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PN15-71 (DELMARVA POWER & LIGHT/LORETTO TO FRUITLAND) 2015-60872 - Wicomico County

Posted: 10/29/2015

Expiration date: 11/18/2015

                                     Public Notice                                               

U.S. Army Corps               In Reply to Application Numbers

of Engineers                      CENAB-OP-RMS (DELMARVA POWER & LIGHT/ LORETTO

Baltimore District             TO FRUITLAND) 2015-60872


PN 15-71                             Comment Period: October 29, 2015 to November 18, 2015



This District has received an application for a Department of the Army permit pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33. U.S.C. 1344) as described below:

APPLICANT:          Delmarva Power & Light

                                Mr. Mark Marini

                               401 Eagle Run Road

                                Newark, Delaware 19714

LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK:  In the headwater nontidal wetlands adjacent to Passerdyke Creek, Barkley Branch, Peggy Neck Branch and Tangs Creek and unnamed tributaries to these waters along the existing Delmarva Power & Light Right of Way, from Loretto Substation in Eden, Somerset County to the Fruitland Substation in Fruitland, Wicomico County, Maryland.

WORK AND PURPOSE:  To replace, the existing static wire with optical ground wire (OPGW) along 4.5 miles of existing transmission line and to replace 15 existing poles, two of which are located in nontidal wetlands.  The OPGW would replace existing static wire and would be strung along the top of each pole structure.  The project is 4.5 miles long  which involves replacement of 2 poles in wetlands that would impact approximately 14.14 square feet (0.00032 acres) of nontidal wetlands and temporary use of construction matting that would impact approximately 136,853.87 square feet (3.14 acres) of nontidal wetlands.  The work also includes three temporary bridge structures that would be placed over waterways to allow access and avoid in-water impacts.  No wetland conversion is proposed for these projects. All work will be completed in accordance with the enclosed plan(s).  If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Mr. Eugene Morgenthaler at 410-820-8629.

As part of the planning process for the proposed project, steps were taken to ensure avoidance and minimization of impacts to aquatic resources to the maximum extent practicable.   Proposed pole locations have been moved wherever possible to avoid wetlands, in consideration of the ROW constraints and distance possible between pole requirements.  Compensatory mitigation is not proposed by the applicant.

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 reasonable 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, 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 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, P.O. Box 1715, Baltimore, Maryland 21203-1715 within the comment period specified above.

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 affect essential fish habitat (EFH).   


The project site does not lie in or adjacent to EFH as described under MSFCMA. The project is unlikely to adversely affect EFH or the species of concern by alteration of spawning, nursery, forage and/or shelter habitat. 

WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION:  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, Montgomery Park Business Center, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 430, Baltimore, Maryland 21230-1708 within the comment period as specified above to receive consideration.  The Section 401 certifying agency has a statutory limit of one year from the date of this public notice to make its decision.

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 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 request permit.

The evaluation of the impact of this project 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 request, which must be in writing, must be received by the District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, P.O. Box 1715, Baltimore, Maryland 21203-1715, within the comment period as specified above to receive consideration.  Also it must clearly set forth the interest which may be adversely affected by this activity and the manner in which the interest may be adversely affected.

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


                                                            KATHY B. ANDERSON

                                                            Chief, Maryland Section Southern

Barkley Branch Delmarva Power & Light Fruitland Loretto Passerdyke Creek Peggy Neck Branch Somerset County Tangs Creek Wicomico