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SWL 2016-00270

Posted: 9/13/2016

Expiration date: 10/10/2016


TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:  Comments are invited on the work described below.  Please see the Public Involvement section for details on submitting comments.

Point of Contact.  If additional information is desired, please contact the regulator, Jim Ellis, telephone number:  (501) 324-5295, mailing address:  Little Rock District Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Division, PO Box 867, Little Rock, Arkansas  72203-0867, email address:  Jim.D.Ellis@usace.army.mil

Project Information.  Pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S. Code 1344), notice is hereby given that

                                                 Mr. Joseph B. Roosa
                                                 
Roosa Corporation
                                                 
PO Box 67
                                                 
Salamanca, New York  14779

has requested authorization for the placement of dredged and fill material in waters of the United States (WOUS) associated with the construction of a 70-acre multi-business commercial development, consisting of a grocery store, eateries, movie theater, lodging, and retail shopping centers.  Attendant features include parking lots and an access road from Weir Road on the eastern end of the project area.  The proposed project would impact (fill) and relocate approximately 1,843 linear feet of jurisdictional intermittent streams; fill approximately 474 linear feet of jurisdictional ephemeral streams, 1.55 acres of jurisdictional wetlands, and 4.15 acres of jurisdictional open waters.  Water flow enters the project area from the north through ephemeral and intermittent streams.  The ephemeral and intermittent streams flow into the wetlands and open waters and then back into one of the intermittent streams that flow into Prairie Creek and then south into Lake Dardanelle.  The proposed project is located in streams, open waters, and wetlands associated with Prairie Creek, in the SE 1/4 of section 34, T. 8 N., R. 20 W., Russellville, Pope County, Arkansas.

The basic purpose of the project is to construct a commercial development.  The overall purpose of the project is to meet the demand for a multi-business commercial development to service Russellville and surrounding areas.  The project is not water dependent.

To accomplish the project, clearing of existing vegetation, grading, filling, relocation of existing stream channels is required.  Trees found within the project area will be removed and burned or hauled off-site for disposal.  The site will be graded and 1.55 acres of wetlands, 4.15 acres of open waters, 1,843 linear feet of intermittent streams, and 812 linear feet ephemeral streams will be permanently filled with approximately 1,757 cubic yards of on-site soil material.  Water entering the site from the north will be rerouted through a double 6-foot x 10-foot box culvert on the south side of the property.  Typical best management practices such as silt fencing and other construction methods will be used to mitigate impacts to water quality and other resources.

The applicant has investigated other alternative project sites in the proximity of the proposed site.  The applicant stated that, the other sites would not allow for complete development, were not available, or were cost prohibitive due to land cost.  The applicant has owned the current property for approximately 10 years.  The applicant has altered the layout of the residential development to reduce the amount of ephemeral streams that will be permanently lost.

The applicant states that mitigation in the form of avoidance is not practicable due to the need to provide access to the west portion of the project area.  Minimization is not practicable at the project site due to the locations of WOUS.  Design layouts to minimize impacts would result in the project being cost prohibitive due to reduction in project square footage.

Compensatory mitigation requirements for impacts to the streams, open waters, and wetlands will be assessed utilizing the 2011 Little Rock District Stream Method and the 2002 Charleston Method.  The applicant proposes to mitigate for unavoidable impacts by purchasing credits from a Corps approved mitigation bank that services the area or off-site permittee responsible mitigation.  The applicant must submit a detailed compensatory mitigation plan before a decision is made whether to issue or deny the permit.

The location and general plan for the proposed work are shown on the enclosed sheets (Sheets 1-6 of 6).

Water Quality Certification.  By copy of this public notice, the applicant is requesting water quality certification from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) in accordance with Section 401(a)(1) of the Clean Water Act.  Upon completion of the comment period and a public hearing, if held, a determination relative to water quality certification will be made.  Evidence of this water quality certification or waiver of the right to certify must be submitted prior to the issuance of a Corps of Engineers permit.

Cultural Resources.  A Corps staff archeologist will review topographic maps, the National Register of Historic Places, and other data on reported sites in the area.  The District Engineer invites responses to this public notice from Native American Nations or tribal governments; Federal, State, and local agencies; historical and archeological societies; and other parties likely to have knowledge of or concerns with historic properties in the area.

Endangered Species.  Our preliminary determination is that the proposed activity will not affect listed Endangered Species or their critical habitat.  A copy of this notice is being furnished to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and appropriate state agencies and constitutes a request to those agencies for information on whether any listed or proposed‑to‑be‑listed endangered or threatened species may be present in the area which would be affected by the proposed activity.

FloodplainWe are providing copies of this notice to appropriate floodplain officials in accordance with 44 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 60 (Floodplain Management Regulations Criteria for Land Management and Use) and Executive Order 11988 on Floodplain Management.

Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines.  The evaluation of activities to be authorized under this permit, which involves the discharge of dredged or fill material will include application of guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency, under authority of Section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act.  These guidelines are contained in 40 Code of Federal CFR 230.

Public Involvement.  Any interested party is invited to submit to the above-listed POC written comments or objections relative to the proposed work on or before October 10, 2016.  Substantive comments, both favorable and unfavorable, will be accepted and made a part of the record and will receive full consideration in determining whether this work would be in the public interest.  The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed 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 proposal, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments.  All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historic properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.

The Corps of Engineers 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 this proposed activity.  Any comments received will be considered by the Corps of Engineers 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.

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.  The District Engineer will determine if the issues raised are substantial and whether a hearing is needed for making a decision.

NOTE:  The mailing list for this Public Notice is arranged by state and county(s) where the project is located, and includes any addressees who have asked to receive copies of all public notices.  Please discard notices that are not of interest to you.  If you have no need for any of these notices, please advise us so that your name can be removed from the mailing list.

Enclosures

Approximate Coordinates of Project Center

Latitude:  35.29456                   Longitude:  -93.11106

UTM Zone:  15        North:  3894957.7              East:  489890

public notice USACE