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LRH-2012-448-SCR

Published March 12, 2013
Expiration date: 4/10/2013

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:  The following application has been submitted for a Department of the Army Permit (DA) under the provisions of Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. 

 

APPLICANT:                City of Columbus

                                    Department of Recreation and Parks

                                    1111 E. Broad Street

                                    Suite 103

                                    Columbus, Ohio  43015

LOCATION:  As depicted on the attached Figure 1, the proposed project would be located along the left descending bank of the Scioto River, approximately 132.5 miles upstream of its confluence with the Ohio River, in the City of Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio.  The project site is located at Latitude 39° 57’ 51.00” and Longitude -83° 0’ 40.77”

DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant proposes to temporarily install eight (8) steel rod cow structures within the Scioto River as part of Columbus Public Art program “Finding Time” from Spring 2013 through the Fall of 2013 (See Figure 2).  The cow structures would be installed approximately 20 feet riverward from the normal pool shoreline and would be temporarily anchored to the river bottom.  Each cow structure would be mounted on a floating 20 foot x 20 foot galvanized pipe and plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) platform and anchored using four (4) 30 pound marble weights.  Each platform would be buoyed so they float using sealed plastic buckets at the perimeter of each structure to alert boaters of the submerged platform.  The cow structures would be covered with red plastic tubing for increased visibility during the day and reflective tape and motion sensitive solar lights to increase visibility at night.  Plans of the work are attached to this notice.

 

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION:  Avoidance and minimization efforts were incorporated into the proposal.  The applicant originally submitted plans for the structures to be installed in the center of the Scioto River.  After several discussions with our office and the United States Coast Guard (USCG), alternative plans were submitted proposing the installation of the temporary cow structures along the left descending bank of the Scioto River.  The proposed project would not result in a discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States.

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 Corps has determined the proposed project has no potential to affect any property eligible or potentially eligible for listing on the NRHP.  The project site is of a limited nature and scope and there is little likelihood of affecting a historic property, even if such property existed.  A copy of this Public Notice will be sent to the State Historic Preservation Office for their review.  Comments concerning archaeological sensitivity of the project area should be based on 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); Scioto madtom (Noturus trautmani); clubshell mussel (Pleurobema clava); northern riffleshell mussel (Epioblasma torulosa rangiana); rayed bean mussel (Villosa 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 would have no effect on the Indiana bat or Scioto madtom.  The proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the listed mussel species.  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 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) of the 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 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.

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-2012-448-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 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 Ms. Lee A. Robinette of the North Branch at 304-399-5210, by mail at the above address, or by email at lee.a.pittman@usace.army.mil.