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LRH 2012-715-MUS

Published April 8, 2015
Expiration date: 5/7/2015

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:             Ms. Leanne Meyer

                                    Mark West Energy Partners, LP

                                    1515 Arapahoe St., Tower 1, Suite 1600

                                    Denver, Colorado 80202

 

LOCATION:  The proposed 423-acre project site is located within the watershed of Barnes Run (N39.798884 and W81.347984), west of the Village of Summerfield, at 26645 Zep Road East, in Marion Township, Noble County, Ohio.  The proposed discharges of dredged and/or fill material would take place within unnamed tributaries to Barnes Run.  Barnes Run is an indirect tributary to the Muskingum River, a traditional navigable water of the United States.  Exhibit 1 depicts the proposed project location. 

 

PROJECT HISTORY:  The original processing plants of the Seneca Processing Complex were constructed on the site in 2013.  As part of the original development, the discharge of dredged and/or fill material into 100 linear feet of ephemeral stream (0.01 acre), 200 linear feet of intermittent stream (0.03 acre) and 0.02 acre of wetland were authorized under the Nationwide Permit No. 12 for Utility Line Activities. 

DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant proposes to discharge dredged and/or fill material into waters of the United States in conjunction with the expansion of an existing natural gas processing facility, known as the Seneca Processing Complex.  The proposed expansion would include the phased construction of two new pads (Pad #3 and Pad #4) and an access road. 

The construction of Pad #3 would occur before the construction of Pad #4 and would include one new 200 MMcf/d cryogenic natural gas processing plant for the recovery of natural gas liquids (NGLs), and a de-ethanizer plant for the recovery of purity ethane.  The access road would be constructed to connect the pads.  Pad #4 would include up to three (3) additional processing plants and two (2) de-ethanizer plants and would be constructed at a later time to meet future gas production needs.  The site for Pad #4 would be prepared and graded during the construction of Pad #3 because it would serve as the borrow area for the fill material proposed to be used for constructing Pad #3.  The proposed pads and access road construction would permanently result in the discharge of dredged and/or fill material into a total of 4,063 linear feet or 0.41 acre [566 linear feet (0.02 acre) of ephemeral stream, 342 linear feet (0.02 acre) of intermittent stream and 3,155 linear feet (0.37 acre) of perennial stream] of jurisdictional streams as indicated on the attached Table 1.  No dredged and/or fill material would be discharged into the on-site wetlands in order to construct the proposed expansion.  Plan view maps (Sheets 1 to 9) and cross sections (Exhibit 9) of the proposed site layout and associated discharges of dredged and/or fill material into waters of the United States are attached to this public notice. 

ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS:  A total of approximately 0.72 acre of jurisdictional wetlands and 30,586 linear feet (3.094 acres) of jurisdictional streams is present within the proposed 423-acre project site.  Exhibit 6 depicts the streams and wetlands located within the proposed project site.  A total of 4,063 linear feet of jurisdictional streams would be filled as a result of the proposal.  The proposed project would not result in a discharge of dredged and/or fill material into special aquatic sites, including wetlands. 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.  A total of approximately 17,580 linear feet of 13 perennial streams, 9,027 linear feet of 22 intermittent streams, 3,979 linear feet of 22 ephemeral streams and 0.72 acre of five wetlands, subject to Section 404 Clean Water Act regulation, exists within the project area.  Avoidance and minimization efforts were incorporated into the proposal to reduce the footprint of the proposed project.  The applicant’s proposed project would avoid 26,523 linear feet (87%) of the on-site streams and 100 % of all wetlands on-site.  An existing natural gas liquid processing and fractionation facility dominates the project site and the surrounding area is primarily agriculture, coal mining, and oil and gas pipelines.  As shown on Sheets 1 to 9, the applicant proposes to use existing access areas and right-of-ways (ROW) currently used at the facility to access the site.  Sediment ponds, diversion ditches and other drainage controls would be constructed to minimize sedimentation and turbidity in receiving waters.  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 a total of 23,110 linear feet of streams (8,685 linear feet of intermittent streams and 14,425 linear feet of perennial streams) and 26.5-acres of forested riparian buffer (50 feet along each preserved streams) on-site and would be protected in perpetuity via an environmental covenant.  Exhibit 8 depicts the location of the proposed preservation areas. 

 

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.  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.  Agricultural land uses have dominated the project site historically and currently an existing natural gas processing facility is present on the project site. We have determined the proposed project would have no effect on historic properties.  A copy of this public notice will be furnished 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 endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), and the threatened northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis). 

The project site contains forested areas which may contain suitable summer roosting and foraging habitat for the Indiana bats or the northern long-eared bats.  Similar forested habitat appears to be abundant in the adjacent landscape.  Based on the applicant’s preferred design alternative, approximately 60-acres of forest would be cleared for the project.  As part of the initial nationwide permit process, the applicant completed an Indiana bat survey and the results were documented in a report by Civil and Environmental Consultant’s (CEC) dated August 31, 2012.  On September 11, 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) concurred with the results of the survey and indicated the likely absence of Indiana bats and the northern long-eared bats in the project area.  The applicant stated clearing could continue on the site through March 31, 2015 as indicated in an email from the USFWS dated October 16, 2014.  If tree clearing cannot be completed by March 31, 2015, the applicant has agreed to conduct tree removal between September 30 and April 1 to minimize effects on the Indiana bats and the northern long-eared bats.  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 Laurie Moore of the Energy Resources Branch at laurie.a.moore@usace.army.mil or at the following address:

                                                 United States Army Corps of Engineers

                                                ATTN: CELRH-RD-E

                                                Public Notice No. LRH-2012-715-MUS

                                                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 Laurie Moore of the North Branch at (513) 825-2752, by mail at the above address, or by email at: laurie.a.moore @usace.army.mil.                                                     

                                                                                                 

TABLE 1

Proposed Impacts to Surface Waters for the

Preferred Alternative

Stream ID

ALU

Total Onsite

Total Impacted

Impact Type

Volume of Impact (cy)

% Avoided

Length (lf)

Area (ac)

Length (lf)

Area (ac)

Ephemeral Streams

Stream 2

LRW

78

0.004

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 4

LRW

26

0.001

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 5

LRW

55

0.002

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 6

LRW

240

0.006

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 8

LRW

190

0.004

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 12

LRW

49

0.001

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 15

LRW

526

0.018

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 20

LRW

397

0.003

160

0.001

Fill

1

60%

Stream 21

LRW

363

0.006

140

0.002

Fill

2

61%

Stream 25

LRW

264

0.006

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 28

LRW

167

0.008

167

0.008

Fill

19

0%

Stream 30

LRW

102

0.002

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 31

LRW

86

0.003

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 32

LRW

104

0.002

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 33

LRW

198

0.002

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 35

LRW

159

0.002

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 38

LRW

221

0.003

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 40

LRW

74

0.001

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 46

LRW

210

0.007

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 50

LRW

58

0.003

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 56

LRW

313

0.018

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 57

LRW

99

0.005

99

0.005

Fill

11

0%

Subtotal

--

3,979

0.11

566

0.02

--

33

86%

Intermittent Streams

Stream 3

WWH

382

0.022

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 7

WWH

471

0.043

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 10

WWH

373

0.021

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 14

WWH

304

0.017

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 17

WWH

234

0.011

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 19

WWH

651

0.037

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 22

WWH

274

0.004

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 24

WWH

124

0.004

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 26

WWH

397

0.014

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 29

WWH

242

0.014

242

0.014

Fill

34

0%

Stream 36

WWH

645

0.030

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 37

WWH

665

0.046

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 39

WWH

746

0.026

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 41

WWH

951

0.044

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 42

WWH

128

0.004

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 43

WWH

640

0.029

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 45

WWH

278

0.013

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 47

WWH

202

0.009

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 48

WWH

571

0.016

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 49

WWH

156

0.007

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 53

WWH

103

0.004

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 55

WWH

490

0.011

100

0.002

Fill

2

80%

Subtotal

--

9,027

0.43

342

0.02

--

36

96%

Perennial Streams

Stream 1

CWH

2,775

0.573

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 9

WWH

223

0.013

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 11

WWH

265

0.015

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 13

CWH

945

0.087

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 16

WWH

385

0.031

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Barnes Run (18)

WWH

5,601

1.029

180

0.033

Culvert

114

97%

Stream 23

WWH

212

0.015

100

0.007

Fill

22

53%

Stream 27

WWH

1,645

0.132

1,075

 

Fill

348

35%

Stream 34

WWH

1,003

0.161

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 44

WWH

938

0.086

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 51

WWH

291

0.024

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 52

WWH

652

0.030

0

0

No Impact

0

100%

Stream 54

WWH

2,645

0.364

1,800

0.248

Fill

800

32%

Subtotal

--

17,580

2.56

3,155

0.37

--

1,284

82%

Totals

--

30,586

3.1

4,063

0.41

--

1,353

87%