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LRH-2011-741-OHR

Published March 15, 2012
Expiration date: 4/15/2012
PUBLIC NOTICE:The purpose of this Public Notice is to inform you of a proposal for work in which you might be interested. It is also to solicit your comments and information to better enable us to make a reasonable decision on factors affecting the public interest. We hope you will participate in this process.

REGULATORY PROGRAM:

Since its early history, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has played an important role in the development of the nation's water resources. Originally, this involved construction of harbor fortifications and coastal defenses. Later duties included the improvement of waterways to provide avenues of commerce. An important part of our mission today is the protection of the nation's waterways through the administration of the Corps Regulatory Program. SECTION 10: The Corps is directed by Congress under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 USC 403) to regulate all work or structures in or affecting the course, condition or capacity of navigable waters of the United States (U.S.). The intent of this law is to protect the navigable capacity of waters important to interstate commerce.

SECTION 404:

SECTION 10: The Corps is directed by Congress under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 USC 403) to regulate all work or structures in or affecting the course, condition or capacity of navigable waters of the United States (U.S.). The intent of this law is to protect the navigable capacity of waters important to interstate commerce.

The Corps is directed by Congress under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 USC 1344) to regulate the discharge of dredged and fill material into all waters of the U.S., including wetlands. The intent of the law is to protect the nation's waters from the indiscriminate discharge of material capable of causing pollution and to restore and maintain their chemical, physical and biological integrity.

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 Corps request to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) to act on Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the following application.

APPLICANT: West Virginia Department of Transportation

 Division of Highways

1900 Kanawha Boulevard East

Building Five, Room 110

Charleston, West Virginia 25305-0430

LOCATION: The proposed project is located in Coon Run, five unnamed tributaries of the Ohio River and ten associated wetlands, in Marshall County, West Virginia. The proposed West Virginia (WV) Route 2 Franklin to Woodlands project would begin at Station 15+00, Latitude 39.78971 and Longitude 80.83025, and would continue in a northeasterly direction for 1.2 miles to Station 80+00, Latitude 39.80414 and Longitude 80.81760.

DESCRIPTION:

The applicant has requested authorization from the Corps DA to discharge fill material in waters of the U.S. in conjunction with the widening of 1.2 miles ofWV Route 2 to a four-lane highway with a continuous center tum lane. WV Route 2 beginning adjacent to the northern project limit and continuing north to Moundsville has already been widened to a four lane highway. Currently WV Route 2 is bound on the western side by the CSX Railroad, making widening on the eastern side of WV Route 2 the most practical alternative. The applicant states the WV Route 2 upgrade would provide a safer highway with the capacity to handle project traffic volumes.

The proposed work would involve the permanent discharge of approximately 805 cubic yards of fill material into 2,125 linear feet (0.338 acre) of streams. The proposed impacts are necessary to achieve bridge and culvert replacements as well as the appropriate roadway grade. Jurisdictional wetland impacts are associated with hillside cuts andlor roadway fills and would result in the permanent impacts of 0.68 acre.

Temporary impacts to streams and wetlands would occur in order to facilitate construction.Temporary cofferdams, causeways and access roads are anticipated to result in the discharge of fill into waters of the U.S. To minimize impacts to the wetlands, fabric or matting would be placed prior to the discharge of any temporary fill material to construct an access road. A temporary causeway across Coon Run is anticipated. The causeway would be constructed using clean, coarse non-erodible material with 15% or less fines. The causeway would be designed to withstand expected high flows and would be located within the right-of-way limits. Cofferdams would also be utilized to facilitate construction. After construction, all temporary fill material would be removed and the streams andlor wetlands returned to approximate original contours.

The attached tables detail the proposed activities and associated permanent and temporary impacts due to the proposed project.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is the lead federal agency for the WV Route 2 Franklin to Woodlands project. A Categorical Exclusion dated July 27, 2011 was prepared and approved by the West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways and the FHW A. The report was prepared pursuant to Title 23 Code of Federal Regulations (Highways), Part 771 and related procedures. The Categorical Exclusion has taken into account the potential economic, social and environmental impacts of the project.

AVOIDANCE and MINIMIZATION: The applicant has committed to avoiding impacts to waters of the U.S. where possible. However, when avoidance is not practicable, best management practices (BMPs) for bridge and road construction would be employed. Turbidity and sedimentation from surface water runoff and erosion would be minimized through the use of various sediment and erosion control features such as silt fence, contour ditching, sediment sumps, temporary slope drains, and seeding and mulching of disturbed areas. Culverts would be used to minimize filling of waters of the U.S., while maintaining original surface flow patterns. Minimization of the amount of fill would be accomplished by the use of bridges for crossing streams. The alternatives have been developed to minimize construction within waters of the U.S. to the maximum extent possible. The applicant states the proposed roadway improvements should not severely impact the stability of the wetland resources in the study area.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION PLAN:

Most of the five unnamed tributaries of the Ohio River within the project limits are currently impacted by existing highway and/or railroad ditch lines and/or culverts. For the 1975 linear feet of the unnamed tributaries 1 through 5 of the Ohio River within the right of way, only 840 linear feet is considered not to be previously impacted. Of the 840 linear feet, 240 linear feet would not be impacted by the proposed project. Since proposed Activities #1 and #10 (See attached table entitled Detailed Permanent Impact Summary Table for Stream Impacts for details) would involve the replacement of an existing bridge and box culvert at their existing locations, the applicant has proposed to mitigate for the remaining 525 linear feet of currently un-impacted streams. To compensate for impacts to waters of the U.S., the applicant proposes to make payment to the West Virginia In-Lieu Fee Program. Based on the current In-Lieu Fee costs generated by the West Virginia Stream and Wetland Valuation Metric, Version 2.0 the applicant proposes to pay $227,218.58. To mitigate for the 0.68 acre of wetland impacts the applicant proposes to use available credits from the Wood County Mitigation Site located in the Sandy Creek embayment area on the Ohio River. The site is an approximately 34 acre site which the WVDOH purchased to use as compensatory mitigation for future impacts associated with highway construction. All temporary fill material would be removed from the impacted waters and returned to approximate original contours. 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 West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES:

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 West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

The National Register of Historic Places has been consulted and it has been determined there are no properties currently listed on the Register in the area affected by the proposed project. The Federal Highway Administration is the lead Federal agency for the project and therefore, has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act. A copy of this Public Notice will be sent to the State Historic Preservation Offices for their review. Comments concerning archeological sensitivity of a project area should be based upon collected data. ENDANGERED AND THREATENED SPECIES: The Huntington District has consulted the most recently available information and has determined the project is not likely to 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 u.s. Fish and Wildlife Service 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 COMMENT:

ENDANGERED AND THREATENED SPECIES: The Huntington District has consulted the most recently available information and has determined the project is not likely to 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 u.s. Fish and Wildlife Service 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).

Any person who has an interest that may be adversely affected by the issuance of a permit may request a public hearing. The request must be submitted in writing to the District Engineer on or before the expiration date of this notice and must clearly set forth the interest which may be adversely affected and the manner in which the interest may be adversely affected by the activity.

Interested parties are invited to state any objections they may have to the proposed work. The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact 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 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; 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. In addition, the evaluation of the impact of the activity on the public interest will include application of the guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency, under the authority of Section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act. 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.

The Corps of Engineers 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. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps of Engineers 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.

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 Sarah Workman, Project Manager, South Regulatory Section, CELRH-OR-FS, USACE Huntington District, 502 Eighth Street, Huntington, West Virginia 25701-2070. Please note names and addresses of those who submit comments 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 the above, please contact Sarah Workman of the South Regulatory Section at (304) 399-5710.

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 Sarah Workman, Project Manager, South Regulatory Section, CELRH-OR-FS, USACE Huntington District, 502 Eighth Street, Huntington, West Virginia 25701-2070. Please note names and addresses of those who submit comments 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 the above, please contact Sarah Workman of the South Regulatory Section at (304) 399-5710.

(W, Pitt)