Published Oct. 30, 2018
Expiration date: 11/13/2018

                   Public Notice                  

U.S. Army Corps             In Reply to Application Number
of Engineers                   NAB-2018-60096-P13 (Dr. William Smith)  
Baltimore District             

 PN 18-57                               Comment Period:  October 30, 2018 to November 13, 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:   Dr. William Smith
                         600 New Hampshire Avenue, Suite 610
                         Washington, DC  20037

 WATERWAY AND LOCATION: Black Walnut Cove, located at 4774 Bar Neck Road, Tilghman, in Talbot County, Maryland (Latitude: 38° 40’ 50”; Longitude: 76° 19’ 54”).

 PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: to construct 244 linear feet of riprap to extend no more than10 feet channelward of the existing bulkhead; to reconstruct 150-foot long by 6-foot wide pier with a 10-foot by 20-foot platform, construct a 12-foot long by 3-foot wide finger pier, install 6 mooring pilings, and install 2 pilings for a boat lift attached to the proposed pier, all, to extend no more than 165 feet channelward of the approximate mean high water (MHW) shoreline; and to create 6,474 square feet of living shoreline consisting of Spartina marsh grasses (2,365 square feet of low marsh/4,109 square feet of high marsh) that will extend no more than 25 feet channelward of the approximate MHW line. Approximately 3,600 square feet of existing vegetated wetlands would be impacted by the proposed fill.

 The purpose of the project is for rehabilitation/improvement to an existing private pier, along with shoreline stabilization that will also create and improve aquatic habitat.

 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. Compensatory mitigation is not being proposed by the applicant for impacts to the approximate 3,600 square feet of existing marsh vegetation since they are creating 6,474 square feet of intertidal wetlands vegetated with high and low marsh grasses.  All work is proposed to be completed in accordance with the attached plans.

 The Maryland SPGP-5 does not authorize the marsh creation with impacts to existing tidal wetlands.  Therefore the project must be processed as a standard permit.

 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.


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 affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH).  The project site lies in or adjacent to EFH as described under Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA) for adult Winter skate (Leucoraja ocellata) and Little skate (Leucoraja erinacea); juvenile and adult Clearnose skate (Raja eglanteria) and Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus);  juvenile Windowpane flounder (Scopthalmus aquosus); adult, juvenile, eggs, and larvae Red hake (Urophycis chuss); and adult, juvenile, and larvae Summer flounder (Paralicthys dentatus) and all managed species under the MSFCMA.

 The project has the potential to adversely affect EFH or the species of concern by the alteration of spawning, nursery, forage and/or shelter habitat. The project may have an adverse effect on an approximate total of 7,936 square feet of EFH shoreline area as described under the MSFCMA for the species and life stages identified above. This habitat consists the Atlantic coastal plain sediments. According to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) survey maps, SAV has been mapped in the immediate project area in 2015 and 2016.  The proposed project overlaps the mapped SAV by approximately 936 square feet (location of the pier).  Moderate SAV bed density (40 to 60% cover) was mapped with 2016 data.  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.  No mitigative measures are recommended at this time to minimize adverse effects on EFH. This preliminary determination may be modified if additional information indicates otherwise and could change the Corps’ preliminary determination.

 WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION AND COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM: On March 28, 2018, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) issued the required authorization under their Tidal Wetlands Division. The applicant, therefore, has obtained a water quality certification in accordance with Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the MDE and the activity complies with and will be conducted in a manner consistent with the approved Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program.

 The applicant must obtain any other state or local government permits which may be required.

 ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT: A preliminary review of this application indicates that the proposed work will have no effect on Federal listed threatened or endangered species or their critical habitat, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as amended because water depths in the project area are less than -3.0 feet mean low water (MLW). As the evaluation of this application continues, additional information may become available which could modify this preliminary determination.

 NATIONAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION ACT: 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 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, State College Field Office, 1631 South Atherton Street, Suite 101, State College, Pennsylvania, 16801 within the comment period specified above.

 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, State College Field Office, 1631 South Atherton Street, Suite 101, State College, Pennsylvania, 16801 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.

 If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Mrs. Amy Elliott of this office at (814) 235-0573 or via email at  



                                                                        Wade B. Chandler
                                                                        Chief, Pennsylvania Section
                                                                        Regulatory Branch