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Joint Public Notice - Intent to Create a Wetland Mitigation Bank in Linn County, Oregon

Posted: 4/27/2018

Expiration date: 5/25/2018


Joint Public Notice
Intent to Create a Wetland Mitigation Bank 
South Santiam Mitigation Bank, Linn County, Oregon

Issue Date: April 25, 2018
Closing Date: May 25, 2018
Corps File No.: NWP-2017-362
DSL No.: 60771-NP

30 Day Notice

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 wetland mitigation bank (“Bank”) on up to 92 acres of a farmed parcel.  The proposed bank site is located near Lebanon, in Linn County, Oregon (Figure 1).  The bank sponsor, Oregon Wetlands, LLC, proposes to enhance and create aquatic habitats, including Willamette Valley wet prairie on Tax Lots 101 and 401 in Township 11 South, Range 1 West, Section 31 and 32 (latitude 44.570356° N, longitude 122.845036° W).  A Prospectus describing the proposed bank has been received from the bank sponsors and is now available for public review.

This Bank is being proposed by the Bank sponsors primarily as a means to meet the requirements for compensatory mitigation for projects which may be permitted by the Corps under the authority of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and by the DSL in implementing the provisions of Oregon’s Removal-Fill Law (ORS 196.800 - 196.990) and according to Rules for Issuance and Enforcement of Removal and Fill Permits (OAR 141-85).  The Bank sponsors would sell wetland credits to various parties to meet their obligations under the “no net loss of wetlands” policies of these federal and state regulations.

The proposed Bank will generate wetland credits by converting to most of the farmed area to palustrine emergent, forested, scrub-shrub, flat and slope wetlands.  Hydrology would be restored or enhanced by removing berms and filling ditches, and constructing a mosaic of wetland depressions and low berms.  The site would be designed to emphasize native wet prairie habitat by establishing native dominated plant communities (Figure 4).  The total project size and wetland classes will be determined prior to Bank approval.

A delineation report will be submitted to the regulatory agencies for review to verify the extent of existing wetlands and hydric soils.  This information will be used to determine how much of the area qualifies for enhancement and creation credit ratios.

The proposed service area, which is the area which the mitigation bank credits may be used, consists of portions of the following 8 digit HUC watersheds:  Upper Willamette (HUC 17090003) and the South Santiam (HUC 17090006) (Figure 5).  This service area includes the urbanizing areas of Millersburg, Albany, Tangent, Corvallis, Brownsville, Tangent, Junction City, Halsey, Harrisburg, Sweet Home, Millersburg, Lebanon and Springfield, as well as smaller communities within these watersheds. 

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 sponsors to create a detailed bank instrument and legal agreement that will specify the ecological goals of the project, grading and planting plans, monitoring, maintenance, and the number and schedule of wetland credits to be made available when performance standards 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 along with Linn County Removal-Fill permit applications on the DSL website:  www.statelandsonline.com/.  Comments on this proposed mitigation bank may be submitted to either the Corps via e-mail or the DSL online comment link or to either address below.  Comments should be received no later than May 25, 2018. 

Please provide comments to:

Mr. Tom Taylor
Portland District, Army Corps of Engineers
CENWP-OP-G
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, OR  97208
thomas.j.taylor@usace.army.mil
OR  Dana Field
Oregon Department of State Lands
775 Summer Street NE
Salem, OR 97301-1279

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