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.
APPLICANT: Ohio Power Company
1 Riverside Plaza
Columbus, Ohio 43215
LOCATION: The proposed project would be located along the right descending bank of the Ohio River between river miles 257.8 and 259 downstream of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, near Cheshire, in Gallia County, Ohio (See Sheet 1 of 2).
PROJECT HISTORY: Through Department of the Army Standard Permit No. 11.171, issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) on March 25, 1991 and renewed by a Letter of Permission (LOP) issued by the Corps on January 8, 2002, the applicant was granted authorization to perform maintenance dredging, as necessary, along the right descending bank of the Ohio River, 258.2 miles downstream of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK: Ohio Power Company proposes to dredge an area 6,000 feet in length parallel to the shoreline not to exceed 200 feet riverward of the shoreline at the normal pool elevation of 538.0 feet. Approximately 500 – 1,000 cubic yards of material would be removed to a depth 11 feet below the normal pool elevation using a barge-mounted crane with a clamshell bucket (See Sheet 2 of 2). The purpose of the proposed maintenance dredging is to maintain a minimum draft of 11 feet for the operation of tow boats and the mooring of barges for the unloading of coal and lime at the Gavin Power Plant. Dredged material would be permanently disposed of in an off-site upland area in a manner to prevent its reentry into waters of the United States. The proposed disposal area is located at the McGinnis, Inc. upland disposal site along the left descending bank of the Big Sandy River near the junction of State Route 23, Louisa Road, with County Road 757, Whites Creek Road.
The applicant would be required to notify this office prior to the commencement of any dredging activities to allow a “Notice to Navigation” to be provided to the appropriate navigation interests. The proposed work would be authorized for a period of ten (10) years.
AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION: Avoidance and minimization efforts were incorporated into the proposal. The proposed dredging is limited to areas where accumulated material impedes access. Dredged material would be disposed transported to an upland disposal area as mentioned above.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION PLAN: The applicant has indicated compensatory mitigation should not be required due to the nature of the proposed activities. Accumulated materials have been dredged from the project area for many years and there would be no loss of 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. In a letter dated March 22, 1991 on the original project authorized by the Corps in 1991, the Ohio Historic Preservation Office stated no historic properties are known to exist in the project area and based upon the location of the project it is unlikely undisturbed archaeological remains exist in the project area. The Corps has determined the proposed project has no potential to affect historic properties. 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 proposed project is located within the known or historic range of the following threatened (T) or endangered (E) species:
Indiana bat (E), Myotis sodalis
fanshell mussel (E), Cyprogenia stegaria
pink mucket pearly mussel (E), Lampsilis abrupta
sheepnose mussel (E), Plethobasus cyphyus
snuffbox mussel (E), Epioblasma triquetra
The Corps has consulted the most recently available information and information provided by the applicant and has determined the proposed project does not provide suitable habitat for the Indiana bat. Due to previous maintenance dredging activity and barge traffic associated with operation of the Ohio Power Company Gavin Plant, the proposed project site does not contain suitable habitat for the Indiana bat, fanshell mussel, pink mucket mussel, sheepnose mussel, and snuffbox mussel. The proposed project would have no effect on any of the aforementioned endangered or threatened 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
Public Notice No. LRH-2013-583-OHR-Ohio River MP 257.8-259
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 Kayla Adkins of the North Branch, at 304-399-5210, by mail at the above address, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.