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: Gerald.W.Dickson@usace.army.mil
Project Information. Pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S. Code 1344), notice is hereby given that
The Honorable Barry Hyde
Pulaski County Judge
201 South Broadway, Suite 401
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
has requested authorization for the placement of dredged and fill material in waters of the United States associated with the relocation of approximately 1.25 miles of Thibault Road starting at the intersection of Thibault Road and Zeuber Road, and terminating at Thibault Road southwest of the starting point. The proposed project is located in wetlands and unnamed tributaries to Fourche Creek, in sections 21 & 28, T. 1 N., R. 11 W., Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas.
The project purpose is to construct a new thoroughfare for Thibault Road and to help facilitate the economic growth of adjacent industrial entities within the Port of Little Rock.
The project will relocate the existing Thibault Road section impacted by the commercial development of the adjacent property. Relocation of the road will result in the fill of approximately 2.01 acres of wetlands and impact approximately 228 linear feet of two unnamed tributaries to Fourche Creek. Specific impacts are as follows: Impact Area 1 - approximately 1.87 acres of wetlands will be filled, Impact Area 2 - approximately 188 linear feet of an unnamed tributary to Fourche Creek will be realigned and conveyed through an approximately 100-foot-long by 8-foot-wide by 4-foot-tall box culvert and approximately 0.106 acres of wetlands will be filled, Impact Area 3 - approximately 40 linear feet of an unnamed tributary to Fourche Creek will be filled and an approximately 62-foot-long by 42 -inch-diameter round corrugated pipe will be installed within adjacent uplands to ensure proper drainage, Impact Area 4 - approximately 0.026 acres of wetlands will be filled, Impact Area 5 - approximately 0.001 acres of wetlands will be filled, and Impact Area 6 - approximately 0.007 acres of wetlands will be filled.
The project will be located in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain Ecoregion within the Little Rock Port Authorities 3,500-acre industrial park in an area commonly referred to as “Fourche Island”. This historically rural area is under heavy commercial development. The terrain in the vicinity of the project area is dominated by open fields, forested and emergent wetlands, and wooded upland corridors. A portion of this project is within a Federal Emergency Management Agency mapped Special Flood Hazard Area Zone AE.
The applicant proposes to mitigate for the unavoidable impacts resulting from the proposed project with the purchase of approximately 1,026.0 stream credits (2011 Little Rock Stream Method) and 21.3 wetland credits (2002 Charleston Method) from a Corps approved mitigation bank.
The applicant considered two alternative routes for this project and determined the routes to not be feasible due to economical reasons and greater impacts to the environment. These alternative routes can be seen on the enclosed sheets.
The location and general plan for the proposed work are shown on the enclosed sheets.
Water Quality Certification. The Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401 Certification Rule (Certification Rule, 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121), effective September 11, 2020, requires certification for any license or permit that authorizes an activity that may result in a discharge. The scope of a CWA Section 401 certification is limited to assuring that a discharge from a Federally licensed or permitted activity will comply with water quality requirements. The applicant is responsible for requesting certification and providing required information to the certifying agency. As of the date of this public notice, the applicant has not submitted a certification request to the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment, Division of Environmental Quality (certifying authority). In accordance with Certification Rule Part 121.6, once the applicant submits a certification request the Corps will determine the reasonable period of time for the certifying agency to act upon the certification and provide written notification. In accordance with Certification Rule Part 121.12, the Corps will notify the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator when it has received the subject certification. The Administrator is responsible for determining if the discharge may affect water quality in a neighboring jurisdiction. The DA permit may not be issued pending the conclusion of the Administrator’s determination of effects on neighboring jurisdictions.
Cultural Resources. A Phase I Cultural Resources Survey for the proposed project was completed in March of 2022 by Flat Earth Archeology, LLC. 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 December 2, 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: 34.690102° Longitude: -92.190133°
UTM Zone: 15N North: 3838975.82 East: 574180.12