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LRH-2010-549-SCR

Published Nov. 19, 2012
Expiration date: 12/18/2012

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The following application has been submitted for a Department of the Army Permit (DA) under the provisions of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

APPLICANT: New Albany Company 8000 Walton Parkway New Albany, Ohio 43054

LOCATION: As depicted on the attached Figures 1 and 2, the proposed project would be located (Latitude 40° 5' 19.46", Longitude -82° 44' 52.64") in Haines Ditch and adjacent wetlands to Haines Ditch north of State Route 161 and east ofBeech Road in the Village ofNew Albany, Licking County, Ohio.

PROJECT HISTORY: The "Waters of the United States" delineation for the 332 acre project area was previously verified as part of a larger 440 acre site by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) by letter dated May 25, 2011. That letter also authorized the discharge of dredged and/or fill material into 0.46 acre of wetlands (Wetlands A, D & E) under Nationwide Permit Number 39, described in the 12 March 2007 Federal Register, Notice ofReissuance of Nationwide Permits (72 FR 11092 ), for the construction of an internal loop road (Smiths Mill Road) and underground utilities as part of Phase I of a business campus. The original design of this facility included two independent construction phases. To compensate for the loss of waters of the United States as a result of Phase I, the applicant proposed the restoration of 0.92 acre of wetland at the Abercrombie & Fitch-Blacklick Campus mitigation (A&F) site proposed southeast of State Route 161 and east ofBeech Road in the Village ofNew Albany, Jersey Township, Licking County, Ohio. Phase I was expected to take between three (3) and five (5) years. However, the applicant is nearing Phase I completion one year after construction began.

DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK: The applicant proposes to discharge approximately 5,800 cubic yards offill material into 1.59 acres ofwetlands and 1,339linear feet of Haines Ditch in association with Phase II of the business campus now referred to as the Beach Road East-Northeast site. An additional fifteen (15) buildings (2,089,756 square feet), two (2) water towers, loading docks, associated parking, stormwater ponds and associated infrastructure are proposed for Phase II (See attached Figures 3a & 3b ). Plans of the work are attached to this notice.

ALTERNATIVE ANALYSIS: A total of2.05 acres of wetlands would be filled as a result of the overall proposal. The project does not require access or proximity to or siting within the wetlands to fulfill its basic purpose and is considered a non-water dependent activity. The Section 404(b )(1) Guidelines state that for non-water dependent activities in special aquatic sites, practicable alternatives that do not involve wetlands are presumed to be available, unless clearly demonstrated otherwise. The applicant is required to provide an alternative analysis that must overcome that presumption prior to receiving authorization for the discharge of fill material into the wetlands. The applicant has submitted the required alternatives analysis. No permit will be issued until our review of the alternatives analysis clearly shows that upland alternatives are not available to achieve the project purpose.

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION: In evaluating a project area containing waters ofthe United States, consideration must be given to avoiding impacts on this site. If waters ofthe United States cannot be avoided, impacts must be minimized. A voidance and minimization efforts were incorporated into the proposal. A total of 1 ,3 3 9 linear feet of one ( 1) perennial stream (Haines Ditch) and eleven (11) wetlands totaling 7.78 acres, subject to Section 404 Clean Water Act regulation, exist on the project site. According to the applicant, alternative plans were considered. The proposed project has been designed to completely avoid impacts to the remaining 6.19 acres of wetlands on-site. The applicant is proposing to preserve in perpetuity 6.19 acres ofwetlands along with 7.53 acre ofupland buffer. The applicant would be required to obtain stormwater permits and implement stormwater protection plans as needed for site construction following the requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION PLAN: The applicant has submitted a conceptual mitigation plan to compensate for the proposed loss of waters of the United States. The applicant proposes to offset all impacts to waters of the United States for Phases I and II of the business campus by constructing an 8.71 acre pooled wetland mitigation site at the A&F site (See attached Table 1 and Figures 1 & 6). The applicant proposes to compensate for the loss of 1,339 linear feet of Haines Ditch through the restoration of approximately 2,663 linear feet of Rose Run and 958 linear feet of an unnamed headwater tributary to Rose Run located approximately 2.5 mile southeast of the project site (See attached Figures 1, 4 & 5). Features of the stream restoration would include: excavation of a floodplain bench along the majority of the Rose Run mainstem to decrease the effects of historic channelization and entrenchment; and construction of three grade control riffles in the headwater tributary to prevent the stream from headcutting and becoming entrenched. In addition, an 8.3 acre buffer area would be managed for invasive species control and enhanced with native plantings. The restored channels and buffer would be preserved within a 100 foot wide riparian corridor through a conservation easement. A final mitigation plan, once it has been submitted, will be available for review.

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 Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

A Section 401 Water Quality Certification is required for this project. It is the applicant's responsibility to obtain certification from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES: The National Register ofHistoric Places (NRHP) has been consulted and it has been determined there are no properties currently listed on the NRHP which would be indirectly or directly affected by the proposed work. Portions of the property were previously surveyed in association with Phase I of the proposed development. A Phase I Cultural Resources Survey has been performed by the applicant for the undeveloped portions of the property. In addition, a Cultural Resources Literature Review was completed by the applicant for the proposed wetland mitigation site. Our office is currently reviewing these surveys. A copy of this public notice, the Phase I Cultural Resources Survey and the Cultural Resources Literature Review will be furnished to the State Historic Preservation Office for their review and comment. Comments concerning archeological sensitivity of the area should be based upon collected data.

THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES: The project is located within the known or historic range of the following endangered species: Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis). The Corps has consulted the most recently available information and based on the proposed implementation of the seasonal cutting restrictions as stated in the letter dated March 6, 2012 between EMH&T (New Albany Company's Consultant) and the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Indiana bat. 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 to the USFWS 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 CPR 320-332, the Regulatory Program of the Corps, and other pertinent laws, regulations, and executive orders. 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 benefit which 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. 

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 ofthis 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 No. LRH-2010-549-SCR-Scioto River

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 oflnformation Act. Thank you for your interest in our nation's water resources. If you have any questions concerning this Public Notice, Ms. Lee A. Pittman of the North Branch at 304-399-5210. (