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Posted: 7/24/2015

Expiration date: 8/23/2015

Public Notice

Notice of Proposed Statewide In-Lieu Fee Program Instrument Modification for Clear Lake In-Lieu Fee Wetland Mitigation Project 

30 Day Notice Issue Date: July 24, 2015

Closing Date: August 23, 2015

Corps File No.: NWP-2015-234

Interested parties are hereby notified that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps) is considering a proposal to modify the In-lieu Fee Program Instrument to establish a 47.3-acre wetland mitigation project, known as the Clear Lake In-lieu Fee (ILF) Project.  The proposed ILF Project is located within the City of Warrenton, where it is zoned for residential development, in Clatsop County, Oregon, (see attachments).  The ILF Project sponsor, the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL), proposes to preserve mature forested and lake fringe wetland that were under threat of development, restore wetlands previously impacted   by past road building activity, and create additional fringe wetlands along the Clear Lake shore. The proposed 47.3-acre ILF Project also would include nearly 15 acres of upland buffers surrounding the lake.

The proposed ILF Project would be located in Township 8 North, Range 10 West, Sections 16 and 17 (latitude 46.1728 North and longitude –123.9426 West).  A Prospectus describing the proposed ILF Project has been received from the project sponsor and is now available for public review.

The Clear Lake ILF Project is being proposed by the sponsor 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) and Administrative Rules for Compensatory Wetland Mitigation Banking.  The ILF Project sponsor 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 ILF Project will generate wetland credits by preserving existing high quality wetlands, re-establishing wetland areas that were filled by construction of access roads, creating additional wetland areas within the dune ridge ring by lowering adjacent uplands 1-3 feet to the water table, and enhancing some existing forested wetlands by plugging drainage ditches.  A delineation report will be submitted to the Corps for review to verify the extent of existing wetlands and hydric soils.  This information will determine how much of the area qualifies for restoration or enhancement credit ratios and will be documented in the ILF Project Mitigation Plan.

The proposed service area, which is the area within which the mitigation credits generated by the ILF Project may be used, includes the urbanizing areas of Warrenton, Astoria, and Gearhart.  It consists of the following Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) watersheds:  
  • Lower Columbia subbasin (HUC4 17080006)
  • Portions of the Necanicum River subbasin (HUC4 17100201) that fall within the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Clatsop Plains Conservation Opportunity Area 

o Arch Cape Creek-Frontal Pacific Ocean (HUC6 171002010105).

o Lower Necanicum River (HUC6 171002010103)  

Comments received in response to this notice will be provided to the ILF Project sponsor and to the federal, state and local agencies represented on the mitigation project interagency review team.  This team will work with the ILF Project sponsor to create a detailed ILF Project Mitigation Plan 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.

Comments on this proposed mitigation project may be submitted in writing using the post office address below or online via the Corps website: http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Notices.aspx.  Comments should be received no later than August 23, 2015. 

Please provide comments to:

Tom Taylor
Portland District, Army Corps of Engineers
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, OR  97208

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