Application for Permit and to Alter Federally Authorized Projects
Issue Date: July 26, 2019
Expiration Date: August 24, 2019
US Army Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2017-41
Oregon Department of State Lands No: APP0060697
UPDATE: Public comment period extended 30 days
Interested parties are hereby notified the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps) has received supplemental information related to an application for a Department of the Army permit and permission 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 supplemental proposed work.
Applicant: Jordan Cove Energy Project L.P. & Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline LP
Attention: Ms. Natalie Eades
111 SW 5th Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97204
Telephone: (971) 940-7800
Applicant’s Agent: Jordan Cove Energy Project L.P. & Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline LP
Attention: Mr. Derik Vowels
111 SW 5th Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97204
Telephone: (971) 940-7800
Original Public Notice: The Corps previously issued a public notice for this project on May 22, 2018. View the Corps original public notice regarding the applicant’s permit application at this webpage: www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Notices/Article/1529167/nwp-2017-41/
Location: The Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas (JCLNG) facility would be located on the North Spit of Coos Bay, near North Bend, Coos County, Oregon. The associated Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline (PCGP) pipeline would originate near Malin, Klamath County, Oregon, and span Klamath, Jackson, Douglas and Coos Counties, terminating at the JCLNG facility.
Waterway: The additional and revised project components occur within Coos Bay and waterways located along the pipeline route. The wetland boundaries and locations of ordinary high water mark, mean high water, and/or high tide line shown on the project drawings have not yet been verified by the Corps. If the Corps determines the boundaries of the wetland/waters are substantially inaccurate a new public notice may be published.
Description of Additional Project Components and/or Revisions: Since issuance of our original public notice for the project the applicant has identified the following additional and revised impacts to waters of the United States.
Pile Dike Rock Apron: The applicant would discharge approximately 6,500 cubic yards of rock below the high tide line of Coos Bay to construct a submerged rock apron located southwest of the proposed marine slip and access channel (Drawings 1-3). The rock apron would measure 50-feet wide, three feet in height, and 1,100-feet long. The rock would measure approximately 6 to 22-inches in diameter. The purpose of the rock apron is to arrest channel slope migration to the northwest. The construction of the rock apron would result in a permanent impact to 1.21-acres of intertidal habitat and 0.34-acres of shallow subtidal habitat, as well as permanent loss of 0.24-acres of eelgrass. The applicant would construct the rock apron with a floating barge by placing the rock into the water column with a crane mounted on the barge. However, if unavailable, the applicant would construct a portion of the rock apron with heavy equipment such as excavators working at low tide in the intertidal zone. The applicant would construct the rock apron over several months during the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife preferred in-water work window for the Coos Bay estuary (October 1 to February 15) or under an approved in-water work window variance.
Marine slip sheetpile extension: The applicant would conduct work above and below the mean high water mark of Coos Bay to extend the western extent of the proposed marine slip sheetpile bulkhead by 100-feet (yellow area in Drawing 3). This extension is proposed to ensure channel side slope stabilization, minimizing potential effects to the integrity or use of the proposed marine slip.
Temporary dredged material off-loading area relocation: The applicant would relocate a proposed temporary dredged material offloading area near the Al Pierce Company (APCO) dredged material disposal sites to conform to local land use zoning designations (Drawings 1 and 4). The relocation of the dredge offload area would result in a temporary impact of 0.03-acre of deep subtidal habitat due to placement of the pipeline on substrate and from the construction of 16 temporary pilings each measuring 24-inches in diameter. The pilings would be driven with vibratory and/or impact hammer methods. The relocation of this off-loading area and, subsequently, a dredged material transfer pipeline, would decrease temporary impacts to deep subtidal habitat and would reduce temporary impacts to approximately 0.03-acre of eelgrass. The applicant would remove the pilings and pipeline at the conclusion of the initial capital dredging.
Temporary dredged material pipeline routing for Navigation Reliability Improvement (NRI) area dredging: The applicant proposes two options to route temporary dredged material pipelines to minimize project impacts to recreational and commercial navigation and aquatic habitat near NRI dredge area 1, 2 and 3 (Drawing 4). Dredged material would be hydraulically pumped to the APCO dredged material disposal sites. The first option the applicant has identified is to utilize a floating pipeline which would be uncoupled to allow passage of deep draft vessels. The floating pipeline would not be uncoupled for recreational vessels. The applicant would divert recreational vessels around this section of floating pipeline in an area of sufficient water depth.
The second option the applicant has identified is to place a submerged pipeline along the western side of the Coos Bay Federal Navigation Channel (Coos Bay Channel) to transport dredged material from NRI dredge areas 2 and 3 and across the Coos Bay Channel near NRI dredge area 4 where the Coos Bay Channel is deep enough to maintain adequate vessel underkeel clearance. Under this proposal, the pipeline would be elevated at fixed locations on barges which would employ dredged material booster pumps to transfer dredged material to APCO dredged material disposal sites as described on Drawing 1. The construction of a submerged pipeline would result in temporary impacts to approximately 0.05-acres of intertidal habitat, 0.03-acres of shallow subtidal habitat, and 0.03-acre of eelgrass, representing no change in impact from the applicant’s current proposal. Temporary impacts to deep subtidal habitat from a submerged pipeline would increase from approximately 2.93-acres to 12.83-acres in total.
Kentuck Mitigation Site temporary dredged material pipeline relocation: The applicant proposes to relocate the Kentuck Mitigation Site temporary dredged material pipeline to avoid and/or minimize impacts to eelgrass, mudflats, and archeological resources (Drawing 5). The relocation of this temporary pipeline would result in an additional impact of 0.001-acre of intertidal habitat and 0.64-acre of shallow subtidal habitat. Temporary impacts to deep subtidal habitat would be reduced by approximately 0.62-acre to 1.54-acres total. Temporary impacts to eelgrass would decrease from 0.024-acre to 0.023-acre.
Eelgrass mitigation, salvage and transplanting: The applicant has identified the construction of the marine access channel, pile dike rock apron, and use of temporary dredge pipelines to transfer dredged material would result in the permanent loss of 2.14-acres of eelgrass and would temporarily impact 0.66 acres of eelgrass. Permanent eelgrass impacts would occur from direct loss during dredge and fill activities. Temporary eelgrass impacts would occur from barge staging to construct the pile dike rock apron and from dredge pipelines used to transfer dredged material from the Eelgrass Mitigation Site, to the APCO sites, and to the Kentuck Mitigation Site. The applicant has revised their proposed compensatory mitigation plan related to eelgrass impacts and mitigation. The applicant would construct a 9.34-acre eelgrass mitigation site by grading a 6.78-acre site to support the development of 2.71-acres of eelgrass. The proposed mitigation site would be dredged from an elevation of +2.7-feet Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) datum to -0.28 to -1.28-feet MLLW depth. The applicant would salvage approximately 2.14-acres of existing eelgrass from the proposed marine slip and rock apron location, relocating this eelgrass to two transplant areas measuring approximately 0.9-acres and 1.2-acres in size respectively (Drawing 6). The applicant would remove approximately 530 cy of sand and silt soil around the eelgrass to be salvaged; the majority of the soil would remain at the location where it was removed. The applicant does not propose to grade the two transplant areas when planting salvaged eelgrass. The applicant’s purpose for transplanting eelgrass to these temporary transplant areas is to allow the eelgrass to over-winter for one to two seasons while their permanent eelgrass mitigation site is constructed and stabilizes. In addition to transplanting eelgrass from the marine slip and pile dike rock apron area, the applicant would obtain approximately 0.15-acre of eelgrass from an existing 18.6-acre eelgrass donor bed located approximately 1,500-feet southwest of the proposed Eelgrass Mitigation Site.
South Dunes site fence construction: The applicant would discharge approximately five cubic yards of concrete fill within a wetland to form structural supports for the construction of perimeter fence at their South Dunes Site (Drawing 7). The fence would measure eight feet tall and approximately 3,688-feet in length and would be located along the eastern extent of the South Dunes site. Approximately 70-feet of the fence would be constructed in a wetland. The concrete footings would measure one square foot in size and three feet in depth and would be spaced ten feet apart. The construction of the fence would result in the permanent loss of 0.1-acre of palustrine forested wetland.
TransPacific Parkway/U.S. Highway 101 Intersection widening: The applicant would widen the intersection of U.S. Highway 101 and TransPacific Parkway to construct a turning lane to control traffic entering U.S. Highway 101 (Drawing 8). Widening of TransPacific Parkway would result in the permanent loss of approximately 0.51-acres of intertidal habitat though the discharge of rock fill material below the high tide line of Haynes Inlet located north of the current alignment of the roadway. The applicant would isolate the roadway widening work area by constructing a temporary 712-foot long pile supported sheetpile wall located north of the current alignment of the roadway. The applicant would install approximately 1,150 14-inch diameter temporary untreated wooden pilling using both vibratory and impact hammer methods. Sheetpile wall installation is expected to occur at low tide when standing water is not present at the site. Pile driving and fill placement would occur within the isolated work area. Following completion of the road widening project component the applicant would cut the temporary sheetpile at the mudline and remove it from the waterway.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)-recommended pipeline route variations:
Per the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) issued March 29, 2019, the FERC has recommended the applicant adopt three pipeline route variations which affect waters of the U.S. and which offer an environmental advantage to the applicant’s proposed route. The route variations are discussed below and referenced in Drawing 9. The applicant has notified the Corps they have adopted the East Fork Cow Creek (EFCC) Variation and Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Variation pipeline route variations.
Blue Ridge Variation: Based on comments received during EIS scoping and concerns expressed by the Bureau of Land Management regarding steep topography, late-successional old-growth (LSOG), and potential impacts on threatened and endangered terrestrial species, the FERC evaluated an alternative between mile post (MP) 11 and 25 referred to as the Blue Ridge Variation (Drawing 10). The FERC’s preliminary conclusion in recommending the applicant adopt the Blue Ridge variation is based primarily in the variation’s ability to reduce long-term permanent impacts to LSOG habitat. The Blue Ridge variation is approximately 15.2-miles long which is approximately 1.2-miles longer than the applicant’s proposed route. The Blue Ridge variation would deviate from the applicant’s proposed route near MP 11 just south of the Coos River, continue southwest across Catching Slough, turn south/southeast, and generally co-located with an existing utility right-of-way before rejoining the proposed route near MP 25. The Blue Ridge variation would affect an additional 14-acres of land and would more than double the number of private parcels crossed by the pipeline route (24 to 53 parcels). The Blue Ridge variation would increase the number of intermittent waterbodies crossed by the pipeline from five to 29 and number of perennial waterbodies crossed by the pipeline from three to 30. The length of wetland crossed as a result of the Blue Ridge variation would reduce from two acres to 1.9-acres.
EFCC Variation: In consultation with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the FERC evaluated a pipeline route variation between MP 109.7 and 109.8 which is considered a modified EFCC crossing (Drawing 11). The purpose of the recommended variation is to avoid construction of the pipeline parallel between upper reaches of perennial streams at their crossings. The route variation incorporates pipeline crossings which are located perpendicular to the tributaries, reducing the risk of site destabilization and increasing the likelihood of successful stream channel restoration post-construction. The EFCC variation is the same length as the applicant’s previously proposed route and would result in the same number of waterbodies crossed, but at different locations. The EFCC variation would result in less land disturbance (0.12-acre) than the applicant’s previously proposed route because of reductions in surface width disturbance associated with pipeline waterbody crossings (95-feet down to 75-feet). The EFCC variation would affect slightly less old growth forest and northern spotted owl suitable habitat than the applicant’s previously proposed route. The applicant has submitted this variation to the Corps as part of their revised project design.
PCT Variation: In consultation with the USFS, the FERC evaluated an alternative crossing location of the PCT (Drawing 12). The purpose of the recommended variation is to minimize potential impacts on trail users by realigning the pipeline to an area of the trail that is adjacent to existing land disturbance related to USFS road 3720-700. The PCT variation would avoid impacting old growth forest and a recreation corridor, and would reduce visual impacts to trail users. The PCT variation would be slightly longer than the applicant’s previously proposed route (0.12-acre) resulting in a larger construction ROW footprint (~1.5-acres). In addition, the PCT variation would cross one headwater stream whereas the applicant’s previously proposed route crossed zero streams at the route variation location. The applicant has submitted this variation to the Corps as part of their revised project design.
Culvert installation and/or replacements: The applicant would permanently install and/or extend 13 culverts within waterways as part of access road improvements to facilitate vehicle, equipment, and project materials access to the pipeline location (Drawing 13, 14). Existing culvert sizes vary from 24 to 36-inches in diameter and vary in length. The applicant would install plastic or metal pipe culverts where culverts currently do not exist. These culverts would measure approximately 18 to 60-inches in diameter and 24 to 80-feet in length. Culvert installation and/or extension actions would permanently impact approximately 573 linear feet of waterways in total.
Authority: As identified in the Corps original public notice for the project dated May 22, 2018, the proposed project will be evaluated 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 14, Rivers and Harbors Act 1899 (33 U.S.C. 408) (referred to as “Section 408”), for work to alter a Corps civil works project. An alteration is defined as any action that builds upon, alters, improves, moves, occupies or otherwise affects the usefulness, or the structural or ecological integrity of a Corps federally authorized project. The proposed project may alter the following Federally authorized projects:
• The Federal navigation channel in Coos Bay both during construction and permanently;
• The Federal navigation channel in the Coos River both during construction and permanently;
• The Federal pile dike structure west of the proposed slip both during construction and permanently;
• A 40-acre multi-use U.S. Army Corps of Engineers real estate easement located partially within the proposed LNG Terminal tank site;
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 supplemental discharges 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. The source of the fill material would be clean rock and concrete. The source of dredged material would be soil, sand and silt. The Corps will evaluate any other proposed fill material sources (i.e., borrow site) prior to finalizing a permit decision.
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.
Coastal Zone Management: Section 307(c) of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1456(c), requires non-Federal applicants seeking a federal license or permit to conduct any activity occurring in or affecting the coastal zone to obtain a Consistency Certification which indicates the activity conforms with the State’s Coastal Zone Management Program. The applicant believes the proposed project would comply with and be conducted in a manner consistent with the Oregon Ocean and Coastal Management Program.
EIS: The applicant has applied to the FERC for approval, pursuant to the Natural Gas Act, to construct and operate a liquefied natural gas terminal and natural gas pipeline. The FERC is the lead federal agency developing an EIS for the project pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Corps is a cooperating agency assisting the FERC in the development of the EIS. The FERC issued a Draft EIS for the project on March 29, 2019. View the FERC’s Draft EIS at this webpage: https://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/enviro/eis/2019/03-29-19-DEIS.asp
The FERC is recognized as the lead federal agency for compliance with the Endangered Species Act, Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Essential Fish Habitat), and National Historic Preservation Act.
Drawings: Fourteen (14) drawings are attached and labeled Corps No. NWP-2017-41. 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 Regulatory website at http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory and select Regulatory Public Notices from the list of Regulatory pages.
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 proposal 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 activity. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to allow an alteration of a federally authorized project or 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 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 or injurious to the public interest or would impair the usefulness of the Federal project.
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 either Corps Project Manager listed below. Please identify which authority the comment is specific to (e.g. Section 404, Section 10, or Section 14 (408)). To request a hard copy of the public notice please submit a request to the email inbox or physical address listed below.
For questions regarding the Corps Regulatory authorities and evaluation (Section 404/10) please contact: Mr. Tyler Krug, (541) 756-2097, or Tyler.J.Krug@usace.army.mil. For questions regarding the Corps Planning Division authorities and evaluation (Section 408) please contact: Ms. Marci E. Johnson, (503) 915-3551, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 below:
Hardcopy: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
North Bend Field Office
2201 North Broadway Suite C
North Bend, Oregon 97459-2372