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LRH-2014-1056-OHR

Published May 20, 2016
Expiration date: 6/18/2016

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 West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) to act on Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the following application.

 

APPLICANT:                        West Virginia Department of Transportation

Division of Highways

1900 Kanawha Boulevard East

Building 5, Room 110

                                                Charleston, West Virginia  25305-0430

 

LOCATION:  The proposed project is located in Grapevine Branch, its unnamed tributaries and associated wetlands, near Huntington, Cabell County, West Virginia.  The proposed roadway would realign and upgrade West Virginia (WV) Route 10 beginning near Interstate 64 and continuing in an easterly direction for approximately 2.25 miles toward County Route (CR) 44.  The proposed project begins at Latitude 38.3822 and Longitude -82.4011 and ends at Latitude 38.3922 and Longitude -82.3639 as shown on the attached USGS Map (Sheet 1 of 50). 

 

DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant has requested a DA authorization for the proposed discharge of dredged and/or fill material into waters of the United States (U.S.) to facilitate the realignment and upgrade of West Virginia (WV) Route 10 at the location specified above associated with the Melissa-Huntington Road project.  The proposed roadway project would result in the permanent discharge of dredged and/or fill material into nine streams (2,030 linear feet) and 22 jurisdictional wetlands (2.16 acres) at 26 single and complete project locations as described in Tables 1 and 2 below. 

 

The construction activities would include culvert replacements and new installations, bridge replacements and installations, roadway embankments and excavations, as well as permanent stream relocations.  Two temporary accesses may be utilized to facilitate the construction activities.  Each temporary access crossing across Grapevine Branch would be constructed of five (5) 48-inch culverts.  Approximately 16 cubic yards of fill material would be temporarily discharged into 40 linear feet of stream at each location.  After completion of the construction activities, the temporary material would be removed and the stream would be restored to its approximate original contour.  See Tables 1 and 2 below as well as attached Sheets 1-50.   

 

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is the lead Federal agency for the Melissa-Huntington Road project.  The proposed project is a segment of the overall Melissa-Huntington Road project.  In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), an Environmental Assessment (EA), dated June 2014, was prepared and approved by the West Virginia Department of Transportation-Division of Highways and the FHWA.  A subsequent Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was signed January 2015. 

 

ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS:  As a result of the proposal, dredged and/or fill material would be discharged into 22 wetlands as described in Table 2 below.  The projects do not require access or proximity to or siting within the wetlands to fulfill their basic purpose and are considered a non-water dependent activities.  The Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines state that 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 the presumption prior to receiving authorization for the discharge of dredged and/or fill material.  No permit would be issued unless the alternatives analysis clearly demonstrates that practicable upland alternatives are not available to achieve the overall project purpose.  The applicant has submitted an alternatives analysis for review.  The alternatives include a no build alternative and multiple roadway alignment alternatives.  The alternatives discussed below were developed for the overall Melissa-Huntington Road project.

 

Under the no build alternative, no discharge of dredged and/or fill material would occur in waters of the U.S.  However, the applicant has indicated this alternative would not meet the overall project purpose.  Four (4) roadway alignments were evaluated by the applicant.  Based on their analysis, the applicant determined the Modified Alignment C is their preferred alternative, stating the other alternatives considered would result in greater adverse environmental and socioeconomic impacts.  The applicant’s alternatives analysis is currently under review.  A complete copy of the applicant’s alternative analysis can be reviewed, by appointment, at the above address. 

 

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION:  In evaluating a project area containing waters of the U.S., consideration must be given to avoiding discharges of dredged and/or fill material into these waters.  If waters of the U.S. cannot be avoided, then impacts must be minimized.  A total of 7,099 linear feet of 10 streams and 2.178 acres of 22 wetlands are located within the project area.  Avoidance and minimization efforts were incorporated into the project development plan.  The highway project was designed to avoid the discharges of dredged and/or fill material into 5,069 linear feet (71%) of streams and 0.018 acre (0.8%) of wetlands.  The culverts have been designed to pass both low and high water flows and to accommodate fluctuating water levels and maintain circulation and faunal movement.  Best management practices would be implemented to minimize downstream sedimentation and turbidity. 

 

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION PLAN:   To compensate for the permanent discharge of dredged and/or fill material into the streams as described in Table 1 below, the applicant proposes to purchase 1,302 stream credits from an approved mitigation bank and/or purchase 1,414 stream credits from the West Virginia In-Lieu Fee Program.  To compensate for the permanent discharge of dredged and/or fill material into the wetlands described in Table 2 below, the applicant proposes to purchase 2.16 wetland credits from an approved mitigation bank and/or purchase 4.73 wetland credits from the West Virginia In-Lieu Fee Program. 

 

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 WVDEP.

 

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES:  The FHWA is the lead Federal agency for the overall highway project and is responsible for compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.  The applicant has consulted with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and it was determined there were no properties eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places within the proposed project area.  The Corps intends to rely upon the information collected by the FHWA, and the consultation previously performed regarding the effects to historic properties.  That information would be used to support the Corps’ independent evaluation of the permit application.  A copy of this Public Notice will be sent to the SHPO for their review.  Comments concerning archeological sensitivity of a project area should be based upon collected data.

 

ENDANGERED AND THREATENED SPECIES:  The FHWA has the ultimate responsible for compliance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.  The applicant has consulted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) regarding federally-protected endangered and threatened species.  In a letter dated October 20, 2011, the USFWS concluded that no federally- listed endangered and threatened species are expected to be impacted by the proposed project.  Due to the change in status of the northern long-eared bat, the applicant consulted the USFWS to determine if the proposed project would continue to have no effect on the species.  The USFWS concurred with their previous no effect determination on March 5, 2014.  The Corps intends to rely upon the information collected by or on behalf of the FHWA, and consultation performed by or on behalf of the FHWA, regarding the effects to federally-listed threatened or endangered species.  That information would be used to support our evaluation of the permit application.  A copy of this Public Notice will be sent to USFWS for their review.

 

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 guidelines published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) 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 benefits 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; of those 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.  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 on these

factors 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 at the beginning 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-S

Public Notice: LRH-2014-1056-OHR

502 Eighth Street

Huntington, WV 25701-2070

 

Please note that names and addresses of those who submit comments in response to this Public Notice become part of our administrative record, and, as such, maybe available to the public under the 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 Sarah Workman of the South/Transportation Branch by telephone at (304) 399-5710 or by email at sarah.m.workman@usace.army.mil.




Table 1 – Proposed Permanent Stream Fills

Station

Corps Single & Complete Project ID

Stream Name

Flow Regime

Type

of Discharge

Total Stream Length (lf)

Current Discharge  Length (lf)

New Stream Length (lf)

Plan

Sheet

No.

Detail

Sheet

No.

548+12

7

UT #1 Grapevine Branch

Perennial

Structure Replacement

105

0

105

10

31

551+85

9

UT #2 Grapevine Branch

Perennial

Culvert Replacement

138

0

138

11

32

572+34 to 573+58, R.S.

320+00 to 324+23

13

Grapevine Branch

Perennial

Construct New Bridge & Stream Relocation

485

0

485

12

33-36

581+50 to 582+60

R.S. 340+10 to 342+60

16

Grapevine Branch

Perennial

Construct New Bridge & Stream Relocation

253

0

253

13–14

37-40

582+30

16

UT #3 Grapevine Branch

Intermittent

Stream Excavation

35

0

35

15

37 & 40

590+69

19

UT #4 Grapevine Branch

Ephemeral

Culvert Replacement

359

38

321

17

41

111+50 (Green Valley Rd.)

20

UT #5 Grapevine Branch

Perennial

Culvert Replacement

115

39

76

17

42

595+34

21

UT #6 Grapevine Branch

Ephemeral

Culvert Replacement

232

75

157

17

43

603+10

24

UT #7 Grapevine Branch

Intermittent

Culvert Replacement

154

105

49

18

44

611+92

25

UT #8 Grapevine Branch

Intermittent

Culvert Replacement

154

94

60

20

45

TOTALS

 

 

 

 

2,030

351

1,679

 

 

 

 

Table 2 – Proposed Permanent Wetland Fills

Station

Corps Single & Complete Project ID

Wetland ID

Wetland Classification

Type of Discharge

Wetland Size (acres)

Discharge into Wetlands (acres)

Plan

Sheet

No.

Detail

Sheet

No.

516+90

1

W24

PEM

Cut

0.02

0.02

6

46

527+40

2

W3

70% PEM/ 15%PSS/ 15%PFO

Cut/Fill

0.92

0.92

7 & 8

46

532+30

2

W4

60% PEM/ 30%PSS/ 10%PFO

Cut/Fill

0.32

0.32

8

46

537+95

3

W5

PEM

Cut

0.04

0.04

9

46

539+20

4

W6

PEM

Fill

0.01

0.01

9

46

543+15

5

W7

PEM

Fill

0.02

0.02

10

46

545+45

6

W8

PEM

Fill

0.03

0.03

11

46

546+80

6

W9

PEM

Cut

0.03

0.03

10

46

549+80

8

W10

PEM

Fill

0.05

0.05

11

46

553+50

10

W11

PEM

Fill

0.01

0.01

11

46

559+40

11

W12

PEM

Cut/Fill

0.09

0.09

12

46

565+00

12

W13

PEM

Fill

0.34

0.34

13

46

570+80

13

W14

PEM

Fill

0.03

0.03

14

46

573+90

13

W15

PEM

Fill

0.05

0.05

14

46

578+25

14

W16

PEM

Cut

0.02

0.02

15

46

577+80

15

W17

PEM

Fill

0.05

0.05

15

46

587+65

17

W18

PEM

Fill

0.02

0.02

16

46

588+40

17

W19

PEM

Fill

0.01

0.01

16

46

594+00

22

W20

PEM

Fill

0.02

0.02

17

46

599+20

23

W21

PEM

Fill

0.03

0.03

18

46

612+45

26

W22

PEM

Fill

0.01

0.01

20

46

613+60

26

W23

PEM

Fill

0.04

0.04

20

46

TOTALS

 

 

 

 

2.16

2.16