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PN18-02 (Washington Gas Company) - 2017-60524 - PG Co

Posted: 1/16/2018

Expiration date: 2/28/2018


                                                     Public Notice

U.S. Army Corps          In Reply to Application Number:                                   

of Engineers                 CENAB-OPR-M (Washington Gas Company) 2017-60524                

Baltimore District                                                                                                                                        

 

 PN# 18-02                        COMMENT PERIOD: January 11, 2018 - February 28, 2018

                                                                                                                       

THE PURPOSE OF THIS PUBLIC NOTICE IS TO SOLICIT COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE WORK DESCRIBED BELOW ON THE SUBJECT APPLICATION.  AT THIS TIME, NO DECISION HAS BEEN MADE AS TO WHETHER OR NOT A PERMIT WILL BE ISSUED. 

 

APPLICANT:   Washington Gas Light Company

                            Attn:  Ms. Theresa A. Curtis

                            6801 Industrial Road

                            Springfield, VA  22151-4205

 

LOCATION:  The proposed project begins at Washington Gas Light Company’s existing Strip 24 pipeline at the corner of Frank Tippet Road and US 301 in Brandywine, Maryland and would transport natural gas service to its existing Strip 17 pipeline on Brightseat Road in Landover, Maryland.  Waterways that are proposed to be impacted include:  Charles Branch, Back Branch, Cabin Branch, Turkey Branch, as well as unnamed tributaries to Charles Branch, Back Branch, Cabin Branch, Turkey Branch, Southwest Branch, Western Branch, and Patuxent River, in Prince George’s County, Maryland.      

 

PURPOSE:  To provide additional natural gas to reinforce the existing system and provide reliability to handle future demands.  The project primarily benefits Prince George’s County, but would strengthen service in the District of Columbia.

 

WORK:  The Washington Gas Light Company (WGL) proposes to construct the Prince George’s County and District of Columbia Reliability and Reinforcement Project (Project) which is an approximately 16-mile-long, 24-inch-diameter buried steel natural gas pipeline with a cathodic protection system within a permanent right-of-way (ROW) for the project. A future project through the Southwest Stream Valley Park (SBSVP) may include the co-location of a public use trail within the permanent maintained ROW.

 

The Project proses to permanently convert approximately 61,077 square feet (1.4 acres) of forested nontidal wetlands to emergent wetlands; to temporarily impact approximately 21,330 square feet (0.51 acres) of forested nontidal wetlands, 17,220 square feet (0.41 acres) of emergent nontidal wetlands for temporary access for construction; and to temporarily impact 43 stream segments totaling approximately 1,574 linear feet (14,155 square feet) of stream.  The pipeline would be installed using conventional boring, trenching using dam and pump, flume pipe, and stream diversion methods, and horizontal directional drilling (HDD) methods.

 

As part of the avoidance and minimization of impacts to waters of the U.S., including jurisdictional nontidal wetlands, the limit of disturbance and temporary construction ROW were narrowed through wetlands from 75 feet in uplands to 40 feet through wetlands.  Permanent ROW widths consist of the following: 15 feet within existing Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO); 30 feet within SBSVP; and 40 feet through the remainder of the Project.  WGL rerouted the project to avoid environmental features; co-located the pipeline within existing roads, parking lots, open areas, and electrical utility ROW; and, utilized over two miles of conventional bore and HDD methods.  Less than three percent of the proposed route crosses wetlands or streams.

 

The Project would utilize temporary work spaces of variable width public road ROW, according to traffic control requirements and considerations, as required by Prince George’s County Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement and Maryland State Highway Administration.  The project route would primarily be accessed using existing state and county roads.  WGL rerouted the project to avoid environmental features; co-located the pipeline within existing roads, parking lots, open areas, and electrical utility ROW; and, utilized over two miles of conventional bore and HDD.  Less than three percent of the route crosses wetlands or streams.

 

The work also includes to construct 3 aboveground facilities in upland areas to allow connections to WGL pipelines.  These facilities include 2 approximately 20-feet by 100-feet and 50-feet by 100-feet pressure regulator sites located on Brightseat Road and 1 approximately 50-feet by 100-feet pressure reducing site at located on the east side of U.S. 301 in Brandywine.

 

The applicant proposes to mitigate for the approximate 61,077 square feet (1.40 acres) of permanent forested nontidal wetland conversion by creating approximately 6,740 square feet (0.15 acres) of forested nontidal wetlands; enhancing approximately 72,437 square feet (1.66 acres) of existing currently cropped wetlands; enhancing approximately 18,295 square feet of 25-foot nontidal wetland buffer;  and preserving approximately of 30,056 square feet (0.69 acres) of existing nontidal wetlands, 21604 square feet (0.50 acres) of nontidal wetland buffer, and 7,405 square feet (0.17) of upland riparian stream buffer.  The proposed mitigation site is located west of Brown Station Road, north of Dille Drive in, Upper Marlboro, Prince George’s County, Maryland.  The mitigation site is located within the Western Branch (Patuxent) watershed where the majority of the proposed permanent impacts for the wetland conversion are located.

 

All work will be completed in accordance with the plans submitted with the Joint Permit Application.  

 

WRITTEN COMMENTS:  To be included in the official record, written comments and information by interested parties must be received by the Public Notice closing date, February 28, 2018, to receive consideration.  The mailing address for submission of written comments is:

 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Baltimore District

Attn:  Ms. Erica Schmidt, CENAB-OPR-M

2 Hopkins Plaza

Baltimore, Maryland 21201

 

If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Mrs. Erica Schmidt, at (410) 962-6029 or email at Erica.Schmidt@usace.army.mil.

 

Additional project documentation can be found on the Prince George’s County and District of Columbia Reliability and Reinforcement Project website at:  http://pgcdcrrp.com/

 

Hard copies can be requested from the above Corps reviewer.

 

 

The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts, 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 may reasonably 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, economic, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, cultural values, 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, and consideration of property ownership and in general, the needs and welfare of the people. 

 

The evaluation of the impact of the work described above on the public interest will include the application of the Clean Water Act Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under authority of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. 

 

Comments are being solicited 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 to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny each agency’s 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 provided will become part of the public record for this action.  Comments are also used to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity. 

 

SECTION 401 WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION:  The applicant is required to obtain a Water Quality Certification, (WQC) in accordance with Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from MDE, the Section 401 certifying agency.  Any written comments concerning the work described above which relate to the WQC must be received by the Wetlands and Waterways Program, Maryland Department of the Environment, Montgomery Park Business Center, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 430, Baltimore, Maryland 21230-1708 within the comment period as specified above to receive consideration.  MDE has a statutory limit of one year from the date of this public notice to make its decision.

 

COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM:  The applicant has certified in this application that the proposed activity complies with and will be conducted in a manner consistent with Maryland’s federally approved Coastal Zone Management Program (CZMP) as required by Section 307 of the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972.  Public comments relating to consistency must be received by the Wetlands and Waterways Program, Maryland Department of the Environment, Montgomery Park Business Center, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 430, Baltimore, Maryland, 21230-1708, within the comment period as specified above.  By this public notice, the CORPS is requesting the State concurrence to the applicant’s consistency statement.  It should be noted that the CZMP has a statutory limit of 6 months to make its determination. 

 

 

The applicant must obtain any other State and local permits/approvals which are required for the proposed activities.

 

 

A preliminary review of this application indicates that the proposed work will not affect Federal listed threatened or endangered species or their critical habitat, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as amended.  As the evaluation of this application continues, additional information may become available which could modify this preliminary determination.

 

Review of the latest published version of the National Register of Historic Places indicates that the proposed project will not affect properties listed as eligible for inclusion.  On-going coordination with the Maryland Historic Trust will determine if known archeological, scientific, prehistoric, or historical data may be affected by the work to be accomplished under the requested permits.

 

It is requested that you communicate this information concerning the proposed work to any persons known by you to be interested, but may not have not received a copy of this public notice.

 

FOR THE DISTRICT ENGINEER:

 

 

 

 

KATHY B. ANDERSON

                                      

Strip 17 pipeline Washington Gas Company