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Public Notice Information

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SWL 2012-00438

Published March 22, 2013
Expiration date: 4/12/2013

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, Lisa Boyle, telephone number:  (501) 324-5295, 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 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S. Code 1344), notice is hereby given that

                                    Mr. Kevin L. Steele
                                    Steele Development, LLC
                                    620 McConnell
                                    Joplin, Missouri  64801  

has requested authorization for the placement of dredged and fill material in waters of the United States associated with construction of an approximately 130-acre mixed-use commercial development.  The proposed project is located in Silver Creek and associated tributaries and wetlands, in section 24, T. 27 N., R. 33 W.,  Joplin, Newton County, Missouri. 

The basic purpose of the project is commercial development.  The overall purpose of the project is to develop the area with commercial and service-oriented establishments including hotels, medical and professional office locations, retail, food and beverage, regional attractions, assisted living center and other ancillary operations for the healthcare and travel service industry.  The project is not water dependent. 

The proposed development will include roads, commercial and retail establishments, associated infrastructure, and an enhancement scheme for the green space to include mitigation for impacts to waters of the United States.  Enhancements will include preserving and creating wetlands, restoring sinuosity to streams, and maintenance of a buffer zone.  Impacts will include placing an estimated 2,020 linear feet of Silver Creek in an underground culvert, relocation of approximately 5,243 linear feet of stream for stream habitat enhancement, placement of fill into approximately 1.34 acres of wetland to create retail space, impoundment of 0.40 acres of wetlands and associated dredging of 0.15 acres of wetlands to create a lake, approximately 0.09 acres of shading impact to a wetland at a road crossing, and enhancement of 1.29 acres of wetlands. 

Existing conditions at the site are that the area has been highly degraded.  The area has received numerous permits since the 1990s to channelize Silver Creek and the major tributary onsite, as well as to construct the concrete weir at the southern outlet of the property.  The land has been cleared at various stages, and a central portion of the property has been used as a dumping ground for fill material. 

The applicant proposes to mitigate for impacts entirely onsite.  The applicant perceives the "No Action" alternative would be negative regarding both economic well-being and lost opportunity for ecological improvement of the degraded waters of the United States.  The proposed project will support local and regional economies as well as improve the existing waters of the United States by in stream habitat implementation in the form of riffle-pool complexes, cascade formation, over-hang structure, substrate diversity, riparian wetlands improvements, riparian forestation, wildlife structure implementation, recreation and educational feature incorporation. 

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 certification from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources that the operation of the proposed facility will apparently not violate the existing water quality criteria of the State of Missouri.  The Commission hereby gives notice of its intent to certify this construction.  A Corps of Engineers permit will not be issued until such certification has been granted.  Commenters are requested to furnish a copy of their comments to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. 

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.  This public notice initiates consultation under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act with any Tribe that has information or concerns with historic properties in the proposed permit 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. 

Flood Plain.  We are providing copies of this notice to appropriate flood plain officials in accordance with 44 CFR Part 60 (Flood Plain Management Regulations Criteria for Land Management and Use) and Executive Order 11988 on Flood Plain 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 Regulations (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 April 12, 2013.  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, flood plain 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 also 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:  37.043° N  Longitude:  -94.486° W

UTM Zone:  15  North:  4100655  East:  367870