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NWP-2005-748

Posted: 11/18/2014

Expiration date: 1/17/2015


PUBLIC NOTICE for Permit Application

                        Issue Date: Nov. 18, 2014

                                    Expiration Date: Jan. 17, 2015

                                    US Army Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2005-748

60-Day Notice                                    Oregon Department of State Lands No: 54374-RF , 54375-RF

 

 

Interested parties are hereby notified that an application has been received for a Department of the Army permit for certain work in waters of the United States, as described below and shown on the attached plan.

 

Comments: Comments on the described work should reference the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers number shown above and reach this office no later than the above expiration date of this Public Notice to become part of the record and be considered in the decision. Comments should be mailed to the following address:

 

                        U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

                        Richard Chong (CENWP-OD-G)

                        P.O. Box 2946

                        Portland, OR 97208-2946

 

Applicant:      Oregon LNG

                        8100 NE Parkway Dr., Ste. 165

                        Vancouver, WA 98662

 

Comments may also be submitted electronically to: OregonLNG@usace.army.mil

 

For either hard copy or electronic mail, use the subject line “NWP-2005-748 Public Comment.”

 

Location:        Terminal: on the East Bank Skipanon Peninsula near the confluence of the Skipanon and Columbia Rivers. This peninsula is located approximately 3,200 linear feet north of Harbor Street (also known as Warrenton-Astoria Highway 105) at King Avenue, Section 15, Township 8 North, Range 10 West, City of Warrenton, Clatsop County, Oregon (46.175582, -123.9081).

 

                        Pipeline:  86.8 miles of pipeline from the proposed terminal to the Northwest Pipeline Interconnection near Woodland, Washington. The Pipeline would be routed through Clatsop, Tillamook, and Columbia counties in Oregon, and Cowlitz County in Washington.

 

Waterway:  The Pacific Ocean, the Lower Columbia River Estuary, rivers, streams, ponds, and palustrine and estuarine wetlands.

Overview: Oregon LNG has applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for approval to construct and operate a liquefied natural gas terminal and natural gas pipeline. The Corps, as cooperating agency pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, is assisting the FERC in the development of an Environmental Impact Statement. The FERC Draft EIS has not been released as of the date of this Public Notice. The FERC docket number for Oregon LNG is CP09-6-001 and CP09-7-001. Information on the FERC regulatory process including supplement Oregon LNG project information can be obtained from the following web address:

 

http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp

 

Purpose: To construct a liquefied natural gas Terminal within the States of Oregon and Washington, to be used to facilitate the export of North American and Canadian natural gas to Pacific Rim countries.

Project description: Oregon LNG is a proposed liquefied natural gas project. Specifically, the project consists of a turning basin and berth, marine facilities, liquefied natural gas storage tanks, LNG vaporization facilities, natural gas liquefaction facilities, and associated support facilities proposed at the Terminal site in Warrenton, Oregon; 86.8 miles of underground pipeline from the Terminal to the Northwest Pipeline Interconnection near Woodland, Washington; and an electrically driven gas compressor station at milepost 80.8. The pipeline would be routed through Clatsop, Tillamook, and Columbia counties in Oregon, and Cowlitz County in Washington.

 

The Project will result in permanent impacts to 57.63 acres of palustrine and estuarine wetlands. The 57.63 acres of permanent wetland impacts comprise 33.88 acres of palustrine and estuarine wetlands converted to uplands for the Terminal (32.77 acres) and Terminal access road (1.11 acres), and 23.75 acres of palustrine forested and palustrine scrub-shrub wetlands converted to palustrine emergent wetlands for the Pipeline (22.70 acres) and for the Terminal water supply and wastewater disposal pipelines (1.05 acres).

 

The project will also result in the temporary impact to 87.52 acres of wetlands. The 87.52 acres of temporary wetland impacts comprise all impacts associated with pipeline construction (84.37) other than the PFO and PSS conversions listed above as permanent impacts, and temporary construction work areas for the terminal (1.46 acres), terminal access road (0.63 acre), and terminal water supply and wastewater disposal pipeline (1.06 acres).

 

Total pipeline construction-related ground disturbance will be approximately 1,195.2 acres. This 36-inch diameter pipeline will be constructed entirely underground. Pipeline components constructed above ground include the compressor station, the meter station, pig launcher and receiver station, and mainline valves. Construction of the Pipeline would include 185 total stream crossings, one of which includes an approximate 5,030 linear foot horizontal directional drill crossing underneath the Columbia River between Pipeline Route Milepost 82 and 83. Horizontal directional drilling would be used to cross 21 of the rivers and larger streams. Dry open trench methods would be used to cross the other 164 streams, including wetlands, which would require temporary removal of material that would then be used as backfill to restore the stream channels.

 

The proposed overwater structures would include a 2,128-foot long marine trestle consisting of a 12-foot wide access roadway and an 11-foot wide pipeway. To facilitate two-way vehicle traffic, turnouts would be provided at the third points of the trestle for vehicle passing. Platforms to support piping expansion loops will be provided at 310-foot intervals. This proposed trestle would lead to a 124-foot by 94-foot unloading platform. This unloading platform would include a 32-foot wide mezzanine platform along the outboard side to facilitate access to unloading arm controls and valving. The proposed marine facilities would also include four 34-foot by 24-foot breasting dolphins; four 18-foot by 18-foot mooring dolphins; and two 42-foot by 18-foot mooring dolphins. A 4-foot wide walkway would be installed to provide personnel access to the breasting and mooring dolphins.

 

The applicant proposes to dredge a 135.2 acre turning basin and a 17.1 acre berthing area at the proposed marine facilities. The existing water depth within the proposed berth area is -20 to -30 feet below mean lower low water. The existing water depth within the proposed turning basin was not specified at this time. The berthing area would be maintained at a depth of -48 to -50 feet MLLW. The turning basin would be dredged and maintained at a depth of -43 feet to -45 feet MLLW. Approximately 1.2 million cubic yards of dredged material would be deposited at or just outside the mouth of the Columbia River. The berth and turning basin would require periodic maintenance dredging throughout the life of the Oregon LNG project. The first 10 years of proposed maintenance dredging is included as a part of this permit application. The proposed maintenance dredging, at this time, would be every 3 years with an estimated volume of 300,000 cubic yards of material to be potentially excavated during each event. The applicant would be allowed to maintenance dredge for ten years from the date of issuance of the Department of the Army permit.

 

The applicant is proposing to transport dredged material for the purpose of disposal in the Pacific Ocean. The Corps will coordination with the Administrator of the EPA to ensure that the disposal of the dredged materials will not result in unacceptable adverse impact on municipal water supplies, shellfish beds, wildlife, fisheries, or recreational areas.

 

Mitigation: To mitigate for the impacts caused by the Terminal: Oregon LNG secured 120 acres at the mouth of the Youngs River on the West bank for wetland mitigation. The mitigation site is a portion of the historical tidal swamp and marsh that was lost to diking. The riverside parcel is currently used for grazing and protected from flooding by a levee. Oregon LNG intends to breach the levee to create estuarine wetland habitat and provide access for salmonids and other aquatic species.

 

To mitigate for the impacts caused by the Pipeline: Temporary impacts to wetlands as a result of the Pipeline construction would be mitigated through onsite wetland rehabilitation. To the extent feasible, rehabilitation of the Pipeline construction corridors to preconstruction wetland conditions will be undertaken. Permanent Cowardin class changes from shrub wetland to herbaceous wetland and forested wetland to herbaceous or shrub wetland would occur as a result of Pipeline construction and maintenance. PFO and PSS wetlands will be restored in situ to the greatest extent possible. However, compensatory mitigation will be provided to compensate for the temporal loss of wetland functions. Compensation for permanent Cowardin class changes as a result of the Pipeline would be mitigated mainly through offsite, in-kind mitigation and through an approved in-lieu fee program.

 

If a permit is issued, the Corps will determine what is appropriate and practicable compensatory mitigation. The amount of compensatory mitigation required shall be commensurate with the anticipated impacts of the project.

 

Drawings: Eight (8) pages are attached and labeled NWP-2005-748 enclosure.

 

Additional information may be obtained from Richard Chong, Project Manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at 503-808-4384 or email Richard.Chong@usace.army.mil.

 

Authority: This permit will be issued or denied 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.

 

            Section 103, Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (33 U.S.C. 1413), for transport of dredged material for the purpose of dumping it into ocean waters.

 

Water quality certification: A permit for the described work will not be issued until certification, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (P.L. 95‑217), has been received or is waived from the certifying state. This project will require Section 401 review from the States of Washington and Oregon. Attached is the State of Oregon’s notice advertising the request for certification. The State of Washington will issue a separate notice.

 

Coastal zone management: This proposed project is subject to coastal zone review. A permit for the described work will not be issued until the State of Oregon determines that the project is consistent with the Oregon Ocean and Coastal Management Program. Attached is the state’s notice advertising the request for certification.

 

Section 404(b)(1) evaluation: The impact of the activity on the public interest will be evaluated in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency guidelines pursuant to Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act.

 

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.

 

Endangered species: The projects compliance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act will be completed by the lead Federal agency (50 CFR 402.08). Pursuant to Section 313 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is designated as the lead Federal agency for National Environmental Policy Act compliance, including the coordination of Federal authorizations, such as those required by the Endangered Species Act, Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act.

 

FERC will ensure Section 7 ESA compliance as a part of their preparation of an environmental impact statement. By letter dated July 18, 2013, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been invited as a Cooperating Agency in preparation of the EIS. The Corps will work with FERC to ensure compliance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.

 

Essential fish habitat: The projects compliance with section 305(b)(2) through (4) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act will be completed by the lead Federal agency (50 CFR 600.920 (b)). As stated above, FERC is the lead Federal agency assigned to evaluate this project.

 

FERC will ensure Magnuson-Stevens Act compliance as a part of their preparation of an environmental impact statement. By letter dated July 18, 2013, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been invited as a Cooperating Agency in preparation of the EIS. The Corps will work with FERC to ensure compliance with the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

 

Cultural resources: The projects compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act will be completed by the lead Federal agency (36 CFR 800.2(a)(2)). As stated above, FERC is the lead Federal agency assigned to evaluate this project.

 

FERC will ensure Section 106 National Historic Preservation Act compliance as a part of their preparation of an environmental impact statement. By letter dated July 18, 2013, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been invited as a Cooperating Agency in preparation of the EIS. The Corps will work with FERC to ensure compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

 

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 this proposed activity. 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.

 

Additional requirements: State law requires that leases, easements, or permits be obtained for certain works or activity in the described waters. These state requirements must be met where applicable, and a Department of the Army permit must be obtained before any work within the applicable Statutory Authority previously indicated may be accomplished. Other local governmental agencies may also have ordinances or requirements, which must be satisfied before the work is accomplished.

 

Section 408: As proposed, the project would affect Corps Civil Works projects, and is thus subject to review and approval pursuant to Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and codified in 33 U.S.C. 408. The aspects of the project that could affect, or even modify, Corps Civil Works projects include the construction of the Terminal on a Corps disposal site; levee breaching as a part of the applicant’s mitigation plan; dredging near/in the Federal navigation channel, Pipeline placement through and/or under Corps levees and dikes; and the Pipeline placement under the Federal navigation channel. Proposed alterations must not be injurious to the public interest or affect the Corps project’s ability to meet its authorized purpose. The Section 408 review can be conducted concurrently with the Section 10/103/404 evaluation. However, the decision by the District Engineer on the Department of the Army permit application pursuant to Section 10/103/404 cannot and will not be rendered prior to the decision on the Section 408 request.

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