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 (Section 404).
APPLICANT: Mr. Mark Kelby
Columbus Regional Airport Authority
4600 International Gateway
Columbus, Ohio 43219
LOCATION: As depicted on the attached Sheet 1 of 3, the proposed project would be located within the watershed of the Scioto River (Latitude 39.797414, Longitude -82.925231) southeast of the Rickenbacker International Airport in Lockbourne, Franklin and Pickaway Counties, Ohio. The waters on-site flow to an unnamed tributary to the Walnut River, an indirect tributary to the Scioto River, a traditional navigable water of the United States.
LEAD FEDERAL AGENCY: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considered the lead federal agency for coordinating and conducting environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other applicable statutes. Pursuant to the NEPA, on July 29, 2021, the FAA issued a final Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Cargo Campus Development Project. The United States Army Corps of Engineer (Corps) participated as a cooperating agency in the development of the NEPA document and will also participate as a cooperating agency on any future NEPA documents required to be prepared by the FAA for the proposed project. The final EA can be accessed at https://www.airportprojects.net/lck-campus-ea/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2021/08/LCK_Cargo_Campus_EA_Ch1-6_FINAL.pdf. A separate decision document would be prepared by the Corps prior to a final decision concerning the issuance or denial of the requested DA permit. Comments received in response to this public notice would be used by the Corps in preparation of any documentation, if required, pursuant to the NEPA prior to a final decision concerning issuance or denial of the requested DA permit.
DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK: The applicant has requested a DA authorization to discharge dredged and/or fill material into approximately 0.03 acre of one (1) wetland and 3,533 linear feet (0.80 acre) of four (4) streams in conjunction with the proposed development, referred to as the Cargo Campus Development Project (see attached Table 1). The overall project would include construction of 4.2 million square feet of bulk distribution warehouse space and associated attendant features. See attached Sheet 2 of 3 for a copy of the development plan.
ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS: As a result of the proposal, dredged and/or fill material would be discharged into waters of the United States as described above and in the attached Table 1. The project does not require access or proximity to or siting within special aquatic sites to fulfill its basic purpose and is considered a non-water dependent activity. The Section 404(b)(1) Guideline’s state for non-water dependent activities, practicable alternatives that do not involve special aquatic sites 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. 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 the site. If waters of the United States cannot be avoided, then the impacts must be minimized. A total of 5,433 linear feet of three (3) perennial streams (Streams 20, 31, and 34), 1,992 linear feet of one (1) intermittent stream (Stream 39), 1,140 linear feet of one (1) ephemeral stream (Stream 37) and 0.35 acre of two (2) adjacent wetlands (Wetland 1-NEW and Wetland 2-NEW) are located within the proposed project site and subject to regulation under Section 404. The applicant has proposed to impact 0.03 acre of one (1) wetland (Wetland 1-NEW) and 3,533 linear feet (0.80 acre) of four (4) streams (Streams 20, 31, 34, and 39). A total of 2,100 linear feet of perennial stream, 1,792 linear feet of intermittent stream, 1,140 linear feet of ephemeral stream, and 0.32 acre of wetland subject to regulation under Section 404 would be avoided 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 0.03 acre of one (1) wetland associated with the proposed project, the applicant proposes to purchase 0.1 forested wetland mitigation credits from the Wetlands Resource Center Green Camp Wetlands Mitigation Bank. To compensate for the loss of 3,533 linear feet (0.80 acre) of four (4) streams associated with the proposed project, the applicant proposes to utilize 828 linear feet of stream mitigation credit from the applicant’s pooled mitigation site, Walnut Woods Stream and Wetland Restoration Site, utilize 1,027 linear feet of unused stream mitigation credits previously purchased from the Stream + Wetland Foundation In-Lieu Fee Program, and purchase 3,396 linear feet of stream mitigation credits from the Stream + Wetland Foundation In-Lieu Fee Program. The Walnut Woods Stream and Wetland Restoration Site is a single user pooled mitigation site located in Madison Township, Franklin County, Ohio to locally accommodate stream and wetland mitigation requirements for various projects undertaken by the Columbus Regional Airport Authority associated with the Port Columbus International Airport Property pursuant to Section 404 (Sheet 3 of 3). The applicant’s CMP is currently under review. After review of all the submitted information, the Corps will determine if the type and level of compensatory mitigation in the CMP are adequate in the event a decision is made to issue a DA authorization.
WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION (WQC): The applicant must obtain a Section 401 WQC from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) assuring that applicable laws and regulations pertaining to water quality are not violated. A DA permit, if otherwise warranted, would not be issued on this project until the Section 401 WQC has been issued or waived and the Section 401(a)(2) process has been completed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Through letter dated July 22, 2022, the Reasonable Period of Time for the certifying authority, the Ohio EPA, to act on the Section 401 WQC has been extended to one (1) year from the date of receipt of a valid request for WQC satisfying the nine (9) requirements of 40 CFR 121.5(b). The reasonable period of time for the Cargo Campus Development Project, as extended, ends December 30, 2022. A waiver may be explicit or will be deemed to occur if the Ohio EPA fails or refuses to act on a request for certification within one (1) year, as extended, after receipt of a valid certification request.
HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES: The FAA is the designated lead federal agency and coordinator of all federal authorizations and consultation efforts pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), including coordination with the appropriate State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO), Tribal Historic Preservation Offices or other representatives, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The Phase I Cultural Resources Survey of Industrial Development Opportunity Areas 3 and 4 at Rickenbacker International Airport in Hamilton and Madison Townships, Franklin County and Harrison and Madison Townships Pickaway County, Ohio was completed by ASCP Group, Inc. in 2005 and identified 35 archaeological sites and 16 buildings within the FAA defined area of potential effects (APE). Via letter dated June 5, 2005, the Ohio SHPO noted that an archaeological site, 33-PI-757, was recommended for additional Phase II surveying; however, the other properties were determined to not meet the criteria for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The Phase II Evaluation of 33-PI-757 in Industrial Development Opportunity Area 4 at Rickenbacker International Airport in Madison Township, Pickaway County, Ohio was completed by ASC Group, Inc. on April 25, 2007 for Site 33-PI-757. Via a letter dated June 3, 2008, the Ohio SHPO concluded that site 33-PI-757 does not meet the criteria for listing on NRHP.
The Phase I Archaeological Survey: Addendum for the Rickenbacker Global Logistics Park, Cargo Campus Environmental Assessment in Madison Township, Pickaway County, Ohio was completed by ASC Group, Inc. on September 8, 2020 and no cultural resources were identified within the FAA defined APE. The Section 106 Project Summary Form Supporting Information for the Rickenbacker Global Logistics Park, Cargo Campus Environmental Assessment in Madison Township, Franklin County, and Madison Township, Pickaway County, Ohio completed by ASC Group, Inc. and dated August 3, 2020 included additional field reconnaissance that identified four (4) structures fifty (50) years old or greater (FRA-10925-24, FRA-10926-24, FRA-10927-24, FRA-10928-24) located within the FAA defined APE. Three (3) other properties had been previously inventoried as PIC-757-4, PIC-758-4, and PIC-759-4 within the FAA defined APE and were recommended as not eligible for the NRHP. Via a letter dated October 26, 2020, the Ohio SHPO concurred that the properties identified in these three (3) reports are not eligible for listing in the NRHP. Therefore, the FAA determined that there are no historic properties that would be affected by this undertaking and that compliance with Section 106 of the NHPA for the undertaking has been completed. The Corps has reviewed the above-mentioned surveys and has determined that they are inclusive of the Corps’ Section 106 of the NHPA permit area. No DA permit will be issued until the Corps has verified that all obligations under Section 106 of the NHPA have been fulfilled. A copy of this Public Notice will be furnished to the Ohio SHPO for their review.
THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES: The FAA is the designated lead federal agency and coordinator of all federal authorizations and consultation efforts pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The federally listed species considered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and/or the FAA include the endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and the threatened northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis). The Acoustic Bat Survey LCK Cargo Campus Development Area, Franklin and Pickaway Counties, Ohio completed by TranSystems and dated July 28, 2020 did not detect either the Indiana bat or the northern long-eared bat within the FAA action area. Via an email dated September 21, 2020, the USFWS determined that due to the project, type, size, and location, they do not anticipate adverse effects to federally endangered, threatened, proposed, or candidate species from the proposed project. Additionally, the FAA’s final EA indicated field surveying within the project area did not identify any other state or federally-protected species or critical habitat. Therefore, the FAA determined that the proposed project would not cause any significant impacts to biological resources and that compliance with Section 7 of the ESA for the proposed project has been completed. The Corps has reviewed the above-mentioned surveys and has determined that they are inclusive of the Corps’ ESA action area. No DA permit will be issued until the Corps has verified that all obligations under Section 7 of the ESA have been fulfilled. A copy of this Public Notice will be furnished to the USFWS for their review.
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 USEPA 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 environmental documentation pursuant to NEPA, the Corps’ public interest review, and the Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines evaluation. 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 (1) of this Public Notice. If no comments are received by that date, it will be considered that there are no objections. Comments should be submitted electronically to Kayla Osborne by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, Huntington District
ATTN: CELRH-RDN, Public Notice - LRH-2019-990-SCR
502 Eighth Street
Huntington, West Virginia 25701-2070
Copies 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 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 Kayla Osborne of the North Branch, at 304-399-5850, by mail at the above address, or by email at email@example.com.