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PN15-11 (Delmarva Power and Light Co/North Salisbury to Worcester) - Worcester County

Posted: 2/9/2015

Expiration date: 3/9/2015


               Public Notice                                               

U.S. Army Corps               In Reply to Application Number                          

of Engineers                      CENAB-OP-RMS (Delmarva Power and Light Co/North   

Baltimore District                Salisbury to Worcester) 2014-61657

PN 15-11                               Comment Period: February 9, 2015 to March 9, 2015

                                     

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

 

The Baltimore District has received an application for a Department of the Army (DA) permit pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344), as described below:

 

APPLICANT:               Delmarva Power & Light

                                    C/o Annina Hazel

                                    401 Eagle Run Road

                                    Newark, Delaware 19714

 

LOCATION:  In the Wicomico River and adjacent wetlands; wetlands adjacent to unnamed tributaries of the Wicomico River and adjacent wetlands; Brewington Branch and adjacent wetlands; Middle Neck Branch and adjacent wetlands; Peggy Branch and adjacent wetlands; South Prong of the Wicomico River and adjacent wetlands; Burnt Mill Branch and adjacent wetlands; the Pocomoke River and adjacent wetlands; Whaleyville Branch; Longridge Branch within an existing right of way for Circuit 6741 from North Salisbury substation on Richardson Street in Salisbury, Wicomico County, Maryland to the Worcester substation on Route 346 in Berlin, Worcester County, Maryland.

 

WORK:  The proposed project would upgrade an existing electrical line on wooden poles. The applicant proposes to cut the existing wooden poles at grade and remove to an upland disposal site; to replace approximately 20 miles of a 69 kV electrical utility line, including the replacement of wooden poles, as necessary, with 75 to 85-foot tall single-pole steel structures driven directly into the ground; 6-foot diameter self-supporting running angle with concrete foundation; or placed within a 4-foot, 4.5-foot, or 6-foot diameter poured concrete caisson. The project would include the installation of 24 new single-pole steel structures within non-tidal wetlands, resulting in permanent impacts to approximately 356 square feet of nontidal wetlands.  The proposed project would also include the replacement of approximately 200 linear feet of overheard utility line approximately 28.5 feet above the mean high water level of the Wicomico River.  All work is to be completed in accordance with the proposed plan(s). More detailed impact plates are available upon request.  If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Ms. Laura Shively of this office at (410) 962-6011 or via email at laura.shively@usace.army.mil.

Temporary composite interlocking mats would be utilized during construction and would result in temporary impacts to approximately 5.31 acres (231,275 square feet) of nontidal wetlands. The applicant proposes to remediate impacts to wetlands associated with the utilization of mats following completion of construction.

The project includes realignment of a portion of the utility line within the existing right of way to replace existing poles within wetlands with poles in upland areas of the existing right of way to reduce impacts to wetlands for potential future maintenance.

As part of the planning process for the proposed project, steps were taken to ensure avoidance and minimization of impacts to waters of the United States to the maximum extent practicable. The majority of the project would be replacement of existing poles in close proximity to the original wooden pole position. Portions of the utility line were re-aligned within the existing right of way to reduce the number of poles within wetlands and to reduce impacts to waters of the United States. The new single-pole steel structures are proposed in close proximity to current pole locations to reduce impacts to existing wetland habitat and the existing poles would be cut at the substrate and disposed at an off-site location to reduce permanent impacts and soil disturbance within wetland areas. The applicant has proposed to remediate all temporary access impacts following completion of the work. Compensatory mitigation is not being proposed by the applicant for permanent impacts to nontidal wetlands.

The purpose of the project is to improve electrical supply to meet local electricity demands.

 

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA), as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996 (Public Law 04-267), requires all Federal agencies to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on all actions, or proposed actions, permitted, funded, or undertaken by the agency that may adversely effect essential fish habitat (EFH).   The project site does not lie in or adjacent to EFH as described under the MSFCMA.

 

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, 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, 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 provided will become part of the public record for this action.  Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity. Written comments concerning the work described above related to the factors listed above or other pertinent factors must be received by the District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, PO Box 1715, Baltimore, Maryland 21203-1715, within the comment period as specified above to receive consideration.

 

The applicant is required to obtain a water quality certification in accordance with Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the Maryland Department of the Environment.  Any written comments concerning the work described above which relate to water quality certification must be received by the Wetlands and Waterways Program, Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Blvd. Suite 430, Baltimore, Maryland 21230 within the comment period as specified above to receive consideration.  The 401 certifying agency has a statutory limit of one year to make its decision. 

 

The applicant has certified in this application that the proposed activity complies with and will be conducted in a manner consistent with the Maryland Coastal Zone Program.  This certification statement is available for inspection in the District Office; however, public comments relating to consistency must be received by the Coastal Zone Division, Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Blvd. Suite 430, Baltimore, Maryland 21230, within the comment period as specified above.  It should be noted that CZ Division has a statutory limit of 6 months in which to make its consistency determination.

 

The applicant must obtain any State or local government permits, which may be required.

 

A preliminary review of this application indicates that the proposed work will not affect listed 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 permit.

 

The evaluation of the impact of the work described above on the public interest will include application of the guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under authority of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Any person who has an interest, which may be adversely affected by the issuance of this permit, may request a public hearing.  The District Engineer must receive the request, which must be in writing, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, PO Box 1715, Baltimore, Maryland 21203-1715, within the comment period as specified as above to receive consideration.  Also, it must clearly state forth the interest that may be adversely affected by this activity in the manner in which the interest may be adversely affected.

 

It is requested that you communicate the foregoing information concerning the proposed work to any persons known by you to be interested and not being known to this office, who did not receive a copy of this notice.

 

FOR THE DISTRICT ENGINEER:

 

 

                                                                                    Kathy B. Anderson

                                                                                    Chief, Maryland Section Southern        

Brewington Branch Delmarva North Salisbury Peggy Branch South Prong substation worcester county