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LRH 2014-752-SCR

Published Oct. 31, 2014
Expiration date: 12/1/2014

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The following application has been submitted for a Department of the Army (DA) 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 (OEPA) to act on the Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the following application.

 

APPLICANT:             Mr. Rob Hartman

                                    Ohio Christian University

                                    1476 Lancaster Pike

                                    Circleville, Ohio 43113

 

LOCATION:  As depicted on the attached Sheet 1 of 6, the proposed project would be located within the watershed of an unnamed tributary to Hargus Creek (Latitude 39.610236N, Longitude 82.90461W) at 1476 Lancaster Pike in the Washington Township, Pickaway County, Ohio.  The proposed discharges of dredged and/or fill material would take place within an unnamed tributary to Hargus Creek.  Hargus Creek is a direct tributary of the Scioto River, a traditional navigable water of the United States.     

DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant has requested a DA authorization to discharge dredged and/or fill material into approximately 656 linear feet of perennial stream in association with the expansion of the Ohio Christian University campus (see attached Sheets 2-4 of 6).  The development plan would involve the construction of an auditorium and two parking lots.  Prior to the discharge of dredged and/or fill material into the on-site stream, flows would be diverted into approximately 485 linear feet of newly constructed channel proposed to be established on-site south of the existing stream channel.  The plans (Sheets 1-6) for the proposed project are attached to this notice. 

ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS:  A total of approximately 656 linear feet of perennial stream would be filled as a result of the proposal.  The applicant has submitted the required alternatives analysis and it is currently under review.  A complete copy of the applicant’s alternatives analysis can be reviewed by appointment at the above address.  No permit will be issued until our office determines practicable upland alternatives are not available to achieve the overall project purpose based upon the applicant’s alternative analysis. 

 

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION:  In evaluating a project area containing waters of the United States, consideration must be given to avoiding impacts on these sites.  If waters of the United States cannot be avoided, then the impacts must be minimized.  Approximately 1,185 linear feet of perennial stream is located within the proposed project area.  Avoidance and minimization efforts were incorporated into the proposal to reduce the footprint of the proposed project.  The applicant’s project would avoid 528 linear feet (45%) of the on-site perennial stream.  Stormwater management planning would incorporate best management practices and water pollution controls necessary to maintain compliance with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and Ohio Water Pollution Control Act.  Construction activities would be performed during low flow stream conditions.  The applicant has obtained a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.  All disturbed areas would be seeded and/or revegetated with native plant species and native seed mixes after completion of construction activities. 

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION PLAN:  The applicant has indicated the loss of waters of the United States associated with the proposed project would be offset by preserving 700 linear feet of Hargus Creek and a 100 foot buffer zone.  The preserved channel would be protected in perpetuity via an environmental covenant.   Sheets 5 and 6 depict the location of the proposed mitigation site.

WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: A Section 401 Water Quality Certification will be required for this project.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain certification from the OEPA. 

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES: The National Register of Historic Places has been consulted and it has been determined there are no properties currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places that would be indirectly or directly affected by the proposed work.  The project area has been used as part of the university campus, including parking, driveways and greenspace, since the 1950’s.  Only one building, which was constructed in 1968, exists within the potentially affected area.  Prior to this the area, was primarily used for agriculture production.  We have determined the proposed project would have no effect on historic properties.  A copy of this public notice will be furnished to the Ohio 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 endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), the proposed endangered northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), the endangered Scioto madtom (Noturus trautmani), the endangered clubshell mussel (Pleurobema clava), the endangered northern riffleshell mussel (Epioblasma torulosa rangiana), the endangered rayed bean mussel (Villosa fabalis), the endangered snuffbox mussel (Epioblasma triquetra), and the threatened rabbitsfoot mussel (Quadrula cylindrica).  The on-site perennial stream is moderately developed and its riparian vegetation is mowed lawn.   No suitable habitat is present within the proposed project area for the above-mentioned endangered, threatened or proposed endangered species.  We have determined the proposed project would have no effect on federally-protected species.  This Public Notice serves as a request for concurrence from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service with the aforementioned effect determinations and 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.  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 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 the protection and the 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; 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, the Federal, state, and local agencies and officials, the 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 Teresa Spagna of the North Branch at teresa.d.spagna@usace.army.mil or at the following address:

 

                                                United States Army Corps of Engineers

                                                ATTN: CELRH-RD-N

                                                Public Notice No. LRH-2014-752-SCR

                                                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 Teresa Spagna of the North Branch at (304) 399-5210, by mail at the above address, or by email at: teresa.d.spagna@usace.army.mil.