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-2000-39-5

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

Joint Public Notice

Application for a Department of the Army Permit and a Washington Department of Ecology Water Quality Certification and attached is the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Water Quality Certification Notice

Public Notice Date: July 10, 2020
Expiration Date: August 10, 2020
Reference No.: NWP-2000-39-5

US Army Corps of Engineers
Regulatory Branch
Post Office Box 2946
Portland, OR 97208-2946
Telephone: (503) 808-4383
ATTN: Brad Johnson, Project Manager

WA Department of Ecology
SEA Program
Post Office Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
Telephone: (360) 407-6068
ATTN: SEA Program,
Federal Permit Coordinator

Interested parties are hereby notified that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps) and the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) have received an application to perform work in waters of the U.S. as described below and shown on the attached plans. The Corps and Ecology are soliciting comments on the proposed work.

The Corps will review the work in accordance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. Ecology will review the work pursuant to Section 401 of the CWA, with applicable provisions of Washington water pollution control laws. DEQ will review the work pursuant to section 401 of the CWA, with application provisions of Oregon water pollution control laws.

Applicant: Port of Longview
Attention: Ms. Lisa Hendriksen
10 Port way
Longview, Washington 98632
Email: lhendriksen@portoflongview.com
Telephone: (360) 425-3305

Applicant’s Agent: Anchor QEA, LLC
ATTN: Derek Koellmann
1605 Cornwall Avenue
Bellingham, Washington 98225
Email: dkoellmann@anchorqea.com 
Telephone: (360) 715-2701 

Location: The proposed project is located in the Columbia River at river mile 65, Longview, Cowlitz County, Washington. The site is in Section 9, Township 7 North, Range 2 West. Latitude/Longitude: 46.1059345° N, 122.9548225° W.

Waterway: The Columbia River. The location of the ordinary high water mark shown on the project drawings has 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 conduct maintenance dredging and expand dredging operations at port facilities.

Project Description: The applicant proposes to conduct maintenance dredging and expand dredging operations at the Port berths and at Willow Grove, removing up to 40,000 cubic yards (cy) per year, with an average of 28,000 cy of material removed per year. Dredging volumes would vary each year based on river shoaling, access requirements at the Port berths, and availability of placement sites. The total quantity of dredging over the 10-year term of the permit would not exceed 300,000 cy. Dredge material would be disposed of at in-water locations within the states of Oregon and Washington. The material would be disposed at the following locations (labeled placement sites on drawings):

Site Name

Lat/Long

Type

State

W-56.1-IW

46.1886, -123.1266

In-water

Washington

O-56.2-SW

46.182757, -123.128342

In-water

Oregon

O-57.8-SW

46.171789, -123.104068

In-water

Oregon

O-59.9-SW

46.156394, -123.0649

In-water

Oregon

Willow Grove Placement Site

46.17778, - 123.098069

Upland

Washington

 

Port berths 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, and 9 would be dredged to a depth of -43 feet Columbia River Datum (CRD) with the allowance of 2 feet of over dredge (maximum dredge depth of -45 ft). Port berths 1A, 6, and 7 would be dredged to a depth of -40 feet CRD with the allowance of 2 feet of over dredge (maximum dredge depth of -42 ft.). The Willow Grove Boat Basin would be dredged to a depth of -6.3 feet CRD. The project would also expand the berth dredging footprint to deepen an area behind the pier at Berth 9 (adjacent to and upstream of Berth 8), to a depth of -43 feet CRD plus 2 feet of over dredge (maximum dredge depth of -45 ft). This would entail a one-time dredging event to remove up to 10,000 cy over an area of approximately 0.253 acre for more efficient vessel maneuverability. Future dredging would be performed in this area to maintain the new depth. 

Dredging methods would include mechanical (clamshell or closed lip), hydraulic, and hopper dredging. Dredged material would be transported to the disposal location by bottom-dump barge, hopper barge, or other similar method. Material would be transported from the dredge location to the in-water disposal site via a bottom-dump barge. For in-water disposal, the barge would maneuver into position and open the bottom to release the material. For upland disposal a barge-mounted crane with excavator bucket or other practicable method would be used to transfer dredged material from a barge to the upland site. 

The Port of Longview would prioritize in-water disposal over upland disposal. In the event that approved in-water disposal sites within Oregon and Washington are not available, dredged material would be disposed at the Willow Grove Park upland disposal site. In addition to the maintenance dredging activities the proposed project would include the collection of future sediment samples from the port berths and Willow Grove Boat Basin. Port facilities currently have 290 existing wooden fender pilings associated with the berthing areas that could be damaged by dredge activities. The port would replace up to 29 pilings per year. The Willow Grove boat basin is lined with riprap that could become dislodged during dredge activities, the proposed project would replace the dislodged riprap for the life of the permit. 

Dredged Material Testing: Project sediments in the maintenance dredging locations were evaluated in accordance with the Sediment Evaluation Framework for the Pacific Northwest (SEF). The interagency Portland Sediment Evaluation Team (PSET) implements the SEF for the Corps Portland District. For this project, the PSET has determined that a portion of sediments are suitable for unconfined, aquatic disposal for the previously dredged berths. 

The expanded dredging footprint in an area behind the pier at Berth 9 (adjacent to and upstream of Berth 8) will be evaluated in accordance with the Sediment Evaluation Framework for the Pacific Northwest (SEF). The interagency Portland Sediment Evaluation Team (PSET) implements the SEF for the Corps Portland District. The PSET will determine if sediment testing is required for this project. Project sediments may require physical, chemical, and/or biological testing to support the permit application evaluation. The PSET will evaluate the applicant’s sediment testing results and determine if project sediments are suitable for unconfined, aquatic disposal or exposure.

The proposed project includes future maintenance dredging. Prior to each maintenance dredging cycle the applicant would be required to coordinate with the Corps and the PSET to determine if additional sediment testing is required.

Mitigation: The applicant did not propose compensatory mitigation in the permit application. The Corps will determine the type and amount of compensatory mitigation necessary to offset environmental losses from the proposed project.

Drawings: Fifteen (15) drawings are attached and labeled Corps No. NWP-2000-39-5. 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 work associated with the project would be a 10-year maintenance dredge and disposal project. 

Authority: The proposed project will be evaluated by the Corps 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 Columbia River Navigation Channel. 

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 dredge material would be accumulated sediments with the port berths. 

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. Ecology is the certifying agency for the proposed project in Washington. DEQ is the certifying agency for the proposed project in Oregon. 

Endangered Species: The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires federal agencies to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and/or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) pursuant to Section 7 of ESA on all actions that may affect a species listed (or proposed for listing) under the ESA as threatened or endangered or any 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: The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996, requires all 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 proposed action would impact EFH in the project area. 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 to the best of our knowledge, the described activity is not located on property registered or eligible for registration in the latest published version of the National Register of Historic Places. At this time the Corps is unaware of any cultural resource surveys of the project area. 

This notice has been provided to the State Historic Preservation Officer (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 City of Longview and Cowlitz County has issued an exemption from the requirement of obtaining a Shorelines Substantial Development permit for maintenance dredging.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Hydraulic Approval

Oregon DEQ $01 Water Quality Certification

Oregon Department of State Lands Removal-Fill permit

City of Vancouver Floodplain Development

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 – Ecology: Ecology is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, Indian Tribes, State, and local agencies and officials; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this activity. Ecology will consider all comments to determine whether to certify or deny certification for the proposed project under Section 401 of the CWA.

Submitting Comments - Ecology: Any person desiring to present views on the project pertaining to a request for water quality certification under Section 401 of the CWA, may do so by submitting written comments to the following address: Washington State Department of Ecology, Attention: Federal Permit Coordinator, Post Office Box 47600, Olympia, Washington 98504-7600, or e-mail to ecyrefedpermits@ecy.wa.gov.

Evaluation – Corps: 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 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
Mr. Brad Johnson 
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, Oregon 97208-2946
Email: Brad.A.Johnson2@usace.army.mil
Telephone: (503) 808-4383

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-2000-39-5
Oregon Department of State Lands No: 60489-FP

WHO IS THE APPLICANT: Port of Longview

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.