US Army Corps of Engineers
Portland District

Projects, news and updates

Regulatory image of trees over a creekThe 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.

Regulatory Notices

Below are regulatory announcements, in chronological order, which are both current and historical. Current announcements provide information regarding ongoing regulatory processes and happenings. Historical announcements remain posted to provide the public with a transparent record of changes and improvements to our program.

Regulatory announcements

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ANNOUNCING THE RELEASE OF FORM ENG 6082 – NATIONWIDE PERMIT (NWP) PRE-CONSTRUCTION NOTIFICATION (PCN)

On January 6, 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) published the notice in the Federal Register announcing the reissuance of all existing nationwide permits (NWPs), general conditions, and definitions with some modifications. The NWPs became effective on March 19, 2017, and will expire on March 18, 2022.

Certain NWPs require project proponents to notify Corps district engineers of their proposed activities prior to conducting the activities authorized by those NWPs, so that the district engineers can make case-specific determinations of NWP eligibility. The notification takes the form of a pre-construction notification (PCN). The purpose of a PCN is to give the district engineer an opportunity to review a proposed NWP activity to ensure that the proposed activity qualifies for NWP authorization.  In most cases, the district engineer has 45 days after receipt of a complete PCN to determine whether the proposed activity qualifies for NWP authorization or requires another form of Corps authorization.  More information on when an activity requires a PCN can be found in the Federal Register Notice:
www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2017-01-06/pdf/2016-31355.pdf

Potential users of the NWPs should also check the Portland District’s website with the regional conditions for the NWPs, to determine if a PCN is required for a proposed activity.  Those regional conditions are available at: www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Nationwide.aspx, under the Nationwide permit module (“Regional permit conditions”).

To assist applicants in providing complete information needed for NWP PCNs, this PCN application form was created and approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in February 2019.  The use of this form is strongly encouraged to assist Corps districts with a streamlined evaluation of an applicant’s proposal.  Submitting a completed PCN form is expected to reduce requests for additional information requests and should reduce the amount of time it takes the district engineer to conclude his or her review. 

Instructions on how to complete the PCN application form and the PCN form can be found at:
www.publications.usace.army.mil/Portals/76/Eng_Form_6082_2019Oct.pdf?ver=2019-10-22-081550-710 (If you receive an error opening in your browser, right-click to save to your computer)

RSET WEBINAR  
Please Join Us Online for a Presentation on Bioaccumulation Testing Variability   
Dr. David Moore (USACE/ERDC)
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 
8:30 – 10:00 AM (PST) 

PRESENTATION SUMMARY 
TESTING VARIABILITY RESEARCH ON BIOACCUMULATION TESTS 

Dr. Moore will be presenting results of a recent round robin study of standard dredged material bioaccumulation tests designed to quantify variability and better inform management decisions.  Based on study results, exposure variability (i.e., results across labs conducting bioaccumulation tests) ranged from 1.4X to 2.0X, while analytical variability (i.e., results across analytical labs measuring tissue concentrations) ranged from 1.4X to 2.5X.  These results will be discussed along with potential implications for test interpretation. 

Background: Dredged material bioaccumulation tests are a critical component of tier III dredging evaluations utilized under both the CWA and MPRSA.  These tests are designed to enhance the ability to detect statistical differences in tissue residues in organisms exposed to dredged and reference material for purposes of establishing how the material maybe managed (e.g., open water disposal, placement in a confined disposal facility, etc.).  However, simple statistical differences can in some instances be an artifact of the test as opposed to an accurate reflection of meaningful differences in contaminant uptake.  Simple statistical differences often do not equate to meaningful, biologically relevant ones, therefore it is important to understand the role of variability associated with experimental design (exposure and analysis) and provide guidance to ensure appropriate expenditure of resources for additional analysis and interpretation only in those instances where a meaningful, biologically relevant, difference has been established.   Understanding the variance associated with bioassay test system (both within test and analytical) is critical for accurately assessing potential bioaccumulation risks of dredged material. Although many labs have demonstrated capability to conduct bioassays using recommended species and many chemistry labs have demonstrated capability to the quantify concentrations in tissue samples, the inter-laboratory variability associated with the conducting the bioassay and quantifying body residues for those species has never been determined.  Understanding this variability is critical to establishing when differences in tissue residues of reference and project material exposed organisms warrant further, more expensive evaluation to ascertain the appropriate disposition of the material for purposes of placement/management. 

Dr. Moore is a Senior Research Biologist with the US Army Corps of Engineers Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, MS.  He currently leads the risk focus area for the USACE Dredging Operation and Environmental Research Program where he helped develop both the ocean and inland testing manuals for the assessment of dredged materials and co-developed the Environmental Residue Effects Database for the assessment of bio-accumulated tissue residues. Dr. Moore currently serves as the director of the ERDC Center for Emerging Contaminants of Concern and as the USACE representative to the London Convention for the Disposal of Waste at Sea.

 

The presentation will be a web meeting.   
Web Viewing by WebEx: https://usace.webex.com/join/sheryl.a.carrubba 

Audio Only: 
Phone: 888-363-4734 
Access Number: 7064926 
Security code: 1379 

If you have not used the WebEx web services before, you may have to download a temporary application file (WebEx).   

If you have issues related to logging in or hearing the audio portion, please contact: Sheryl Carrubba at sheryl.a.carrubba@usace.army.mil.

SPECIAL PUBLIC NOTICE

CLEAN WATER ACT FINAL RULE REPEALING THE 2015 CLEAN WATER RULE  
AND RE-CODIFYING THE PREVIOUS DEFINITION OF THE “WATERS OF THE U.S.”

On September 12, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army (the agencies) signed a final rule to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule (2015 Rule) and re-codify the regulatory text defining "waters of the United States" (WOTUS) that existed prior to the 2015 Rule. This action will, when effective, provide regulatory certainty as to the definition of “waters of the United States” in light of ongoing litigation over the 2015 Rule. This final rule will be implemented in accordance with Supreme Court decisions, agency guidance, and longstanding practice.

This final rule follows the February 28, 2017, Presidential Executive Order on "Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States' Rule." The February Order states that it is in the national interest to ensure that the Nation's navigable waters are kept free from pollution, while at the same time promoting economic growth, minimizing regulatory uncertainty, and showing due regard for the roles of Congress and the States under the Constitution. To meet these objectives, the agencies have followed a two-step rulemaking process.  Today’s final rule is the first step of that process (Step 1 Final Rule).  It was first proposed on July 27, 2017, with a supplemental proposal on June 29, 2018, and received 770,000 public comments.  The Step 1 Final Rule provides regulatory certainty by removing the patchwork of regulations that existed across the country as a result of various judicial decision enjoining the 2015 Rule, and it reestablishes national consistency across the country by returning all jurisdictions to the longstanding regulatory framework that existed prior to the 2015 Rule, which is more familiar to the agencies, States, Tribes, local governments, regulated entities, and the public.

The Step 1 Final Rule provides the aforementioned regulatory certainty while the agencies engage in the second step of rulemaking to revise the definition of WOTUS.  The second step, or the Step 2 Proposed Rule, was published in the Federal Register on February 14, 2019, and the public comment period closed on April 15, 2019.  The agencies are currently reviewing over 600,000 public comments before taking final action.

More information regarding the WOTUS rulemaking can be found at EPA’s website:  https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule.  If you have specific questions regarding this Step 1 Final Rule, please contact a local Corps District office or EPA Regional office. 

 

SPECIAL PUBLIC NOTICE
2018 National Wetland Plant List update

June 10, 2019

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as part of an interagency effort with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service, announces the draft biennial update to the National Wetland Plant List (NWPL) for 2018 in the Federal Register

The Corps encourages public input in the form of data, comments, literature references, or field experiences, to help clarify the status of the species reviewed for this update, as well as public input on the NWPL process.  The public will have the opportunity to comment on the proposed update or addition of wetland indicator status ratings for 20 plant species in select Corps wetland regions. 

These 20 reviewed species and their draft 2018 wetland ratings by region, as well as the FR notice, can be viewed at the NWPL homepage, http://wetland-plants.usace.army.mil/ under “2018 NWPL Update Information.”

A link to provide general or species-specific comments is also available at this location. Users are encouraged to submit literature citations, herbaria records, experiential references, monitoring data, and other relevant information. Specific knowledge of, or studies related to, individual species are particularly helpful. Commenters should use their regional botanical and ecological expertise, field observations, reviews of the most recent indicator status information, appropriate botanical literature, floras, herbarium specimens with notation of habitat and associated species, habit data, relevant studies, and historic list information. Guessing ratings is inappropriate. All submitted comments and information will be compiled and sent to the National Panel for their consideration.

The Corps is also seeking comments on the NWPL update process. Detailed information on the update process, protocol, and technical issues can be found in the following documents (available on the NWPL Publications web page referenced above):

1) Lichvar, Robert W. and Minkin, Paul. Concepts and Procedures for Updating the National Wetland Plant List. Sept 2008. ERDC/CRREL TN-08-3

2) Lichvar, Robert W. and Gillrich, Jennifer J. Final Protocol for Assigning Wetland Indicator Status Ratings during National Wetland Plant List Update. Sept 2011. ERDC/CRREL TN-11-1

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JOINT PUBLIC NOTICE

30 Day Notice
Issue Date: April 5, 2019
Closing Date: May 6, 2019
Corps File No.: NWP-2019-127
Oregon Department of State Lands No. 61846-NP

NWP-2019-127 figures

Interested parties are hereby notified that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps) and the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) have received a request to establish the proposed Dairy Creek Wetland Mitigation Bank. The Corps and DSL are soliciting comments on the proposed mitigation bank.

A mitigation bank is a site where aquatic resources such as wetlands and streams are restored, established/created, enhanced, and/or preserved for the purpose of providing compensatory mitigation for impacts authorized by DSL under the authority of Oregon’s Removal-Fill Law (ORS 196.800 - 196.990) and/or the Corps under the authority of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. A mitigation bank sponsor sells compensatory mitigation credits to permittees whose obligation to provide compensatory mitigation is then transferred to the sponsor. A mitigation bank is governed by a Mitigation Bank Instrument approved by the Sponsor and both agencies.

Bank Sponsors: Wolverine LLC and Lone Oak Land and Investments LLC
Attention: Bob Bobosky
6770 Canyon Drive
Portland, Oregon 97225
Email: r.bobosky@comcast.net
Telephone: (503) 292-8261

Location: The proposed mitigation bank site is located near Banks, in Washington County, Oregon; tax lot 800; Section 36, Township 2 North, Range 4 West; Latitude 45.616498 North and Longitude 123.121295 West (Figure 1).

Service Area: The mitigation bank service area is the geographic area within which impacts can be mitigated at a specific mitigation bank. The proposed service area for this bank is the Tualatin River watershed (4th Field Hydrologic Unit 17090010) below 1,000 feet in elevation (Figure 2). This service area includes the urbanizing areas of Banks, Beaverton, Cornelius, Forest Grove, Hillsboro, King City, Lake Oswego, North Plains, Portland, Sherwood, Tualatin, and West Linn.

Bank Description: The proposed bank would generate wetland credits by restoring, creating, and enhancing wetlands and upland buffers. The goals of the project include: improving the functions of existing wetland areas, increasing the acreage of wetlands, developing diverse native plant communities and buffers, and ensuring a mechanism for long-term protection and management. The sponsors also propose to include unimproved perimeter trails for management access and for possible future low-impact recreation such as walking or bird/wildlife viewing.

The proposed mitigation bank site is 134.1 acres, to be constructed in two phases. The proposal includes decomissioning drain tile and ditches, minimal grading in some areas for wetland creation, and possibly removing berms along portions of the West Fork of Dairy Creek. Overall, the sponsors propose to restore 84.6 acres of wetland, create 21.3 acres of wetland and enhance 7.9 acres of wetland. The project includes 20.3 acres of upland buffers. Proposed wetland types are riverine, slope, and flats classes; palustrine forested (78.9 acres), palustrine emergent (19.3 acres), and palustrine scrub-shrub (15.6 acres).

Evaluation: The proposed Dairy Creek Mitigation Bank will be evaluated by an Interagency Review Team (IRT), which includes federal, state, local and/or tribal representatives. The IRT is advisory to the Corps and DSL, to ensure the project is consistent and compatible with all applicable natural resource policies. The mitigation bank instrument is the legal agreement governing the operation and use of a mitigation bank and includes the ecological goals of the project, grading and planting plans, monitoring, maintenance, and the number and schedule of wetland credits to be made available when performance standards have been met.

Submitting Comments: Interested parties are invited to provide comments on the Prospectus, which provides a summary of information regarding a proposed compensatory mitigation bank. Comments may be submitted by conventional mail, email or through the DSL’s website. All comments received in response to this notice will be provided to the IRT and bank sponsors and will be considered in design and in the agencies’ decsions whether to approve the proposed mitigation bank.

A copy of the prospectus is available through the Corps on the Regulatory In-lieu Fee and Bank Information Tracking System (RIBITS) website at https://ribits.usace.army.mil/ribits_apex/f?p=107:278:15791694814368::NO:RP,278:P278_BANK_ID:5324. Click on “Dairy Creek Prospectus” and then the blue download arrow. A copy of the prospectus is also available for review on the DLS website: www.statelandsonline.com/. At this website, select “Check Permit and Authorization Status,” then select “Washington County,” and then select the sponsor’s name from the list. The prospectus may also be reviewed by appointment at the Corps or DSL offices listed below. All comments, whether by conventional mail or submitted electronically, must be received no later than the expiration date of this public notice to ensure consideration.

Please provide comments to:

Judy Linton
US Army Corps of Engineers (Portland)
CENWP-OD-G
PO Box 2946
Portland, OR 97208
judy.j.linton@usace.army.mil
503-808-4382

OR

Dana Field
Oregon Department of State Lands
775 Summer Street NE
Salem, OR 97301-1279
Phone: (503) 986-5238

Joint Public Notice
Notice of Change to Aquatic Resources Mitigation in Oregon

The Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL), United States (U.S.) Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) jointly announce changes to mitigation that may be required as part of the state and federal permit programs. The Corps requires an applicant to obtain a permit for the placement of dredge or fill materials into waters of the U.S. under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and co-administers Section 404 with the EPA. Under the Oregon Removal-Fill Law, DSL requires an applicant to obtain a permit for most projects that either place fill materials into or remove fill from waters of the state. Both the federal and state programs may require mitigation as part of an approved permit.

Oregon Department of State Lands
Beginning April 1, 2019, DSL will implement a rule affecting how mitigation will be determined under the Oregon Removal-Fill Law. DSL’s new rules will bring Oregon’s mitigation program into alignment with the 2008 Federal Compensatory Mitigation Final Rule. The DSL rule will provide more consistent, successful, and sustainable benefits for all aquatic resources across the state. Existing exemptions are not affected. The rule will require that proposed project impacts to wetlands and streams use appropriate assessment tools to ensure proper replacement of functions and values. For wetlands, DSL will require applicants to use the Oregon Rapid Wetland Assessment Protocol (ORWAP 3.1) for impacts to tidal waters, wetland types that are aquatic resources of special concern, and wetland impacts greater than 0.20 acres. For streams DSL will require applicants to use the Stream Function Assessment Method (SFAM) beginning July 1, 2019, for impacts to non-tidally influenced wadeable, intermittent or perennial streams, and aquatic resources of special concern that are associated with these intermittent or perennial streams. As with current DSL rules, under the new rule function and value assessment requirements may be waived for voluntary wetland and stream restoration projects on a case-by-case basis at DSL’s discretion. Assessments are not required for General Authorizations.

DSL will require that best professional judgment be used if ORWAP or SFAM do not apply, and best professional judgment may be used when wetland impacts are less than or equal to 0.2 acres. DSL continues to require that the Vernal Pool Function Assessment Method be used to assess the functions and values of vernal pools in the Agate Desert in Jackson County.

Applicants can use information from the assessments to demonstrate that impacts are being mitigated through avoidance, minimization, and compensatory mitigation. If compensatory mitigation is required for unavoidable impacts, applicants can demonstrate that the proposed mitigation site is eligible to replace the primary functions and values provided at the impact site and will provide a sufficient amount of mitigation to compensate for the impacts. To assist in this demonstration, beginning April 1, 2019, a new protocol for determining wetland and stream mitigation eligibility in Oregon will be available. Applicants will use the protocol for calculating their required amount of mitigation.

To accommodate transition to the new assessment requirements, DSL will continue to accept the following as part of an application that is determined complete by October 1, 2019: 1.) a department approved Hydrogeomorphic Method for wetlands function assessment, and 2.) best professional judgment to assess stream functions and values. Applications that are not complete by October 1, 2019 will need to be resubmitted using the new function assessment and mitigation requirements.

In the future, through additional state rulemaking, the DSL anticipates using SFAM outputs to determine how much stream compensatory mitigation is required. To reach this goal, the Corps, EPA, and DSL will be conducting additional work on SFAM. This phased-in approach to stream mitigation policy will provide incremental improvements in program outcomes, while providing time to adjust to new tools and protocols.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Corps requirements for what constitutes a complete Department of the Army permit application have not changed. To ensure consistency between the federal and state programs, and to prevent the duplication of efforts on behalf of applicants, the Corps encourages applicants to use ORWAP and SFAM assessments where appropriate when submitting an application for a Department of the Army permit. Functions- and values-related information required under the DSL rule will be accepted by the Corps for reviewing proposed projects, including proposed mitigation. In addition the Corps encourages permit applicants to use the new protocols for determining wetland and stream mitigation eligibility and for calculating their required amount of compensatory mitigation. Whereas the Corps will accept DSL-required assessments for wetland impacts greater than 0.20 acres and for stream impacts, on a case-by-case basis the Corps may request the use of assessment tools for impacts up to 0.2 acres.

General Information
Development of the wetland and stream assessment tools and compensatory mitigation protocols has been a joint effort of DSL, Corps and EPA. An applicant’s use of the tools and protocols will help to support decision making in a consistent, predictable, robust, repeatable and defensible way. Changing from acreage-based to functions- and values-based mitigation will make mitigation more function- and watershed-based and provide better ecological outcomes.

Planning mitigation for anticipated impacts will be easier with the use of the Oregon Explorer Aquatic Mitigation Portal. The Portal includes wetland and stream map viewers for completing the office portion of an ORWAP or SFAM assessment, respectively. The Portal also includes a Mitigation Planning Map Viewer, which may be used for strategically planning mitigation projects on a watershed basis. The Portal is located at oregonexplorer.info/topics/aquatic-mitigation?ptopic=38.

For additional information related to the functions- and values-based stream and wetlands mitigation, please see the DSL website at: www.oregon.gov/dsl/WW/pages/aquatic-resources-mitigation-framework.aspx. You also may view the Corps Regulatory website for mitigation at: www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Mitigation.aspx. These sites provide access to helpful fact sheets, frequently asked questions, the eligibility and accounting protocol, the stream and wetlands assessment tools, and a listing of opportunities for technical training on the assessment tools.

We encourage you to stay informed by visiting the Aquatic Resources Mitigation Framework website: www.oregon.gov/dsl/WW/Pages/Aquatic-Resources-Mitigation-Framework.aspx and the DSL rulemaking website: www.oregon.gov/dsl/Laws/Pages/Rulemaking.aspx. You may ask questions and continue to provide comments regarding SFAM via DSL’s dedicated e-mail box AquaticResourceMitigationProject@dsl.state.or.us.

For additional information, contact the following Agency leads:

Melody Rudenko
Department of State Lands
503-508-4035
melody.rudenko@state.or.us

Tom Taylor
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
503-808-4386
thomas.j.taylor@usace.army.mil

 

SPECIAL PUBLIC NOTICE
CLEAN WATER ACT PROPOSED RULE FOR A REVISED
DEFINITION OF THE “WATERS OF THE U.S.”

 

On February 14, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army (Army) published for public comment a proposed rule revising the definition of “waters of the United States,” which would establish the scope of federal regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The proposed rule is intended to satisfy the requirements of Executive Order (EO) 13778 that directed the EPA and the Army to review and rescind or replace the 2015 Clean Water Rule (80 FR 37053) and consider interpreting the scope of “waters of the United States” consistent with the Justice Scalia opinion (plurality standard) from Rapanos v. United States (2006). The EO instructed that any new proposed rule shall ensure that the Nation’s navigable waters are kept free from pollution, while at the same time promoting economic growth, minimizing regulatory uncertainty, and showing due regard for the roles of the Congress and the States under the Constitution. 

The proposed revised definition outlines six categories of waters that would be considered “waters of the United States” in section (a), including: traditional navigable waters, including the territorial seas; tributaries that contribute perennial or intermittent flow to such waters; certain ditches; certain lakes and ponds; impoundments of otherwise jurisdictional waters; and wetlands adjacent to other jurisdictional waters. 

The proposed revised definition also outlines what would not be considered “waters of the United States” in section (b), including: waters not identified in section (a); groundwater; ephemeral features; ditches not included in section (a); prior converted cropland, as defined; certain artificially irrigated areas; certain artificial lakes and ponds; certain water-filled depressions; certain stormwater control features; certain wastewater recycling structures; and waste treatment systems, as defined.

Additionally, the proposed rule provides definitions for key terms used in the regulation in section (c).  Some of these are unchanged from the current regulations, including the definitions for “wetlands”, “ordinary high water mark”, and “high tide line”.  Some of these have been redefined, including definitions for “tributary” and “ditch”.  The rule also defines several key terms, that while used colloquially, are added to the regulation for the first time, including definitions for “ephemeral”, “intermittent”, “perennial”, “prior converted cropland”, “snowpack”, “typical year”, “upland”, and “waste treatment system”.

The EPA and the Army are seeking comments on the specifics of the proposed “waters of the United States” definition, and are requesting comment on the discussion and definition of terms within it.  In addition, the EPA and the Army are seeking comments on a multitude of items such as underlying legal interpretations, rule implementation, and the associated Economic Analysis and Resource and Programmatic Assessment (and their data).  Finally, in response to requests from some states, the EPA and the Army are exploring and seeking comments on the development, and feasibility, of creating geospatial datasets or a mapping system for jurisdictional waters in an effort to improve administration of CWA programs and provide clarity for federal, state, and tribal agencies and the general public.

More information regarding this proposed rule can be found at EPA’s website: https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/step-two-revise. Additionally, the Federal Register Notice can be found at the Federal Register’s website: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/02/14/2019-00791/revised-definition-of-waters-of-the-united-states.

DATES:  Comments must be received on or before April 15, 2019. 

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0149, by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov/ (preferred method).  Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: OW-Docket@epa.gov.  Include Docket ID No.  EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0149 in the subject line of the message.
  • Mail: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket Center, Office of Water Docket, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460.
  • Hand Delivery / Courier: EPA Docket Center, WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004. The Docket Center’s hours of operations are 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday (except Federal Holidays).


All submissions received must include the Docket ID No. for this rulemaking.  Comments received may be posted without change to https://www.regulations.gov/, including any personal information provided.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael McDavit, Oceans, Wetlands, and Communities Division, Office of Water (4504-T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 566-2428; email address: CWAwotus@epa.gov; or Jennifer A. Moyer, Regulatory Community of Practice (CECW–CO–R), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 441 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20314; telephone number: (202) 761-5903; e-mail address: USACE_CWA_Rule@usace.army.mil.

JOINT PUBLIC NOTICE

30 Day Notice
Issue Date: February 6, 2019
Closing Date: March 8, 2019
Corps File No.: NWP-2019-22
DSL # 67131-NP

NWP-2019-22 figures

Interested parties are hereby notified that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps) and the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) are considering a proposal to establish the Amazon Prairie Wetland Mitigation Bank (Bank). The proposed bank site is located approximately two miles northwest of Eugene, about halfway between the Eugene Airport and Fern Ridge Reservoir, west of Amazon Creek and east of Goodman Road (Figure 1).The project site is in Township 17 South, Range 5 West, Section 1, tax lot 500; latitude 44.117124, longitude -123.241284.

Federal and State regulations implement a policy of no net loss of wetlands by requiring wetland gains to offset unavoidable wetland losses, called mitigation.A wetland mitigation bank is a project in which wetland gains such as habitat for fish and wildlife, water quality improvement, and floodwater storage and delay are quantified into mitigation credits.This wetland mitigation bank is being proposed by the bank sponsor, the City of Eugene Parks & Open Space Division, to meet the requirements for mitigation for projects permitted by the Corps under the authority of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and by the DSL under the authority of the Oregon’s Removal-Fill Law (ORS 196.800 - 196.990).

The bank sponsor proposes to restore approximately two acres of filled former wetland and enhance approximately 196 acres of cropped wetland with various degrees of drainage.The project on the 329-acre parcel would convert a grass seed field to a diverse mix of upland and wetland prairie with some shallow seasonal pools, all dominated by native plants.Because of the large scale of the project, the bank may be constructed in phases.A Prospectus describing the proposed bank is now available for public review and comment.

The proposed bank would generate wetland credits by improving several functions of existing wetlands such as habitat for prairie wildlife, filtration of sediment and nutrients that would otherwise pollute Amazon Creek, and detention of rainfall to support groundwater recharge and reduce downstream flooding.The bank sponsor is coordinating with airport representatives to ensure the target plant communities will not increase the bird-strike hazard around the airport.The sponsor also proposes to include elements of low-impact recreation such as trails and outdoor education in the long-term plan for the site.

The proposed service area, which is the area within which the mitigation bank credits may be used, consists of the Upper Willamette watershed (5th Field Hydrologic Unit Code 17090003) as well as the lower parts of the McKenzie, Middle Fork, and Coast Fork Willamette watersheds up to 600 feet elevation (Figure 2).This area includes the communities of Albany, Corvallis, Philomath, Tangent, Brownsville, Halsey, Monroe, Harrisburg, Junction City, Eugene, Springfield, Veneta, and Creswell.

Comments received in response to this notice will be provided to the bank sponsor and to the Federal, State, and local agencies represented on an interagency review team.This team will work with the bank sponsor to create a detailed bank instrument and legal agreement that will specify the ecological goals of the project, grading and planting plans, monitoring, maintenance, and long-term stewardship.This document will also identify the number and schedule of wetland credits to be made available when specified performance standards have been met.

A copy of the Prospectus may be requested from the Corps or the DSL at the addresses given below.It is also available for viewing or download from the DSL website:
https://lands.dsl.state.or.us/index.cfm?fuseaction=Comments.AppListLF&county=Lane.
Comments on this proposed mitigation bank may be submitted to the Corps at the address below or electronically via the DSL website.Comments should be received no later than March 7, 2019.

Please provide comments to:

Andrea Wagner
Portland District, Army Corps of Engineers
Eugene Regulatory Field Office
211 E. 7th Ave., Suite 105
Eugene, OR 97401-2763
Phone: (541) 465-6882

OR

Dana Field
Oregon Department of State Lands
775 Summer Street NE
Salem, OR 97301-1279
Phone: (503) 986-5238

JOINT PUBLIC NOTICE
Monthly Federal-State interagency coordination and pre-application meetings 

Issue Date: January 2, 2019

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps), and the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) jointly welcome prospective Clean Water Act § 404 and Oregon’s Removal-Fill permit applicants to meet with the agencies as part of regularly scheduled interagency pre-application meetings, known as “Kaizen”.  The meetings supplement existing pre-application coordination led by the Corps and DSL. 

The Kaizen pre-application process is intended for non-routine permit evaluations that may be large, complex, or controversial in nature.  The intent of the meetings is to provide meaningful comment and feedback to prospective applicants early in the permitting process, to help them most effectively prepare permit applications and address agency concerns. 

On the third Wednesday of each month, from 1 to 2 p.m, participating state and federal agencies will meet with a prospective applicant to discuss their proposed project, provide feedback, and share information. 

The meetings are designed to assess draft information, and prospective attendees are asked to provide basic project information, in the form of responses to a standard set of questions, at least two weeks prior to the meeting. 

Meeting locations and dates for 2019
January 16, 2019 – DSL office – Salem, 775 Summer St NE, Suite 100
February 20, 2019 – DEQ office – Portland, 700 NE Multnomah St., Suite 600  
March 20, 2019 – Corps office – Portland, 333 SW 1st Ave.
April 17, 2019 – DSL office – Salem, 775 Summer St NE, Suite 100
May 15, 2019 – DEQ office – Portland, 700 NE Multnomah St., Suite 600
June 19, 2019 – Corps office – Portland, 333 SW 1st Ave.
July 17, 2019 – DSL office – Salem, 775 Summer St NE, Suite 100
August 21, 2019 – DEQ office – Portland, 700 NE Multnomah St., Suite 600
September 18, 2019 – Corps office – Portland, 333 SW 1st Ave.
October 16, 2019 – DSL office – Salem, 775 Summer St NE, Suite 100
November 20, 2019 – DEQ office – Portland, 700 NE Multnomah St., Suite 600
December 18, 2019 – Corps office – Portland, 333 SW 1st Ave.

Note: Meetings may be relocated to Salem, Eugene, or elsewhere if appropriate for a specific project/pre-applicant.   


Screening tools and pre-meeting information
Prospective applicants interested in a Kaizen pre-application meeting should work with their points of contact at the Corps and DSL and review online project screening tools prior to requesting time at a monthly agency meeting.

The screening tools, known as the matrix and accompanying matrix user’s guide, are available on the Oregon Department of State Lands website, linked here: http://www.oregon.gov/dsl/WW/Pages/PreApp.aspx

The matrix will help prospective applicants assess if a Kaizen pre-application meeting will be beneficial to their project development.  Even if the applicant opts to not have a Kaizen pre-application meeting, the information contained in the matrix and user’s guide may be helpful for any project potentially needing a § 404 permit (and associated § 401 Water Quality Certification) or a Removal-Fill Permit, and a less formal pre-application meeting may still be appropriate.

The screening tools are intended primarily for use by large-scale, controversial or complex projects.  The tools are available for any potential applicant or agency staff person to use, and can be scaled down to assess the risks associated with less complex or less controversial projects.

Participating agencies
•    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Portland District
•    Oregon Department of State Lands
•    Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
•    U.S. EPA – Region 10 Oregon Operations Office 
•    NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
•    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
•    Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries
•    Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
•    Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development
•    Oregon State Marine Board
•    Oregon Water Resources Department
•    City of Portland (for projects within the city limits of Portland)

For more information, please contact:

Jaimee Davis, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District
Phone: 503-808-4381
Email: jaimee.w.davis@usace.army.mil

Christopher Castelli, Oregon Department of State Lands
Phone: 503-986-5280
Email: chris.castelli@state.or.us 

Sara Christensen, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Phone:  541-633-2007
Email:  sara.christensen@state.or.us 
 

PUBLIC NOTICE
Submitting Permit Applications Electronically

Point of Contact: Carrie Bond
Phone: (503) 808-4387
Email: Carrie.L.Bond@usace.army.mil
Issue Date: December 26, 2018

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Portland District, Regulatory Branch has been accepting permit applications electronically since August 2016 for all counties in Oregon and for those ports in Washington that obtain permits from the Portland District.

Update - Electronic Submittals (For Files >10 MB)
We previously published a special public notice entitled “Paperless Transition” directing you to use the SAFE AMRDEC file exchange website to submit electronic documents larger than 10 megabytes (MB). This website is currently inactive, and may remain inactive indefinitely.

The Corps requests that you contact your county Project Manager (PM) at the link below to submit files larger than 10 MB to the Portland District, Regulatory Branch. We can send you information to use another file exchange site. You can also mail a CD or DVD with the files to the appropriate Regulatory office (see mailing addresses below). Do not send an external USB drive (thumb drive).

Reminder - Process for Electronic Submittals
Please email your permit applications, permit modification requests, and jurisdictional determination requests (with wetland delineations) to the following email address: PortlandPermits@usace.army.mil. All documents should be formatted as Adobe Acrobat PDF files.  You will receive a receipt notification email with the project number and the PM assigned to your project. Once a PM is assigned, you may email additional items directly to the PM, or follow the instructions above for files larger than 10 MB.

If you do not receive a receipt notification email after 5 working days from the date of your electronic permit application submission, please contact your county PM.

You can find contact information for your county PM on the map at this link: www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Contact

Addresses to Mail CDs and DVDS:

Portland Office #1:
USACE Portland District
ATTN: (Name) CENWP-ODG
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, Oregon 97208-2946

Portland Office #2:
USACE Portland District
ATTN: (Name) CENWP-ODG
333 SW 1st Avenue Portland, Oregon 97204-3440

Eugene Office:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Eugene Field Office
211 E. Seventh Avenue, Suite 105
Eugene, Oregon 97401-2722

Emergency Procedures

Point of Contact: Carrie Bond
Phone: (503) 808-4387
Email: Carrie.L.Bond@usace.army.mil
Issue Date: December 19, 2018

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Portland District, Regulatory Branch has posted emergency procedures on its website as follows:

The Corps regulations for the processing of permit applications at 33 CFR Part 325.2(e)(4) defines an “emergency” as a situation which would result in an unacceptable hazard to life, a significant loss of property, or an immediate, unforeseen, and significant economic hardship if corrective action requiring a Department of the Army permit is not undertaken within a time period less than the normal time needed to process the application under standard procedures.

The Corps may not view an action as an emergency if the applicant has known of the deficient condition and the need for work, but has not made reasonable attempts to secure appropriate permits and to conduct the work in a timely manner. Emergency declarations by the state or a county government does not mean all projects within the region of the declared emergency qualify as emergency situations. The Corps makes emergency authorization decisions on a case-by-case basis.

You must immediately notify the Corps Regulatory Branch of the need for emergency work and obtain authorization, if applicable, prior to performing the work. The Corps has the responsibility to determine if the proposed work is consistent with the Corps' definition of an emergency, whether authorization is needed, and if so, which type of authorization is required.

Contact the Corps Regulatory Branch Immediately:
Call the Corps Regulatory Branch project manager for your region to discuss the situation as soon as possible. For a list of project managers and their regions, visit www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Contact.aspx. If the project manager is not available, contact the Section or Branch Chief (contact information at same link as above). If you need to contact the Corps after work hours or on the weekends, please contact the Branch Chief, Bill Abadie, at 503-708-7653.

If the work meets the Corps' definition of an emergency, then the Corps will initiate the emergency authorization procedures. Emergency authorization procedures include coordinating with resource agencies, tribes, and our Division office. This process may take from a few hours to up to a week. Work cannot begin until the Corps indicates work may commence. The emergency work should be the minimum necessary to resolve the emergency situation. Following the emergency, additional coordination with the Corps will likely be required to remove or modify the emergency work, to obtain authorization for additional proposed work to complete the final project, or for compensatory mitigation for unavoidable impacts to waters of the United States. A final permit approval may take over 6 months to obtain.

For projects that do not qualify as emergency situations, the Corps may initiate "expedited" (non-emergency) authorization procedures. This process may take several weeks to complete. In other cases, the proposed work will be subject to our standard permit processing procedures appropriate for the nature and location of the work.

It is important you contact the Corps prior to beginning work and as soon as you are aware of the need for work. Unauthorized work may be subject to an enforcement action.

Additional information about the Corps’ Regulatory Program is available at: www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory.

Bi-annual permit application process and pre-application meetings

Issue Date: December 4, 2018

Who: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps) as well as participating state and federal agencies. 

What: Regularly scheduled, bi-annual meetings are intended to be flexible presentations regarding the permitting and related processes, focused discussions on new or emerging issues such as stormwater management requirements, best management practices, avoidance and minimization of aquatic resource impacts, alternatives, other agency processes and requirements, and to facilitate pre-application discussion of prospective projects with permit applicants.  The pre-application process is intended for both routine and non-routine permit application evaluations which may be complex or controversial in nature.  The public is encouraged to submit agenda topics. The agenda will reflect level of interest and applicability to the Program. 

When: Meeting locations and dates for 2019 will occur on the following dates from 1 to 4 p.m.  

February 21, 2019 

August 15, 2019

Where: All meetings for 2019 will be held at the Coos County Coquille Annex large conference room located at 201 N. Adams Street, Coquille, Oregon 97423. 

Why: The Corps strives to be professional, fair and reasonable, knowledgeable, honest, timely, accountable and respectful of all applicants.  The intent of the meetings is to provide meaningful feedback to prospective applicants early in the design process to assist in project development.   

Pre-meeting information 
Prospective applicants interested in a formal pre-application meeting should work with their points of contact at the Corps prior to requesting time at bi-annual meetings.  These pre-application meetings are designed to assess preliminary designs and scheduling.  Prospective attendees are asked to provide basic project information at least two weeks prior to the meeting.  If you have a topic or issue you would like to see addressed or discussed at one of these meetings please coordinate with one of the parties listed below at least two weeks prior to the meeting. 

 

Prospective participating agencies 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Portland District

Oregon Department of State Lands

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

U.S. EPA – Region 10 Oregon Operations Office

NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development

 

For more information, please contact: 

Tyler Krug, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District 
Phone: 541-756-2097 
Email: Tyler.J.Krug@usace.army.mil 
Regulatory Permitting for Coos and Curry counties 

 

Marcia Heer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District 
Phone: 541-756-5316 
Email: Marcia.L.Heer@usace.army.mil 
Compliance and Enforcement for Benton, Coos, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Harney, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Lake, Linn, and Klamath, Malhuer, and Marion counties  

 

Teena Monical, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District 
Phone: 541-465-6877 
Email: Teena.G.Monical@usace.army.mil 
Counties: Benton, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Deschutes, Harney, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Lake, Lane, Linn, Klamath, Malheur, and Marion counties  

 

Joint Public Notice
Intent to Create a Wetland Mitigation Bank 
Villines Mitigation Bank, Douglas County, Ore.

Issue Date: November 28, 2018
Closing Date: January 3, 2019
Corps File No.: NWP-2017-488
 

30 Day Notice

Interested parties are hereby notified that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps) and the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) are considering a proposal to establish the Villines Wetland Mitigation Bank.  The proposed bank site is located approximately 17 miles South of Roseburg, 2 miles southwest of Myrtle creek, west of I-5, in Douglas County, Oregon (Figure 4).  Specifically, the project site is in Township 30 South, Range 5 West, Sections 6 and 7, tax lot 1800 (latitude 42.98308 North, longitude -123.33523 West).  

Federal and State regulations implement a policy of no net loss of wetlands by requiring wetland gains to offset unavoidable wetland losses, called mitigation.  A wetland mitigation bank is a project in which wetland gains such as habitat for fish and wildlife, water quality improvement, and floodwater storage and delay are quantified into mitigation credits.  This wetland mitigation bank is being proposed by the bank sponsor, the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians (Tribe), to meet the requirements for mitigation for projects permitted by the Corps under the authority of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and by the DSL under the authority of the Oregon’s Removal-Fill Law (ORS 196.800 - 196.990).  The bank sponsor would use wetland credits to offset wetland losses from tribal development and also would sell credits to various other developers.

The bank sponsor proposes to restore, enhance and create approximately 45 acres of wetlands by converting a ditched pasture to a wet prairie dominated by native plants.  An unnamed intermittent tributary to the South Umpqua River would be restored to a natural channel form with native woody vegetation in the riparian zone.  Six or more acres of uplands around the perimeter of the parcel would be planted to native trees to buffer and protect wildlife habitat from adjacent land uses.  A Prospectus describing the proposed bank has been received from the bank sponsor and is now available for public review and comment.  

The proposed bank would generate wetland credits by improving the functions of existing wetlands and increasing the acreage of wetlands by holding water on the site.  A drainage ditch entering the site from the east would be re-directed into a constructed channel with structures and/or large wood designed to slow the flow, filter out sediment and pollutants, and recharge soil moisture.  Two swales and a ditch entering the site from the south would continue to flow into the site and may be intercepted by the new channel.  Small shallow wetland cells would be excavated to retain water and support diverse vegetation.  Native plantings would be designed to maximize habitat for fish and wildlife.  The Tribe would continue to own and maintain the site for these natural values in perpetuity.

The proposed service area, which is the area within which the mitigation credits generated by the Bank may be used, is shown in Figure 8.  It consists of portions of the Umpqua 4th Field Hydrologic Unit 17100303 as well as portions of the North Umpqua (HUC 17100301), South Umpqua (HUC 17100302), and Coquille (HUC 17100305) watersheds.  This service area is located along the Umpqua Valley floor on each side of the Interstate 5 corridor and includes land within or near the towns of Rice Hill, Drain, Yoncalla, Oakland, Sutherlin, Roseburg, Winston, Myrtle Creek and Canyonville, as well as smaller communities within these watersheds.

Comments received in response to this notice will be provided to the bank sponsor and to the federal, state and local agencies represented on an interagency review team.  This team will work with the bank sponsor to create a detailed bank instrument and legal agreement that will specify the ecological goals of the project, grading and planting plans, monitoring, maintenance, and long-term stewardship.  This document will also identify the number and schedule of wetland credits to be made available when specified performance standards have been met.

A copy of the Prospectus may be requested from the Corps and the DSL at the addresses given below.  It is also available for viewing or download from the DSL website: www.statelandsonline.com/ under the heading for Douglas County Removal-Fill permit applications.  Comments on this proposed mitigation bank may be submitted to the Corps at the address below or electronically via the DSL website.  Comments should be received no later than January 3, 2019. 

Please provide comments to:

Mr. Tom Taylor
Portland District, Army Corps of Engineers
CENWP-OD-G
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, OR 97208
E-mail:  thomas.j.taylor@usace.army.mil 
Telephone: 503-808-4386

OR

Ms. Dana Field
Oregon Department of State Lands
775 Summer Street NE
Salem, OR 97301-1279
Telephone:  503-986-5238

NWP-2017-488_Figures

Issue Date: July 17, 2018
US Army Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2017-41

On May 22, 2018, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps) issued a 60-day public notice regarding the Corps’ receipt of an application for a Department of the Army permit and permission for certain work in waters of the United States associated with the Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Projects (Project). We have received multiple requests to hold public meetings, public hearings, and/or extend the public notice comment period.

The Corps public comment period for the Project was originally set to close on July 21, 2018. We have determined extending the public comment period with a new comment close date of August 20, 2018 is in the public interest and is hereby granted.

Per Corps' regulations, the Corps holds a public hearing when there is a valid public interest to be served by a hearing, such as when substantive project issues cannot be addressed by any other means and a hearing would provide additional information that is necessary for a thorough evaluation of the issues.  We will work with the applicant directly to address issues raised through public comment to determine if a public hearing is necessary.

The Corps is a cooperating agency on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement for the project.  Per Corps’ regulations, if the Corps believes a public hearing should be held and another agency is lead agency (i.e., FERC), the Corps will make that request to the lead agency. The Corps will notify the public of our position regarding project-specific public hearing(s) in the future. In addition, the Corps will not be holding public meetings at this time, but will work with FERC regarding if and when such meetings would be held.

All comments, whether by conventional mail or email, must be received no later than August 20, 2018 to ensure consideration.  Comments should be submitted to the following mailing address or email address below.

EMAIL
NWP-2017-41@usace.army.mil
  HARD COPY
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
North Bend Field Office
2201 North Broadway, Suite C
North Bend, Oregon 97459-2372

 

Notice: Interested parties are hereby notified that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Northwestern Division (Corps) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Region 10 (EPA) have implemented the May 2018 Sediment Evaluation Framework for the Pacific Northwest (SEF). The Corps and EPA solicited public comments regarding updates to Chapters 3 and 10 of the July 2016 SEF from December 22, 2017 through February 20, 2018. No public comments were received. Updates to the SEF chapters were also presented at the Regional Sediment Evaluation Team’s (RSET’s) annual public web-meeting held on November 30, 2017.

Purpose and Background: The SEF provides regional guidance for the characterization and assessment of dredged sediment and potential water quality impacts that may occur during dredging. The SEF describes procedures for the evaluation of potential contaminant-related environmental impacts of dredging and the aquatic disposal of dredged material in inland waters (regulated under the Clean Water Act [CWA]) and the transport and disposal of dredged material in ocean waters (regulated under the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act [MPRSA]). The RSET Agencies  prepared the SEF for use in the Pacific Northwest, defined here as the States of Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The SEF is periodically revised and updated to account for advances in regulatory practice and technical understanding.

The updated May 2018 SEF simplifies and promotes consistent use of the SEF. The RSET Agencies updated Chapter 3 (SEF Level 1 Evaluation) and Chapter 10 (Dredged Material Disposal and Post-Dredge Surface Management) of the 2016 SEF. The May 2018 SEF can be downloaded at the following website: www.nwd.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Navigation/RSET.

Questions: Questions and comments regarding the May 2018 SEF should be sent to:

 

 

Army Corps
PSET Lead
PSET.Lead@usace.army.mil

US Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District
CENWP-ODN-W
P.O. Box 2870
Portland, Oregon 97208-2870
  EPA
Linda Anderson-Carnahan
Anderson-Carnahan.Linda@epa.gov

US EPA Region 10 
OERA-140, Suite 155
1200 Sixth Ave.
Seattle, Washington 98101

 


[1] The RSET Agencies include: Corps Northwestern Division (chair) and Portland, Seattle, and Walla Walla Districts; EPA Region 10 (chair); National Marine Fisheries Service; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Washington Department of Ecology; Washington Department of Natural Resources; Oregon Department of Environmental Quality; and Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.

 

 

 

The Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps), jointly announce the publication and availability of the Stream Function Assessment Method (SFAM) version 1.0 dated June 2018. The method provides a scientifically supported, rapid assessment tool for gathering information on the functions and values associated with wadeable streams that may be subject to regulatory jurisdiction under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Oregon’s Removal-Fill Law. The method does not imply or represent a change in the definition of “Waters of the U.S.” or “Waters of the State.”

The purpose of this notice is to make the public aware of SFAM and associated tools, explain the need for and development of the method, and to invite feedback from users. SFAM has four components:
• Excel Workbook
• User Manual
• Scientific Rationale
• SFAM Map Viewer

The SFAM documents are available from the DSL website, www.oregon.gov/dsl/WW/pages/aquatic-resources-mitigation-framework.aspx. The documents and the SFAM Map Viewer are available from the Oregon Explorer Aquatic Mitigation topic page at oregonexplorer.info/topics/aquatic-mitigation?qt-subtopic_quicktab=0&ptopic=38.

SFAM was developed by experts from federal and state agencies with experience across Oregon and reflects the technical expertise and critical review of others from relevant professional and academic fields. The method has been field tested by interagency teams of state and federal scientists, as well as by private consultants, and was also the subject of statistical testing using data resulting from a field study. Use of the method will help to support decision making in a consistent, predictable, robust, repeatable and defensible way. 

SFAM will change how stream mitigation is achieved in Oregon. It will provide a stream assessment tool, which had previously been lacking, thereby making stream mitigation more function- and watershed-based and providing better ecological outcomes.

With this notice, DSL and the Corps recommend that project proponents use SFAM in their applications for state removal-fill permits and/or federal Section 404 dredged and fill material permits, where appropriate and practicable. SFAM can help to describe and quantify stream (and related resource) type and functions that will be impacted and replaced at the proposed impact and mitigation sites, respectively. DSL is currently conducting rulemaking to change from acre-based mitigation to function- and value-based mitigation, and is proposing that SFAM be required, with some exceptions, beginning July 2019.

The agencies will be providing technical training for the public to use and understand SFAM. Training opportunities will be offered through DSL’s website at: www.oregon.gov/dsl/WW/pages/aquatic-resources-mitigation-framework.aspx.

In the future, through additional state rulemaking, the agencies anticipate using SFAM outputs to determine how much stream compensatory mitigation is required. To reach this goal, the agencies will be conducting additional work following the release of SFAM to:
• Understand SFAM’s ability to detect changes in functions due to on-site actions 
• Improve SFAM based on user-feedback and work toward an approach for larger rivers
• Seek input on proposed stream accounting protocols for determining mitigation amount

This phased-in approach to stream mitigation policy will provide incremental improvements in program outcomes, while providing time to adjust to new tools and protocols.

We encourage you to stay informed by visiting the Aquatic Resources Mitigation Framework website: www.oregon.gov/dsl/WW/Pages/Aquatic-Resources-Mitigation-Framework.aspx and the proposed rulemaking website: www.oregon.gov/dsl/Laws/Pages/Rulemaking.aspx. You may ask questions and provide comments regarding SFAM via DSL’s dedicated email box AquaticResourceMitigationProject@dsl.state.or.us

For additional information, contact any one of the following Project Team leads:
 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Tracie Nadeau
503-326-3685
Nadeau.Tracie@epa.gov
  Department of State Lands
Dana Hicks
503-986-5229
dana.hicks@state.or.us
  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Tom Taylor
Thomas.j.taylor@usace.army.mil

 

 

 

 

 

 

Issue Date: June 13, 2018
Expiration Date: June 27, 2018

15-Day Notice

This Public Notice announces the preliminary intent of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Portland District) to accept and expend funds contributed by Clean Water Services, to expedite the processing of their Department of the Army (DA) permit applications, subject to a series of limitations. This Public Notice solicits comments from the general public on the subject of acceptance and expenditure of funds contributed by Clean Water Services to expedite the evaluation of DA permit applications pursuant to 33 United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 2352, Section 214 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2000, as amended (Section 214).

The following subjects will be discussed in this Public Notice:
• How the Portland District would expend the funds.
• The kind of activities for which funds would be expended.
• The procedures the Portland District would use to ensure that the funds would not impact impartial decision making.
• The benefits non-Federal public entities would receive from their funds.
• Impacts the Portland District foresees to its Regulatory program and to DA permit evaluations that are not subsidized by funds contributed by non-Federal public entities.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Regulatory program is funded as a congressionally appropriated line item in the annual Federal budget. Additional funds received from non-Federal public entities would be used in accordance with the provisions of 33 U.S.C. 2352. The Portland District would establish separate accounts for each non-Federal public entity providing funds and would track receipt and expenditure of such funds. Portland District Regulatory employees dedicated to processing Clean Water Services permit actions would charge their time when working on Clean Water Services permit actions against the respective account. Funds may be used for permit reviews when Clean Water Services is working in partnership with other governmental entities (e.g. Washington County, TriMet, Oregon Department of Transportation, cities within the Clean Water Services boundary).

Funds would primarily be expended on the salaries and overhead of Regulatory project managers and technical specialists performing dedicated permit processing activities for Clean Water Services. Such activities would include, but not be limited to, the following: pre-application coordination, permit application intake review, drawings review and
 
correction, jurisdictional determinations, site visits, technical support, training, public notice preparation, preparation of correspondence, conduct of the public interest review, preparation of draft permit decision documents, and meetings with the applicant. Funds would also be expended for administrative tasks associated with tracking the pending and completed work and funding received from Clean Water Services and expended on Clean Water Services permit actions. Funds may be expended by other Portland District or Corps offices that provide technical assistance in support of permit evaluations for Clean Water Services. Funds could be expended for development or review of programmatic tools beneficial to the non-Federal public entity and the general public, including but not limited to, compensatory mitigation banks or in-lieu fee programs, programmatic Endangered Species Act biological assessments, or regional general permits. Funds would not be expended for review of Corps project managers’ work by supervisors or any other final decision makers. No enforcement activities would be paid for from the contributed funds.

Funds may also be expended to hire contractors to perform select technical or administrative duties in support of the Corps’ processing of Clean Water Services permit actions. Examples of possible contracted services include, but are not limited to, field data collection, technical report writing, copying and other clerical tasks. If contracts are used to develop decision documents, such decision documents must be drafts only, for review and adoption, as appropriate, by Corps of Engineers Regulatory program employees, before the decision is made.

If a participating entity’s funds are expended and not renewed, their remaining permit applications would be handled like those of any other permit applicant, in a manner decided by the assigned Regulatory project manager and his/her supervisor.

To ensure that the funds would not impact impartial decisionmaking, the following procedures, mandated by Corps Headquarters, would apply to all cases using additional funds provided by the participating non-Federal public entities:

a. All final permit decisions for cases where these funds are used must be reviewed at least by one level above the normal decisionmaker, unless the decisionmaker is the District Commander. For example, if the decisionmaker is the Chief, Regulatory Branch, then the reviewer would be the Chief, Operations Division.

b. All final permit decisions for cases where these funds are used would be made available on the Portland District web page.

c. The Portland District would not eliminate any procedures or decisions that would otherwise be required for that type of project and permit application under consideration.

d. The Portland District must comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

e. Funds would only be expended to expedite the final decision on the permit application. Funds would not be expended for the review of the decisionmaker’s decision.
 
The provisions of 33 U.S.C 2352 are designed to enable the Corps to provide timely review of public projects. Participating non-Federal public entities can expect some of their permit applications to receive expedited handling, and to the degree the Portland District considers it appropriate, the entities can set the Corps project managers’ priorities for review of their permit actions. The result for participants should be efficient permit processing for public projects, increased predictability in permit processing time, and as appropriate, new programmatic tools.

The Portland District does not expect this method of expediting the permit review of certain public projects to negatively impact the Portland District’s Regulatory program, or to increase the waiting time for permit evaluations that are not subsidized by funds contributed by non-Federal sponsors. Funds provided under the authority of 33 U.S.C 2352 allow the Corps to add staff resources dedicated to the non-Federal public entities’ permit reviews. Reference documents and programmatic tools developed by public entity funding will also be available to the general public. We expect the benefits of implementing this program to translate into an enhanced evaluation capability for all members of the public working with the Portland District Regulatory program.

This special public notice has a 15-day comment period. Following the review of comments received in response to the public notice, the Portland District Commander will determine if acceptance and expenditure of the funds is in compliance with 33
U.S.C 2352. If the District Commander determines, after considering public comments, that the acceptance and expenditure of the funds is in compliance with the 33 U.S.C 2352 and is not otherwise contrary to the general public interest, the Portland District will proceed to accept and expend such funds from Clean Water Services. Funds will be accepted only if the public interest is better served through cost-effectiveness, streamlined permit processing, or other appropriate justification. A final special public notice will be issued regarding the District Commander’s decision. Beyond that, no new public notice will be issued if Clean Water Services increases the amount of funds previously furnished or a new agreement is signed, provided the purpose for which the funds are used remains the same.

Comments on implementing provisions of 33 U.S.C 2352 through an agreement to accept funds from Clean Water Services will be accepted and made part of the record, and they will be considered in determining whether it would be in the best public interest to proceed with this administrative practice. Comments can be submitted to: Jaimee Davis, Regulatory Branch, by e-mail at: jaimee.w.davis@usace.army.mil or mail to this address: USACE, Portland District, CENWP-OD-GP Attn: Jaimee Davis, P.O. Box 2946, Portland, OR 97208-2946, no later than the expiration date of this public notice.

The Portland District point of contact for this public notice and the use of the 33 U.S.C 2352 authority in implementing the Corps Regulatory program is Ms. Jaimee Davis,
Chief, Portland Permits Section, who can be reached at
(503) 808-4381 or by e-mail at: jaimee.w.davis@usace.army.mil.

Joint Public Notice
Intent to Create a Wetland Mitigation Bank 
South Santiam Mitigation Bank, Linn County, Oregon

Issue Date: April 25, 2018
Closing Date: May 25, 2018
Corps File No.: NWP-2017-362
DSL No.: 60771-NP

30 Day Notice
 
Interested parties are hereby notified that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps) and the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) are considering a proposal to establish a wetland mitigation bank (“Bank”) on up to 92 acres of a farmed parcel.  The proposed bank site is located near Lebanon, in Linn County, Oregon (Figure 1).  The bank sponsor, Oregon Wetlands, LLC, proposes to enhance and create aquatic habitats, including Willamette Valley wet prairie on Tax Lots 101 and 401 in Township 11 South, Range 1 West, Section 31 and 32 (latitude 44.570356° N, longitude 122.845036° W).  A Prospectus describing the proposed bank has been received from the bank sponsors and is now available for public review.

This Bank is being proposed by the Bank sponsors primarily as a means to meet the requirements for compensatory mitigation for projects which may be permitted by the Corps under the authority of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and by the DSL in implementing the provisions of Oregon’s Removal-Fill Law (ORS 196.800 - 196.990) and according to Rules for Issuance and Enforcement of Removal and Fill Permits (OAR 141-85).  The Bank sponsors would sell wetland credits to various parties to meet their obligations under the “no net loss of wetlands” policies of these federal and state regulations.

The proposed Bank will generate wetland credits by converting to most of the farmed area to palustrine emergent, forested, scrub-shrub, flat and slope wetlands.  Hydrology would be restored or enhanced by removing berms and filling ditches, and constructing a mosaic of wetland depressions and low berms.  The site would be designed to emphasize native wet prairie habitat by establishing native dominated plant communities (Figure 4).  The total project size and wetland classes will be determined prior to Bank approval.

A delineation report will be submitted to the regulatory agencies for review to verify the extent of existing wetlands and hydric soils.  This information will be used to determine how much of the area qualifies for enhancement and creation credit ratios.

The proposed service area, which is the area which the mitigation bank credits may be used, consists of portions of the following 8 digit HUC watersheds:  Upper Willamette (HUC 17090003) and the South Santiam (HUC 17090006) (Figure 5).  This service area includes the urbanizing areas of Millersburg, Albany, Tangent, Corvallis, Brownsville, Tangent, Junction City, Halsey, Harrisburg, Sweet Home, Millersburg, Lebanon and Springfield, as well as smaller communities within these watersheds. 

Comments received in response to this notice will be provided to the Bank sponsor and to the federal, state, and local agencies represented on the mitigation bank interagency review team.  This team will work with the bank sponsors to create a detailed bank instrument and legal agreement that will specify the ecological goals of the project, grading and planting plans, monitoring, maintenance, and the number and schedule of wetland credits to be made available when performance standards have been met.

The prospectus, which outlines the conceptual plan for this bank, is available for inspection at the Corps and the DSL at the addresses given below.  It has been posted along with Linn County Removal-Fill permit applications on the DSL website:  www.statelandsonline.com/.  Comments on this proposed mitigation bank may be submitted to either the Corps via e-mail or the DSL online comment link or to either address below.  Comments should be received no later than May 25, 2018. 

Please provide comments to:
 

Mr. Tom Taylor
Portland District, Army Corps of Engineers
CENWP-OP-G
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, OR  97208
thomas.j.taylor@usace.army.mil
OR  Dana Field
Oregon Department of State Lands
775 Summer Street NE
Salem, OR 97301-1279

 

NWP-2017-362_figures.pdf

 

Public Notice
Compensatory Mitigation Requirements for Unavoidable Losses Occurring in Aquatic Resources of Special Concern

Issue Date: April 9, 2018

Point of Contact: Mr. Bill Abadie
Telephone: (503) 808-4370
Email: william.d.abadie@usace.army.mil

 


The purpose of this notice is to inform the public that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps) may require additional compensatory mitigation for unavoidable impacts and permanent losses of certain waters of the United States. The Corps has developed a list of Aquatic Resources of Special Concern (ARSC) to identify and define those aquatic resources that are unique, difficult to replace, and/or have high ecological function. The list of ARSC, with definitions, is attached. 

Mitigation is an important part of the Corps’ permit evaluation process. Compensatory mitigation may be required to offset unavoidable adverse impacts remaining after all appropriate and practicable avoidance and minimization measures have been implemented. Mitigation requirements are outlined in the Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources Final Rule (33 CFR Part 332), commonly referred to as the “mitigation rule.” 

The mitigation rule at 33 CFR Part 332.3(f) describes factors used to determine the amount of required compensatory mitigation to replace lost aquatic functions. Factors to consider regarding the amount of compensatory mitigation include the likelihood of success, the difficulty of establishing the desired aquatic resource type, and the temporal loss of aquatic resource functions due to the time it takes to fully achieve functions at the compensatory mitigation project. Due to their unique characteristics, ARSC can be particularly difficult to replace. Where unavoidable impacts result in environmental losses within ARSC, the Corps will consider the factors above in determining the appropriate compensatory mitigation requirements. Compensatory mitigation ratios for impacts to ARSC may be higher than required for other types of waters to account for the risk of failure and other factors, such as temporal loss, when replacing these aquatic resources.

 

 

 

Aquatic Resources of Special Concern
Portland District Definitions


a. Alkali Wetlands: Alkali wetlands occur in arid regions east of the Cascade Range and have saline or alkaline conditions where evaporation tends to concentrate salts in soils and water. Vegetation consists of plants adapted to saline or alkaline conditions.

b. Bogs: Bogs are wetlands with acidic organic soils (pH of <5.5) with no significant inflow or outflow of surface or ground water and generally receive water from direct precipitation. Bogs are characterized by vegetation able to grow in acidic conditions and are often covered by mosses, sedges, and evergreen shrubs and may also have an over story of evergreen trees.

c. Estuarine Wetlands: Estuaries are areas where rivers or streams meet the ocean and freshwater and saltwater mix. Estuarine wetlands are tidal wetlands where ocean derived salts measure greater than 0.5 parts per thousand during the period of average annual flow. Estuarine wetlands are usually semi enclosed by land, but have open, partially obstructed, or sporadic access to the open ocean.

d. Fens: Fens are wetlands similar to bogs that have organic soils that generally receive drainage from surrounding mineral soils and may include a surface water inlet and outlet. Soils in fens are generally less acidic (pH of >5.5) than bogs and receive waters rich in dissolved minerals. Vegetation in fens typically consists of grasses, sedges evergreen shrubs and may have an over story of evergreen trees.

e. Kelp beds: Kelp beds form on rocky substrate located in shallow subtidal areas, typically in waters between 5 and 25 meters. Kelp stalks are anchored to rocks by a holdfast, which is connected by a flexible stem-like feature to the blades. Gas-filled bladders keep the blades close to the surface where the blades fan out forming a canopy cover. Kelp beds occur when the kelp covers 30% or more of the substrate.

f. Marine Gardens: In Oregon, a marine garden is a specially protected area in which it is illegal to collect any marine invertebrate (except single mussels for bait). Marine Gardens are areas that are targeted for educational programs that allow visitors to enjoy and learn about intertidal resources. Marine gardens in Oregon are located at Haystack Rock, Cape Kiwanda, Otter Rock, Yaquina Head, Yachats State Park, Cape Perpetua and Harris Beach State Park and are managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

g. Marine Reserves: A marine reserve is an area within Oregon's Territorial Sea or adjacent rocky intertidal area that is protected from all extractive activities, including the removal or disturbance of living and non-living marine resources, except as necessary for monitoring or research to evaluate reserve condition, effectiveness, or impact of stressors. Marine reserves in Oregon are located at Cape Falcon, Cascade Head, Otter Rock, Cape Perpetua, and Redfish Rocks and are managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

h. Mature Forested Wetlands: Mature forested wetlands consist of trees with an aerial cover of 30% or more of the wetland where the average age of trees is 80 years or older or have an average diameter of 18 inches or greater (dbh). 

i. Native eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds: Zostera marina is a species of submerged aquatic vegetation that grows on substrates in intertidal and shallow subtidal marine waters. Z. marina is a rhizomatous, perennial flowering plant and exhibits both vegetative growth and reproduction by seed germination. Z. marina may form beds that are continuous, semi-continuous to patchy. A Z. marina eelgrass bed is defined as a minimum of 3 shoots per 0.25 m2 (1/4 square meter) within 1 meter of any adjacent shoots. To identify the bed boundary, proceed in a linear direction and find the last shoot that is within 1 meter of an adjacent shoot along that transect. The bed boundary (edge) is defined as the point 0.5 meter past that last shoot, in recognition of the average length of the roots and rhizomes extending from an individual shoot (Washington Dept. of Natural Resources (WADNR) 2012). 

j. Rocky substrate in tidal waters: Areas of rocky substrates consist of stones, boulders or bedrock that cover 75% or greater of an area where vegetation and/or macro algae cover less than 30% of the area. Rocky substrates may occur in both intertidal and subtidal marine waters. 

k. Vernal Pools: Vernal pools are seasonally inundated depressions underlain by an impermeable claypan or hardpan layer. A vernal pool is usually a closed depression without a naturally-occurring inlet or outlet that ponds water in the cool, low evaporation periods of winter and spring in regions with cool moist winters, and dries out during the hot dry summers. 

l. Wetlands in dunal systems along the Oregon coast: Dunes are ridges and hills of sand formed by the influence of wind and water. Dunal systems along the Oregon coast consist of a complex assembly of beaches, foredunes, hummocks, deflation plains, and transvers, oblique and parabolic dunes located between the Pacific Ocean and the foothills of the Coast Range. Wetlands in the dunal system along the Oregon coast may occur in the deflation plains, depressions, swales or low areas.

m. Willamette Valley wet prairie wetlands: Wet prairie wetlands are a type of wetland located in the Willamette Valley characterized by a seasonally high water table or perched water table on clay-rich soils. Wet prairie wetlands and dominated primarily by graminoids, including tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa), camas (Camassia quamash), dense sedge (Carex densa), and lateral sedge (Carex unilateralis).

 

 

 

Public Notice
Announcing the Regional Conditions for the 2017 Nationwide Permits in Oregon

Download a printer-friendly pdf of this notice 

Issue Date: March 17, 2017

Point of Contact: Judy Linton
Phone: (503) 808-4382
Email: judy.l.linton@usace.army.mil

On January 6, 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the reissuance of all 50 existing nationwide permits (NWPs), general conditions, and definitions with some modifications. The Corps also issued two new NWPs, one new general condition, and five new definitions. The 2017 NWPs are effective as of March 19, 2017, and will expire on March 18, 2022.

Concurrent with the public interest review conducted for the NWPs, the Portland District solicited public comment concerning proposed regional conditions for the 2017 NWPs. The regional conditions are intended to provide additional protection for the aquatic environment, by ensuring that the NWPs authorize only those activities with minimal adverse effects on the aquatic environment. The final Regional Conditions for the 2017 NWPs, which apply to the state of Oregon and have been approved by the Northwestern Division Commander, are attached.

The Regional Conditions will be posted to the Portland District website soon. The District’s website can be found at http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory.aspx. In addition to the Regional Conditions, the website will include Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) decisions on the 2017 NWPs from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (for certain tribal lands), and the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) consistency determination from the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD). These documents will be posted as they become available.

2017 Nationwide Permit Regional Conditions Portland District

The following Nationwide Permit (NWP) regional conditions are for the State of Oregon. Regional conditions are placed on NWPs to ensure projects result in no more than minimal adverse impacts to the aquatic environment and to address local resource concerns.

ALL NWPs – 

1. Notification: For permittees that received written NWP approval, upon starting the authorized activities, you shall notify the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District, Regulatory Branch that the work has started. Notification shall be provided by e-mail to cenwp.notify@usace.army.mil and the email subject line shall include: Corps project number and the project location by county.

2. Aquatic Resources of Special Concern: Pre-construction notification to the District Engineer is required for all activities proposed in waters of the U.S. within an aquatic resource of special concern. Aquatic resources of special concern are resources that are difficult to replace, unique, and/or have high ecological function. For the purpose of this regional condition, aquatic resources of special concern are native eel grass (Zostera marina) beds, mature forested wetlands, bogs, fens, vernal pools, alkali wetlands, wetlands in dunal systems along the Oregon coast, estuarine wetlands, Willamette Valley wet prairie wetlands, marine gardens, marine reserves, kelp beds, and rocky substrate in tidal waters.

In addition to the content requirements of NWP General Condition (GC) 32, the pre- construction notification must include a statement explaining why the effects of the proposed activity are no more than minimal. Written approval from the District Engineer must be obtained prior to commencing work.

Note: If the District Engineer determines that the adverse effects of the proposed activity are more than minimal, then the District Engineer will notify the applicant that either:

(a) the activity does not qualify for authorization under the NWP and instruct the applicant on the procedures to seek authorization under an individual permit; (b) the activity is authorized under the NWP subject to submission of a mitigation plan that would reduce the adverse effects on the aquatic environment to the minimal level; or (c) the activity is authorized under the NWP with specific modifications or conditions.

3. Cultural Resources and Human Burials-Inadvertent Discovery Plan: In addition to the requirements in NWP GCs 20 and 21, the permittee shall immediately notify the District Engineer if, at any time during the course of the work authorized, human burials, cultural items, or historic properties, as defined by the National Historic Preservation Act and Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, are discovered. The permittee shall implement the following procedures:
 
a. Immediately cease all ground disturbing activities.

b. Notify the Portland District Engineer as soon as possible following discovery but in no case later than 24 hours. Notification may be sent by fax (503-808-4375) or electronically (cenwp.notify@usace.army.mil) and shall identify the Corps project number and clearly specify the purpose is to report a cultural resource discovery. The permittee shall also notify the Corps representative (by email and telephone) identified in the verification letter.

c. Notify the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office by telephone at (503) 986-0690.

Failure to stop work immediately and until such time as the District Engineer has coordinated with all appropriate agencies and Native American tribes, and complied with the provisions of 33 CFR 325 (Appendix C), the National Historic Preservation Act, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, and other pertinent regulations could result in violation of state and federal laws. Violators may be subject to civil and criminal penalties.

4. In-water Work: To minimize potential impacts to aquatic species and habitat, in-water work will be limited by the following timing considerations:

a. Permittee shall complete all in-water work, to the maximum extent practicable, within the preferred time period (i.e., work window) specified in Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (ODFW) “Oregon Guidelines for Timing of In-Water Work to Protect Fish and Wildlife Resources,” June 2008, or most current version, available at: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/lands/inwater/.

b. If work cannot be completed within the preferred timing window, despite every attempt to do so, permittee shall submit a written request to work outside of the preferred window to the District Engineer. The request can be made by means of the joint-agency In-water Work Period Variance Request for Previously Permitted Authorizations form which can be found at http://www.oregon.gov/dsl/WW/Pages/WWforms.aspx. Permittee shall not begin any in- water work outside of the preferred window until they have received written approval from the District Engineer.

Note: The final specified in-water work period will be based on a project-specific evaluation and may supersede these guidelines through special conditions of the permit verification.

5. Essential Fish Habitat: Activities which may adversely affect essential fish habitat, as defined under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), are not authorized by NWP until essential fish habitat requirements have been met by the applicant and the Corps. Non-federal permittees must submit a pre-construction notification to the District Engineer if essential fish habitat may be affected by, or is in the vicinity of, a proposed activity and shall not begin work until notified by the District Engineer that the requirements of the essential fish habitat provisions of the MSA have been satisfied and the activity is authorized. The notification must identify the type(s) of essential fish habitat (e.g., Pacific coast salmon, Pacific coast groundfish, and/or Coastal-pelagic species) managed by a Fishery Management Plan that may be affected. Information about essential fish habitat is available at NOAA’s website: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/.
 
6. Bank Stabilization: Permittee shall include the use of bioengineering techniques and natural materials in the project design to the maximum extent practicable and shall minimize the use of rock. Bioengineering bank stabilization techniques are those that increase the strength and structure of soils with a combination of biological and mechanical elements (e.g., vegetation, root wads and woody debris, rock structures). Riparian plantings shall be included in all project designs unless the permittee can demonstrate that such plantings are not practicable.

7. Fish Screening: To prevent injury or mortality to fish due to entrainment, the permittee shall ensure that all intake pipes include adequately sized screens.

Note: Fish passage and screening criteria can be obtained from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) at http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/fish_passage/solutions/index.html. Information regarding Oregon’s fish passage laws can be obtained from ODFW at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/passage/links.asp.

8. Work Area Isolation and Dewatering: Appropriate best management practices shall be implemented to prevent erosion and to prevent sediments from entering waters of the U.S.

a. All in-water work shall be isolated from the active channel or conducted during low seasonal stream flows to the maximum extent practicable.

b. Cofferdams shall be constructed of non-erosive material, such as concrete jersey barriers, sand and gravel bag dams, or water bladders. Constructing a cofferdam by pushing material from the streambed or sloughing material from the streambanks is not authorized.

c. Sand and gravel bag dams shall be lined with a plastic liner or geotextile fabric to reduce permeability and prevent sediments and/or construction materials from entering waters of the U.S.

d. Upstream and downstream flows shall be maintained by routing flows around the construction site.

e. When dewatering is necessary for construction, a sediment basin, or other applicable method, shall be used to settle sediments prior to releasing the water back into the waterbody. Settled water shall be returned to the waterbody in such a manner as to avoid erosion. Sediment basins shall be placed in uplands.

f. Fish and other aquatic species must be salvaged (i.e., safely captured and relocated away from the project or development site) prior to dewatering.

Note: The ODFW requires a Scientific Take Permit be obtained to salvage fish and wildlife. Further information from ODFW is available at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/license_permits_apps/scientific_taking_permit.asp.
 
9. Dredging: For NWP-authorized activities that involve removal of sediment from waters of the U.S., the permittee shall ensure that any necessary sediment characterization regarding size, composition, and potential contaminants is conducted prior to dredging. Sediment characterization must be conducted per the Sediment Evaluation Framework for the Pacific Northwest (available at: http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environment/DMM.aspx).

Note 1: The return water from a contained disposal area is defined as a discharge of dredged material by 33 CFR Part 323.2(d) and requires separate authorization from the District Engineer (e.g., by NWP 16).

Note 2: The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) requires removed material placed in an upland site to meet the definitions of clean fill as provided in OAR 340-093-0030 or the use must be specifically allowed by DEQ by rule, permit, or other authorization.

10. Mechanized Equipment: In addition to the requirements in NWP GC 11, permittee shall implement the following practices to prevent or minimize impacts to the aquatic environment from mechanized equipment:

a. Use existing roads, paths, and construction pads where available. Temporary mats or pads, when required to provide access onto wetlands or tidal flats, shall be removed within 30 days of completing the authorized work.

b. Operate equipment from the top of a streambank and conduct work outside of the active stream channel, unless specifically authorized by the District Engineer.

c. Equipment shall not be staged, fueled, or maintained within waters of the U.S.

d. Spill prevention and containment materials shall be maintained and be readily accessible at vehicle staging areas. The amount of spill response materials (such as straw matting/bales, geotextiles, booms, diapers, and other absorbent materials, shovels, brooms, and containment bags) maintained on-site must be appropriate for the size of the authorized activity.

11. Stormwater Management: Pre-construction notification to the District Engineer is required for all activities resulting in the creation of new impervious surfaces if any species or designated critical habitat listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) might be affected or are in the vicinity of the activity. The Corps may require a post-construction stormwater management plan (SWMP) and completion of a supplemental Stormwater Information Form to assist in the determination of the activity's affects to listed species or designated critical habitat and to be used in ESA consultation as necessary.

Note 1: The Corps considers impervious surfaces to include roof tops, walkways, patios, driveways, parking or storage areas, concrete or asphalt paving, gravel roads, packed earthen material, and oiled surfaces.

Note 2: Under the DEQ 401 Water Quality Certification Program, the DEQ evaluates post- construction stormwater pollution for any project resulting in new, an increase in, or redevelopment of impervious surfaces. DEQ may require the applicant to submit a post-
 
construction SWMP for review and approval prior to the start of construction. DEQ provides information on preparing a SWMP at http://www.deq.state.or.us/wq/sec401cert/docs/stormwaterGuidelines.pdf. DEQ requires applicants to first consider low impact development options. If these options can’t be implemented, a narrative must be provided explaining why.

12. Erosion Control: During construction and until the site is stabilized, the permittee shall ensure all practicable measures are implemented and maintained to prevent erosion and runoff. Temporary stockpiles of excavated or dredged material shall be stabilized to prevent erosion. Once soils or slopes have been stabilized, permittee shall completely remove and properly dispose of or re-use all non-biodegradable components of installed control measures.

Note: DEQ provides information on erosion and sediment control measures at http://www.deq.state.or.us/wq/wqpermit/docs/general/npdes1200c/ErosionSedimentControl.pdf. Details on best management practices are found at http://www.deq.state.or.us/wq/wqpermit/docs/general/npdes1200c/BMPManual.pdf.

13. Temporary Fills and Impacts: To ensure no more than minimal adverse environmental effects from temporary fills and impacts to waters of the U.S:

a. Temporary fills and/or impacts to waters of the U.S. shall not exceed six months unless otherwise approved by the District Engineer.

b. No more than one-half (½) acre of waters of the U.S. may be temporarily filled or impacted unless otherwise approved by the District Engineer (temporary fills and impacts do not affect specified limits for loss of waters associated with specific nationwide permits).

c. Native soils and/or sediments removed from waters of the U.S. for project construction shall be stockpiled and used for site restoration to the maximum extent practicable.

d. Site restoration of temporarily filled or impacted areas shall include returning the area to pre-project ground surface contours. The permittee shall appropriately revegetate temporarily filled or impacted areas with native, noninvasive herbs, shrubs, and/or tree species sufficient in number, spacing, and diversity to replace affected aquatic functions.

Note: The Corps will determine compensatory mitigation requirements for temporary fills and impacts on a case-by-case basis depending on the duration and nature of the temporary fill or impact and the type of aquatic resource affected.

14. Contractor Notification of Permit Requirements. The permittee must provide a copy of the nationwide permit verification letter, conditions, and permit drawings to all contractors and any other parties performing the authorized work, prior to the commencement of any work in waters of the U.S.

15. Inspection of the Project Site: The permittee shall allow representatives of the District Engineer to inspect the authorized activity to confirm compliance with nationwide permit terms and conditions. A request for access to the site will normally be made sufficiently in advance to allow a property owner or representative the option to be on site during the inspection.

NATIONWIDE SPECIFIC CONDITIONS:

NWP 5 – Scientific Measurement Devices
1. Permittee shall remove all scientific measurement devices including all associated structures and fills including anchoring devices, buoys, and cables within 30 days after the device is no longer being used for its intended purpose.

NWP 6 – Survey Activities
1. The use of explosives in waters of the U.S. is not authorized by this NWP.
2. Permittee shall isolate all in-stream exploratory trenching from flowing water. NWP 12 – Utility Line Activities
1. Manholes placed in streams or other waterways require specific approval by the
District Engineer.

Note: To ensure there are no impacts to native shellfish beds, agency coordination by the Corps of Engineers is required where utility lines are proposed in estuaries.

NWP 13 – Bank Stabilization
1. Pre-construction notification, when required, must include photo documentation of the existing conditions at the proposed project site.

NWP 23 – Approved Categorical Exclusions
1. Pre-construction notification to the District Engineer is required for all activities.

NWP 29 – Residential Developments
1. The loss of waters of the U.S. associated with the construction or expansion of a single residence including attendant features (e.g., utility lines, roads, yards, etc) shall not exceed one-fourth (¼) acre.

2. Pre-construction notification must identify if the project is for the construction or expansion of a single residence, a multiple unit/subdivision residential development, or a phased residential development. For projects proposed within or associated with a multiple unit/subdivision residential development or a phased residential development, the pre-construction notification must identify any known previous Department of the Army (DA) authorizations received for the multiple unit/subdivision residential development or a phased residential development.

NWP 33 – Temporary Construction, Access, and Dewatering
1. Pre-construction notification to the District Engineer is required prior to commencing all activities conducted in waters of the U.S. (i.e. Section 10 and 404 waters). The pre- construction notification must include a restoration plan showing how all temporary fills and structures will be removed and the area restored to pre-project conditions.
 
NWP 39 – Commercial and Institutional Developments
1. Pre-construction notification must identify if the project is for the construction or expansion of a single commercial or institutional development, a multiple unit commercial or institutional development, or a phased commercial or institutional development. For projects proposed within or associated with a multiple unit or phased commercial or institutional development, the pre-construction notification must identify any known previous Department of the Army (DA) authorizations received for the multiple unit or phased development.

NWP 42 – Recreational Facilities
1. Pre-construction notification must identify if the project is for the construction or expansion of a single recreational facility, a multiple unit recreational facility, or a phased recreational facility development. For projects proposed within or associated with a multiple unit recreational facility or a phased recreational facility development, the pre- construction notification must identify any known previous Department of the Army (DA) authorizations received for the multiple unit or phased development.

NWP 43 – Stormwater Management Facilities
1. This NWP does not authorize the retention of water in excess of that required to meet stormwater management requirements. Unauthorized purposes include recreational lakes, reflecting pools, irrigation, etc.

NWP 44 – Mining Activities
1. In-stream mining, including bar scalping, is not authorized by this NWP.
2. The use of explosives in waters of the U.S. is not authorized by this NWP. NWP 48 – Commercial Shellfish Aquaculture Activities
Note: For projects involving commercial aquaculture or mariculture cultivation of oysters,
clams, and mussels on state-owned submerged and submersible lands, permittee is advised authorization may be required from the Oregon Department of Agriculture. For more information go to http://www.oregon.gov/oda/programs/foodsafety/pages/aboutfoodsafety.aspx.

NWP 52 – Water Based Renewable Energy Generation Pilot Projects
Note: Activities located within ocean waters may be subject to the siting requirements of the Oregon Territorial Sea Plan, which designates areas as suitable for such activities.
For more information go to http://www.oregon.gov/LCD/OCMP/Pages/Ocean_TSP.aspx.

PUBLIC NOTICE
Proposal to Reissue
Regional General Permit 6 with Modifications for Bonneville Power Administration Funded Habitat Improvement Projects

Download the complete 105-page version of this notice

Issue Date: January 18, 2017
Expiration Date: February 17, 2017
US Army Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2011-127-1
30-Day Notice

POC: Carrie Bond
Phone #: (503) 808-4387
Email: Carrie.L.Bond@usace.army.mil

Interested parties are hereby notified the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps), proposes to reissue Regional General Permit (RGP) 6 with modifications to authorize projects that receive funding from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to conduct aquatic habitat restoration activities within the Columbia River Basin in Oregon. The Corps is soliciting comments on the attached draft RGP 6.

LOCATION OF AUTHORIZED ACTIVITIES: The region for this RGP is the area within the boundary of the Columbia River Basin within the state of Oregon. The RGP would only authorize qualifying activities within the RGP boundary. (Refer to the map on page 12.)

RGP INFORMATION: An RGP is a type of Department of the Army authorization (33 CFR 322.2(f) and 323.3(h)) that is issued on a regional basis for a category or categories of activities when those activities are substantially similar in nature and would cause no more than minimal individual and cumulative environmental impacts. An RGP is an effective mechanism available to the Corps to improve the regulatory process for applicants, enhance environmental protection, and make more efficient use of limited resources.

The proposed RGP contains provisions intended to protect the aquatic environment, endangered species, and cultural resources. Work that would not comply with the provisions of the RGP would not be authorized by this permit and may require Department of the Army authorization by a standard individual permit. Moreover, compliance with the provisions of this RGP would not in itself guarantee that the work is authorized by this RGP. Activities that appear to comply with the provisions of this RGP but would have an unacceptable adverse impact on the public interest would not be authorized by this permit.

BPA-FUNDED PROJECTS: This RGP would authorize BPA-funded habitat restoration projects. These restoration activities are designed to maintain, enhance, create, and/or restore watershed functions to benefit fish species, other aquatic organisms, water quality, riparian areas, floodplains, and wetlands. Under the Northwest Power Act, the Northwest Power & Conservation Council (NWPCC), representing the four Northwest states, developed a Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program (Program) that provides guidance for BPA's fish and wildlife mitigation actions.

Beginning in 1996, BPA began enlisting NWPCC to periodically solicit projects intended to help meet BPA’s share of the Program’s measures and objectives through an open and public process. The NWPCC is directed by the Northwest Power Act to conduct a review of submitted restoration project proposals and to make recommendations to BPA for project funding from BPA’s annual fish and wildlife program budget. The NWPCC accomplishes its review of the project proposals with the assistance of an Independent Scientific Review Panel (ISRP).

The ISRP must review a sufficient number of projects to ensure that the list of prioritized projects recommended to BPA is consistent with the NWPCC’s program. The ISRP assesses whether projects are based on sound scientific principles, benefit fish and wildlife, and have a clearly defined objective and outcome with provisions for monitoring and evaluation of results. After its review, the ISRP rates each project as fundable, fundable in part, not fundable, or requiring a further response, based on the panel’s application of the criteria. The NWPCC fully considers the ISRP’s evaluation in making its final project recommendations to BPA.
 
Based largely on the NWPCC’s final recommendations, BPA makes funding decisions and implements projects through contracts with numerous entities, including Columbia Basin tribes, states, other federal agencies, universities, and private vendors. BPA also considers its other fish and wildlife obligations, such as those required by the Endangered Species Act, in the decision making process.

PROJECT PURPOSE: Activities authorized by this RGP would be for the purposes of maintaining, enhancing, creating, and/or restoring watershed functions to benefit fish species, other aquatic organisms, water quality, riparian areas, floodplains, and wetlands.

RGP ACTIVITIES DESCRIPTION: The activities proposed for inclusion in this RGP are predictable as to their effects and are consistent with large scale aquatic conservation strategies and the best available science. Modifications from the original RGP 6 include expanding and clarifying the habitat restoration activity categories to closely follow the categories from the BPA Habitat Improvement Program (HIP) biological opinions issued from both the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The original five (5) categories were 1) Surveying, Construction, Operation, and Maintenance Activities; 2) Planning and Habitat Protection Areas; 3) Instream Habitat Actions; 4) Livestock Impact Reduction; and 5) Irrigation and Water Delivery/Management Actions. The proposed nine (9) categories of habitat restoration activities for the new RGP 6 are as follows:

1. Fish Passage Restoration.
Profile Discontinuities:
a. Dams, Water Control, or Legacy Structure Removal.
b. Consolidate or Replace Existing Irrigation Diversions.
c. Headcut and Grade Stabilization.
d. Low Flow Consolidation.
e. Providing Fish Passage at an Existing Facility.

Transportation Infrastructure:
f. Bridge and Culvert Removal or Replacement.
g. Bridge and Culvert Maintenance.
h. Installation of Fords.

2. River, Stream, Floodplain, and Wetland Restoration.
a. Improve Secondary Channel and Wetland Habitats.
b. Set-back or Removal of Existing, Berms, Dikes, and Levees.
c. Protect Streambanks Using Bioengineering Methods.
d. Install Habitat-Forming Natural Material Instream Structures (Large Wood, Boulders, and Spawning Gravel).
e. Riparian Vegetation Planting.
f. Channel Reconstruction.

3. Invasive and Non-Native Plant Control.
a. Manage Vegetation using Physical Controls.
b. Manage Vegetation using Herbicides.

4. Road and Trail Erosion Control, Maintenance, and Decommissioning.
a. Maintain Roads.
b. Decommission Roads.

5. Piling Removal.

6. In-channel Nutrient Enhancement.

7. Irrigation and Water Delivery/Management Actions.
a. Convert Delivery System to Drip or Sprinkler Irrigation.
b. Convert Water Conveyance from Open Ditch to Pipeline or Line Leaking Ditches or Canals.
c. Convert from Instream Diversions to Groundwater Wells for Primary Water Sources.
d. Install or Replace Return Flow Cooling Systems.
e. Install Irrigation Water Siphon Beneath Waterway.
f. Livestock Watering Facilities.
g. Install New or Upgrade/Maintain Existing Fish Screens.

8. Fisheries, Hydrologic, and Geomorphologic Surveys.

9. Special Actions (for Terrestrial Species).
a. Install/Develop Wildlife Structures.
b. Fencing Construction for Livestock Control.
c. Implement Erosion Control Practices.
d. Plant Vegetation.
e. Tree Removal for LW Projects.

For each individual project proposed to be implemented under this RGP, the prospective permittee will notify the Corps. Pre-construction notification or post-construction notification to the Corps is required based on the type of project (e.g., Level 1-4). For Level 1 projects, the permittee will notify the Corps within 60 days of completion of the work. Levels 2 through 4 require notification a minimum of 45 days prior to the proposed start date. Notification will at a minimum include project location, projected start and completion dates, activity type, and brief project description. The notification requirements will vary depending on the complexity of the project.

Attached to this public notice are the draft RGP and the General Aquatic Conservation Measures Applicable to All Actions, Project Descriptions, and Project-Specific Conservation Measures proposed to be included within the RGP.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The original RGP 6 was issued on October 15, 2011 and authorized five (5) activity categories. The RGP expired on October 15, 2016. A total of 51 actions were authorized using RGP 6 over the five-year period.

AUTHORITY: The proposed RGP would authorize projects 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.

CLEAN WATER ACT SECTION 404(b)(1) EVALUATION: Discharges of dredged or fill material that would be authorized by the RGP 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.

WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: Under Section 401 of Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1341), an activity involving the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the U.S. authorized by a Federal permit must receive a water quality certification, or waiver for certification, from the appropriate certifying agency. Activities authorized by this RGP must comply with a general Section 401 certification, receive an individual Section 401 certification, or receive a waiver of the Section 401 certification requirement. Portland District is requesting general Section 401 certification from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for activities authorized by this RGP. Attached is the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality public notice advertising the request for certification.

COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT ACT CERTIFICATION: 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 obtain a Consistency Certification which indicates the activity conforms with the State’s Coastal Zone Management Program. The Corps is coordinating with the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) to obtain a programmatic consistency determination for this RGP. Attached is the DLCD public notice advertising the request for Consistency Certification.

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. For this RGP, the BPA, as the lead Federal agency for ESA consultation, completed consultation with the NMFS and the USFWS as required under Section 7 of the ESA. The BPA received biological opinions from both the NMFS and USFWS for the aquatic habitat restoration activities proposed for inclusion within this RGP. These opinions can be found on BPA’s website at the following link: https://www.bpa.gov/efw/Analysis/NEPADocuments/Pages/ESA-Process.aspx.

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). For this RGP, the BPA, as the lead Federal agency for MSA consultation, completed consultation with the NMFS as required under Section 305(b)(2) of the MSA.

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 BPA, 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. BPA will individually review projects to determine if activities may affect historic properties. No individual project shall proceed under the RGP until requirements under federal cultural resources and historic preservation laws and regulations are met. This notice has been provided to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), interested Native American Indian Tribes, and other interested parties.

PUBLIC HEARING: Any person may request in writing within the comment period specified in this notice that a public hearing be held to consider the proposed RGP. Requests for public hearings shall state with particularity the reasons for holding a public hearing.

EVALUATION: The decision whether to issue the RGP will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts including cumulative impacts of the described activities 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 activities, must be balanced against their reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors, which may be relevant to the described activities 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 activities proposed to be authorized by this RGP. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps in its decision on the RGP. Comments received by the Corps will be considered in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. Comments will also be used to determine the need for a public hearing.

Information regarding the Corps’ provisional determination that the proposed activities comply with the requirements for issuance of general permits is available at the Portland District office (see contact information below).

SUBMITTING COMMENTS: Interested parties are invited to provide comments on the proposed RGP. 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 RGP 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
Ms. Carrie Bond
P.O. 2946
Portland, Oregon 97208-2946
Email: Carrie.L.Bond@usace.army.mil
Telephone: (503) 808-4387

Attachments: Draft RGP and General Conservation Measures, Project Descriptions, and Project-Specific Conservation Measures (Attachment 1 to the RGP)
 

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

Notice Issued: January 18, 2017
Written Comments Due: February 17, 2017

Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2011-127-1

WHO IS THE APPLICANT: Project Proponent (for individual projects)

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 Certification 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) 229-5263.

Any questions on the water quality certification process may be addressed to the 401 Program Coordinator at (503) 229-6030 or toll free within Oregon at (800) 452-4011. People with hearing impairments may call the Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service at 1-800-735-2900.


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.”

Written comments: Written comments on project elements related to water quality must be received at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality by 5 p.m. on the date specified in the upper right section on page one of this notice. Written comments may be emailed, mailed or faxed as described below:

Email - 401publiccomments@deq.state.or.us

Mail - Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Northwest Region
700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600
Portland, Oregon 97232
Attn: 401 Water Quality Certification Coordinator

Fax - (503) 229-6957

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.

ACCESSIBILITY INFORMATION: This publication is available in alternate format (e.g. large print, Braille) upon request. Please contact DEQ Office of Communications and Outreach at (503) 229-5317 or toll free within Oregon at 1-800-452-4011 to request an alternate format. People with a hearing impairment can receive help by calling the Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service at 1-800-735-2900.

 

PUBLIC NOTICE
OREGON OCEAN AND COASTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
CONSISTENCY CERTIFICATION

 

Date: January 18, 2017

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers No: Corps No. NWP-2011-127-1

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@state.or.us. 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.

 

Public Notice
Announcing the Reissuance of the Nationwide Permits

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Point of Contact: Judy Linton Issue Date:January 6, 2017
Phone: (503) 808-4382
Email: judy.l.linton@usace.army.mil

On January 6, 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) published the notice in the Federal Register announcing the reissuance of all 50 existing nationwide permits (NWPs), general conditions, and definitions with some modifications.  The Corps also issued two new NWPs, one new general condition, and five new definitions.  The 2017 NWPs will go into effect on March 19, 2017, and will expire on March 18, 2022.

With the publication of this Federal Register notice, Corps districts will begin finalizing their regional conditions for the new and reissued NWPs.  Regional conditions will provide additional protection for the aquatic environment, and will help ensure that the NWPs authorize only those activities with no more than minimal adverse environmental effects.  Regional conditions will help ensure protection of high value waters within the Portland District.   

The publication of this Federal Register notice also begins the 60-day period for states, Tribes, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to complete their water quality certification (WQC) processes for the NWPs; the 60-day period for WQC will end on March 6, 2017.  This Federal Register notice also begins the 90-day period for coastal states to complete their Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) consistency determination processes; the 90-day period for CZMA consistency determinations will end on April 5, 2017.

If coastal states do not complete their CZMA consistency determination processes before the 2017 NWPs go into effect on March 19, 2017, the use of an NWP to authorize an activity within, or outside, a state’s coastal zone that will affect land or water uses or natural resources of that state’s coastal zone, is contingent upon obtaining an individual CZMA consistency determination, or a case-specific presumption of CZMA concurrence.

The January 6, 2017, Federal Register notice is available for viewing at the Portland District office (please contact District POC listed above) or on the Internet at
http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/RegulatoryProgramandPermits/NationwidePermits.aspx .  As an alternative, interested parties can access the January 6, 2017, final rule that was published in the Federal Register through the U.S. Government Printing Office at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=FR.

The Corps has also issued final decision documents for the new and reissued
NWPs.  These documents are available at www.regulations.gov at docket number COE-2015-0017.  Furthermore, the national NWP decision documents will be supplemented by Division Engineers to address decisions concerning the addition of regional conditions to the NWPs.

Notice of Release of the Oregon Rapid Wetland Assessment Protocol (ORWAP) Version 3.1 
For the State of Oregon
Issue Date: December 6, 2016

 

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The Oregon Department of State Lands (Department) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps of Engineers), jointly announce the publication and release of the revised Oregon Rapid Wetland Assessment Protocol (ORWAP) Version 3.1. ORWAP is a tool for rapidly assessing wetland functions and values (as well as other attributes) in all wetland types throughout Oregon. In a regulatory context, ORWAP also can be used to inform alternatives analysis and the selection, design, and monitoring of compensatory wetland mitigation sites. ORWAP, unlike some other methods, is particularly useful because it allows comparisons between different types of wetlands.

ORWAP and its applications were refined by the Department with funding assistance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10 (EPA). ORWAP indicators and models were modified to reflect new information on wetland functions and values, and to improve its’ usability. ORWAP was applied to a new statistically valid sample of 200 wetlands across Oregon, which allowed ORWAP outputs to be calibrated and relative ratings to be developed. 

ORWAP consists of several different components: a Users Manual; two Excel spreadsheets (ORWAP Calculator and ORWAP Supplemental Information); and a Technical Supplement. The Department, the Corps of Engineers and EPA also cooperatively have developed a guide for using ORWAP for State and federal permit applications.

You may download all of the ORWAP components and the guidance for using ORWAP for permit applications from the Department’s Web site at:
http://www.oregon.gov/DSL/WETLAND/pages/or_wet_prot.aspx

Agency Requirements Regarding ORWAP

ORWAP may be used immediately for both State and federal permit purposes. ORWAP assessments conducted after February 1, 2017 for permit purposes must use version 3.1. Before using ORWAP v3.1 for the first time to assess a wetland for a permit application, read the revised Guidance for Using the Oregon Rapid Wetland Assessment Protocol (ORWAP) in the State and Federal Permit Programs (November 2016 ). This document provides instructions on how to select the assessment area, what to submit to the agencies along with the final scores, how to format the output in a permit application and other important information. The document is available at:
http://www.oregon.gov/dsl/WETLAND/docs/Guidance_for_Regulatory_Use_of_ORWAP_v3_1.pdf

State Removal-Fill Permits—ORWAP is an approved method for assessing wetlands for purposes of the State Removal-Fill Law. Administrative rules governing wetland functions and values assessment may be found in OAR 141-085-0685. These rules explain what type of wetland assessment method is required or allowed for different types of wetlands and impact levels. 

Federal Clean Water Act (Section 404) Permits—Use of ORWAP is recommended, but not required, by the Portland District Corps of Engineers. 

For additional guidance on using ORWAP for state and federal permits, contact:
Dan Hicks, Department of State Lands, 503-986-5320, Dana.Hicks@dsl.state.or.us
Andrea Wagner, Corps of Engineers, (541) 465-6882, andrea.r.wagner@usace.army.mil
Tracie Nadeau, EPA Region 10, 503-326-3685, nadeau.tracie@epa.gov

Public Notice
Permit Application Project Drawings

Issue Date: July 1, 2016

In recent months, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District, Regulatory Branch (Corps) has been receiving permit applications with project drawings that do not meet Corps requirements. Permit applications submitted with unacceptable drawings (e.g., illegible, omissions, incorrect format) will delay the processing of the application. Clear and accurate project drawings facilitate the prompt evaluation of the application. This public notice and the attached Drawing Checklist describes the requirements for project drawings.

The Corps’ regulations at 33 CFR Part 325.1(d) and Part 325.3 outline contents for a complete standard permit application and the information required to issue a Public Notice for the application. 33 CFR 325.1(d) states “the application must include a complete description of the proposed activity including necessary drawings, sketches, or plans sufficient for public notice (detailed engineering plans and specifications are not required)”. Drawings in this format should also be submitted with applications for Nationwide Permits.

The general guidelines for project drawings are as follows:
1) Drawings must be on 8 ½- by 11-inch paper.
2) Drawings must be in black and white or reproducible in black and white.
3) Drawings must include a vicinity map or maps with two views: a) where the project is in the state and b) and the location in relation to landmarks, streets or other points of reference near the site.
4) Drawings must be to scale. Use a graphic scale.
5) Drawings must clearly show the project area(s) with clear project boundaries.
6) Drawings must have a North arrow, as appropriate.
7) Drawings should clearly distinguish between existing and proposed conditions.

More detailed information is provided in the attached Drawing Checklist. This checklist will be used when reviewing applications. Permit applications will be deemed incomplete if the drawings provided do not meet all the requirements.

For expeditious processing of your permit application submittal, please adhere to the following: 
1) Do not use binding or laminating techniques other than paper clips or binder clips.
2) Confirm the drawings are legible and the maps clearly identify the project location.
3) Use either all double-sided or all single-sided paper (double-sided is preferable). Please do not mix single-sided and double-sided throughout your submittal.
4) The submittal package should be entirely on 8 ½- by 11-inch paper.

Submitting clear and accurate permit application drawings will reduce the need for the Corps to request revisions, resulting in timely permit processing. The maps, drawings, and other figures are included in our public notices, and they must illustrate the project in sufficient detail at the specified paper size. Finally, if a permit is issued, it will include the project maps, drawings, and figures, which will be incorporated in the permit by reference. Permittees are required to implement the project in accordance with the approved drawings. Complete and accurate project drawings ensures the Corps and permittee have a clear and shared understanding of the authorize work and thus reduces permit non-compliance issues.

Printer-friendly pdf versions of this document and enclosure are available below:
NWP Permit Application Project Drawings Public Notice
Enclosure - Permit Applications Drawing Checklist

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as part of an interagency effort with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service, published the final biennial update to the National Wetland Plant List in the federal register. All comments have been evaluated and final indicator statuses have been set. Agencies began using the 2016 NWPL list on May 1, 2016. Learn more about the NWPL.

Issue Date: February 25, 2016

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Seattle, Walla Walla, and Portland districts and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10 (EPA) jointly announce the availability of the Streamflow Duration Assessment Method (SDAM) for the Pacific Northwest (dated November 2015).  The method is a rapid assessment tool to help document streamflow duration and distinguish between ephemeral, intermittent, and perennial streams. The SDAM may help in providing technical guidance for identifying waters that may be subject to regulatory jurisdiction under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act; however this method does not affect the definition of “Waters of the U.S.”

This announcement extends the applicability of this tool to the Pacific Northwest. SDAM was developed for use in the state of Oregon by the Corps, EPA, and the Oregon Department of State Lands in 2011. This current method results from a validation study conducted in two phases on 264 stream reaches across the range of hydrologic landscapes of Oregon, Idaho, and Washington from 2008 to 2012. Developed through statistical analyses of field data, it provides a simplified approach using seven reliable indicators to provide information on streamflow duration.

The SDAM can be applied whenever there is uncertainty regarding streamflow duration and a rapid method of evaluation is desired. The method provides a scientifically supported, rapid assessment framework to support best professional judgment in a consistent, robust, repeatable and defensible way. Use of the method may result in more timely and predictable jurisdictional determinations, and is also useful where knowledge of streamflow duration improves ecological assessment, management, and decision-making.

The method and data forms are available on the internet at:
www.epa.gov/measurements/streamflow-duration-assessment-method-pacific-northwest

For additional information, contact the Corps or the EPA:

Corps
Portland District, Peter Olmstead, 541-962-0401, Peter.D.Olmstead@usce.army.mil
Seattle District, Jess Jordan, 206-316-3967, Dale.J.Jordan@usace.army.mil
Walla Walla District, Robert Brochu, 208-522-1645, Robert.A.Brochu@usace.army.mil or Christen Marve Griffith, 208-433-4470, Christen.M.Griffith@usace.army.mil

EPA
Tracie Nadeau, 503-326-3685, Nadeau.Tracie@epa.gov

The Sixth Circuit issued an order staying the new Clean Water Rule nationwide, pending a determination by the court on jurisdiction to review the rule. Thus, the Clean Water Rule is stayed, and the prior 1986 regulations are in effect nationwide. USACE and EPA are evaluating the order and its implications for the litigation that is currently pending in district courts. In the meantime, USACE is not implementing the Clean Water Rule, and is using the 1986 regulations and applicable guidance (those in effect prior to August 28, 2015) in making jurisdictional determinations or taking other actions based on the definition of "waters of the United States."