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Posted: 8/27/2015

Expiration date: 9/28/2015

PUBLIC NOTICE for Permit Application

Issue Date:  August 27, 2015

Expiration Date:  September 28, 2015

Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2008-224-1

30-Day Notice Oregon Department of State Lands No:

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, or additional information, should be directed to heidi.firstencel@usace.army.mil, (541) 465-6765, or mailed to the following address:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Heidi Firstencel
Eugene Field Office
211 E. 7th Avenue, Suite 105
Eugene, Oregon  97401-2722

Applicant: Lane County School District No. 4J 
ATTN: Jon Lauch 
715 West 4th Avenue
Eugene, Oregon 97402 

Location: The project site is located at the Jefferson Arts and Technology Academy at 1650 W. 22nd Ave., in the City of Eugene, Lane County, Oregon (Section 1, Township 18S, Range 4W, Lat. 44.0348° N, Long. 123.1152° W).   

Waterway: Wetlands adjacent to a tributary to Amazon Creek  

Project Description: Lane County School District No. 4J (LCSD 4J) proposes to discharge fill material into waters of the United States to facilitate the reconstruction and redesign of an existing school building and associated amenities, including adjacent paved parking and access areas.  A total of 0.37 acres of emergent wetlands would be converted to uplands for the project.  

In 2008, a permit was issued to LCSD 4J for impacts to 2.31 acres of wetlands for athletic improvements on the property.  As mitigation for these impacts, the Permittee purchased 2.31 credits from the West Eugene Mitigation Bank.

Mitigation: The applicant has proposed to purchase credits in the Slope/Flat HGM class from the Coyote Prairie North Mitigation Bank, owned by the City of Eugene. If a permit is issued, the Corps will determine what appropriate and practicable compensatory mitigation is.  The amount of compensatory mitigation required shall be commensurate with the anticipated impacts of the project.

Purpose: The applicant’s stated purpose for the project is to modify the existing school to replace the aged and outdated features.  The school district completed a Master Plan Update and Facilities Assessment in May 2012.  Jefferson/ATA Middle School received one of the lowest building assessment rating for all of LCSD 4J’s facilities and the building was recommended for remodeling to better support multiple school programs.

Drawing(s): Thirteen (13) drawings are attached and labeled Corps No. NWP-2008-224/1.

Authority: A permit will be issued or denied under the following:

Section 404, Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344), for discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States.

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.  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: Preliminary determinations indicate that the described activity will not affect endangered species. Consultation under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (87 Stat. 844) is not required for the described activity. The applicant completed a botanical inventory in 2014 which evaluated the potential presence or absence of endangered or threatened plant species on the project site.   

Cultural Resources: A cultural resource survey was completed specifically for this project.  This survey consisted of pedestrian field methods and an analysis of the historical aspects of the school. The eligibility of the school is currently being reviewed by the Corps and will be coordinated with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).  Therefore, based on the information provided above, including the archeological survey, this project should not have an effect on any archeological materials.  The effect to the structure is also being considered and a final determination of effect will be made when that evaluation is complete.  The described activity is not located on property registered in the latest published version of the National Register of Historic Places.  This notice has been provided to the 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 on page 1 of this notice) to assist in a complete evaluation of potential affects.
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 of Engineers 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 of Engineers 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.

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