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NWP-2016-455

Posted: 12/13/2016

Expiration date: 1/7/2017


PUBLIC NOTICE
Application for Permit

Issue Date: December 9, 2016
Expiration Date: January 7, 2017
US Army Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2016-455
30-Day Notice Oregon Department of State Lands No: N//A


Interested parties are hereby notified the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps) has received an application for a Department of the Army permit for certain work in waters of the United States, as described below and shown on the attached plans. The Corps is soliciting comments on the proposed work.

Applicant: 
Mr. Billy Wright
1229 Lee Rd.
Quincy, California 95971

Mr. Richard Todd
P.O. Box 1477 
Oregon City, Oregon 97405

Location:
The project occurs in the Pacific Ocean, mile 0-1 from the baseline of the territorial sea, near Gold Beach and Brookings, Curry County, Oregon. There are four primary dredging areas:

Dredging area 1 (Gold Beach North ~1,350 acres)
Latitude North: 42.430661°
Longitude West: -124.440166°

Dredging area 2 (Gold Beach South ~900 acres)
Latitude North: 42.410512°
Longitude West: -124.432668°

Dredging area 3 (Brookings North ~1,000 acres)
Latitude North: 42.037828°
Longitude West: -124.288368°

Dredging area 4 (Brookings South ~950 acres)
Latitude North: 42.035062°
Longitude West: -124.267103°

Waterway: Pacific Ocean

Project Purpose: The applicant’s stated purpose is to mine gold from the Pacific Ocean.

Project Description: The applicant would dredge sand and gravels from below the mean high water mark of the Pacific Ocean to recover gold. The applicants would utilize a five-inch hydraulic suction dredge equipped with an eight horsepower motor to dredge Pacific Ocean sediments onto a vessel. Once on the vessel, dredged sediment would be sorted via a sluice system. Gold would be recovered and stored on the vessel while undesirable sand and gravels discharged back into the Pacific Ocean littoral system. 

The applicants have not specified time limits and could potentially work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for 365 days per year. The maximum volume of material to be removed annually would be based upon the equipment limits. The area proposed for mining encompasses four sites totaling approximately 4,200 acres. The sites are located in water depths ranging from approximately 0 to 60-feet mean lower low water (MLLW). The applicant proposes to avoid and minimize aquatic resource impacts by returning all sediment, excluding recovered gold, to the littoral system of the Pacific Ocean. 

Dredged Material Testing: The proposed dredged material may be evaluated in accordance with the Sediment Evaluation Framework for the Pacific Northwest (SEF). The interagency Portland Sediment Evaluation Team (PSET) manages the SEF for the Corps Portland District. The Corps, in coordination with the PSET will determine if sediment testing is required for this project. Project sediments may require physical, chemical, and/or biological testing to support the permit application evaluation. 

The PSET may evaluate the applicant’s sediment testing results and determine if project sediments are suitable for unconfined, aquatic disposal or exposure. The proposed project includes future maintenance dredging. Prior to each maintenance dredging cycle the applicant may be required to coordinate with the Corps and the PSET to determine if additional sediment testing is required.

Mitigation: The applicant did not propose compensatory mitigation in the permit application. The Corps will determine the type and amount of compensatory mitigation necessary to offset environmental losses from the proposed project. 

Drawings: Nine (9) drawings are attached and labeled Corps No. NWP-2016-455. Copies of this public notice, which have been mailed or otherwise physically distributed, feature project drawings in black and white. The electronic version features those drawings in color, which we think more accurately illustrates the proposed project. To access the electronic version of this public notice, go to the Portland District website at http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/ and select Regulatory Branch Permit Information. At the Regulatory page select Regulatory Public Notices.

Authority: The proposed project will be evaluated under the following:
Section 10, Rivers and Harbors Act 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403), for work in or affecting navigable waters of the United States.
Section 404, Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344), for discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States.

Clean Water Act Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines: The described discharge will be evaluated for compliance with guidelines promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under authority of Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act. The 404(b)(1) Guidelines are the substantive criteria used in evaluating discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States. 


Water Quality Certification: Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1341) requires applicants to obtain a water quality certification for proposed discharges into waters of the United States. A permit for the described work will not be issued until certification has been issued or is waived from the certifying state. Attached is the state's notice for a water quality certification.

Coastal Zone Management: Section 307(c) of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1456(c), requires non-Federal applicants seeking a federal license or permit to conduct any activity occurring in or affecting the coastal zone to obtain a Consistency Certification which indicates the activity conforms with the State’s Coastal Zone Management Program. The applicant believes the proposed project would comply with and be conducted in a manner consistent with the Oregon Ocean and Coastal Management Program. Attached is the state's notice for a consistency determination.

Endangered Species: Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) (16 U.S.C 1536) requires federal agencies to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and/or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on all actions that may affect a species listed (or proposed for listing) under the ESA as threatened or endangered or that may adversely modify designated critical habitat. The Corps’ preliminary review indicates the described activity may affect an endangered or threatened species or designated critical habitat. The Corps will initiate consultation under Section 7 of the ESA. The Corps will complete the required consultation prior to finalizing a permit decision.

Essential Fish Habitat: Section 305(b)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) as amended (16 U.S.C 1855), requires Federal agencies to consult with the NMFS on all actions, or proposed actions, permitted, funded, or undertaken by the agency, that may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). The Corps’ preliminary review indicates the described activity would adversely affect EFH at the project location or in the vicinity. The Corps will initiate consultation under Section 305(b)(2) of the MSA. The Corps will complete the required consultation prior to finalizing a permit decision.

Historic Properties/Cultural Resources: Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. 470), requires Federal agencies to consult with the appropriate State and/or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer to take into account the effects of actions they undertake or permit on historic properties listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The Corps’ preliminary review indicates the permit area may yield resources eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. The Corps will consult with the State Historic Preservation Office to determine whether an investigation for the presence of potentially eligible historic properties is justified and would be required prior to the Corps’ final permit decision.

This notice has been provided to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), interested Native American Indian Tribes, and other interested parties. If you have information pertaining to cultural resources within the permit area, please provide this information to the Corps’ project manager identified at the end of this notice to assist in a complete evaluation of potential effects.

State and Local Authorizations: The applicant may apply to the Oregon Department of State Lands for regulatory or proprietary land use approval. 

Public Hearing: Any person may request in writing within the comment period specified in this notice that a public hearing be held to consider this application. Requests for public hearings shall state with particularity the reasons for holding a public hearing.

Evaluation:
The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact, including cumulative impacts, of the described 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 described activity, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors, which may be relevant to the described activity will be considered including the cumulative effects thereof; among 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, consideration of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.

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 the proposed project. Comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny a permit for this proposal. 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.

Submitting Comments: Interested parties are invited to provide comments on the proposed project. Comments may be submitted by conventional mail or email. All comments received will be considered in determining whether authorizing the work would be contrary to the public interest. 

Either conventional mail or e-mail comments must include the Corps reference number as shown on page 1 and include the commenter’s name and address. In order to be accepted, e-mail comments must originate from the author’s e-mail account and must include on the subject line of the e-mail message the Corps reference number. All comments received will become part of the administrative record and are subject to public release under the Freedom of Information Act including any personally identifiable information such as names, phone numbers, and addresses.

Additional information about the proposed project may be obtained from the Corps Project Manager listed below. All comments, whether by conventional mail or email, must be received no later than the expiration date of this public notice to ensure consideration. Comments should be submitted to the following mailing address or email address:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Mr. Tyler J. Krug
North Bend Field Office
2201 North Broadway Suite C
North Bend, Oregon 97459-2372
Email: Tyler.J.Krug@usace.army.mil 
Telephone: (541)756-2097

PUBLIC NOTICE
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
Water Quality 401 Certification

Notice Issued: December 9, 2016
Written Comments Due: January 7, 2017


Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2016-455
Oregon Department of State Lands No: N/A

WHO IS THE APPLICANT:
Mr. Billy Wright
1229 Lee Rd.
Quincy, California 95971

Mr. Richard Todd
P.O. Box 1477 
Oregon City, Oregon 97405

LOCATION OF CERTIFICATION ACTIVITY: See attached U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public notice.

WHAT IS PROPOSED: See attached U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public notice on the proposed project.

NEED FOR CERTIFICATION: Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act requires applicants for Federal permits or licenses to provide the Federal agency a water quality certification from the State of Oregon if the proposed activity may result in a discharge to waters of the state.

DESCRIPTION OF DISCHARGES: See attached U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public notice on the proposed project.

WHERE TO FIND DOCUMENTS: Documents and materials related to water quality issues as a result of the proposal are available for examination and copying at Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, 401 Water Quality Certification Coordinator, Northwest Region, 
700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600, Portland, Oregon 97232. Other project materials are available by contacting the Corps per the attached public notice.

Scheduling an appointment will ensure that water quality documents are readily accessible during your visit. To schedule an appointment please call DEQ Water Quality at Northwest Region at (503) 229-5263.

Any questions on the water quality certification process may be addressed to the 401 Program Coordinator at (503) 229-6030 or toll free within Oregon at (800) 452-4011. People with hearing impairments may call the Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service at 1-800-735-2900.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION:
Public Hearing: Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 340-48-0032 (2) states that “The Corps provides public notice of and opportunity to comment on the applications, including the application for certification, provided that the department (DEQ), in its discretion, may provide additional opportunity for public comment, including public hearing.” 

Written comments: Written comments on project elements related to water quality must be received at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality by 5 p.m. on the date specified in the upper right section on page one of this notice. Written comments may be emailed, mailed or faxed as described below: 

Email - 401publiccomments@deq.state.or.us

Mail - Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Northwest Region
700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600
Portland, Oregon 97232 
Attn: 401 Water Quality Certification Coordinator 

Fax - (503) 229-6957

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: DEQ will review and consider all comments received during the public comment period. Following this review, certification of the proposal may be issued as proposed, issued with conditions, or denied. You will be notified of DEQ's final decision if you submit comments during the comment period. Otherwise, if you wish to receive notification, please call or write DEQ at the above address.

ACCESSIBILITY INFORMATION: This publication is available in alternate format (e.g. large print, Braille) upon request. Please contact DEQ Office of Communications and Outreach at (503) 229-5317 or toll free within Oregon at 1-800-452-4011 to request an alternate format. People with a hearing impairment can receive help by calling the Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service at 1-800-735-2900.


PUBLIC NOTICE
OREGON OCEAN AND COASTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
CONSISTENCY CERTIFICATION

Date:
December 9, 2016

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers No: Corps No. NWP-2016-455
Oregon Department of State Lands No: N/A

NOTIFICATION:
For projects subject to coastal zone review, notice is hereby given that the project is being reviewed by the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) as provided in Section 307(c) of the Coastal Zone Management Act. The applicant believes that the activities described in the attached materials would comply with and be conducted in a manner consistent with the Oregon Ocean and Coastal Management Program. Project information can be made available for inspection at DLCD's Salem office.

DLCD is hereby soliciting public comments on the proposed project's consistency with the Oregon Coastal Management Program. Written comments may be submitted to DLCD, 635 Capital Street NE, Suite 150, Salem, Oregon 97301-2540. Comments may also be sent by fax to (503) 378-6033 or by email to coast.permits@state.or.us. All comments must be received by DLCD on or before the comment deadline listed in the accompanying Corps of Engineers’ Public Notice Application for Permit. For further information, you may call DLCD at (503) 373-0050.

REVIEW CRITERIA:

Comments should address consistency with the applicable enforceable policies of the Oregon Coastal Management Program. These enforceable policies are found in the following:
• Acknowledged Local Comprehensive Plans & Implementing Ordinances
• Statewide Planning Goals
• Applicable State Authorities incorporated into the Oregon Coastal Management Program (e.g. Removal-Fill Law, Water Quality Standards, Beach Bill, etc.) as applicable.

A list of specific enforceable policies can be found at the following link:
http://www.oregon.gov/LCD/OCMP/Pages/OCMP_Enforceable-Policies.aspx

INCONSISTENT?
If you believe this project is inconsistent with the Oregon Coastal Management Program, your comments to DLCD should explain why you believe the project is inconsistent and should identify the Oregon Coastal Management Program element(s) in question. You should also describe how the project could be modified, if possible, to make it consistent with the Oregon Coastal Management Program.

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