Permit Application Public Notices

The United States Congress authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to regulate activities that may impact wetlands and waters of the United States. This authority is granted and defined under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, also known as the Clean Water Act.

Public involvement is a key element of the Corps’ permit review process. During an application review, the Corps considers the views of other federal, state and local agencies, Native American tribes, interest groups, and the general public. The results of this careful public interest review are fair and equitable decisions that allow reasonable use of private property, infrastructure development, and growth of the economy, while offsetting the authorized impacts to the waters of the United States.

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NWP-2020-194

Published July 10, 2020
Expiration date: 8/10/2020

PUBLIC NOTICE
Application for Permit

Issue Date: July 10, 2020
Expiration Date: August 10, 2020
US Army Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2020-194
Oregon Department of State Lands No: 62645

30-Day Notice 

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: Cascade Pacific Pulp
Attention: Lisa Scott
30480 American Drive 
Halsey, Oregon 97348
Email: Lisa.scott@igic.com
Telephone: (541) 369-1752

Applicant’s Agent: Pacific Habitat Services, Inc.
Attention: Shawn Eisner
9450 SW Commerce Circle
Suite 180
Wilsonville, Oregon 97070
Email: se@pacifichabitat.com
Telephone: (503) 570-0800

Location: The project site is located at 30480 American Drive in Halsey, Linn County, Oregon. The site is in Sections 3 and 34, Township 14 and 13 South, Range 4 West. Latitude and Longitude: 44.3888 North, 123.1551 West

Waterway: Wetlands A – G are on the project site. The wetland boundaries 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.

Project Purpose: The applicant’s stated purpose is to provide an additional six days of retention time of paper mill effluent discharge at an approximate volume of 75 to 110 million gallons within a constructed pond.

Project Description: The project would discharge 10,141 cubic yards of fill over 2.29 acres of wetlands to construct a third aeration pond (Aeration Stabilization Basin or ASB) at Cascade Pacific Pulp’s mill. The pond would be approximately 30 acres in size, 600 feet wide by 2,100 feet long, with an approximate depth of 14.5 feet from top of berm. The pond would be designed for treatment of the mill’s effluent to meet the limits of their National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The pond would be located east of the existing east aeration pond and almost identical in design to the existing ponds. The new pond would require impacts to all or a portion of the seven wetlands onsite.

The slope of the earthen berm would be 1 vertical to 3 or greater horizontal with a minimum compaction of 95%. The berms would have a crest width of 20 feet with a 16-foot wide road. The road would be compacted backfill at 95% compaction with six inches of graded gravel. The outside faces of the berm would be seeded with native grasses to prevent erosion. In order to provide adequate pond depth, existing grades would be raised through the construction of an embankment around the entirety of the pond. As the new pond would adjoin the current Eastern ASB, that pond’s eastern embankment would provide the western embankment of the new pond. 

Some excavation below existing grade would be necessary. Approximately 6,394 cubic yards of material would be removed from 2.29 acres of wetlands. The site would be prepared by the removal of about one-half foot of topsoil and organic material everywhere within the project footprint. The pond would be constructed of compacted backfill of soil from the site, as well as imported sand, gravels, and bentonite clay. An impervious membrane would be installed on the inside of the pond to prevent seepage of effluent into surrounding soils. 

The new pond would hold approximately 75 to 110 million gallons of paper mill effluent to provide an additional six days of retention time. Utilizing the existing east and west aeration ponds with the addition of a new aeration pond would ensure an overall retention time of ten days for greater than ten years. As part of the project, an existing stormwater swale built in 1968 would be routed away from the new pond. The swale (Wetland C) currently passes through the northeast corner of the proposed pond and would be shifted north of the current alignment to parallel the northern pond embankment before wrapping around to the east, ultimately rejoining the existing channel east of the project limits.

Mitigation: The applicant proposes to avoid and minimize impacts from the project by using erosion and sediment control best management practices, accessing the site via existing gravel roads, locating staging areas in uplands, installing fences around wetland boundaries, seeding bare soils after construction, and working within the in-water work window from July 1 to October 15. 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. The applicant proposes to purchase 2.29 credits from the South Santiam Mitigation Bank. The Corps will determine the type and amount of compensatory mitigation necessary to offset environmental losses from the proposed project.

Drawings: Seven (7) drawings are attached and labeled Corps No. NWP-2020-194. 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 www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory and select Regulatory Public Notices from the list of Regulatory pages.

Additional Information: The two existing aeration ponds were constructed in 1967 with an operational depth of 11.6 feet and provide 12 days of retention time.

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. The source of the fill material would be soil excavated from the site, as well as imported sand, gravels, and bentonite clay. 

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 may affect an endangered or threatened species or designated critical habitat. The Corps has initiated consultation under Section 7 of the ESA. The Corps will complete the required consultation prior to finalizing a permit decision.

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 adversely affect EFH at the project location or in the vicinity. The Corps has initiated consultation under Section 305(b)(2) of the MSA. The Corps will complete the required consultation prior to finalizing a permit decision.

Historic Properties/Cultural Resources: Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (54 U.S.C. 306108), 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. The Corps’ preliminary review indicates an historic properties investigation has been conducted within the permit area. No sites determined eligible for or listed on the National Register of Historic Places were found to exist within the permit area.

This notice has been provided to the State Historic Preservation Office (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 at the end of this notice to assist in a complete evaluation of potential effects.

State and Local Authorizations: The applicant has obtained a 1200-C permit from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and will be applying for modification to the existing NPDES permit from DEQ, a 401 Water Quality Certification from DEQ, and a local building permit for a small electrical/storage building on the west side of the new pond. 

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 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
Regulatory Branch
Carrie Bond
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, Oregon 97208-2946
Email: Carrie.L.Bond@usace.army.mil
Telephone: (503) 808-4387


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

Notice Issued: July 10, 2020
Written Comments Due: August 10, 2020

Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2020-194
Oregon Department of State Lands No: 62645

WHO IS THE APPLICANT: Cascade Pacific Pulp

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 Permit 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) 229-5623.

Any questions on the water quality certification process may be addressed to the 401 Permit Coordinator at (503) 229-5623 or toll free within Oregon at (800) 452-4011. People with hearing impairments may call the Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service at (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 or mailed 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 Permit Coordinator 

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: DEQ can provide documents in an alternate format or in a language other than English upon request. Call DEQ at (800) 452-4011 or email deqinfo@deq.state.or.us.