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LRH 2013-599-OHR

Published May 27, 2014
Expiration date: 6/26/2014

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

 

APPLICANT:  Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)

1980 West Broad Street, Mail Stop 4170

Columbus, Ohio 43223

           

LOCATION:  The applicant has submitted a proposal for the realignment of 0.70-mile of State Route (SR) 821, approximately one mile north of the SR 821/Interstate 77 interchange in Muskingum Township, Washington County, Ohio.  Termini of the proposed alignment are as follows:

 

North terminus:   Latitude 39.50012 North and Longitude 81.43658 West

South terminus:   Latitude 39.49503 North and Longitude 81.44254 West

 

Waters of the United States (U.S.) within the project area include approximately 2,160 linear feet of seven (7) unnamed tributaries to New Year’s Creek and 0.064-acre of two adjacent wetlands.  The seven (7) unnamed tributaries are indirect tributaries to Duck Creek, a traditional navigable water (TNW).

 

DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant has indicated that above normal precipitation during the spring of 2011 created a landslide that requires the realignment of SR 821 to achieve a more stable roadway and maintain current safety standards.  The applicant proposes to shift SR 821 a maximum distance of 100 feet southeast from the current centerline into a forested hillside.  The applicant has indicated discharges of fill material into seven (7) streams two (2) wetlands are necessary to construct new roadway embankment and to install culverts to maintain stream flow, where appropriate.  This proposal consists of multiple single and complete projects, which the Corps intends to review under one permit evaluation.

The applicant proposes to discharge 190.9 cubic yards of fill material into approximately 2,160 linear feet (0.21-acre) of streams, and 103.3 cubic yards of fill material into 0.064-acre of wetlands.  See the attached Tables 1-2 for summaries of proposed discharges.  Maps of the proposal are also attached to this Public Notice.

 

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 special aquatic sites, are available that would achieve the overall project purpose.  No permit will be issued until the alternatives analysis clearly shows that practicable alternatives that do not require the discharge of fill material into waters of the U.S. are not available to achieve the overall 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 Minimal Degradation Alternative is described above.  The discharges of fill material into waters of the U.S. under the Preferred Alternative would result in the loss of an additional 95 linear feet of stream.  Discharges of fill material into wetlands would remain unchanged. 

The Non-Degradation Alternative is a “no build” alternative.  Under the Non-Degradation Alternative, no discharge of fill material into waters of the U.S. would occur.  The applicant has indicated the Non-Degradation Alternative would not meet the project purpose.  A complete copy of the alternatives analysis can be reviewed, by appointment, at the location described at the beginning of this Public Notice.  

 

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION:  If a project area includes waters of the U.S., consideration must be given to avoidance of discharge of fill material into waters of the U.S.  If discharges of fill material into waters of the U.S. cannot be avoided, the discharge of fill material into waters of the U.S. must be minimized.  A total of approximately 200 linear feet of intermittent stream, 1,960 linear feet of ephemeral streams, and 0.064-acre of wetlands subject to Corps jurisdiction exist within the alignment for the Minimal Degradation Alternative.  According to the applicant, alternatives were considered as described above, and avoidance and minimization efforts were incorporated into this proposal.

The Minimal Degradation Alternative would avoid the discharge of fill material into approximately 95 linear feet of stream by reducing the areal footprint of the project.  If a permit were issued, minimization of adverse effects to aquatic resources would be achieved through adherence to the applicant’s Construction and Material Specifications and the implementation of construction Best Management Practices for sediment and erosion control.  Such measures may include the installation of silt barriers, silt fence, and ditch checks appropriately placed prior to construction.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION PLAN:  To compensate for the discharge of fill material into approximately 2,160 linear feet of streams within the Little Muskingum-Middle Island watershed (Hydrologic Unit Code [HUC] 05030201), the applicant proposes to deduct 3,240 linear feet of stream mitigation preservation credit at the ODOT Consolidated Stream Mitigation Site on the former Sunday Creek Coal Company property within the Hocking River (HUC 05030204) watershed in Athens County, Ohio.  The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is the third party easement holder for long-term protection.

To compensate for the discharge of fill material into 0.064-acre of wetlands within the Little Muskingum-Middle Island watershed (HUC 05030201), the applicant proposes to deduct 0.096-acre of wetland mitigation credit at the Meigs County Fairgrounds Wetland Mitigation Area in Meigs County, Ohio.  The mitigation wetlands are located within the Upper Ohio-Shade watershed (HUC 05030202).  ODOT owns and manages the Meigs County Fairgrounds Wetland Mitigation Area, and a perpetual restrictive covenant is in place.

The applicant’s proposed compensatory mitigation plan is open to comment and is subject to change based on comments received.  After review of all submitted information, the Corps will make a determination of appropriate mitigation, in the event a decision is made to issue a permit.

 

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.

 

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES:  The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is the lead Federal agency for this project and is responsible for compliance with the Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.  The applicant determined, on behalf of FHWA, the subject undertaking would have no adverse effect on any historic property.

In support of an independent permit decision, the Corps intends to rely upon the information collected and the consultation performed on behalf of FHWA regarding the effects to historic properties.  A copy of this Public Notice will be sent to the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office for their review.  Comments concerning archaeological sensitivity of a project area should be based upon collected data.

THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES:  The proposed project is located within the known or historic range of the following endangered (E), proposed endangered (PE), or threatened (T) species:

 

·       Fanshell mussel (Cyprogenia stegaria) (E)

·       Pink mucket pearly mussel (Lampsilis abrupta) (E)

·       Sheepnose mussel (Plethobasus cyphyus) (E)

·       Snuffbox mussel (Epioblasma triquetra) (E)

·       Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) (E)

·       Northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) (PE)

 

The FHWA is responsible for compliance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.  The applicant determined the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Indiana bat.  By letter dated October 21, 2013, United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) concurred with this determination.  By e-mail to the applicant dated January 3, 2014, the USFWS determined the project, as proposed, is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the Northern long-eared bat.  The applicant has agreed to conduct tree cutting during the hibernation period for federally listed bat species (prior to April 1 and after September 30).  The applicant has determined the project would not affect federally listed mussels or their habitats. 

In support of our independent permit decision, the Corps intends to rely upon the information collected by or on behalf of the FHWA, and consultation performed by or on behalf of FHWA, regarding the effects to threatened or endangered species.

 

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.  Our evaluation will also follow the guidelines published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to Section 404(b) (1) of the Clean Water Act (40 CFR part 230).  The decision 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.  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 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. The comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.  The 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. 

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-2013-00599-OHR

Building 10 / Section 10

PO Box 3990

Columbus, OH 43218-3990

 

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, may be 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 Brett Latta of the South/Transportation Branch, at (614) 692-4654, by mail at the above address, or by email at Brett.C.Latta@usace.army.mil.

 

                                                                                        Table 1.  Proposed Stream Discharges

                                                                                    WAS-821-3.68, PID 91295 (LRH 2013-599-OHR)

Single and Complete Project ID #

Public Notice

Plan Sheet Page(s)

Aquatic Resource ID #

Description of Discharge

Total Length in

Single and Complete Project Area

Flow Regime1

Temporary Discharge

Below Ordinary High

Water Mark (OHWM)

Total Permanent Discharge

Below OHWM

Length (LF)

Area (AC)

Volume (CY)

Length (LF)

Area (AC)

Volume (CY)

1

3

Stream 1

Culvert / Fill

200

I

0

0.00

0.0

200

0.140

44.4

2

4

Stream 2

Fill

230

E

0

0.00

0.0

230

0.005

8.5

3

4

Stream 3

Erosion Control / Fill

400

E

0

0.00

0.0

400

0.027

66.7

3

4

Stream 4

Fill

150

E

0

0.00

0.0

150

0.003

5.6

3

4

Stream 5

Fill

40

E

0

0.00

0.0

40

0.001

1.5

4

5-6

Stream 6

Fill

970

E

0

0.00

0.0

970

0.020

35.9

4

6

Stream 7

Culvert / Fill

170

E

0

0.00

0.0

170

0.011

28.3

Totals

N/A

2,160

N/A

0

0.00

0.0

2,160

0.207

190.9

 LF = linear feet; AC = acre; CY = cubic yards

1 E – Ephemeral (1,960 feet), I – Intermittent (200 feet)

 

 

                                                                                                            Table 2.  Proposed Wetland Discharges

                                                                                                        WAS-821-3.68, PID 91295 (LRH 2013-599-OHR)

Wetlands

Total Permanent Discharge

Single and Complete Project ID #

Public Notice

Plan Sheet Page(s)

Aquatic

Resource ID

Description

of Discharge

Total Acreage Within Single

and Complete

Project Area

Wetland Type

Area (AC)

Volume (CY)

3

4

Wetland 1

Fill

0.007

PEM

0.007

11.3

3

4

Wetland 2

Fill

0.057

PEM

0.057

92.0

TOTALS

N/A

0.064

N/A

0.064

103.3

AC = acre; CY = cubic yards