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Public Notice Information

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SWL 1982-03971-7

Published Aug. 28, 2020
Expiration date: 9/22/2020

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, Gerald Dickson, telephone number:  (501) 340-1372, mailing address:  Little Rock District Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Division, PO Box 867, Little Rock, Arkansas  72203-0867, email address:

Project Information.  Pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S. Code 403) and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S. Code 1344), notice is hereby given that

                                 Mr. Scott Springer
                                 North Little Rock Electric Department
                                 P.O. Box 159
                                 North Little Rock, Arkansas  72115

has requested authorization for work, including the placement of dredged and fill material, in waters of the United States associated with dredging of the forebay area at the Murray Hydroelectric Generation Facility (MHGF)to restore the original design and constructed contours for efficiency of hydroelectric generation.  The proposed project is located in the Arkansas River, Navigation Mile 125.4 on the left descending bank, in the NE 1/4 of section 24, T. 2 N., R. 13 W., North Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas.

The project purpose is to remove excessive debris and sediment from the forebay area in order to restore the original design and constructed contours for efficiency of hydroelectric generation.

The proposed project will dredge approximately 100,000 cubic yards of debris and sediment from the forebay area upstream of the MHGF.  Dredging will be accomplished by use of a floating dredge with the discharge pumped through a system of pipes (anticipated 18-inch pipes) to two disposal areas and/or by utilizing a clamshell operation to place the material onto a floating barge, which will be offloaded to trucks on the north peninsula of the facility, and transported to the two disposal areas.  The disposal pipes will be installed on top of the ground from the MHGF to the fill areas except at the crossing of Cooks Landing Road.  An existing 30-inch steel encasement beneath Cooks Landing Road will be utilized to cross underneath Cooks Landing Road.

Based on past, permitted dredging performed at the MHGF, the dredged or clammed material (debris) will consist of sand, clay and gravel, and/or organic material.  Organic material may consist of logs and/or other wood items and other miscellaneous items.  The organic material will be temporarily stockpiled on the left descending bank (north peninsula) upstream of the dam.  The organic material will be transported from this temporary storage site daily and placed in a permitted landfill.

Disposal of the dredged material will place fill in approximately 3.24 acres of emergent, 0.02 acres of forested, and 1.19 acres of scub-shrub wetlands within the two proposed disposal areas.  Temporary embankments (dikes) will be constructed within the proposed deposit area during the dredging operations to provide a settlement basin to reduce the water velocity so that settlement of suspended material will potentially occur within the settlement basin.  The location and size of these temporary dikes will be field determined by the awarded Contractor.  The return water from the disposal areas will flow through natural drainage areas, a series of ditches and culverts, into White Oak Bayou, then into the Arkansas River.

Due to the buildup of sediment in the forebay area, the power generating units at the MHGF cannot operate at 100% capacity.  The reduction in capacity affects the amount of power being available to the citizens of North Little Rock, Arkansas.  On attempts to operate at 100% capacity with the deposited debris material in the forebay area, cavitation occurs at the entrance to the power generating units.  This cavitation can cause costly permanent damage to the power generating units.

Mitigation for the unavoidable adverse impacts to waters of the U.S. will be accomplished via the purchase of Compensatory Mitigation Credits from a Corps approved Mitigation Bank that services the impact site.

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 Energy and Environment, Division of Environmental Quality 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 evaluate the proposal for compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, including identification and evaluation of cultural resources potentially impacted by the proposal's implementation in waters of the United States.  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 September 22, 2020.  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:  -92.357514°            Longitude:  34.795810°

UTM Zone:  15N        North:  3850587.60     East:  558773.61