PN18-13 (Excelbert, Stephen & Ellen) - 2017-61398 - Talbot Co.

Published March 2, 2018
Expiration date: 3/22/2018

 Public Notice                                                                  

U.S. Army Corps              In Reply to Application Number

of Engineers                     CENAB-OPR-MN (EXCELBERT, STEPHEN & ELLEN)     

Baltimore District             2017-61398


PN 18-13                                             Comment Period: March 2, 2018 – March 22, 2018 




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


APPLICANT:          Stephen and Ellen Exelbert

                                 6868 Thorneton Road

                                 Easton, Maryland 21601


WATERWAY AND LOCATION: In the Solitude Creek, Easton, Talbot County, Maryland.


PROPOSED WORK: To construct a living shoreline all within an approximately 3,620 square foot (.075 acre) area that includes tidal wetlands as follows: to create a marsh along 180 linear feet of shoreline by depositing approximately 133 cubic yards of sloped, clean select sand fill stabilized with Spartina alterniflora and Spartina patens to extend no more than 16.5 feet channelward of the approximate mean high water (MHW) shoreline and to emplace 180 linear feet of stone sill, 9-feet wide at the base and 2-feet wide at the top and 2-feet high (relative to MLW), with one 5-foot wide (at base) vent to extend no more than 24 feet channelward of the approximate MHW shoreline.  All work would be completed in accordance with the enclosed plans dated August 1, 2017.  If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Mr. Robert Fewster at 410-962-6144 or


The proposed planting terrace would encompass three areas of existing wetland vegetation: Area 1 of 265 square feet to be filled; Area 2 of 465 square feet to remain in-tact; and Area 3 of 70 square feet to be filled.  The proposed work would also encroach on approximately 1,500 square feet of mapped submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), but has been designed to avoid any SAV currently present. 


Project Purpose:  To stabilize the property shoreline and create marsh.


Avoidance/Minimization of Impacts:  Mapped SAV is present in the area.  While the project intersects with the mapped 2015 SAV, the existing SAV is farther offshore than the mapping layer and the project was designed to avoid any current SAV impacts.


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 proposed work will result in filling approximately 800 square feet of wetland vegetation, but will create approximately 2,000 square feet of wetland vegetation.  Compensatory mitigation is not being proposed by the applicant for impacts as the proposed project is creating more wetlands than it is affecting.


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


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, [Attn: Mr. Robert Fewster, CENAB-OPR-M], 2 Hopkins Place, Baltimore, Maryland, 21201 or within the comment period specified above.


ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT:  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 lies in or adjacent to EFH as described under MSFCMA for blue fish (Pomatomus saltatrix) all life stages; and summer flounder (Paralicthys dentatus) all life stages, all managed species under the MSFCMA.


The project has the potential to adversely affect EFH or the species of concern by loss of spawning, nursery, forage and/or shelter habitat as described under the MSFCMA for the species and life stages identified above.  The Baltimore District has made a preliminary determination that site-specific impacts would not be substantial and an abbreviated consultation will be conducted with NMFS.  This determination may be modified if additional information indicates otherwise and would change the preliminary determination.


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.


COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS:  The applicant has certified in this application

that the proposed activity complies with and will be conducted in a manner consistent with the approved Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program.  By this public notice, we are requesting the State concurrence or objection to the applicant’s consistency statement.  It should be noted that the CZM Program has a statutory limit of 6 months 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 may 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.


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, [Attn: Mr. Robert Fewster, CENAB-OPR-M], 2 Hopkins Place, Baltimore, Maryland 21201,  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 known by you to be interested and not being known to this office, who did not receive a copy of this notice.







Katherine B. Anderson

Chief, Maryland Section Southern