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Posted: 1/28/2016

Expiration date: 2/26/2016

PUBLIC NOTICE for Permit Application

Issue Date: January 27, 2016

Expiration Date: February 26, 2016

US Army Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2016-27

30-Day Notice Oregon Department of State Lands No:

Interested parties are hereby notified the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps) has received an application  for a Department of the Army permit for certain work in waters of the United States, as described below and shown on the attached plans.  The Corps is soliciting comments on the proposed work.

Applicant: Mr. David Heintzman
Portland General Electric
121 SW Salmon St.
Portland, Oregon 97204
Location: The project site is located at River Mill Dam, Estacada, Oregon.  The site is in Section 19, Township 3 South, Range 4 East.   Latitude and Longitude:  45.300891 North, 122.353657 West

Waterway: Clackamas River, Mile 23

Project Purpose: The goal of the project is to replenish gravel and sediment bedload in the Clackamas River below River Mill Dam.

Project Description: Portland General Electric (PGE) will place gravel in the Clackamas River over a five-year period. The first year approximately 8,000 cubic yards (CY) will placed on the north bank bedrock shelf approximately 850 feet downstream of River Mill Dam. Depending on river recruitment of material, in the following years up to 20,000 CY of gravel augmentation could be placed per year.

The source of gravel is from an upland area approved by Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) located immediately adjacent to River Mill Dam.

The gravel pile footprint on the bedrock shelf is approximately 24,000 square feet. The material will than be distributed by the river over a 5-6 mile reach below River Mill Dam. Actual gravel distribution will be surveyed and summarized in a final assessment report.

Following the fifth year of sediment augmentation, PGE will conduct a data synthesis and prepare a summary report to evaluate project performance. The report will analyze and summarize both baseline data collection (2011-2015) and monitoring data collected during Augmentation Years 1-5 (through spring 2021). The report will provide a comparison of these data to help evaluate if the expected geomorphic, biological, and temperature changes are occurring as a result of sediment augmentation. Based on this evaluation, PGE will either confirm that the existing sediment placement volumes, monitoring methods, and reporting schedules are appropriate for the next five years, or propose modifications.

Mitigation: The applicant proposes to avoid and minimize impacts from the project by implementing Best Management Practices during placement. Heavy equipment and other construction activities will not occur within the waterway. Gravel augmentation is an acceptable restoration process. The applicant did not propose compensatory mitigation in the permit application.  The Corps will determine the type and amount of compensatory mitigation necessary to offset environmental losses from the proposed project.

Drawings: Permit drawings 1-6 are attached and labeled Corps No. NWP-2016-27

Authority: The proposed project will be evaluated under the following:

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) Guidelines: The described discharge will be evaluated for compliance with guidelines promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under authority of Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act.  The 404(b)(1) Guidelines are the substantive criteria used in evaluating discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States.  The source of the fill material would be from an adjacent upland location site below River Mill Dam, Should a permit be issued, the Corps will evaluate the fill material source (i.e., borrow site) prior to the start of construction.

Water Quality Certification: Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1341) requires applicants to obtain a water quality certification for proposed discharges into waters of the United States. A previous Water quality 401 certification was issued and dated June 11, 2009.

Endangered Species: Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) (16 U.S.C 1536) requires federal agencies to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and/or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on all actions that may affect a species listed (or proposed for listing) under the ESA as threatened or endangered or that may adversely modify designated critical habitat.  The Corps’ preliminary review indicates the described activity may affect an endangered or threatened species or designated critical habitat. NMFS previously issued a Biological Opinion for this project dated September 3, 2010.  

Essential Fish Habitat: Section 305(b)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) as amended (16 U.S.C 1855), requires Federal agencies to consult with the NMFS on all actions, or proposed actions, permitted, funded, or undertaken by the agency, that may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH).  The Corps’ preliminary review indicates the described activity would adversely affect EFH at the project location or in the vicinity. NMFS previously issued a Biological Opinion for this project dated September 3, 2010.

Historic Properties/Cultural Resources: Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act 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.  The Corps’ preliminary review indicates that the SHPO database was reviewed and there is one known sites (35CL262) within the project area, and one other site (35CL279) directly adjacent to the project area.  Both of these sites were determined eligible for listing in the NRHP.  Multiple surveys, most of which addressed the two sites noted above, have been done within the project area.  A cultural resource survey was also done specifically for this project (SHPO report number 27786). This report concluded that the sites noted above would not be affected by the project. 

This notice has been provided to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), interested Native American Indian Tribes, and other interested parties.  If you have information pertaining to cultural resources within the permit area, please provide this information to the Corps’ project manager identified at the end of this notice to assist in a complete evaluation of potential effects.

State and Local Authorizations: The applicant has obtained approval from DEQ and a water quality certification has been issued. 

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

Evaluation: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact, including cumulative impacts, of the described activity on the public interest.  That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources.  The benefit, which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the described activity, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments.  All factors, which may be relevant to the described activity 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; Indian Tribes; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of the proposed project.  Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny a permit for this proposal.  To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above.  Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.  Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.

Submitting Comments:
 Interested parties are invited to provide comments on the proposed project.  Comments may be submitted by conventional mail or email.  All comments received will be considered in determining whether authorizing the work would be contrary to the public interest.  

Either conventional mail or e-mail comments must include the Corps reference number as shown on page 1 and include the commenter’s name and address.  In order to be accepted, e-mail comments must originate from the author’s e-mail account and must include on the subject line of the e-mail message the Corps reference number.  All comments received will become part of the administrative record and are subject to public release under the Freedom of Information Act including any personally identifiable information such as names, phone numbers, and addresses.

Additional information about the proposed project may be obtained from the Corps Project Manager listed below.  All comments, whether by conventional mail or email, must be received no later than the expiration date of this public notice to ensure consideration.  Comments should be submitted to the following mailing address or email address:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Regulatory Branch
Brad Johnson
P.O. 2946
Portland, Oregon  97208-2946
Email:  Brad.A.Johnson2@usace.army.mil
Telephone:  (503) 808-4383

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

Notice Issued: January 27, 2016

Written Comments Due: February 26, 2016

Corps of Engineers No: NWP-2016-27
Oregon Department of State Lands No:

 Portland General Electric

LOCATION OF CERTIFICATION ACTIVITY: See attached U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public notice.

 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 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.

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