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-2023-662

Portland District
Published June 25, 2024
Expiration date: 7/25/2024

PUBLIC NOTICE
    Application for Permit

Issue Date: June 25, 2024
Expiration Date: July 25, 2024
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2023-662

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 drawings. The Corps is soliciting comments on the proposed work.
    
Applicant:                   Neptune’s Vault, Inc.
                                       Attention: Mr. Chris Culevier
                                      1995 Newmark Avenue, #1068 
                                       Coos Bay, Oregon 97420
                                       Email: chris@oceanfathoms.com
                                       Telephone: (415) 425-3278

Applicant’s Agent:     Padre Associates, Inc.
                                       Attention: Simon Poulter
                                       1861 Knoll Drive
                                       Ventura, California 93003
                                       Email: spoulter@padreinc.com
                                       Telephone: (805) 644-2220

Location: The project is located in the Pacific Ocean approximately 1.6 miles west of Sacchi Beach between Charleston and Bandon, Coos County, Oregon at Latitude/Longitude corner points of 43.277228°, -124.416081°; 43.277254°, -124.415298°; 43.276682°, -124.415261°; 43.276655°, -124.416044°.

Waterway: Pacific Ocean. The boundary of mean high water mark shown on the project drawings has not yet been verified by the Corps. If the Corps determines the boundary of mean high water is substantially inaccurate a new public notice may be published.

Project Purpose: The applicant’s stated purpose is to implement subsea storage of wine to assist in the wine aging process. 

Project Description: The applicant would permanently place up to 6,209 cubic yards of metal, glass, and plastic fill material below the mean high water mark of the Pacific Ocean within a 1-acre area. The applicant would place up to 500 storage cages of wine on the seafloor, each with an individual footprint of 16 square feet. The cages would be constructed utilizing recycled commercial spill pallets, iron, and stainless-steel. 

The applicant would deploy and retrieve the wine cages using a crane operating from a vessel. The cages would be located at a water depth of approximately 70-feet. The applicant would utilize a remotely operated vehicle to ensure the wine cages are placed in the appropriate location and to remove the crane hook after the cage is placed on the seafloor. Once the first cage has been set, the remaining cages would follow this sequence and would be positioned on the seafloor by divers in a linear configuration, leaving approximately four feet of spacing between cages to allow for appropriate temperature and currents. The applicant would mark each cage with a subsurface buoy measuring 10 to 12-inches in diameter approximately 50-feet below the water surface to facilitate recovery. 

The applicant would deploy the cages in batches of approximately 10 to 30 cages at a time to slowly scale up storage operations. The applicant would store the wine cages on the seafloor for 9 to 12 months before they would be removed and replaced with new cages. The installation and recovery of wine cages would take several days. The applicant would utilize a commercial dock facility in Coos Bay, Oregon to load cages for deployment in the ocean and once the cages are retrieved from the ocean.

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: Six (6) drawings are attached and labeled Corps No. NWP-2023-662. 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 applicant is seeking a five-year permit or a permit length consistent with the length of their pending proprietary lease agreement with the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL). 

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.

Coastal Zone Management: Section 307(c) of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1456(c), requires non-Federal applicants seeking a federal license or permit to conduct any activity occurring in or affecting the coastal zone to submit a Consistency Certification which indicates the activity conforms with the State’s Coastal Zone Management Program. The applicant believes the proposed project would comply with and be conducted in a manner consistent with the Oregon Ocean and Coastal Management Program. The state’s notice for a consistency 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 (SHPO), 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 a Removal-Fill Permit from the Oregon DSL (DSL No. APP0065068) and a proprietary lease from Oregon DSL. The applicant would apply for local land use approval from Coos County. 

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
        Tyler Krug 
        North Bend Field Office
        2201 Broadway, Suite C
        North Bend, Oregon 97459-2372
        Email: Tyler.J.Krug@usace.army.mil
        Telephone: (541) 756-2097

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC NOTICE
OREGON OCEAN AND COASTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
CONSISTENCY CERTIFICATION


Date: June 25, 2024

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers No: Corps No. NWP-2023-662
Oregon Department of State Lands No: APP0065068

NOTIFICATION:
For projects subject to coastal zone review, notice is hereby given that the project is being reviewed by the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) as provided in Section 307(c) of the Coastal Zone Management Act. The applicant believes that the activities described in the attached materials would comply with and be conducted in a manner consistent with the Oregon Ocean and Coastal Management Program. Project information can be made available for inspection at DLCD's Salem office.

DLCD is hereby soliciting public comments on the proposed project’s consistency with the Oregon Coastal Management Program. Written comments may be submitted to DLCD, 635 Capital Street NE, Suite 150, Salem, Oregon 97301-2540. Comments may also be sent by fax to (503) 378-6033 or by email to coast.permits@dlcd.oregon.gov. All comments must be received by DLCD on or before the comment deadline listed in the accompanying Corps of Engineers’ Public Notice Application for Permit. For further information, you may call DLCD at (503) 373-0050.

REVIEW CRITERIA:
Comments should address consistency with the applicable enforceable policies of the Oregon Coastal Management Program. These enforceable policies are found in the following:

  •     Acknowledged Local Comprehensive Plans & Implementing Ordinances
  •     Statewide Planning Goals
  •     Applicable State Authorities incorporated into the Oregon Coastal Management Program (e.g. Removal-Fill Law, Water Quality Standards, Beach Bill, etc.) as applicable.

A list of specific enforceable policies can be found at the following link: http://www.oregon.gov/LCD/OCMP/Pages/OCMP_Enforceable-Policies.aspx

INCONSISTENT?
If you believe this project is inconsistent with the Oregon Coastal Management Program, your comments to DLCD should explain why you believe the project is inconsistent and should identify the Oregon Coastal Management Program element(s) in question. You should also describe how the project could be modified, if possible, to make it consistent with the Oregon Coastal Management Program.