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LRH 2014-1030-GMR

Published April 7, 2015
Expiration date: 5/6/2015

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. Walt Minch

                                    Centerville Development Group, LLC

                                    7196 County Road 66A

                                    New Bremen, Ohio 45869

 

LOCATION:  As depicted on the attached Sheets (see attached Sheets 1-6 of 9), the proposed project would be located within the watershed of Holes Creek (Latitude 39.2054, Longitude 84.5905), on the west side of Yankee Street in Washington Township, Montgomery County, Ohio.  The proposed discharges of dredged and/or fill material would take place within eight wetlands that demonstrate a hydrologic connection to the tributary system of Holes Creek.  Holes Creek is a tributary to the Great Miami River, a traditional navigable water of the United States.     

 

DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant has requested a DA authorization to discharge 5,170 cubic yards of dredged and/or fill material into approximately 4.46 acres of eight wetlands in association with the construction of the Washington Glen Residential Development Project (see attached Sheets 7-8 of 9).  The proposed development would consist of 261 single family homes with associated roadways, utilities, and stormwater management systems. 

These wetlands would be affected by the discharge of dredged and/or fill material associated with the initial grading of the property to prepare the site for the construction of homes, roadways, and the other attendant features.  The plans (see attached Sheet 9) for the proposed project are attached to this notice.

 

ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS:  A total of approximately 4.46 acres of eight Wetlands (Wetlands A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H) would be filled as a result of the proposal.  The project does not require access or proximity to, or sitting within, the wetlands to fulfill its basic purpose and is considered a non-water dependent activity.  The Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines state for non-water dependent activities, practicable alternatives that do not involve wetlands are presumed to be available, unless clearly demonstrated otherwise.  The applicant is required to provide an alternatives analysis that must overcome this presumption prior to receiving authorization for the discharge of dredge and/or fill material.  The applicant has submitted an 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 4.46 acres of wetlands and 460 linear feet (0.03 acre) of intermittent streams are 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 all of the on-site intermittent streams.  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.  Stormwater management and erosion control systems would be implemented during construction, including silt fences, mulch and/or earthen berms, temporary seeding, hay bales, inlet protection, temporary collection basins, diversion ditches, and construction entrances.  Stormwater generated during the construction phases of the proposed project would be directed to a series of temporary on-site sedimentation basins.  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:  To compensate for the losses of waters of the United States associated with the proposed project, the applicant proposes to pay into an established mitigation bank or in-lieu fee program for the loss of 4.46 acres of wetlands.

WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: A Section 401 Water Quality Certification may 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 (NRHP) has been consulted and it has been determined there are no properties currently listed on the NRHP that would be indirectly or directly affected by the proposed work.  Additional resources were reviewed including the Ohio Archaeological Inventory, the Ohio Historic Inventory, recorded cemeteries, county atlases/maps, county histories, and Cultural Resource Management survey files.  No previously recorded archaeological or historic sites are located within the proposed project site.  No historic buildings are located within the proposed project site.  No historic significance was noted associated with the owners of the land denoted on the historic atlases.  The majority of the project area has been used as agricultural land, except for the southern portion of the irregular shaped property.  The Corps has determined the proposed project would have no effect on historic properties eligible or potentially eligible for inclusion on the NRHP.  A copy of this public notice will be furnished to Ohio 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 endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), proposed endangered northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), endangered rayed bean mussel (Villosa fabailis), and endangered snuffbox mussel (Epioblasma triquetra).

The proposed project would not directly impact any of the habitat types for the aforementioned mussels.  As indicated above, the applicant would use best management practices and implement a storm water pollution prevention plan for the site.  We have determined the proposed project would have no effect on the aforementioned mussels. 

The majority of the 84-acre property consists of active agricultural fields.  The remainder of the property consists of uncultivated area between agricultural fields, and a large 17-acre undeveloped area in the southwestern portion of the property.  The uncultivated areas and the 17-acre undeveloped area were evaluated for the presence of trees that offer Indiana bat and northern long-eared bat habitat.  The applicant indicated these areas contain some amount of larger trees, some of which are dead/dying and contain peeling bark. Furthermore, the presence of shagbark hickory trees was also found within these areas.   The uncultivated and undeveloped areas within the property would be cleared to accommodate the proposed development.   The applicant has agreed to conduct tree clearing operations prior to April 1 and after September 1 to minimize effects on the Indiana bat and the northern long-eared bat.  We have determined the proposed project may affect, but would not likely adversely affect either the Indiana bat or the northern long-eared bat. 

Based on this information, the 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 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:

 

                                                United States Army Corps of Engineers

                                                ATTN: CELRH-RD-N

                                                Public Notice No. LRH-2013-1030-GMR

                                                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 Andrew Wendt of the North Branch at (513) 825-4518, by mail at the above address, or by email at: andrew.j.wendt@usace.army.mil.