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Public Notice Information

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SWL 2014-00125

Published July 22, 2014
Expiration date: 8/18/2014

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, Jim Ellis, 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

                                                    Colonel Patrick J. Rhatigan
Little Rock Air Force Base
19th Airlift Wing
1250 Thomas Avenue, Room 106
Little Rock AFB, Arkansas  72099

has requested authorization for the placement of dredged and fill material in wetlands and waters of the United States associated with improvements to Runway 07-25 on the Little Rock Air Force Base.  Construction would require filling of wetlands and installation of seven culverts, resulting in a discharge of approximately 2,008 cubic yards of fill material into jurisdictional wetlands and waters of the United States.  The proposed project would permanently impact (fill) approximately 0.86 acres of wetlands and approximately 619 linear feet of jurisdictional streams to increase the elevation of the runway with a 3H:1V slope and to construct a permanent road.  Approximately 505 linear feet of jurisdictional streams would be temporarily impacted for the construction of temporary haul roads and culverts.  The proposed project is located in wetlands and unnamed tributaries of Cypress Branch and Jacks Bayou on the Little Rock Air Force Base, in the >"> SE 1/4 of section 2, T. 3 N., R. 11 W., Jacksonville, Pulaski County, Arkansas.

The basic purpose of the project is to improve the main runway at the Little Rock Air Force Base.  The overall purpose of the project is to increase the elevation of the Little Rock Air Force Base runway including new roads and the extension of existing culverts.  The project is not water dependent.

Stream flow is intermittent, and in some areas, the streams contain aquatic habitat for micro- and macroinvertebrates as well as some fish species.  All of the streams flow into either Cypress Branch or Jacks Bayou and eventually into Bayou Meto.  The wetlands that will be impacted are herbaceous and of relatively low value, drying up during summer months.

The design of the improvements to Runway 07-25 noted the location of wetlands on the base and tried to avoid impacts if possible.  All temporary haul roads and culverts will be removed and stream channels will be restored to their preconstruction conditions.  The applicant proposes to mitigate permanent impacts to the 0.86 acres of existing wetlands by purchasing off-site wetland mitigation bank credits.  To mitigate permanent impacts to 619 linear feet of streams, the applicant proposes on-site (permittee responsible) mitigation.  Normal best management practices such as silt fencing and other construction methods will be used to mitigate impacts to water quality and other resources.

The location and general plan for the proposed work are shown on the enclosed sheets.  Wetlands impacted are shown on Sheets 7 through 10.  Culvert installations and impacted streams are shown on Sheets 2 through 10.

Water Quality Certification.  By copy of this public notice, the applicant is requesting water quality certification from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) 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 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.

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 August 18, 2014.  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:  34.91663                   Longitude:  -92.4629

UTM Zone:  15           North:  3864130         East:  577982