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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Portland District
Published April 18, 2022
Expiration date: 5/18/2022

 Application for Permit

Issue Date: April 18, 2022
Expiration Date: May 18, 2022
                              U.S. Army Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2022-109 

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 drawings. The Corps is soliciting comments on the proposed work.
 Port of Vancouver
                        Attention: Matt Harding
                        3103 NW Lower River Road 
                        Vancouver, Washington 98660
                        Telephone: (360) 518-3004

Applicant’s Agent:     Floyd Snider 
                                        Attention: Erin Murray
                                        601 Union Street, Suite 600
                                        Seattle, Washington 98101
                                        Telephone: (206) 518-3004

Location: The project site is located within the Columbia River at Port of Vancouver Terminal 1 100 Columbia Street Vancouver, Clark County, Washington. The site is in Section 51, Township 2 North, Range 1 East. Latitude and Longitude: 45.621901 North, 122.675823 West

Waterway: Columbia River. The location of the ordinary high water mark (OHWM) 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 replace the deteriorating Terminal 1 dock with a new dock in the same footprint. This project would
provide public access to the shoreline with outdoor civic and entertainment spaces, and landscape areas. The dock replacement would include new electrical, lighting, and stormwater improvements. The replacement dock is also intended to support a future marketplace building.

Project Description: The applicant proposes to replace the Port of Vancouver Terminal 1 dock within the Columbia River waterward of the OHWM. The existing 51,175 square feet dock would be replaced in its entirety. The project would also remove and grade approximately 1,700 cubic yards of existing material within 0.546 acre of the Columbia River below the OHWM. The applicant would discharge approximately 1,700 cubic yards of imported rock armor within 0.546 acre of the Columbia River for grading and stabilization. Upon completion of the replacement dock, the applicant would construct a 32,000 square-foot marketplace. The marketplace building would be a warehouse-like structure and would house a variety of retail establishments.

Prior to the removal of the existing dock structure, utilities within the areas of demolition would be cut and capped at the limits of the demolition or fully removed with the exception of the existing storm drain outfalls, which would be maintained as operational throughout construction. Dock demolition includes removal of concrete surface, timber decking, timber stringers, timber catwalks that are hung below the dock surface, timber pile caps, decommissioned steel sprinkler pipes and general utility pipes. The extensive bracing and substructure that would be removed may contain creosote-treated wood. Demolition would occur using standard construction equipment from the dock, and/or from the waterward edge of the dock using crane equipment mounted on a barge. Material removed from the dock superstructure would be stockpiled onsite or on a debris barge, sorted for salvage, and disposed of at a land fill or recycled if deemed suitable for reuse. The fender piles along the dock face would be removed as part of this work. The existing fender pile system consists of approximately fifty 15-inch-diameter creosote-treated timber fender piles. The fender piles would be removed using a combination of vibratory and direct pull techniques. The overwater timber apron would also be removed. These materials would be placed on the barge and taken to an upland disposal site. Approximately 150 15-inch creosote timber piles that support the existing dock structure would be removed via vibratory hammer and approximately 701 15-inch creosote piles would be cut and removed from the water column but remain in the mudline. These piles will not be removed in full in order to maintain slope stability. 

Once demolition is complete the existing shoreline slope would be repaired and regraded. The slope would be graded from a 1.5-foot Horizontal to 1-foot Vertical slope to a flatter 2.5-foot Horizontal to 1-foot Vertical slope from 0 feet Columbia River Datum (CRD) extending up above the OHWM to where the slope intersects the bulkhead wall. The project would remove and regrade approximately 1,700 cubic yards of existing material on the slope. The upper existing slope consists of shotcrete and rubble revetment that would be removed during this work. Regrading of the slope and debris is expected to occur using crane equipment mounted on a barge. Removed material from the slope would be placed on a barge for transload and off-site disposal at an upland landfill facility. Following this work, the slope from 0 feet CRD up to the top of slope located above the OHWM would be re-armored with approximately 1,700 cubic yards of rock to establish a minimum 2-foot-thick layer to maintain slope stability. This would cover creosote treated piles that are left in the slope below mudline. 

The dock would be replaced within its existing footprint using standard construction equipment from the shore, and from the water using equipment mounted on a barge. Approximately 160 24-inch-diameter steel piles would be installed with a vibratory hammer and each pile would take approximately 60 minutes to install. After installation of the steel piling, an impact hammer would be used to proof the piles to the appropriate load-bearing capacity. Proofing would take approximately 15 minutes per pile with a maximum of 1,000 strikes per pile. Steel pile caps would be installed atop the steel support piles. Pre-cast concrete panels would be put atop the steel pile caps and welded together. The space between the panels would then be filled with cast-in-place concrete to close the seams. The dock decking would then be constructed. The replaced dock area would be resurfaced with a combination of asphalt, concrete paving, or wood decking. Behind the bulkhead wall, where the dock deck extends upland, a cast-in place slab on grade would be constructed. After the decking is completed, the fender piles and fender system would be installed. Approximately 50 12-inch diameter steel piles would be installed. The steel fender piles would be installed with a vibratory hammer and each pile would take approximately 60 minutes to install. Upon completion of the fender piles, a high-density polyethylene pipe sleeve or rub strip would be placed on each pile. The walers and fenders would then be put in place, which would consist of a line of rubber fenders placed behind a waler. Mooring cleats would be installed and the dock would be completed with a perimeter safety railing.

The dock is currently illuminated. Electrical service would be extended to the replacement dock from an existing Clark Public Utilities (CPU) electrical duct bank located approximately 150 feet upland. Power would be provided to the future marketplace building through a new CPU electrical service transformer, also located upland. On the replaced dock, up to 12 two-headed 16-foot light poles would be installed in an area that would become the plaza. The light poles installed on the plaza area would utilize downcast shields to minimize spill onto the adjacent water.

A majority of the replaced dock (approximately 48,275 SF area) would be pedestrian access only and is non-pollution generating. Storm drainage from the non-pollution generating dock surface would be collected and discharged to the Columbia River through a series of deck drains, consistent with existing conditions. The applicant would install two 8-inch diameter outfalls at an invert elevation above 17 feet CRD. They would discharge directly onto the new armored slope. One new outfall would be installed to accommodate the marketplace building that is expected to be built on the dock in the future. This outfall would remain offline until the marketplace building is constructed; then it would convey stormwater from the non-pollution generating roof. The other new outfall would be installed to accommodate an approximately 3,900 SF area on the northeast corner of the dock that would be used for vehicle deliveries to the new marketplace building. As part of this project, that area would be graded, isolated, and conveyance would be installed to route that stormwater to an upland treatment system (e.g., filter cartridge system) before discharging through the new outfall under the dock.

Dredged Material Testing: The proposed dredged material 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. 

Mitigation: The applicant proposes to avoid and minimize impacts from the project by In-water work would be conducted from September 15 through February 28. Work is anticipated to occur from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The applicant would prepare a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plan for activities that include the use of heavy equipment. An emergency spill kit will be available onsite during construction whenever work is being performed in or near the water. Best Management Practices may include floats, falsework, scaffolding, netting, and other means as necessary to prevent debris from falling into the water. All debris or spill material will be properly disposed of at an approved disposal facility. Water Quality Monitoring and Protection Plan would be prepared for the project. Barges will not ground out or rest on the substrate or sediment surfaces. The applicant did not propose compensatory mitigation in the permit application.

Drawings: Twelve (12) drawings are attached and labeled Corps No. NWP-2022-109. 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 and under Regulatory Pages select Permit Application Public Notices.

Additional Information: The individual permit is being evaluated as a 10-year permit. 

Authority: 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 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 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. 

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 will (has) initiate(d) 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 will (has) initiate(d) 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 Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, interested Native American 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 approval from Clark County. The applicant has applied for the following additional governmental authorizations for the project: Washington Department of Ecology 401 Water Quality Certification. City of Vancouver Shoreline Substantial Development Permit. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Hydraulic Project Approval. 

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; Native American 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
        Brad Johnson
        P.O. Box 2946
        Portland, Oregon 97208-2946
        Telephone: (503) 808-4383