearly shows 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 U.S., consideration must be given to avoiding discharges of dredged and/or fill material into these waters.  If waters of the U.S. cannot be avoided, then impacts must be minimized.  The applicant has indicated avoidance and minimization measures were considered in the project design and were determined to be unpractical.  All waters located within the each of the proposed project areas would be permanently impacted by the proposed discharges of fill material.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION PLAN:   As described in the attached Table 1, to compensate for the permanent discharge of dredged and/or fill material into the streams at the Green Valley Site, the applicant proposes to purchase a total of 481 streams credits from an approved mitigation bank and/or 539.1 stream credits from the West Virginia In-Lieu Fee Program.  To compensate for the permanent discharge of dredged and/or fill material into wetlands, as described in the attached Table 2, the applicant proposes to purchase a total of 0.25 stream credits from an approved mitigation bank and/or 0.7 wetland credits from the West Virginia In-Lieu Fee Program.  As described in Table 3, to compensate for the permanent discharge of dredged and/or fill material into the streams at the Airport Site, the applicant proposes to purchase a total of 164.3 streams credits from an approved mitigation bank and/or 184.1 stream credits from the West Virginia In-Lieu Fee Program. The applicant calculated the amount of compensatory mitigation using the West Virginia Stream and Wetland Valuation Metric (SWVM). 

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.

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES:  This Public Notice serves as coordination with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.  The applicant previously consulted with the SHPO and, in a letter dated June 21, 2019, the SHPO stated there are no properties currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) which would be indirectly or directly affected by the proposed work.  In addition, the SHPO stated that there are no previously documented archaeological sites within the proposed project areas, and that the project would have no effect on archaeological historic resources.  The Corps is currently evaluating the proposed project to determine potential affects to historic properties.  Comments concerning archeological sensitivity of a project area should be based upon collected data.

ENDANGERED AND THREATENED SPECIES: The proposed project areas are located within the known or historic range of the following federally-protected species:

  • Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) (Endangered),
  • northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) (Threatened),
  • gray bat (Myotis grisescens) (Endangered),
  • Virginia big-eared bat (Corynorhinus (=Plectous) townsendii virginianus) (Endangered),
  • candy darter (Etheostoma osburnii) (Endangered). 

The applicant has provided information indicating the sites have been timbered and do not contain suitable habitat for bat species.  Given this, the Corps has determined the proposed projects would have no effect on any listed bat species.  The proposed project areas are also located within the range of the endangered candy darter, in the headwaters of the South Fork of Brush Creek and the Middle Fork of Brush Creek.  Due to the flow regime of the waters onsite, suitable habitat does not exist within the proposed project areas.  Therefore, the Corps has determined the proposed projects would have no effect on the candy darter.  

Based on this information, the Corps has determined the proposed projects would not 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.  This Public Notice serves as a request to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for 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 guidelines published by the U.S. 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 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 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-2019-422-NEW

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 sarah.m.workman@usace.army.mil.

                                                                                                                                  

Table 1 – Proposed Permanent Stream Fills and Mitigation

Green Valley Site

Stream Name

Property Location

Flow Regime

Discharge Length (lf)

In-Lieu Fee Option (credits required)

Mitigation Bank Option (credits required)

UNT 1 – South Fork Brush Creek

Green Valley

Ephemeral

127

66.97

59.5

UNT 2– South Fork Brush Creek

Green Valley

Intermittent

525

339.8

303.4

UNT 3– South Fork Brush Creek

Green Valley

Ephemeral

212

132.3

118.1

Total

 

 

864

539.1

481

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 2 – Proposed Permanent Wetland Fills and Mitigation

Green Valley Site

Wetland ID

Feature Type

Property Location

Discharge Acreage (ac)

In-Lieu Fee Option (credits required)

Mitigation Bank Option (credits required)

W1

PFO

Green Valley

0.204

0.6

0.2

W2

PEM

Green Valley

0.047

0.1

0.05

Total

 

 

0.25

0.7

0.25

 

Table 3 – Proposed Permanent Stream Fills and Mitigation

Airport Site

Stream Name

Property Location

Flow Regime

Discharge Length (lf)

In-Lieu Fee Option (credits required)

Mitigation Bank Option (credits required)

UNT 1– Middle Fork Brush Creek

Airport

Intermittent

260

184.1

164.3

Total

 

 

260

184.1

164.3