Application for Permit
Issue Date: November 3, 2022
Expiration Date: December 3, 2022
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2020-418
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: U.S. Coast Guard
Attention: Mr. John D. Berry
300 East Main Street
Norfolk, Virginia 23510
Telephone: (757) 852-3484
Applicant’s Agent: Tetra Tech, Inc.
Attention: Mr. David Munro
1750 S Harbor Way, Suite 400
Portland, Oregon 97201
Telephone: (503) 358-3201
Location: The proposed dredge prism, pier, floating dock and gangway project components are located in the Columbia River, river mile 18, at East Tongue Point (ETP), Pier 6, in Astoria, Clatsop County, Oregon. The site is in Section 2, Township 8 North, Range 9 West. Latitude and Longitude: 46.202161° North, -123.764576° West.
The proposed Columbia River flow-lane disposal site is located directly north of ETP in Astoria, Clatsop County, Oregon. The site in Section 2, Township 8 North, Range 9 West. Latitude and Longitude: 46.215395° North, -123.757718° West.
The Mouth of the Columbia River Deep Water Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site (MCR DW ODMDS) is located in the Pacific Ocean approximately 4.5 miles west of Warrenton, Clatsop County, Oregon. Latitude and Longitude: 46.182466° North, -124.21395° West.Lat/Long coordinates will be provided on the ORM2 Summary page. Use this block to provide a brief description of where the work in jurisdictional waters of the United States is located, (e.g., name of waterbody, location of project in relation to an intersection, and/or known landmark). For unnamed jurisdictional waters, provide the location in relation to the nearest named water. A site map may also be referenced and attached.
Waterway: The location of the mean high water mark and high tide line 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 ensure optimum readiness and enable U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) District 13 (D13) to perform its mission within its Area of Responsibility (AOR). USCG D13’s AOR includes shorelines, waterways, and harbors within the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. By homeporting new Fast Response Cutter (FRCs) vessels at ETP, the project would support the FRC project objectives of procuring and stationing new patrol boats at strategic locations to improve USCG’s patrol capabilities.
Project Description: The USCG proposes to provide waterfront and landside facilities to support the homeporting of up to four FRC vessels for the USCG’s AOR D13 at ETP, Astoria, Oregon. Proposed waterfront improvements include pier demolition and construction, dredging and disposal, slope protection, and utility upgrades. Proposed landside improvements include a new maintenance and administrative building, personnel parking, and lay-down area.
The following components are specific to the Corps’ role in evaluating the project:
Existing pier removal:
The USCG would conduct work below the mean high water mark (MHWM) of the Columbia River to remove the existing 1,500-foot long, 30-foot wide, piling supported pier (45,000 square feet (sq. ft.)). The USCG would remove the existing pier and approximately 396 steel H, salt, or preservative treated wooden pilings using a floating spud barge; the pier components and pilings would be disposed of at an approved upland facility. The USCG would remove the existing pilings using a vibratory hammer and may cut the pilings off below the mudline if they are unable to completely remove some pilings.
Dredging and dredged material disposal:
The USCG would conduct work below the MHWM of the Columbia River to dredge up to 124,000 cubic yards (cy) of sediment from an area measuring approximately 8 acres in size to accommodate the construction of a new pier. The USCG would conduct dredging using mechanical methods; a closed-lipped environmental clamshell dredging bucket.
The USCG would conduct dredging to a depth of -15 feet Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) at the nearshore floating dock area and up to -18 feet MLLW along the entrance approach to the new pier and dock floats.
The USCG would over-dredge Dredged Material Management Unit (DMMU) 2 from -16 to -19 feet MLLW depth from the nearshore floating dock area to the entrance approach area to remove sediment not meeting the Sediment Evaluation Framework (SEF) for the Pacific Northwest guidance. Following dredging within DMMU 2 the USCG would discharge up to 7,100 cy of sand fill to construct a 1-foot cap over the post-dredge surface (PDS) of DMMU 2 to prevent the release of contamination within the aquatic ecosystem from the PDS sediment layer. The final grade in DMMU 2 would be -15 feet MLLW. Dredged material derived from DMMU 2 is only suitable for disposal within the MCR DW ODMDS as described below.
The USCG would dispose of the dredged material below the high tide line (HTL) of the Columbia River at a dispersive flow-lane location measuring approximately 14 acres in size or at the MCR DW ODMDS. The USCG would dispose of up to 56,000 cy of dredged material at the Columbia River flow-lane disposal site and up to 68,000 cy of dredged material at the MCR DW ODMDS. The USCG may also dispose of the full amount of up to 124,000 cy of dredged material at the MCR DW ODMDS.
- Dredged material derived from DMMU 1 and 3 is suitable for unconfined aquatic placement at both the Columbia River flow-lane location or the MCR DW ODMDS. PDS management is not proposed or required within these DMMUs.
- Dredged material derived from DMMU 2 and 4 is suitable only for unconfined aquatic placement at the MCR DW ODMDS; the USCG would not discharge this dredged material at the Columbia River flow-lane site. PDS management is required and is proposed at DMMU 2 as described above.
- The PDS at DMMU 1, 3 and 4 is suitable for aquatic exposure and does not require PDS management.
Dredged material would be loaded onto scows and transported to disposal sites where the scow would open, and dredged material would be disposed of within the boundaries of the disposal site. Dredging and disposal is proposed for late spring and early summer 2023 to facilitate offshore disposal during fair weather. Dredging would be accomplished during one season.
New pier construction and floating docks:
Following completion of dredging and disposal the USCG would construct a new 250-foot long, 36-foot wide steel piling supported, precast concrete panel pier with cast-in-place concrete slab top (9,000 sq. ft. of over-water structure). The pier and dock floats would be supported by 152 steel pilings which would be installed using an impact hammer operating from a floating spud barge. The USCG would install the pilings to a -44-foot MLWW depth from November 1, 2023 to February 29, 2024. The piling specifics are as follows:
- (122) 30-inch diameter pilings to support the new pier;
- (20) 24-inch diameter pilings to guide the floating docks (cone-capped to prevent piscivorous bird predation);
- (8) 18-inch diameter pilings to support the gangway platforms, and;
- (2) 36-inch diameter pilings to mount outboard donut fenders.
The USCG would construct up to 4 new 200-foot long, 15-foot wide floating docks which would be placed on guide pilings adjacent to the new pier. The floating docks would be constructed from concrete with a solid polystyrene core. The northern and southern extents of the dock floats would possess foam filled trapezoidal fenders measuring 8-foot long by 3-foot wide constructed 20-foot on-center along the face of the floating dock.
The USCG would construct two 65-foot long, 6-foot wide aluminum gangways which would be connected to the dock floats. The gangways would be connected to 10-foot wide, 18.5-foot long reinforced fiberglass-grated gangway landing platforms located on each side of the new pier and would be supported by 4 steel pilings.
The USCG would install water, sewer, fire, and electrical utilities in and on the pier and dock floats.
Rock revetment repair:
The USCG would repair an existing rock revetment located along the shoreline in the vicinity of the existing pier to repair erosion and material failure locations. The USCG would discharge up to 7,675 cy of crushed rock and rock riprap below the HTL of the Columbia River within an area measuring approximately 28,000 sq. ft. to repair the revetment. The revetment repair dimensions measure approximately 560-feet long, 50-feet wide, and 6-feet in depth. The existing revetment is constructed at an approximate 2:1 horizontal to vertical foot slope ratio and would be repaired to this slope. The repair of the rock revetment would occur within the existing footprint of the rock revetment.
Additional over-water structure removal:
The USCG would conduct work below the MHWM of the Columbia River to remove an existing preservative treated wooden pier and pilings located south of the existing primary pier. The smaller pier measures 42-feet wide, 50-feet long (2,100 sq. ft.) and is supported by approximately 40 12-inch diameter wooden pilings. The USCG would remove the pier and pilings and transfer them to an approved upland location for disposal.
Methods and timing:
The USCG would conduct work using a floating barge from the waterway and via heavy equipment operating from the shoreline and pier. The USCG would utilize standard construction best management practices (BMPs) such as deploying a turbidity curtain and debris boom around active work areas to control debris and meet water quality standards, and would implement BMPs for piling removal, disposal, and installation.
The USCG is proposing a modified in-water work period based on the hazard constraint of transporting dredged material for ocean disposal across the Columbia River bar in the late fall and winter months. The USCG is proposing to conduct in-water work from March 1, 2023 to February 29, 2024 as opposed to November 1 to February 28 of the calendar year as recognized as the preferred in-water work period by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The USCG estimated the project scope based on four FRCs being stationed at ETP; if only two FRCs are homeported at ETP the project scope and volumes would be reduced.
Dredged Material Testing: Project sediments 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 all sediments are suitable for unconfined, aquatic disposal at the MCR DW ODMDS and that a portion of sediments are unsuitable for unconfined, aquatic disposal at the Columbia River flow-lane disposal site.
Dredged material found suitable for unconfined, aquatic disposal would be disposed at the proposed Columbia River flow-lane disposal site or at the MCR DW ODMDS. Dredged material derived from DMMU 2 and 4 are not suitable to be disposed of at the Columbia River flow-lane disposal site and would be disposed of at the MCR DW ODMDS. The applicant proposes to manage the PDS in DMMU 2 by discharging up to 7,100 cy of sand to construct a 1-foot cap over the PDS to prevent the release of contamination within the aquatic ecosystem from the PDS sediment layer.
Mitigation: The applicant proposes to avoid and minimize impacts from the project by utilizing a suite of BMPs during dredging and disposal, and demolition and construction activities. These BMPs are described at Section 4.16 of the USCG’s Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) issued for the project as described below in the ‘Additional Information’ section of this public notice. The BMPs generally include, but are not limited to:
- attempting to fully remove pilings via a vibratory hammer; resorting to cutting pilings off at the mudline and keeping a log of such piling locations only after every attempt to completely remove the piling has been made;
- placing pilings which have been removed from the waterway in a containment basin on the barge deck for removal to a licensed solid waste disposal facility;
- minimizing adverse acoustic effects from impact hammer use while installing pilings by utilizing bubble curtains or other noise attenuation mechanisms; no underwater drilling or pile driving would occur between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.;
- capping pilings with piscivorous bird deterrent caps;
- deploying a turbidity curtain and debris boom around active work areas and equipment to control debris and meet water quality standards;
- storing, fueling, and maintaining mobile heavy equipment at least 150-feet from a waterway; inspecting heavy equipment daily for fluid leaks;
- utilizing pre-cast concrete in the pier and dock float designs to avoid and minimize the introduction of deleterious chemicals to the aquatic ecosystem from uncured, cast-in-place concrete;
- placing a 1-foot thick clean sand fill cap over the PDS of DMMU 2 to prevent aquatic exposure of the PDS of DMMU 2 to the aquatic ecosystem;
- ensuring debris management, including monitoring and reporting, during dredged material disposal activities;
- ensuring the safe transportation and disposal of dredged materials at the approved disposal areas;
- ensuring compliance with the rules and regulations of federal, state, and local regulators and also any local port and harbor governing authorities/entities during the duration of dredging and disposal operations;
- utilizing a close-lipped "environmental" dredge bucket, where applicable in designated dredging units to minimize turbidity during dredging;
- monitoring water quality during dredging operations to remain in compliance with State water quality standards and/or specific requirements specified from Endangered Species Act and/or Essential Fish Habitat consultation, and;
- maintaining and implementing a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures plan for the duration of project;
- Implementing an Aquatic (underwater) Sound Control and Abatement Plan;
- employ qualified Protected Species Observers to monitor the extent of
- the Region of Activity for marine mammals during pile driving, removal and construction activities.
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: Twenty-three (23) drawings are attached and labeled Corps No. NWP-2020-418. 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.
Additional Information: The USCG issued a Draft EA pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act in June 2022. The USCG’s Draft EA can be found at this web address: https://www.oregon.gov/lcd/OCMP/FCDocuments/Appendix_C_USCG_Astoria_EA_FINAL.pdf
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 404, Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344), for discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States.
Section 103, Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (33 U.S.C. 1413), for transport of dredged material for the purpose of dumping it into ocean waters.
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 clean sand and rock from a commercial source.
Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA): The proposed project would transport and dispose of dredged material at the MCR DW ODMDS. The site has been designated as a disposal site by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pursuant to Section 102 of MPRSA. See the attached drawings for the location and boundaries of the disposal site. The dredged material would consist of sand, silt, and clay. Disposal activities at the site would occur over several weeks during late spring and early summer 2023.
Previous discharges at the disposal site have been dredged material from the maintenance of the Federal navigation channel and dredged material from Corps-authorized projects (e.g., dredging at wharfs and boat slips). Previous discharges have generally consisted of sands disposed of by the Corps per routine maintenance dredging of the Columbia River Federal navigation channel and associated access channels. Previous discharges by the Corps within the site have passed the SEF screen criteria but have resulted in temporary turbidity within the water column; no long-term adverse effects of the previous discharges have been documented. The dredged material will be evaluated in accordance with criteria established by the EPA for ocean dumping of dredged material. The Corps will request the EPA’s concurrence for use of the disposal site for this project. The EPA and Corps manage the disposal site, which includes documenting the effects of other authorized disposals that have been made at the disposal site.
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.
Coastal Zone Management: Section 307(c) of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1456(c)), requires Federal agencies conducting activities in the coastal zone to comply to the maximum extent practicable with an approved state coastal zone management program. As a Federal agency, the U.S. Coast Guard will coordinate with the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development as necessary to ensure the project complies with the Coastal Zone Management Act’s directives.
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 any endangered species or designated critical habitat. For this project, the U.S. Coast Guard, as the lead Federal agency for ESA consultation, will consult with the NMFS and/or the USFWS as required under Section 7 of the ESA.
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 its vicinity. For this project, the U.S. Coast Guard, as the lead Federal agency for MSA consultation, will consult with the NMFS as necessary.
Historic Properties/Cultural Resources: Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. 470), 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. For this project, the U.S. Coast Guard, as the lead Federal agency for determining compliance with Section 106 of the NHPA, will consult with the appropriate State and/or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer as applicable. The Corps’ preliminary review indicates the applicant, as the lead Federal Agency, determined the project Area of Potential Effect (APE), including the Corps’ permit area, yields resources which are potentially eligible or are contributing to the eligibility of resources, for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. The applicant conducted a historic properties investigation within the APE and permit area and would mitigate adverse effects to these historic properties via a Memorandum of Agreement with consulting parties.
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 applied for the following additional governmental authorizations for the project: local planning review from Clatsop County, a Removal-Fill Permit from the Department of State Lands (DSL) (DSL No. APP0063998), a Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and a Coastal Zone Management Act consistency determination from the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. The applicant would also apply for a wharf certification from the Oregon DSL.
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
North Bend Field Office
2201 Broadway, Suite C
North Bend, Oregon 97459-2372
Telephone: (541) 756-2097
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
Water Quality 401 Certification
Notice Issued: November 3, 2022
Written Comments Due: December 3, 2022
Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2020-418
Oregon Department of State Lands No: APP0063998
WHO IS THE APPLICANT: U.S. Coast Guard
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 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.