US Army Corps of Engineers
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, OR 97208-2946
Telephone: (503) 808-4383
ATTN: Brad Johnson
WA Department of Ecology
Post Office Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
Telephone: (360) 407-6076
ATTN: SEA Program, Federal Permit Coordinator
Public Notice Date: August 12, 2022
Expiration Date: September 11, 2022
Reference No.: NWP-2007-916-2
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 drawings. 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 State water pollution control laws.
The Corps will also review the work in accordance with Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, as codified at 33 U.S.C. Section 408 (Section 408), for work that may 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 Federal Navigation Channel.
APPLICANT: Port of Vancouver
Attention: Matt Harding
3103 NW Lower River Road
Vancouver, Washington 98660
Telephone: (360) 518-3004
AGENT: Floyd Snider
Attention: Erin Murray
601 Union Street, Suite 600
Seattle, Washington 98101
Telephone: (206) 518-3004
LOCATION: The proposed project is located within the Columbia River (river miles 101-105.5) at the Port of Vancouver, Vancouver, Clark County, Washington. The site is in Sections 19, 38, 39, 40, 44, 52, 53, and 57, Township 2 North, Ranges 1 West and 1 East. Latitude/Longitude: 45.635833°, -122.704722°.
WATERWAY: Columbia River. The location of the ordinary high water mark 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 conduct maintenance dredging and new dredging at the Port of Vancouver (Port) berth facilities.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to modify the previously authorized dredge prisms for Port Berths due to the realignment of the Corps Federal Navigation Channel Boundary within the Columbia River. The Port is also requesting to incorporate dredging of Berth 17 as part of the maintenance dredge permit. The Port received a Department of the Army permit on May 15, 2019, to conduct maintenance dredging and deepening of established vessel berths within the Port, and to conduct maintenance dredging within the flushing channel that connects Vancouver Lake to the Columbia River. A maximum of approximately 50,000 cubic yards (CY) of material would be dredged annually for a maximum of approximately 150,000 CY over the lifetime of the permit. Dredged materials would be disposed of at a designated in-water dredged material disposal site located between river mile (RM) 101 and 102 of Columbia River (lat/long: 45.659803 N, -122.760348 W); or in uplands, at either the Port’s Gateway 3 upland disposal site or at a permitted upland disposal facility.
The Port is requesting to modify the Berth’s dredge prisms and include the dredging of Berth 17. The other aspects of the permit (flushing channel, dredge volumes, dredge methods, and disposal locations) would remain unchanged.
The previously authorized dredge prims and proposed dredge prisms are as follows:
Establish Vessel Berth, Berth Area (acre) Previously Authorized Proposed Area Approximate Volume of Material Dredged (CY) during Maintenance Dredging Previously Authorized Proposed Volume (CY) Authorized Depth (feet CRD)
Grain Elevator 0.52 3.61 1,000 1,000 -43+2
Berth 1 0.63 0.87 400 400 -43+2
Berth 2 0.63 1.25 3,300 3,300 -43+2
Berth 3 0.82 1.62 -43+2
Berth 4 0.29 0.547 300 300 -43+2
Berth 5 0.90 1.91 400 400 -43+2
Berth 7 1.28 2.92 600 600 -43+2
Berth 8/9 4.9 6.57 TBD TBD -43+2
Berth 10 3.06 2.58 TBD TBD -43+2
Berth 13/14 7.79 9.43 TBD TBD -43+2
Berth 17 N/A 10.94 N/A 2,250 -43.2
The total previously authorized dredge prism was 20.82 acres, the requested modified total dredge prism is 42.247 acres. The volume of material that would be removed will remain the same as currently authorized.
Initial dredged material at Berth 17 would be placed on a watertight barge or scow and there would be no passive dewatering into the Columbia River. All dewatering water would be treated at the transload site and either discharged back to the Columbia River following treatment or discharged to the sanitary sewer, if authorized by the Washington Department of Ecology. Dredge material would be offloaded at Berths 4, 9, 10, 13/14, or at an alternative location, as approved by the regulatory agencies, and loaded into trucks and transported off site to a permitted upland disposal facility.
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 and 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-2007-916-2. Copies of this public notice, which have been mailed or otherwise physically distributed, feature project drawings in black and white. 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.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The Corps issued a 10-year maintenance dredging and disposal permit to the Port of Vancouver on May 15, 2019, and the permit expires May 15, 2029. If granted, the modified permit would retain the expiration date.
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 Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines are the substantive criteria used in evaluating discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States.
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 State 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’ Brad Johnson identified at the end of this notice to assist in a complete evaluation of potential effects.
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 – CORPS: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts, including cumulative impacts, of the proposed 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 proposal, 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, considerations 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.
EVALUATION – ECOLOGY: Ecology is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, Native American Tribes, State, and local agencies and officials; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this activity. Ecology will be considering all comments to determine whether to
certify or deny a Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the proposed project.
STATE AND LOCAL AUTHORIZATIONS: The applicant has obtained approval from Clark County. The applicant has previously received approval 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. The Port is responsible for coordinating the proposed project footprint with appropriate state and local agencies and ensuring compliance with applicable state and local laws and regulations.
COMMENT AND REVIEW PERIOD: Conventional mail or email comments on this public notice will be accepted and made part of the record and will be considered in determining whether authorizing the work would not be contrary to the public interest. In order to be accepted, email comments must originate from the author’s email account and must include on the subject line of the email message the permit applicant’s name and Corps reference number as shown on page one. Either conventional mail or email comments must include the permit applicant’s name and reference number, and the commenter’s name, address, and phone number. All comments whether conventional mail or email must reach this office, no later than the expiration date of this public notice to ensure consideration.
CORPS COMMENTS: All email comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conventional mail comments should be sent to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Branch,
Attention: Brad Johnson, P.O. Box 2946, Portland, OR 97208-2946. Additional information about the proposed project may be obtained from the Corps Brad Johnson listed above. 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.
ECOLOGY COMMENTS: Any person desiring to present views on the project pertaining to a request for water quality certification under Section 401 of the CWA and/or Coastal Zone Management consistency concurrence, 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 email to email@example.com.