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LRH 2020-257-TUS

Published March 20, 2020
Expiration date: 4/19/2020

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 (WQC) for the following application:

 

APPLICANT:            Ms. Gillian Hall

                                    Triban Investment, LLC

                                    7555 Fredle Drive, Suite 210

                                    Concord Township, Ohio 44077

 

LOCATION:  As depicted on the attached Sheets 1 and 2 of 6, the proposed project would be located in an adjacent wetland to an unnamed tributary of Pigeon Creek on a 6.7-acre parcel (Latitude 41.081733, Longitude -81.545330) on Diagonal Road in Akron, Summit County, Ohio.  The waters on-site flow into Pigeon Creek, a Tuscarawas River, a traditional navigable water of the United States.

 

DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant has requested a DA authorization for the discharge of dredged and/or fill material into 0.65 acre of forested wetland in conjunction with the construction of the Crossings at Auld Farm Residential Subdivision.  The proposed subdivision would include 51 residential lots, a stormwater basin, roadways, and utilities.  The purpose of the project is to provide housing needs for the City of Akron, Ohio.  Plans (Sheets 1-6) for the proposed development are attached to this Public Notice. 

 

ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS:  Approximately 0.65 acre of one (1) forested wetland would be impacted by the discharge of dredged and/or fill material as a result of the proposed project.  The project does not require access or proximity to or siting within the 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.  The applicant indicated the proposed project cannot be located in an area that would avoid the discharges of dredged and/or fill material into 0.65 acre of wetland within project boundary.  Fill material would be sourced by the contractor who is selected to construct the proposed project.  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 sediment basins, silt fences, and temporary diversion swales.  All disturbed areas would be seeded and/or revegetated with native plant species and native seed mixes after completion of construction activities. No erosion control measures would be removed until all disturbed areas are stabilized.  Post-construction storm water management would include the grading of the site to provide positive drainage to the rear of the lots into inlet basins and storm sewer systems.

 

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION PLAN:  To compensate for the loss of waters of the United States associated with the proposed project, the applicant proposes to purchase 1.7 acres of wetland mitigation credits from the North Coast Regional Council of Park District’s In-Lieu Fee Program.

 

WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION:  A Section 401 WQC is required for this project.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain certification from the OEPA.  The applicant has submitted their 401 WQC application to the OEPA. 

 

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES:  The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) has been consulted and the former residence of Colonel Simon Perkins, which is now a museum owned by the Summit County Historic Society, is located approximately 0.31 mile northeast of the proposed project area.  The museum property is landscaped and well preserved.  Numerous trees and modern buildings are located between the museum property and the proposed project area.  Based on the information provided by the applicant and other information available to us, the Corps has determined the proposed project would have no adverse effect on the museum property.  A review of the Ohio Historic Inventory indicates one (1) historic home (SUM-268-11) is located within the proposed project area and a second home (SUM-267-11), which is used as an office building, is located adjacent to the proposed project area.  Neither of these homes is considered eligible for inclusion on the NRHP. This Public Notice serves as coordination with the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office, pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.  No DA permit will be issued until all obligations under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 have been fulfilled. 

 

THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES:  The proposed project is located within the known or historic range of the endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), and the threatened northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis). The proposed project area consists of open fields, and forested areas and could provide potential habitat for the Indiana bat and the northern long-eared bat. The applicant has agreed to conduct seasonal tree clearing between October 1 and March 31 to minimize effects to the bat species.  Therefore, the Corps has determined the project may affect, not likely to adversely affect the aforementioned bat species.  Based on this information, the proposed project 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.  This Public Notice serves as a request for concurrence from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for the aforementioned effect determinations 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).  No DA permit will be issued until the Corps has verified that all obligations under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act have been fulfilled. 

 

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

ATTN:  CELRH-RD-N

Public Notice:  LRH-2020-257-TUS

502 Eighth Street

Huntington, West Virginia 25701-2070

 

Please note names, addresses, and comments submitted in response to this Public Notice become part of our administrative record and, as such, may be 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. Audrey Richter of the Energy Resource Branch, at 716-879-4469, by mail at the above address, or by email at teresa.d.spagna@usace.army.mil.