Army Corps In Reply to Application Number
of Engineers NAB-2018-61632-P12 (Wicomico Recreation And Park – Riverside Boat Ramp)
PN 19-15 Comment Period: March 7, 2019 to March 21, 2019
THE PURPOSE OF THIS PUBLIC NOTICE IS TO SOLICIT COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC REGARDING THE WORK DESCRIBED BELOW. NO DECISION HAS BEEN MADE AS TO WHETHER OR NOT A PERMIT WILL BE ISSUED AT THIS TIME.
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: Mr. Chuck Poole
Wicomico County Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism
500 Glen Avenue
Salisbury, Maryland 21804
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The project is located in Wicomico River at the Riverside Park, at 538 Riverside Drive, Salisbury, Wicomico County, Maryland.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The applicant proposes to reconstruct an existing 2-lane boat ramp and associated structures to allow for handicap access. The work would be completed through the construction of a 77.4 foot long by 43.9 foot wide boat ramp with wingwalls, resulting in the discharge of 340 cubic yards of dredged and/or fill below the mean high water line, and a 60.2 foot long by 8 foot wide floating pier with steel guide pile, extending a maximum of 56.9 feet channelward of the mean high water line.
Construction of the concrete ramp will be completed in the dry, using a cofferdam to dewater the area prior to construction.
No work is proposed in any designated federal navigation channels, however the project is located within 20 linear feet of a federal navigation channel.
No impacts to wetlands are proposed. Compensatory mitigation is not being proposed by the applicant. The purpose of the project is to improve navigable access to Wicomico River and to provide handicap access.
All work would be completed in accordance with the enclosed plan(s).
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, State College Field Office, Attention: Mr. Michael Dombroskie, 1631 South Atherton Street, Suite 101, State College, Pennsylvania 16801 within the comment period specified above.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 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 on all actions, or proposed actions, permitted, funded, or undertaken by the agency that may adversely effect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH).
According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resource’s Merlin on-line database, EFH was identified within the Wicomico Creek project area. The Wicomico Creek main stem has been identified as EFH, as described under Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, for adult Little Skate (Leucoraja erinacea) and Winter Skate (Leucoraja ocellata); Juvenile and adult Atlantic Herring (Clupea harengus) and Clearnose Skate (Raja eglanteria); Juvenile Windowpane Flounder (Scopthalmus aquosus); and Adult and Eggs/Larvae/Juvenile Red Hake (Urophycis chuss).
The project has the potential to adversely affect EFH or the species of concern by the alteration of spawning, nursery, forage, and shelter habitat. The project may have an adverse effect on an approximate total of 0.06 acre area of EFH as describe under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act for the species and life stages identified above. This habitat consists of mostly silt substrate which does not support Submerged Aquatic Vegetation. The Baltimore District has made a preliminary determination that site-specific impacts would not be substantial and an abbreviated consultation will be conducted with National Marine Fisheries Service. 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: 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: Where applicable, 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 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 Coastal Zone Management 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 will affect federal listed threatened or endangered species or their critical habitat, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as amended. The project is located in an area occupied by the following ESA species: Shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum); Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus); Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas); Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii); Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta); and Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). The Baltimore District has made a preliminary determination that site-specific impacts could occur and an abbreviated consultation will be conducted with National Marine Fisheries Service. Mitigative measures are recommended at this time by this office to minimize adverse effects on ESA species. 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, State College Field Office Attention: Mr. Michael Dombroskie, Project Manager, Pennsylvania Section, 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.
If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact: Mr. Michael Dombroskie, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, 1631 South Atherton Street, Suite 101, State College, Pennsylvania, 16801, email: Mike.Dombroskie@usace.army.mil, or telephone (814) 235-0571.
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.
FOR THE DISTRICT ENGINEER:
Wade B. Chandler
Chief, Pennsylvania Section