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NWP-2015-432

Posted: 3/4/2016

Expiration date: 4/4/2016


PUBLIC NOTICE for Permit Application


Issue Date: March 4, 2016

Expiration Date: April 4, 2016

US Army Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2015-432

30-Day Notice Oregon Department of State Lands No: 58511


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: City of Halfway
Attention: Sheila Farwell
155 B East Record Street
Halfway, Oregon 97834
Email: thecitybypage@hotmail.com
Telephone:  (541) 742-4741

Applicant’s Agent: Anderson Perry & Associates, Inc
Attention: Laurie Parry
P.O. Box 1107
La Grande, Oregon 97850
Email: lparry@andersonperry.com
Telephone:  (541) 963-8309

Location: The proposed project originates at the existing wastewater treatment facility at the corner of Fairgrounds Road and Pine Creek Highway and extends south approximately 2 miles along Gover Lane to Posey Valley (just north of Posey Valley Lane), in the City of Halfway, Baker County, Oregon.  The site is in Sections 16, 17, & 20, Township 8 South, Range 46 East.  Latitude and Longitude (center):  44.8712° North, -117.1090° West

Waterways: Wetlands adjacent to Pine Creek, unnamed tributary of Pine Creek and adjacent wetlands, wetlands adjacent to Lee Creek, wetlands adjacent to an unnamed tributary of Sag Creek. 

Project Purpose: To provide an alternative wastewater discharge system for the City of Halfway to bring them into compliance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).

Project Description: The project would allow wastewater from the City’s existing treatment facility to be pumped offsite to a new storage pond and then utilized for irrigation on the Gover Property in Posy Valley. The overall project includes improvements to the existing wastewater facility, installation of new 7,300-foot long force main pipeline, construction of a new 8.38-acre storage pond, and a new irrigation pivot system. Activities proposed within waters of the U.S would be limited to only those associated with the new pipeline and storage pond, as follows:

  • A 2-foot wide by 215-foot long by 4-foot deep trench would be excavated in “Wetland 1”, an emergent wetland adjacent to Pine Creek. Up to 100 cubic yards of native soil from the trench excavation would be temporarily sidecast into the wetland and stockpiled for use in restoration after the pipe is installed.  In total, 968 square feet of the wetland would be temporarily impacted, but restored to preconstruction contours using the native wetland topsoil.   
  • A 4.5-foot wide by 256-foot long by 4-foot deep trench would be excavated in “Wetland 3”, an emergent wetland adjacent to Lee Creek. Up to 115 cubic yards of native soil from the trench would be temporarily sidecast into the wetland and stockpiled for use in restoration after the pipe is installed. In total, 1,152 square feet of the wetland would be temporarily impacted, but restored to preconstruction contours using the native wetland topsoil.   
  • A 7-foot wide by 34-foot long by 7-foot deep trench would be excavated in “Ditch 1”, an unnamed tributary of Pine Creek. Up to 20 cubic yards of native material will be removed from 240 square feet of the creek and stockpiled in the adjacent uplands for use in restoration after the pipe is installed. Bentonite trench plugs will be installed in the trench on both sides of the waterbody crossing to prevent stream flows from following the pipeline after restoration. Two 3-foot wide by 12.5-foot long temporary sandbag coffer dams would be installed in the creek to divert stream flows through a bypass pipe during construction. The stream crossing would also require the removal of 2 cubic yards of material over 16 square feet of “Wetland 4”, an emergent wetland adjacent to the creek. That material would be temporarily sidecast in the adjacent uplands and stockpiled for use in restoration after the pipe is installed. The wetland and stream would be fully restored to preconstruction contours using the native material removed during trench excavation.
  • Creation of the new 8.38-acre wastewater storage pond would require the installation of two approximately 20-foot tall dams in Posey Valley. The northernmost dam (Dam A) would be approximately 175-foot wide by 650-foot long and would result in permanent fill into wetlands. The overall construction of the storage pond and its appurtenances would result in the permanent loss of 0.07 acres of “Wetland 6”, 0.05 acres of “Wetland 7”, and 1.78 acres of “Wetland 8”; all wetlands adjacent to an unnamed tributary of Sag Creek. The permanent loss of these wetlands would result from either direct filling or excavation and/or permanent inundation (i.e. conversion from wetland to open water), as depicted on sheets 9A through 9D of the enclosed drawings. 
In total, the project would result in temporary impacts to 0.05 acres of wetlands and 240 square feet of stream from the pipeline; and the permanent loss of 1.9 acres of wetlands from the storage pond.

Mitigation: The applicant proposes to avoid and minimize impacts from the project by storing motorized equipment at least 150 feet away from waterbodies during non-work hours, performing all in-stream work during the ODFW-approved work window of July 1 to August 31, installing appropriate erosion controls around waterbodies, treating any sediment-laden water from the work areas before allowing it to return to waterbodies, and minimizing disturbance on soils and vegetation from heavy equipment.  The applicant has provided a proposed compensatory wetland mitigation plan to offset losses of waters of the U.S. that may result from the proposed project.  They propose the creation of 2.48 acres of new emergent wetlands and the enhancement of 0.57 acres of existing wetlands, adjacent to Pine Creek near the existing wastewater treatment facility. The Corps will determine the type and amount of compensatory mitigation necessary to offset environmental losses from the proposed project.

Drawings:
 Seventeen (17) drawings are attached and labeled Corps No. NWP-2015-432. 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 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. Should a permit be issued, the Corps will evaluate the fill material source (i.e., borrow site) prior to the start of construction.

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.

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 will not affect any endangered species or designated critical habitat.  For this project, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as the lead Federal agency for ESA consultation, will consult with the NMFS and/or the USFWS as needed under Section 7 of the ESA.  

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 not adversely affect EFH at the project location or in its vicinity.  For this project, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as the lead Federal agency for MSA consultation, will consult with the NMFS as necessary. 

Historic Properties/Cultural Resources: Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) 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.  For this project, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as the lead Federal agency for determining compliance with Section 106 of the NHPA, will consult with the appropriate State and/or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer as applicable.  

The Corps’ preliminary review indicates a historic properties investigation has been conducted within the permit area.  The results of that survey are currently being coordinated with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and Native American Tribes.  If based on the review of that survey it is determined there will be an adverse effect to historic properties, a Memorandum of Agreement to mitigate for adverse effects will be implemented.  

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 that may not have been identified during the abovementioned survey, please provide this information to the Corps’ project manager (identified on page 1 of this notice) to assist in a complete evaluation of potential effects.

State and Local Authorizations: The applicant has obtained approval from Baker County and will be applying for the following additional governmental authorizations for the project:

  • Oregon DEQ 1200-C Permit & 401 WQC
  • DSL removal/fill permit
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.  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.

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
Peter Olmstead
La Grande Field Office
3502 Highway 30
La Grande, Oregon  97850-5628
Email:  peter.d.olmstead@usace.army.mil
Telephone:  (541) 962-0401

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


Notice Issued: March 4, 2016
Written Comments Due: April 4, 2016

Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2015-432
Oregon Department of State Lands No: 58511

WHO IS THE APPLICANT: City of Halfway

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.

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