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-2022-039

Portland District
Published June 16, 2022
Expiration date: 7/16/2022

PUBLIC NOTICE
Application for Permit

Issue Date: June 16, 2022
Expiration Date: July 16, 2022
                               U.S. Army Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2022-039

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.

Applicant:    Aymium
                        Attention: Erin Heupel
                        513 4th Street 
                        Gwinn, MI 49481
                        Email: eheupel@aymium.com
                        Telephone: (605) 838-6630

Applicant’s Agent:     The Acker Group LLC 
                                        Attention: Timothy Acker
                                        38863 Scravel Hill Road NE
                                        Albany, OR 97322
                                        Email: atwetlands@comcast.net
                                        Telephone: (503) 871-5472

Location: The project site is located at 3251 Old Salem Road, in Millersburg, Linn County, Oregon. The site is in Section 28, Township 10 South, Range 03 West. Latitude and Longitude: 44.674360° North, 123.060644° West

Waterway: Wetlands A, D, E, F, H, I, J, K, L, M, and Q were delineated in the project area.

Project Purpose: The applicant’s stated purpose is to construct an industrial plant to produce a pelletized biocarbon product from sawmill byproducts, logging residuals, and orchard pruning fiber.

Project Description: The proposed project is the Aymium West Coast Millersburg Plant to develop a former papermill site into a biocarbon production and shipping facility.  Up to 11,708 cubic yards (cy) of native soils would be excavated from 7.96 acres of wetlands prior to discharging 32,783 cy of engineered soil and crushed rock to level the site for the facility construction and use. A total of 2.265 acres of Wetland A, 2.178 acres of wetland D, 1.55 acres of wetland E, 0.336 acres of wetland H would be filled with soil and rock to construct the railroad spur, roadway, and the feedstock pile location. Wetlands filled entirely with soil and rock include 0.239 acres of wetland F, 0.265 acres of wetland I, 0.137 acres of wetland J, 0.5 acres of wetland K, 0.087 acres of wetland L, 0.336 acres of wetland M, and 0.061 acres of wetland Q would be completely filled for the construction of the site, stormwater facilities, and the feedstock pile. There are no proposed temporary impacts to wetlands. Work would be accomplished by using typical construction equipment such as graders, trackhoes, bulldozers, and dump trucks.  

Mitigation: The applicant proposes to avoid and minimize impacts from the project by using best management practices to minimize potential erosion and posting signs to prevent work in avoided wetlands. Avoidance measures for the avoided wetlands includes performing earthwork during the dry season, installing erosion control measures, maintaining erosion control measures, and stabilizing disturbed soils with grass seed upon work completion.   Part of the development site includes a 0.52 acre mitigation wetland. 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 has proposed to purchase a total of 8.48 credits from a bank within the service area of the project site. The credits to be purchased would reflect the impacts of the proposed project: PEM/depressional – 4.73 credits; PEM/slope – 0.50 credits; PFO/depressional – 0.34 credits; PSS/depressional – 2.91 credits.  Of the 2.91 PSS/depressional credits, 0.52 credits are additional credits to be purchased to offset the mitigation wetland that will be impacted. The Corps will determine the type and amount of compensatory mitigation necessary to offset environmental losses from the proposed project.

Drawings: Twelve (12) drawings are attached and labeled Corps No. NWP-2022-039 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 under Regulatory Pages select Permit Application Public Notices.

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 from a local commercial source.


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. The state’s notice for a water quality certification is attached.

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 initiate 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 initiate 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 Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, 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 Linn County. The applicant has applied for the following additional governmental authorizations for the project: Removal-Fill Permit from the Department of State Lands (DSL) (DLS No. APP0063852).

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 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
        Benny A. Dean Jr. 
        Eugene Field Office
        211 E. 7th Avenue, Suite 105
        Eugene, Oregon  97401-2763
        Email: Benny.A.Dean@usace.army.mil
        Telephone: (541) 465-6769



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


    Notice Issued: June 16, 2022
    Written Comments Due: July 16, 2022

Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2022-039
Oregon Department of State Lands No: APP0063852    

WHO IS THE APPLICANT: Aymium

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.” Additional Section 401 process information is available on DEQ’s webpage (https://www.oregon.gov/deq/wq/wqpermits/Pages/Section-401-Certification.aspx).

Written comments: Written comments on project elements related to water quality must be received at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality by 11:59 p.m. on the date specified in the upper right section on page one of this notice. Comments may be submitted electronically or through standard mail.

Electronic – Written comments may be submitted electronically through Your DEQ Online (https://ydo.oregon.gov/pub/login). For questions regarding account registration, system navigation, or training resources, please visit the Your DEQ Online help webpage (https://www.oregon.gov/deq/Permits/Pages/Your-DEQ-Online-Help.aspx).

Mail – Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Northwest Region
            700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite #600
            Portland, Oregon 97232
            Attn: 401 Water Quality Certification 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. Public records can be accessed through the Your DEQ Online public records portal webpage 
(https://ordeq-edms-public.govonlinesaas.com/pub/login).

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.oregon.gov.