Public Notices

Corps seeks public comments on draft environmental assessment for expansion of Port Orford nearshore dredge placement site

Published Oct. 25, 2017

Issue Date: Oct. 25, 2017
Expiration Date: Nov. 24, 2017

The Corps is seeking public comments on the draft environmental assessment for the Port Orford operations and maintenance dredging and dredge material placement concerning the expansion of the nearshore dredge placement site. The nearshore placement site is currently an 800 by 800 feet dredge placement area south of the Port Orford breakwater. The site will double in size by extending the southern boundary by approximately 800 feet further south.

The new dimensions will measure 800 by 1,600 feet, creating a total area of approximately 30 acres. The expansion would allow placement of the same amount of dredged material over a larger area, reducing navigation risks from mounding. The proposed action may benefit aquatic resources by reducing the amount of sediment placed on bottom-dwelling organisms, which inhabit the sediment surface and sub-surface layers of the ocean bottom. This expansion will not increase the amount of annual dredging.

Environmental Document
The draft document for the proposed activity is available for public review and comment in the related documents section of this notice.

Agency Coordination
The Corps is coordinating the proposed activity with Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD), Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - Fisheries (NOAA-Fisheries).

Assessment of the Need for an Environmental Impact Statement
The Corps has preliminarily determined the proposed action is not likely to result in significant effects on the human environment; therefore, an environmental impact statement was not prepared.

Cultural Resources Consideration and Tribal Consultation
To determine the potential effect of the project on known or unknown historic properties, the following items are analyzed: the nature of the proposed activity and its effect on the landscape; the likelihood that historic properties are present within a project area; whether the ground was disturbed by previous land use activities and the extent of the disturbance; listings of known archeological or historic site locations, including site databases, previously surveyed areas or National Registry of Historic Preservation site listings. The Corps professional cultural resources staff has made a determination of no effect for the proposed action based on these findings. The SHPO and the following Tribes that expressed interest in the project area were notified of the project in a letter dated August 30, 2017:

  • Confederated Tribes of Siletz
  • Coquille Indian Tribe
  • Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation

Water Quality Certifications
Operations and maintenance of the Oregon coastal dredge material placement network is currently covered by DEQ Water Quality Certification (WQC) file number NWPOP-OCT-F04-003. The Corps is coordinating with DEQ to confirm the expansion area remains within the range of effects and is consistent with the terms and conditions of the existing certification.

Coastal Zone Management Act
CZMA Consistency Determination for Coastal Dredging projects was initially received August 6, 2004 for a 10-year period. The DLCD renewed CZMA Consistency on May 8, 2014 without a sunset clause, so long as the scope of effects remained within the range authorized by the 2004 determination. The Corps will provide a Coastal Consistency “Negative” Determination along with supporting information to address how the project would avoid impacts to relevant resources listed in the Applied Environmental Policies under Statewide Planning Goal 19: Ocean Resources.

Endangered Species Act Consultations
The Port Orford maintenance project and dredge placement are covered under the “Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7(a)(2) Biological Opinion and Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Essential Fish Habitat Consultation for the Reinitiation of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Operations and Maintenance Dredging of the Oregon Coastal Navigation Projects” dated May 25, 2017. The Corps will submit a minor project modification to NOAA-Fisheries who will review all relevant information and determine if the change remains within the scope of effects considered in this opinion.

Public Hearing
Any person who has an interest, which may be affected by the expansion of the dredge placement site may request a public hearing. The request must be submitted in writing to the district engineer within the comment period of this notice and must clearly set forth the interest, which may be affected, and the manner in which the interest may be affected by this activity.

Additional Information and Comments
Questions or comments regarding the draft document should be directed to Ms. Kate Wells, 503-808-4664,, or at the address below. Mailed comments must be postmarked by the above closing date and sent to:

District Engineer
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District
Attn: CENWP-PM-E/Kate Wells
P.O. Box 2946, Portland, Oregon 97208-2946