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 project manager, Chris Joyner, telephone number: (501) 340-1381, mailing address: Little Rock District Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Division, PO Box 867, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203-0867, email address: Chris.J.Joyner@usace.army.mil
Project Information. Pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S. Code 1344), notice is hereby given that
Bryant School District
ATTN: Ms. Karen Walters
200 Northwest 4th Street
Bryant, Arkansas 72022
has requested authorization for the placement of dredged and fill material in waters of the United States associated with improvements to the existing Bryant School District - Hilldale Elementary School campus. The proposed project site is located in the NW ¼ of section 14, the SW ¼ of section 11, T. 1 S., R. 14 W., Bryant, Saline County, Arkansas.
The basic purpose of the project is to improve the overall safety of the existing Bryant School District – Hilldale Elementary School campus. The overall purpose of the project is to remove the water features on the property that pose a threat to the safety of the children and to reclaim those areas as greenspace and playground areas on the existing Hilldale Elementary School campus. The project is not water dependent.
The proposed work will involve grading and filling of approximately 1.6 acres of an existing impoundment of an ephemeral stream (POND-1) and approximately 757.9 linear feet of ephemeral streams (S-1, S-2, S-3) within the existing Hilldale Elementary School campus. Proposed work also includes the rerouting of drainage from the impacted streams and impoundment through approximately 800 linear feet of storm pipe and into an existing detention pond (approximately 37,245 cubic feet) in the northeast corner of the site. The proposed impacted areas will be used for the construction of a playground area for the Hilldale Elementary School.
The existing campus site is located in the Lower Arkansas – Fourche Watershed, North of Highway 5 and East of Reynolds Road (Highway 183) at the intersection of Hilldale Road and Daley Road. Three ephemeral streams totaling approximately 824 linear feet and an approximately 1.6-acre impounded stream have been identified as potential jurisdictional waters of the United States within the existing campus boundary. Stream 1 (S-1) and Stream 2 (S-2) flow into the impounded stream waterbody (Pond-1), then exit as Stream 3 (S-3), which flows north through a culvert under Daley Road and into the floodplain of Owen Creek.
In July 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers verified a Nationwide Permit (NWP, SWL 2017-00138-1) authorizing the placement of dredged and fill material in waters of the United States associated with the construction of the Hilldale Elementary School. Three wetlands and three streams were impacted by the previously permitted project including a total of 0.48 acres of wetlands (W-1, W-2, W-3) and approximately 269 linear feet of ephemeral streams (S-1, S-2, S-3). The previously permitted wetland impacts have been mitigated through the purchase of 4.6 mitigation credits from Fourche Bayou Mitigation Bank. The previously permitted stream impacts did not require compensatory mitigation.
The applicant proposes to mitigate the impacts from the current project through the purchase of approximately 2,706 stream credits and approximately 10.5 wetland credits from an approved stream and wetland mitigation bank in the Little Rock District. Minimization of impacts to waters of the United States on the site has been limited to first order moderately functional unnamed ephemeral streams that carry mainly storm water run-off for much of the year. The Bryant School District has determined that the presence of the impounded stream and ephemeral streams within the school grounds constitute a safety risk for students; therefore, the potential waters of the United States must be filled.
The location and general plan for the proposed work are shown on the enclosed sheets.
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.
Floodplain. We 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 1, 2018. 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.
Approximate Coordinates of Project Center
Latitude: 34.64142 Longitude: -92.472553
UTM Zone: 15N North: 3833405 East: 548339