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LRH 2018-930-SCR

Published June 15, 2020
Expiration date: 7/14/2020

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 for the following application.

 

APPLICANT:           Ms. Aimee Toole

                                    Ohio Transmission Company, Inc.

                                    8600 Smiths Mill Road

                                    New Albany, Ohio 43054

LOCATION:  As depicted on the attached Sheet 1 of 2, the proposed project would be located within the watershed of the Scioto River (Latitude 40.0665N, Longitude 82.7648W), southwest of the intersection of Beech Road and Ganton Parkway, in New Albany, Licking County, Ohio.  The waters on site flow into Rhodes Ditch, which is an indirect tributary of the Scioto River, a traditional navigable water of the United States.     

PROJECT HISTORY:  The applicant was previously authorized under a Nationwide Permit No. 39 verification dated February 22, 2019 to discharge dredged and/or fill material into 270 linear feet (0.02 acre) of one (1) stream, 0.03 acre of one (1) wetland, and 0.35 acre of one (1) open water feature. 

DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant has requested a DA authorization to discharge dredged and/or fill material into approximately 1.08 acres of an open water feature and 54 linear feet of one (1) ephemeral stream with the proposed expansion of an existing Anguin Station (see attached Table 1).  The overall project would include an approximate 5,500 square foot pad to house electrical equipment to increase the peak load of the facility from 150 MW to 720 MW and new stormwater facilities. See attached Sheet 2 of 2 for a copy of the development plan.  As proposed, the overall project would cumulatively result in the discharge of dredged and/or fill material into 324 linear feet (0.024 acre) of two (2) streams, 0.03 acre of one (1) wetland, and 1.43 acres of two (2) open water features.

ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS:  A total of approximately 1.08 acres of one (1) open water feature and 54 linear feet of one (1) ephemeral stream would be filled as a result of the proposal.  No wetlands or other special aquatic sites would be affected by 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 may be obtained by submitting a Freedom of Information Act request.  No permit will be issued until our office determines practicable upland alternatives are not available to achieve the overall project purpose based upon the applicant’s alternative analysis.

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.  Approximately 1,033 linear feet of one (1) perennial stream, 1,257 linear feet of three (3) ephemeral streams, 8.02 acres of three (3) forested wetlands, and 2.25 acres of one (1) open water feature are located within the proposed project area.  The applicant has proposed to avoid 2,236 linear feet of the onsite streams, 1.17 acres of an open water feature, and 8.02 acres of the onsite wetlands.  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:  The applicant has not proposed compensatory mitigation based on the aquatic resource functions that will be lost as a result of the permitted activity.  The open water feature and ephemeral stream proposed to be impacted provide minimal aquatic resource functions.

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 OEPA. 

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES: 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.  A literature review and field survey were completed on the 45.97 acre site and no archaeological or architectural resources were found that are eligible for listing on the NRHP.  Therefore, the Corps has determined the proposed project will have no effect to historic properties eligible or potentially eligible for inclusion on the NRHP.  A copy of this Public Notice will be furnished to Ohio State Historic Preservation Office for their review.  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 Scioto madtom (Noturus trautmani), and the endangered running buffalo clover (Trifolium stoloniferum). The project site consists of approximately 45.97 acres and is comprised of fields, forested riparian areas, and commercial developments.  The area could provide potential habitat for the Indiana bat and the northern long-eared bat.  A portion of the site would be cleared and graded by the applicant to facilitate the construction of the proposed project.  We have determined the proposed project may affect, but would not likely adversely affect either the Indiana bat or the northern long-eared bat.  The area does not provide suitable habitat for the above mentioned Scioto madtom and running buffalo clover.  Due to the project type, location, and the implementation of best management practices we have determined the proposed project would have no effect to those species.  This Public Notice serves as a request for concurrence from the USFWS with 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). 

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, the Federal, state, and local agencies and officials, the 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:  Comments and requests for additional information should be submitted electronically to Cecil Cox by email at Cecil.M.Cox@usace.army.mil.

If you do not have internet access, comments may be submitted through the U.S. Postal Service

(USPS) to the following address:

                                                                                                             United States Army Corps of Engineers

ATTN:  CELRH-RD-N

Public Notice:  LRH-2020-135-SCR

502 Eighth Street

Huntington, WV 25701-2070

 

Comments should only be provided through the USPS when electronic transmission is not possible.  Precautionary internal mail handling procedures may be instituted to protect our workforce, which may result in longer than normal times to process and receive hard copy submissions.  To be considered in our evaluation, comments submitted through the USPS should have a postmark dated on, or prior to, the close of the comment period listed on page one (1) of this Public Notice.

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, 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 Cecil Cox at 1-304-399-5274 or by email at Cecil.M.Cox@usace.army.mil.

                                                                 

Table 1.  Proposed Loss of Waters of the United States as a result of the Discharge of Dredged and/or Fill Material Associated with the Anguin Station Expansion site.

Aquatic Resource ID

Aquatic Resource Type

Open Water Impact (Acres)

Stream Impact

(Linear Feet)

Pond 1

Open Water

1.08

 

Ditch 1

Ephemeral Stream

 

54

Total

 

1.08  ac

54 lf