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-2020-477

Portland District
Published Jan. 14, 2021
Expiration date: 2/11/2021

PUBLIC NOTICE
Application for Permit

Issue Date: January 12, 2021
Expiration Date: February 11, 2021
US Army Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2020-477
Oregon Department of State Lands No: 63046

 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: Malheur County Development Corporation
Attention: Greg Smith, Director
522 Southwest Fourth Street
Ontario, Oregon 97914
Email: Malheurcountyedc@gmail.com
Telephone: (541) 889-6216

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

Location: The project site is located east of Arcadia Boulevard and west of Chestnut Avenue approximately 2.5 miles north of Nyssa, Malheur County, Oregon. The site is in Section 17, Township 19 South, Range 47 East.  Latitude and Longitude:  43.913145 North, 116.989313 West.

Waterway: The project site has seven wetland areas totaling 22.98 acres in size. Wetland N-1 is approximately 0.02 acre in size, Wetland N-2 is approximately 0.02 acre in size, Wetland N-3 is approximately 0.07 acre in size, Wetland N-4 is approximately 0.09 acre in size, Wetland 4 is approximately 0.48 acre in size, Wetland 6 is approximately 0.50 acre in size, and Wetland 7 is approximately 21.80 acres in size. The Corps has not yet verified the delineation of these wetlands or determined if there are waters of the U.S.

Project Purpose: The applicant’s stated purpose is to serve the agricultural community in the Treasure Valley by providing infrastructure to transfer agricultural products from trucks to rail.

Project Description: The proposed project is the Treasure Valley Reload Center. The applicant would place a total of 13,690 cubic yards of fill in 1.79 acres of wetlands to construct new rail lines and transportation facilities along with associated infrastructure and utilities. The project involves constructing new transfer, storage, and loading facilities as well as new access roads and parking areas. 

Construction of the new facility would take place in stages. First the fill materials would be brought to the work site and staged in designated areas and erosion control measures such as silt fence and straw wattles would be installed. Construction of stormwater management infrastructure would be completed next, followed by grading for the reload building, main rail and spur, mitigation wetland and storm swale, and main and access roads. Next the main line and spur line rail would be installed, after which the utilities, paved roads, and mitigation wetland would be constructed.  Following completion of the project, all temporarily disturbed areas would be restored to pre-construction conditions.

The applicant would permanently place 1,917 cubic yards of soil in 0.20 acre of wetlands N1, N2, N3, and N4 to construct railroad lines.  Additional fill would consist of 218 cubic yards of soil and a culvert placed over 0.11 acre of Wetland 4, 163 cubic yards of soil and a culvert placed in 0.03 acre of Wetland 6, and 11,392 cubic yards of soil and culverts placed in 1.44 acres of Wetland 7.

Mitigation: The applicant proposes to avoid and minimize impacts from the project by flagging work area boundaries, restoring temporary access roads and paths, and implementing measures to avoid spills and discharges of untreated construction water. 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 add and maintain 8.93 acres of constructed wetlands to an existing wetland along the eastern edge of the project site.

Drawings:  Seven (7) drawings are attached and labeled Corps No. NWP-2020-477. 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.

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 Corps will evaluate the fill material source (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. 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. Consultation under Section 7 of the ESA is not required for the described activity. The Corps will make a final determination on the need to consult after receipt of comments from this public notice including any comments provided by the NMFS and/or USFWS.

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. The Corps will make a final determination on the need to consult on EFH after receipt of comments from this public notice including any comments provided by the NMFS.

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 will be applying for the following additional governmental authorizations for the project: Oregon Department of State Lands Removal/Fill Permit; Oregon Department of Environmental Quality 1200-C Construction Stormwater General Permit; Oregon Department of Environmental Quality 401 Water Quality Certification; Malheur County road access approval, building permit approval, and site plan approval; Oregon Department of State Lands Wetland Delineation Concurrence.

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
Thomas Sentner 
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, Oregon 97208-2946
Email: Thomas.f.sentner@usace.army.mil
Telephone: (503) 808-4959



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


Notice Issued: January 12, 2021
Written Comments Due: February 11, 2021

Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2020-477
Oregon Department of State Lands No: 63046

WHO IS THE APPLICANT: Malheur County Development Corporation

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.