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, David Rupe, telephone number: (501) 340-1386, mailing address: Little Rock District Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Division, PO Box 867, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203-0867, email address: David.M.Rupe@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. Mark Asplund
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
2608 SE J Street
Bentonville, AR 72716
has requested authorization for work, including the placement of dredged and fill material, in waters of the United States associated with construction of a Walmart Supercenter retail facility and attendant features. The proposed project is located in McKisic Creek and adjacent wetlands, in the NE 1/4 of section 4, T. 19 N., R. 31 W., Centerton, Benton County, Arkansas.
The project purpose is construction of a commercial retail facility. The overall purpose of the project is to develop a Walmart Supercenter for residents of Centerton and Bentonville, Arkansas. The proposed facility and attendant features include parking lots, entrance/interior roads, three outparcels, fueling station, electric vehicle charging stations, detention/water quality basins, water quality bioswale and on-site compensatory mitigation features. There have been two Department of Army permits previously issued, one in 2006 and a subsequent permit modification issued in 2015, for the proposed retail center. The currently proposed site plan is generally similar to the 2015 modification, with the primary difference being a proposed entrance roadway located northeast of the subject property (requiring acquisition of an additional parcel). The 2015 permit modification included the following onsite mitigation features that have been constructed on-site: creation of approximately 1,440 linear feet of McKisic Creek channel; preservation and enhancement of approximately 260 linear feet of the original McKisic Creek stream channel; preservation of approximately 0.1 acre of adjacent wetlands; and creation of riparian buffer approximately 160 feet in width along the extent of the stream restoration reach. A new delineation has been completed that resulted in identification of additional wetland acreage and additional reaches of stream channel within the subject property. The project is not water dependent.
Construction of the proposed retail facility will result in fill to waters of the United States outside of the onsite compensatory mitigation conservation easement and to waters of the United States within the conservation easement. Proposed impacts to waters of the United States outside of the compensatory mitigation conservation easement include filling approximately 2.64 acres of wetlands, filling approximately 0.03 acre of open water, and filling approximately 31 linear feet of a man-made ditch (created as a bio-swale associated with the 2015 permit modification). A proposed onsite detention basin will result in impacts to approximately 0.1 acre of wetlands, approximately 0.29 acre of open water, approximately 68 linear feet of a perennial channel, and approximately 272 linear feet of a man-made ditch resulting from inundation. Impacts to areas within the compensatory mitigation conservation easement include fill to approximately 0.27 acre of wetlands, approximately 262 linear feet of McKisic Creek, and approximately 225 linear feet of a perennial tributary to McKisic Creek. The proposed detention basin, located partially within the compensatory mitigation conservation easement, will result in impacts (inundation) to approximately 0.08 acre of wetlands and approximately 63 linear feet of perennial tributary to McKisic Creek. Cumulatively, a total of approximately 2.91 acres of wetlands, approximately 0.03 acre of open water, and approximately 518 linear feet of stream would be filled. A total of approximately 0.18 acre of wetlands, approximately 408 linear feet of stream channel, and approximately 0.29 acre of open water would be inundated as result of the proposed activity.
The subject property is largely undeveloped and was utilized previously as a cattle farm. However, portions of the site have been recently modified due to construction related to onsite compensatory mitigation. McKisic Creek was relocated along the northern property boundary, within an area that includes a riparian buffer and associated floodplain wetlands. In addition, a bio-swale and detention basin were constructed in the northeast portion of the parcel adjacent to McKisic Creek. The remainder of the site supports a mixture of early-mid successional upland communities, emergent wetland communities, and early successional riparian communities.
The applicant proposes to compensate for stream and wetland impacts by purchasing compensatory mitigation credits from an approved mitigation bank and by preservation of approximately 0.81 acre of onsite wetlands (generating 1.38 acres of wetland credits). The applicant proposes to purchase the remaining wetland credits from an approved wetland mitigation bank that services the area (12.95 credits within a primary service area or 19.43 credits from a secondary service area). The applicant proposes to compensate for stream impacts by purchasing 3,260.7 stream credits from an approved mitigation bank within a primary service area.
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 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 25, 2023. 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: 36.3566 Longitude: -94.2826
UTM Zone: 15N North: 4024265 East: 384922