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 Regulatory Project Manager, Rocky Presley, telephone number: (501) 340-1390, mailing address: Little Rock District Corps of Engineers, Branson Regulatory Field Office, 4600 Hwy 165, Branson, Missouri 65616, email address: Rocky.L.Presley@usace.army.mil. An electronic copy of Mitigation Plan No. SSTF1019-Woods Fork Low Water Crossing Replacement, can be viewed on the Little Rock District, Regulatory Division webpage at http://www.swl.usace. army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx or a hard copy can be obtained from the Corps of Engineers through the contact information listed above.
Project Information. Pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S. Code 1344), notice is hereby given that
Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation (MCHF)
P.O. Box 366
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102-0366
proposes to establish Mitigation Plan No. SSTF1019-Woods Fork Low Water Crossing Replacement. The project would be established under MCHF’s Stream Stewardship Trust Fund (SSTF) In-lieu Fee Instrument. The project site is on Woods Fork Creek, in the SE1/4 of section 33, T. 26 N., R. 21 W., Christian County, Missouri.
The purposes of the project are to facilitate fish passage, improve sediment transport, and increase stream stability through the project reach. In addition, the newly designed crossing would serve as a demonstration project for future county road projects within the Bull Creek Priority Watershed and other priority watersheds in the region. The crossing project would also address specific areas of concern for the White River Ecological Drainage Unit including existing stream conditions and water quality problems.
The existing low water crossing is a concrete structure with no openings and effectively functions as a low-head dam. The upstream side of the crossing has completely aggraded with gravel and sediment up to the level of the crossing surface, and the downstream side has a large scour pool. The project involves removing the existing crossing and installing a bottomless, structural culvert crossing with a 50-foot span. The new crossing would be constructed on the existing alignment and at approximately the same elevation to tie into the existing road approaches. If approved by the Corps, in consultation with the Interagency Review Team, the project would provide a total of 6,423 stream mitigation credits.
The project site is located on Woods Fork approximately 7 miles upstream from its confluence with Bull Creek. Woods Fork is a 4th order stream at the project site and provides drainage for a watershed area of over 6,000 acres. Replacement of the crossing and removal of the existing fish passage barrier would reconnect at least 10 miles of aquatic habitat. In addition, the Woods Fork Aquatic Conservation Opportunity Area (ACOA) is located 4 miles downstream of the project site. This ACOA was designated by the Missouri Department of Conservation for monitoring of aquatic species, including endangered mussels and fish species. The larger Bull Creek watershed contains a diversity of recorded aquatic species including 45 fish, 6 mussels, and 5 crayfish.
The location and general plan for the proposed work are shown on the enclosed sheets.
Water Quality Certification. If authorized, this project would meet the conditions of a nationwide permit, which presently has certification under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act in compliance with applicable effluent limitations and water quality standards. Certification expresses the state's opinion that the discharge will not violate applicable water quality standards.
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.
Regulatory Authority. Implementation of the proposed mitigation project would require Department of the Army Authorization under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Based on preliminary evaluation by the USACE, it appears the proposed crossing replacement may be authorized by Nationwide Permit 14 for Linear Transportation Projects.
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 February 28, 2022. 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: 36.90316 Longitude: -93.23428
UTM Zone: 15N North: 4084155 East: 479127