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LRH 2015-384-MUS

Published Dec. 29, 2015
Expiration date: 1/27/2016

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:  The following application has been submitted for a Department of the Army Permit (DA) 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:            MBJ Holdings, LLC

                                    8000 Walton Parkway Suite 120

                                    New Albany, Ohio 43054

LOCATION:  As depicted on the attached Figure 1: Newton Site (Sheet 1 of 4), the proposed project would be located in an unnamed tributary to the South Fork of the Licking River and its adjacent wetlands located east of Harrison Road in the City of New Albany, Licking County, Ohio (40.091889° N, -82.730589° W).    

PROJECT HISTORY:  A “Waters of the United States” delineation for the original 150 acre parcel was verified by the Corps via a letter dated August 3, 2015.  Three subsequent addenda to the delineation were completed that expanded the total project area to 288 acres.  Table 1 attached to this notice lists the jurisdictional status of the identified aquatic resources.

DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant proposes to discharge approximately 5,403 cubic yards of dredged and fill material into 3.16 acres of wetlands and 2,812 linear feet of ephemeral, intermittent and perennial streams in order to construct a 288 acre office/warehouse development, known as the Harrison Road East site (see Table 1).  The proposed development would include 20 office and warehouse buildings encompassing approximately 2.4 million square feet of office/warehouse space along with interior roadways, parking, stormwater facilities, and infrastructure.  Plans of the work are attached to this notice (Sheets 1-4).

ALTERNATIVE ANALYSIS:  A total of 3.16 acres of wetlands and 2,812 linear feet of streams would be impacted as a result of proposed commercial development.  The project does not require access or proximity to or siting within the wetlands to fulfill its basic purpose and is considered a non-water dependent activity.  The Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines state that for non-water dependent activities in special aquatic sites, practicable alternatives that do not involve wetlands are presumed to be available, unless clearly demonstrated otherwise.  The applicant is required to provide an alternative analysis that must overcome that presumption prior to receiving authorization for the discharge of dredged and/or fill material into the wetlands.  The applicant has submitted the required alternatives analysis.  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 review of the alternatives analysis clearly shows that upland alternatives are not available to achieve the project purpose. 

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 impacts must be minimized.  Approximately 7,980 linear feet streams and 12.67 acres of wetlands subject to Section 404 Clean Water Act regulation exist within the project limits.  According to the applicant, alternative plans were considered.  Avoidance and minimization efforts were incorporated into the proposal to reduce the footprint of the overall project.  The proposed project has been designed to completely avoid impacts to the remaining 9.51 acres of wetlands (75%) and 5,168 linear feet of streams (65%) within the project area.  The applicant would be required to obtain stormwater permits and to implement stormwater protection plans as needed for site construction following the requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program.  Based on the application, the applicant has applied for the required NPDES permit from the OEPA.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION PLAN:  To compensate for the discharge of dredged and/or fill material into 3.16 acres of wetland, the applicant proposes to purchase 7.2 acres of wetland mitigation credits from a federally approved wetland mitigation bank and to preserve 9.51 acres of wetlands on-site.  To compensate for the discharge of dredged and/or fill material into 2,812 linear feet of perennial, intermittent and ephemeral streams, the applicant proposes to preserve 4,937 linear feet of perennial, intermittent and ephemeral streams on-site and 1,887 linear feet of perennial stream off-site. 

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 OEPA.  Based on the DA application, the applicant has applied for the required Section 401 Water Quality 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 which would be indirectly or directly affected by the proposed work.  The proposed project would have no effect on historic properties listed on, 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 project is located within the known or historic range of the following federally-protected species:  endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and threatened northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis).  The Corps has consulted the most recently available information, and based on the proposed implementation of the seasonal tree clearing restrictions, the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect either the Indiana bat or the northern long-eared bat.  Based on this information, the proposed 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 to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service 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 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. 

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.  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-2015-385-MUS-Unnamed Tributary South Fork Licking River

                                                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 Ms. Lee A. Robinette of the North Branch at 304-399-5210.                                                                               

 

 

Table 1. Proposed Discharges of Dredged and/or Fill material into Waters of the

United States at the 288 acre Development Site

Wetland/
Stream Name

ORAM/
HHEI Category Habitat

Linear feet/Acreage of Aquatic Resource

Proposed Impacts (linear feet/acres)

Proposed Preserved Stream/Wetlands Onsite

(Linear feet/acres)

Activity

Wetland A

Category 2/
Forested

2.73

0

2.73

--

Wetland B

Category 2/
Forested

0.54

0.54

0

Grade establishment for primary entrance and Building 13

Wetland C

Category 2/ Forested

2.55

2.55

0

Grade establishment for primary entrance, parking lots and stormwater basin for Buildings 4, 9 and 12

Wetland G

Category1-2/
Forested

0.03

0.03

0

Grade establishment for internal roadway and Building 10 stormwater basin

Wetland I

Category 3/
Forested

6.77

0

6.77

--

Wetland J

Category 2/ Forested

4.92*

-

-

--

Wetland L

Category 1/

Emergent

0.13*

-

-

--

Wetland M

Category 1/ Emergent

0.05

0.04

0.01

Grade establishment for Building 20 parking lot and stormwater basin

Total Wetlands:

--

12.67

3.16

9.51

--

Stream 1

LRW/Intermittent

1,551

631

920

Grade establishment for associated parking and primary entrance

Stream 2

LRW/Ephemeral

665

0

665

--

Stream 3

LRW/Ephemeral

766

635

0

Grade establishment to access multiple office buildings

Stream 4

LRW/Ephemeral

385

385

0

Grade establishment for associated parking

Stream 5

WWH/Perennial

3,429

222

3,207

Installation of a culvert for the primary roadway

Stream 6

LRW/Ephemeral

607

556

0

Grade establishment for office buildings and associated parking

 

Stream 7

LRW/Ephemeral

432

383

0

Grade establishment for office buildings and associated parking

Stream 8

LRW/Ephemeral

145

0

145

--

Total Streams:

--

7,980

2,812

4,937

--

*The draft determination is that Wetlands J & L are isolated.  Their acreage is not included in the totals.