TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The following application has been submitted for a Department of the Army Permit under the provisions of Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and Section 404 ofthe Clean Water Act (CWA). This notice serves as the United States (U.S.) Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) request to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to act on Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the following application:
Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)
1980 West Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43223
LOCATION: The ATB-90-13.60, PID 77256 project is located at the Interstate 90 (I-90) and State Route (SR) 11 interchange in Plymouth Township in Ashtabula County. The project area contains a portion of Coffee Creek; and 2 abutting and 2 adjacent wetlands. Coffee Creek is a direct tributary to the Grand River, a traditionally navigable water of the United States.
North terminus: Latitude 41.865454 North and Longitude 80.765294 West
South terminus: Latitude 41.821255 North and Longitude 80.764661 West
Nearby towns include Ashtabula to the north and Jefferson to the south.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The applicant proposes to reconfigure the ramps from eastbound I-90 to southbound SR 11 and from northbound SR 11 to eastbound I-90. The project would eliminate the current restrictive 90-degree turns onto the ramps. Carson Road would be permanently closed under I-90. The existing I-90 bridges over Carson Road would be removed and replaced with roadway embankment. The proposed work would involve the permanent discharge of approximately 97 cubic yards of fill material into 0.02 acre (70 linear feet) of Coffee Creek; and 3,056 cubic yards of fill material into 1.894 acres of four emergent wetlands. The proposed impacts from the discharge of fill material into waters of the U.S. are detailed on the tables and maps attached to this Public Notice.
ALTERNATIVE ANALYSIS: The project does not require access to or siting within a special aquatic site to fulfill its basic purpose and is considered a non-water dependent activity. The CWA Section 404(b )(1) Guidelines state for non-water dependent activities, practicable alternatives that do not involve special aquatic sites are presumed to be available unless clearly demonstrated otherwise. Therefore, the applicant is required to provide an alternatives analysis which must overcome that presumption prior to receiving authorization for the discharge of fill material in waters of the U.S. No permit will be issued until our review of the alternative analysis clearly shows upland alternatives are not available to achieve the project purpose.
The applicant has submitted an alternatives analysis for review. The alternatives include a Preferred Alternative, a Minimal Degradation Alternative, and a Non-Degradation Alternative.
The applicant seeks authorization for the Preferred Alternative which would permanently impact 1.894 acres of four wetlands and 0.02 acre (70 linear feet) of Coffee Creek. Impacts from the discharge of fill material for this project would result from a culvert extension and roadway fill.
The Minimal Degradation Alternative would permanently impact 1.034 acres of 4 wetlands and 0.02 acre (70 linear feet) of Coffee Creek. Impacts from the discharge of fill material into waters of the U.S. under the Minimal Degradation Alternative would be reduced from the Preferred Alternative by avoiding 0.86 acres ofWetland 53001. This would be accomplished by shifting the southbound SR 11 lanes approximately eight feet east towards the median.
Under the Non-Degradation Alternative, no impacts to waters of the United States would occur because the project would not be constructed which would not bring the roadway into compliance with current safety standards.
AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION: The applicant has indicated that practical measures to avoid and minimize impacts to waters of the U.S. were considered and implemented during the project development process. Such measures included shifting the roadway alignment away from the four wetlands or using retaining walls or other structures to avoid the wetlands.
However, shifting the roadway alignment would result in greater impacts to Coffee Creek and require additional rights-of-way from adjacent property owners. The use of retaining walls or other structures would increase project cost and maintenance responsibilities. For these reasons, the applicant determined that shifting the roadway completely from the wetlands was not practicable.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION PLAN: To compensate for 1.894 acres of wetland impacts from the discharge of fill material, the applicant proposed to deduct 0.2 acres of purchased credits from the Trumbull Creek Mitigation Bank in Trumbull County, 1.029 acres of purchased credits from the Cherry Valley Mitigation Bank in Ashtabula County, and 3.41 7 acres of credit from ODOT's MAH-80 Pooled Wetland Mitigation Area in Mahoning County.
To compensate for 70 linear feet of impacts from the discharge of fill material into Coffee Creek, the applicant has proposed to deduct 105 linear feet of stream mitigation credit from the ODOT's Groves Woods Pooled Mitigation Area in Trumbull County.
WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: A Section 401 Water Quality Certification is required for this project. It is the applicant's responsibility to obtain the certification from the Ohio EPA.
HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is the lead Federal agency for this project and is responsible for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Section 106 ofthe National Historic Preservation Act. A copy of this Public Notice will be sent to the Ohio Historic Preservation Office for review. Comments concerning archaeological sensitivity of a project area should be based upon collected data.
ENDANGERED/THREATENED SPECIES REVIEW: The project is located within the known or historic range of the following Federally-listed endangered (E), proposed endangered (PE), or threatened (T) species:
Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis)
Snuffbox mussel (Epioblasma triquetra)
Kirtland's warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii)
Clubshell mussel (Pleurobema clava)
Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus)
FHW A is responsible for compliance with NEP A and Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This Public Notice serves as a request to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for any 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) ofthe ESA of 1972 (as amended).
PUBLIC INTEREST REVIEW AND COMMENT: 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. This application will be reviewed in accordance with 33 CFR 320-332, the Corps Regulatory Program, and other pertinent laws, regulations, and executive orders. Our evaluation will also follow the guidelines published by the USEP A pursuant to Section 404(b) (1) ofthe CWA. 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. 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.
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 comments received will be considered 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 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:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District
ATTN: CELRH-RD-S-OT Public Notice No. LRH-2008-00045-GRA
3990 East Broad Street Building 10, Section 10
Columbus, Ohio 43218-3990
Please note, the 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 waterresources. If you have any questions concerning this Public Notice, please contact Tim Long of the Ohio Regulatory Transportation Office at Timothy.M.Long@usace.army.mil or (614) 692-4654.