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LRH-2012-311-GMR

Published Feb. 28, 2013
Expiration date: 3/29/2013

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The following application has been submitted for a Department of the Army Permit under the provisions ofSection 404 ofthe Clean Water Act and Section 10 ofthe Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. This notice serves as the United States Army Corps ofEngineers' (Corps) request to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to act on Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the following application.

APPLICANT:

Five Rivers MetroParks

409 E. Monument Ave., Third Floor

Dayton, Ohio 45402

LOCATION: The proposed project would be located in the Great Miami River (HUC 05080002), adjacent to the RiverScape MetroPark, between Monument Avenue and Riverside Drive, in the City of Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio. The project area encompasses approximately 3,650 linear feet (36.5 acres) ofthe Great Miami River and no wetlands are located within the project area. The project site is located at latitude 39.765 and longitude 84. 196. See the attached project site location (Figure 1 ).

DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK: The applicant proposes to discharge dredged or fill material and conduct work in waters of the United States to facilitate the construction ofa safe, river recreation area and restore aquatic habitat and flow diversity. To accomplish these objectives, the applicant proposes to: remove approximately 240 feet ofthe 472-foot long Monument A venue low dam; construct two (2) in-stream grade control structures; place large boulders along the toe ofthe bank access point to increase stability; prevent erosion: and improve access from RiverScape MetroPark to the Great Miami River. The proposal would include the permanent discharge ofapproximately 9,085 cubic yards offill/dredged material, including 12,435 square feet ofsheet piling, into 910 linear feet ofthe river and the excavation of approximately 3,732 cubic yards of material from below the ordinary high water elevation of the river. In addition, the proposal would include the temporary discharge ofapproximately 6,000 cubic yards of fill/dredged material into 2,740 linear feet ofthe river for the construction of temporary access and cofferdams to access and dewater the work areas during construction. The applicant indicates temporary fills would be removed and the area restored to pre-project conditions and elevations. The regulated impact associated with each activity ofthis proposal is summarized in Table 1. Plans ofthe proposal are attached to this notice (See Figures 2-15).

ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS: The applicant is required to show that no other less damaging practicable alternatives, which do not require the discharge of fill material into waters of the United States, are available that would achieve the overall project purpose. The applicant has submitted the required alternatives analysis and it is currently under review. A complete copy of the applicant's alternative analysis can be reviewed, by appointment, at the above address. No permit will be issued unless the alternatives 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 these sites. A total of approximately 3,650 linear feet (36.5 acres) ofriver, subject to Section 404 Clean Water Act regulation, exists on the project site. A voidance and minimization efforts were incorporated into the proposal. The proposed project has been designed to avoid permanent discharge offill or dredged material into approximately 2,740 linear feet ofthe river. The applicant proposes to isolate in-stream work areas and utilize appropriate sediment and erosion controls to minimize impacts during construction.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION PLAN (CMP): The applicant has indicated compensatory mitigation should not be required due to the nature ofthe proposed activities. The applicant indicates the project is self-mitigating because removal ofthe low dam would restore freeflowing conditions and restore passage for aquatic life in this portion ofthe river. In addition, the grade control structures would function similar to cross vanes to hold grade, reduce bank erosion, improve sediment transport capacity, and provide for habitat opportunities within the pore spaces of the structure. The applicant indicates the proposed in-stream structures would result in net increases in aquatic resource functions and services within this segment ofthe Great Miami River and proposes additional mitigation should not be required.

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, Division of Surface Water.

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 which would be indirectly or directly affected by the proposed work. The proposed project site is located in a previously channelized and disturbed urban river in the City of Dayton, Ohio and contains a low dam at Monument A venue, which was built in 1977 for the purpose of promoting river recreation. Additionally, the low dam is not part ofthe Miami Conservancy District's flood control system and is not associated with any buildings, mills, water treatment or power plants. In January 2013, the applicant conducted fieldwork for a phase I archaeological survey in response to a January 3, 2013 letter received from the Ohio Historic Preservation Office and prepared a report which was provided to the Corps for review. The survey report indicates that the fieldwork did not result in the identification ofany cultural resources and notes severe disturbances and flooding have impacted the area. Based upon a review of the applicant's Phase I Archaeological Survey for the Proposed Great Miami Low Dam Removal Project in the City of Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, the Corps has determined the proposed project would have no effect ofhistoric properties. A copy ofthis Public Notice and the survey report will be sent to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) for review. Comments concerning archaeological sensitivity ofthe project area should be based on collected data.

THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES: The proposed project is located within the known or historic range ofthe following endangered species: Indiana bat, Myotis soda/is; Rayed bean mussel, Vi/los a fabalis; and Snuffbox mussel, Epioblasma triquetra. The Corps has consulted the most recently available information and information provided by the applicant to make an effect determination.

The proposed project site is in a previously disturbed, historically channelized segment ofriver with banks contained within the Miami Conservancy District's levee system and located between two existing dam structures; therefore, the in-stream habitat consists ofa large pooled area lacking riffles, runs and swift currents which provide suitable habitat for the rayed bean and snuffbox mussels. In addition, the applicant provided information from previous mussel surveys conducted between 2007 and 2011 in the vicinity ofthe proposed project site and the rayed bean and snuffbox mussels were not found during any ofthese previous surveys. The riparian area at the proposed project site lacks trees and consists ofa grass lawn that is regularly maintained by mowing. The surrounding area beyond the levee is a highly developed urban area lacking suitable habitat trees or foraging areas for the Indiana bat.

Based on this information, the proposed project is not likely to adversely affect the continued existence ofany 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 United States 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) ofthe 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 ofthe 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) ofthe Clean Water Act (40 CFR part 230). The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation ofthe 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 ofimportant 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 ofthe 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 ofthe 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 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:

United States Army Corps of Engineers

ATTN: CELRH-RD-N

Public Notice No. LRH-2012-311-GMR

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 this Public Notice, please contact Laurie Moore ofthe North Branch, at 513-825-2752, by mail at the above address, or by email at laurie.a.moore@usace.army .mil.