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PN 13-21 NiSource/Columbia Gas Transmission

Posted: 4/15/2013

Expiration date: 6/7/2013


THE PURPOSE OF THIS JOINT PUBLIC NOTICE IS TO ANNOUNCE THE SCHEDULING OF TWO JOINT PUBLIC HEARINGS, AND TO SOLICIT COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE WORK DESCRIBED BELOW. AT THIS TIME, NO DECISION HAS BEEN MADE AS TO WHETHER OR NOT PERMITS WILL BE ISSUED. THE HEARINGS WILL BE HELD AT THE FOLLOWING TIMES AND

LOCATIONS:

TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013
Fallston High School, Cafeteria
2301 Carrs Mill Road
Fallston, MD 21047
410-638-4120
6:00 pm-7:00 pm Poster Session
7:00 pm Public Hearing

2301 Carrs Mill Road Fallston, MD 21047 410-638-4120 6:00 pm-7:00 pm Poster Session 7:00 pm Public Hearing

THURSDAY, MAY 23, 2013 
Stevenson University, Owings Mills Campus 
Rockland CEnter, Banquet Room
10949 Boulevard Circle
Owings Mills, MD 21117 
6:00 pm-7:00 pm Poster Session
7:00 pm Public Hearing

The US Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District (COE) and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) joint public hearing provide members of the public the opportunity to present views, opinions, and information which will be considered by the COE and MDE in evaluating the permit application. The purpose of the hearing is for the COE and MDE to receive oral or written comments that will enable them to evaluate the impacts of the proposed project on the public interest. All interested parties, including representatives of Federal, State, and local governments and private individuals and organizations, are invited to be present or to be represented. Each will be given an opportunity to express their views regarding the proposed project.

Prior to each public hearing, from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, a poster session will be held where the public will have an opportunity to review exhibits and ask general questions of the applicant, NiSource/Columbia Gas, and their representatives. Representatives from the COE and MDE will also be available during the poster session. Beginning at 7:00 pm, the formal public hearing will begin with agency statements, followed by public testimony. Please note that a time limit of three minutes per speaker may be set, depending on the number of speakers, to ensure that all interested parties have an opportunity to voice their views. The public hearings will be recorded and transcribed.

Anyone who is hearing impaired and/or is non-English speaking; who wishes to attend the public hearings should notify Ms. Abbie Hopkins at 410-962-6080 or in writing to her address below. All requests for an oral, sign language, or non- English language interpreter must be received by May 3, 2013. To the extent possible and feasible, an interpreter will be provided.

The COE and MDE have received and are evaluating a joint permit application as described below for Department of the Army authorization pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344) and State authorization pursuant to Title 5, Subtitle 5 (Waterway Construction) and Title 5, Subtitle 9 (Nontidal Wetlands) of the Environment Article, Annotated Code of Maryland.

APPLICANT: NiSource/Columbia Gas Transmission
Attn: Ms. Jennifer Franco
1700 MacCorkle Avenue, SE
Charleston, West Virginia 25314

NiSource/Columbia Gas TransmissionAttn: Ms. Jennifer Franco1700 MacCorkle Avenue, SECharleston, West Virginia 25314

LOCATION: The proposed project begins at the Owings Mills Metering and Regulating (M&R) Station south of Owings Mill Road and west of Reisterstown Road in Baltimore County, and terminates at the existing Rutledge Compressor Station off of Rutledge Road in Harford County. Waterways that are to be impacted include: the Gwynns Fall and its un-named tributaries, un-named tributaries to the North Branch of the Jones Falls, Beaver Dam Run, Baisman Run and its un-named tributaries, Oregon Branch and its un-named tributaries, Western Run and an un-named tributary, Gunpowder Falls and its un-named tributaries, un-named tributaries to Carroll Branch, Parker Branch and its un-named tributaries, un-named tributaries to Yellow Branch, and an un-named tributary to West Branch, and their adjacent wetlands. These streams are classified by the State of Maryland as Use III or IV trout waters.

The proposed project begins at the Owings Mills Metering and Regulating (M&R) Station south of Owings Mill Road and west of Reisterstown Road in Baltimore County, and terminates at the existing Rutledge Compressor Station off of Rutledge Road in Harford County. Waterways that are to be impacted include: the Gwynns Fall and its un-named tributaries, un-named tributaries to the North Branch of the Jones Falls, Beaver Dam Run, Baisman Run and its un-named tributaries, Oregon Branch and its un-named tributaries, Western Run and an un-named tributary, Gunpowder Falls and its un-named tributaries, un-named tributaries to Carroll Branch, Parker Branch and its un-named tributaries, un-named tributaries to Yellow Branch, and an un-named tributary to West Branch, and their adjacent wetlands. These streams are classified by the State of Maryland as Use III or IV trout waters.

WORK: Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (Columbia) proposes to construct the Line MB Extension Project which extends an existing 26 inch diameter natural gas line for approximately 21.1 miles. The pipeline will have a typical construction right-of-way (ROW) width of 75 feet, with additional, but a minimal number of, temporary workspaces and staging areas where necessary. The project will involve crossing all waterways and wetlands using open trench construction methods resulting in a total of 5,238 linear feet/57,152 square feet of temporary stream impact. The project will temporarily impact 167,109 square feet of emergent nontidal wetlands, 443 square feet of scrub-shrub nontidal wetlands, 29,429 square feet of forested nontidal wetlands, 139,249 square feet of nontidal wetland buffer, and 211,671 square feet of 100-year floodplain. To reduce impacts of pipeline construction on wetlands and waterways and to minimize the requirement for new permanent right-of-way (ROW), the project is proposed to be co-located to the extent practicable for approximately 16.5 miles of the total 21.1 miles with the existing Line MA. The project also includes two 26-inch mainline valves (MLVs) along the Line MB extension to be installed parallel to the existing MLVs on Line MA, a new bi-directional pig launcher/receiver, with valves and fittings, to be installed at the Owings Mills M&R Station, and a second bi-directional pig launcher/receiver is proposed at the Rutledge Compressor Station.

Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (Columbia) proposes to construct the Line MB Extension Project which extends an existing 26 inch diameter natural gas line for approximately 21.1 miles. The pipeline will have a typical construction right-of-way (ROW) width of 75 feet, with additional, but a minimal number of, temporary workspaces and staging areas where necessary. The project will involve crossing all waterways and wetlands using open trench construction methods resulting in a total of 5,238 linear feet/57,152 square feet of temporary stream impact. The project will temporarily impact 167,109 square feet of emergent nontidal wetlands, 443 square feet of scrub-shrub nontidal wetlands, 29,429 square feet of forested nontidal wetlands, 139,249 square feet of nontidal wetland buffer, and 211,671 square feet of 100-year floodplain. To reduce impacts of pipeline construction on wetlands and waterways and to minimize the requirement for new permanent right-of-way (ROW), the project is proposed to be co-located to the extent practicable for approximately 16.5 miles of the total 21.1 miles with the existing Line MA. The project also includes two 26-inch mainline valves (MLVs) along the Line MB extension to be installed parallel to the existing MLVs on Line MA, a new bi-directional pig launcher/receiver, with valves and fittings, to be installed at the Owings Mills M&R Station, and a second bi-directional pig launcher/receiver is proposed at the Rutledge Compressor Station.

There will be wetland areas within the project’s permanent ROW which will require maintenance to prevent the reestablishment of woody vegetation. This conversion to emergent wetlands is considered to be a permanent wetland impact which will total 761 square feet of scrub-shrub wetlands and 35,288 square feet of forested wetlands for a total of 0.83 acres. The applicant is required to mitigate for these permanent wetland impacts. There will also be permanent impacts to 31,151 square feet of 25-foot wetland buffer.

The applicant has submitted a preliminary, conceptual mitigation plan to compensate for the proposed, unavoidable permanent impacts to approximately 0.83 acres of nontidal wetlands. All temporary impacts to wetlands and streams are to be restored upon completion of the project. The wetland mitigation proposal is to create 0.83 acre of nontidal, forested wetlands on the Peige Property located at the corner of Carroll Island Road and Luthardt Road at Middle River, Baltimore County, Maryland. Stream mitigation is not required since all proposed impacts are considered to be temporary.

All work will be completed in accordance with the enclosed plans.

PURPOSE: The project is to provide a backup gas supply source for critical markets to the areas north and east of Baltimore, Maryland, and reduce the risk of unscheduled service interruptions as well as allow for routine facility maintenance without interrupting customer supply.

The project is to provide a backup gas supply source for critical markets to the areas north and east of Baltimore, Maryland, and reduce the risk of unscheduled service interruptions as well as allow for routine facility maintenance without interrupting customer supply.

WRITTEN COMMENTS: To be included in the official record, written comments and information provided by interested parties must be received by the COE and MDE by the closing date of this notice’s comment period, June 7, 2013, to receive consideration. The mailing addresses for submission of written comments are:

To be included in the official record, written comments and information provided by interested parties must be received by the COE and MDE by the closing date of this notice’s comment period, June 7, 2013, to receive consideration. The mailing addresses for submission of written comments are:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Baltimore District
Attn: Ms Abbie Hopkins, CENAB-OP-RMN
P.O. Box 1715
Baltimore, Maryland 21203-1715

Maryland Department of the Environment
Wetlands and Waterways Program
Attn: Ms. Cheryl Kerr
1800 Washington Blvd., Suite 430 
Baltimore, Maryland 21230-1708

If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Ms. Abbie Hopkins, COE at (410) 962-6080 or by email at abbie.hopkins@usace.army.mil, and Ms. Cheryl Kerr, MDE at (410) 537-3911 or by email at ckerr@mde.state.md.us .

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 COE and MDE 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.

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 COE is requesting the State concurrence or objection to the applicant’s consistency statement. It should be noted that the CZMP has a statutory limit of 6 months to make its consistency determination.

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 COE is requesting the State concurrence or objection to the applicant’s consistency statement. It should be noted that the CZMP has a statutory limit of 6 months to make its consistency 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 no registered properties listed as eligible for inclusion, therein, are located at the site of the proposed work. Currently unknown archeological, scientific, prehistoric, or historical data may be lost or destroyed 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.