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Posted: 12/28/2016

Expiration date: 1/27/2017

Joint Public Notice
Proposed Wetland Mitigation Bank 
Linnton Mill Restoration Site Mitigation Bank, Multnomah County, Oregon 

30 Day Notice Issue Date: December 28, 2016

Closing Date: January 27, 2017

Corps File No.:  NWP-2014-477

Interested parties are hereby notified that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps) and the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) are considering a proposal to establish a Mitigation Bank (Bank) on approximately 27 acres of former industrial property in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon (Figure 1).  Following demolition of the former Linnton Plywood Mill, the Bank sponsor, Linnton Water Credits, LLC, proposes to create and restore aquatic habitats, as well as riparian and upland buffers associated with the Willamette River.  A Prospectus describing the proposed bank has been received from the bank sponsor, and is now available for public review.

The proposed Bank would be located at 10504 NW St. Helens Rd, along approximately 1,800 linear feet of the western bank of the lower Willamette River, between River Mile 4.7 and 5.0.  It would be within the Lower Willamette watershed, 4th field Hydrologic Unit Code 17090012. The geographic coordinates of the center of the site are 45.59747° N. latitude, -122.78245° W. longitude on Tax Lots 100 and 800, Township 1 North, Range 1 West, Section 2C. 

The sponsor is seeking multiple credits from this project with two distinct purposes. The primary purpose is to make “restoration credits” available for clients seeking to meet their Natural Resource Damages (NRD) liability for releases of contaminants into Portland Harbor. The credits to support that restoration market are being pursued as a separate process by the Portland Harbor Natural Resources Trustee Council (Trustee Council) that is distinct from the mitigation bank described herein.  The restoration credits are not being approved or administered by the Corps or DSL. 

The secondary purpose of this project, and the subject of the Prospectus and this public notice, is to provide “habitat credits,” consisting of both stream and wetland credits, approved and administered by the Corps and DSL. Habitat credits will be available for clients seeking to offset unavoidable adverse impacts to aquatic habitat resulting from i.) federal- (EPA) or state- (DEQ) led cleanups in Portland Harbor as a means to substantively comply with federal Clean Water Act Section 404 and Rivers and Harbors Act Section 10, and State Removal/Fill permit requirements (ORS 196.800 - 196.990), and with State Rules for Issuance and Enforcement of Removal and Fill Permits (OAR 141-85-0500 to OAR 141-85-785), and  ii.) non-cleanup projects in the Service Area pursuant to the federal Section 10/404 and state Removal/Fill permit and enforcement requirements as cited above.  

The two purposes and the corresponding processes are related because they would draw their credits from some of the same habitat restoration actions. Therefore, the ledger sheet that documents the credit sales for the two purposes and processes will use the same credit system while ensuring that credits are not sold twice to offset different impacts.  The Corps and DSL have been and will continue to coordinate with the Trustee Council.

The bank sponsor is proposing to generate restoration and habitat credits by excavating an existing industrial parcel along the Willamette River to create a restoration site.  The site will include the types of habitat that have been most affected by development, and are most critical to fish and wildlife species using the lower Willamette River: new Off-Channel habitat, enhanced Shallow Water and Active Channel Margin (ACM) habitats, and new/restored Riparian and Upland forested habitat (Table 2 and Figure 2). The bank sponsor is only seeking wetland and stream habitat credits from the Off-Channel, Shallow Water, and ACM areas. 

Construction is planned to begin after March 2017.  Key features of the project are illustrated on Figure 2 and include:

•5.47 acres of new aquatic habitat, 4.34 acres of which would be new off-channel habitat within the Off-Channel Zone and 1.13 acres of which would be new aquatic habitat in the ACM Zone;
•4.81 acres of restored shallow water habitat within the Shallow Water Zone, including removal of approximately 0.36 acres of overwater coverage and associated piles;
•1.81 acres of restored ACM habitat, including removal of 0.49 acres/1,050 linear feet of shoreline armoring within the ACM;
•9.29 acres of restored riparian habitat and 4.86 acres of restored upland habitat, including conversion of invasive vegetation, buildings, and concrete pads to native forested habitat; 
•Removal of approximately 700 piles and pile stubs within approximately 0.77 acre of aquatic habitat, including many creosote-treated piles.
•Disconnection of on-site stormwater discharge pipes from the North Tributary in the downstream portion of the site and replacing the failing culvert/outfall.
•In terms of Cowardin Classification of habitats, the action will generate 7.69 acres of new/restored Riverine habitat, and 4.40 acres of new/restored Palustrine habitat.

The proposed service area, which is the area within which the mitigation credits generated by the bank may be used, corresponds to the Portland Harbor Superfund Broader Focus Area (Figure 13). This area is defined as the mainstem Willamette River from Willamette Falls down to the mouth, Multnomah Channel, and the Oregon side of the lower Columbia River from West Hayden Island to the Multnomah Channel outlet. This area is inclusive of the majority of the North Portland Harbor shoreline and West Hayden Island. The Service Area extends 0.25 miles landward from the river bank, thus including all parcels that fall within this area in whole or in part as applicable, and encompasses the entirety of Portland Harbor and the urban Portland waterfront.

Comments received in response to this Notice will be provided to the bank sponsor and to the federal, state and local agencies represented on the mitigation bank interagency review team.  This team will work with the bank sponsor and the Portland Harbor Trustee Council to create a detailed Mitigation Bank Instrument and legal agreement that will specify the ecological goals of the project, grading and planting plans, monitoring, maintenance, long term management plan, and the number and schedule of wetland and stream habitat credits to be made available when performance criteria have been met.

The prospectus, which outlines the conceptual plan for this bank, is available for inspection at the Corps and the DSL at the addresses given below.  It has been posted on the DSL website:  www.statelandsonline.com/  under “Check permit status” Multnomah County.  Comments on this proposed mitigation bank may be submitted to either the Corps or the DSL online or at the addresses below.  Comments should be received no later January 27th 2017. 

Please provide comments to:

Mr. Tom Taylor
Portland District, Army Corps of Engineers
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, OR  97208


Ms. Dana Hicks
Oregon Department of State Lands
775 Summer Street NE
Salem, OR 97301-1279

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