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LRH 2012-368-OHR

Published Dec. 17, 2014
Expiration date: 1/15/2015

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 proposed project, referred to as BEL-70-14.45, PID 80599, is located along Interstate (I) 70 at the I-70/US Route (US) 40/State Route (SR) 331 interchange.  The proposed project has a center coordinate of 40.074 north latitude, 80.967 west longitude, in Richland Township, Belmont County, Ohio.  Waters of the United States (U.S.) within the project area include Pogue Run, an unnamed tributary to Pogue Run, Brush Run, seven unnamed tributaries to Brush Run, fifteen wetlands, and three jurisdictional ditches.

 

DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORKThe applicant proposes to discharge fill material into waters of the U.S. to reconfigure the I-70/US 40/SR 331 interchange, relocate the Hammond Road connection to SR 331, and widen US 40 and SR 331.  The applicant has indicated permanent discharges of fill would be necessary in Streams 1, 3, and 4; Wetlands A-D, I, and L; and Ditches 1 and 3 to construct culverts and roadway bed and embankment.

The applicant seeks authorization for their Minimal Degradation Alternative (MDA).  Under the MDA, the applicant proposes to discharge fill material into 247 linear feet of one perennial stream, 858 linear feet of two intermittent streams, 0.007 acre of two jurisdictional ditches, and 0.95 acre of six wetlands.  Please refer to the attached Tables 1 - 3 for a summary of discharges.  Plans of the proposal are attached to this notice.  

 

ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS: The applicant has submitted an alternatives analysis for review.  The alternatives include a Preferred Alternative (PA), MDA, and a Non-Degradation Alternative.  The MDA is described above.  The project layout of the PA would be similar to the MDA but would include pavement replacement along I-70, and widening and resurfacing of portions of US 40, Airport Road, and Hammond Road.  The discharge of fill material into waters of the U.S. under the PA would be increased from the MDA.  Under the PA, fill would be discharged into 1,520 linear feet (415 linear feet more than the MDA) of eight streams, 0.007 acre (same as MDA) of two jurisdictional ditches, and 1.3 acre (0.35 acre more than the MDA) of 12 wetlands.   All other discharges of fill material into waters of the U.S. under the PA would be the same as described under the Minimal Degradation Alternative.  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.  By appointment, a complete copy of the alternatives analysis can be reviewed at the address indicated above.

 

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION:  In evaluating a project area containing waters of the U.S., consideration must be given to avoiding waters of the U.S.  If 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 2,005 linear feet of perennial stream, 2,948 linear feet of intermittent stream, 471 linear feet of ephemeral stream, 2.76 acres of wetland, and 0.23 acre of jurisdictional ditches subject to Section 404 Clean Water Act regulation are present within the proposed project area. Avoidance and minimization efforts were incorporated into the proposal.  According to the applicant and as described above, alternative plans were considered. 

As described above, the initial PA design involved the discharge of fill into 1,520 linear feet stream, 0.007 acre of jurisdictional ditch, and 1.3 acres of wetland.  The discharges were minimized under the Minimal Degradation Alternative by eliminating plans to replace pavement along I-70, and widen and resurface portions of US 40, Airport Road, and Hammond Road.  The applicant has indicated further avoidance of waters of the U.S. is not practicable due to complex roadway design, traffic, and land use/right-of-way constraints involved with this project.

 

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION PLAN:  To compensate for the permanent discharge of fill material into 0.95 acre of wetland, the applicant proposes to deduct 1.85 acres of wetland mitigation credits from ODOT’s MAH-80 Pooled Mitigation Area in Mahoning County, Ohio.

To compensate for the discharge of fill material into 945 linear feet of stream, the applicant is exploring opportunities to secure 1,418 linear feet of stream mitigation credits within the Upper Ohio-Wheeling watershed (Hydrologic Unit Code 05030106), of which 70% (993 linear feet) would be preservation and 30% (425 linear feet) would be stream restoration. 

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.  Based on surveys and consultation conducted by the applicant, the following properties within the project area were recommended as eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP):  National Road Marker (BEL-933-7); Schaeffer/Campbell Covered Bridge (SFN 073363); County Tuberculosis Sanatorium (BEL-718-7); and, Twin Pines Motel (BEL-937-7).  Based on previous survey work and consultation, it was determined the US 40 Motel (BEL-935-7), located at 45930 National Road, is not eligible for inclusion on the NRHP.  The County Infirmary (BEL-672-7), located at 68323 Bannock Road, was not evaluated for National Register eligibility due to the limited scope of work associated with the property.  No other history/architecture properties were identified as eligible for inclusion on the NRHP within the area of potential effects.

On behalf of FHWA, the applicant determined the undertaking would have no adverse affect on historic properties.  On July 11, 2012 the Ohio History Connection concurred with the applicant’s determination.  In support of our 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 History Connection for 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) or proposed endangered (PE) species: Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) (E) and Northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) (PE)

The FHWA is responsible for compliance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.  On behalf of FHWA, the applicant determined the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Indiana bat or the northern long-eared bat.  By letter dated April 1, 2012 and email dated October 30, 213, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service concurred with this determination.  The applicant has agreed to conduct tree cutting operations during the Indiana bat and northern-long eared bat’s hibernation period (prior to April 1 and after September 30). 

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 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.  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.  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. 

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-2012-00368-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 Tim Long of the South/Transportation Branch, at (614) 692-4654, by mail at the above address, or by email at Timothy.M.Long@usace.army.mil.

Table 1

Proposed Discharges of Fill Material into Waters of the U.S. (Streams)

Ohio Department of Transportation

UNT to Brush Run – LRH-2012-00368-OHR

BEL-70-14.45, PID 80599

Waters ID

Plan Sheet Page

Flow Regime

Length/Acreage of Stream

Volume of Fill

(cubic yards)

Description of

Regulated Discharge

Stream 1

3, 4, 11

Intermittent

525 lf

(0.03 acre)

40 c.y.

Earthen Fill

Stream 3

2, 5

Perennial

247 lf

(0.03 acre)

104 c.y.

Concrete, Earthen Fill

Stream 4

14, 15, 16

Intermittent

333 lf

(0.01 acre)

6 c.y.

Concrete, Rock Channel Protection, Earthen Fill

Total Discharges Into Waters of U.S. (Streams)

1,105 lf

(0.07 acre)

150 c.y.

 

Table 2

Authorized Discharges of Fill Material into Waters of the U.S. (Ditches)

Ohio Department of Transportation

UNT to Brush Run – LRH-2012-00368-OHR

BEL-70-14.45, PID 80599

Waters ID

Plan Sheet Page

Flow Regime

Acreage of Jurisdictional Ditch

Volume

 of Fill

(cubic yards)

Description of Regulated Discharge

Ditch 1

3

Intermittent

0.001 acre

1 c.y.

Earthen Fill

Ditch 3

7, 9, 10

Intermittent

0.006 acre

3 c.y.

Earthen Fill

Total Discharges Into Waters of U.S. (Ditches)

0.007 acre

4 c.y.

 

Table 3

Authorized Discharges of Fill Material into Waters of the U.S. (Wetlands)

Ohio Department of Transportation

UNT to Brush Run – LRH-2012-00368-OHR

BEL-70-14.45, PID 80599

Waters ID

Plan Sheet Page

Cowardin Classification

Acreage of Wetland

Volume

 of Fill

(cubic yards)

Description of Regulated Discharge

Wetland A

2

PEM/PSS

0.17 acre

125 c.y.

Earthen Fill

Wetland B

4, 5

PEM

0.10 acre

55 c.y.

Earthen Fill

Wetland C

3, 11

PEM

0.04 acre

6 c.y.

Earthen Fill

Wetland D

3, 4, 6

PEM

0.03 acre

16 c.y.

Earthen Fill

Wetland I

8, 9

PEM

0.36 acre

580 c.y.

Earthen Fill

Wetland L

12, 13

PEM/PSS

0.25 acre

300 c.y.

Earthen Fill

Total Discharges Into Waters of U.S. (Wetlands)

0.95 acre

1,082 c.y.