PN-20-38 NAB-2008-01999 (Jermyn Borough Flood Protection Project/Rush Brook)

Published June 22, 2020
Expiration date: 7/7/2020

                    Public Notice                   
U.S. Army Corps          In Reply to Application Number
of Engineers                 NAB-2008-01999 (Jermyn Borough Flood Protection Project/Rush

Baltimore District                     
PN-20-38                                                Comment Period: June 22, 2020 to July 7, 2020

The purpose of this public notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments.  A public notice for this project was issued on May 9, 2013 and this second notice is to re-inform the public of the project and its associated components.  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 USC 1344),as described below:

APPLICANT:  Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
                        Department of General Services
                        Bureau of Engineering and Architecture
                        18th and Herr Streets
                       Harrisburg, Pennsylvania  17125

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK:  The proposed project is located along three (3) different segments of Rush Brook, in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania.  The first is an approximate 148 linear foot segment located adjacent to the PA Route 107 in Carbondale Township; the second is an approximate 260 linear foot segment located on the northwest side of the PA Route 107 and Scranton Carbondale Road intersection in Mayfield Borough, and the third is an approximate 2,180 linear foot segment beginning on the southeast side of the PA Route 107 and Scranton Carbondale Road intersection and extending to near River Street, in Jermyn Borough. (Latitude: 41°32’22” N; Longitude: 75°33’16” W)

OVERALL PROJECT PURPOSE: See HQ SOP, July 2009, Section 12 and 33 CFR 325 App B 9(b)(4)  The Corps makes the determination of overall project purpose using the information provided by the applicant.  The overall project purpose is more specific than the basic project purpose and will help establish the geographic scope of the alternatives review.  The overall project purpose should be specific enough to define the applicant’s needs, but not so restrictive as to preclude all discussion of alternatives. .  To construct and provide a flood protection project for the 100-year flood event, for the residents along Rush Brook and the Borough of Jermyn, in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania.

PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant is seeking Section 404 authorization to construct a flood protection project along three (3) segments of Rush Brook.  The project will result in a total of approximately 2,588 linear feet (1.43 acres) of permanent impact to Rush Brook associated with stream bank stabilization activities, channel excavation, culvert installations, and the replacement of five (5) bridge structures.  A detailed description of the work being proposed at each of the three (3) segments of Rush Brook includes the following:  1.) Carbondale Township - Beginning at the upstream limits, the work includes temporary construction access and stream diversion along 148 linear feet of stream channel, the installation of approximately 120 linear feet of R-7 riprap along the left stream bank for stabilization, and excavation of the stream substrate;  2.) Mayfield Borough - Located on the northwest side of the PA Route 107 and PA Route 6 (Scranton Carbondale Road) intersection, the work includes temporary construction access and stream diversion along 260 linear feet of stream channel.  The work includes (a) the installation of the a steel H-pile trash rack comprised of eight steel pilings, measuring 6-feet long by 8-inch wide, concreted into a 14-inch diameter steel structure, spaced approximately 4-feet apart within the stream bed, extending the width of the stream channel; (b) construction of approximately 70 linear feet of precast concrete block wall along the left stream bank; (c) construction of approximately 180 linear feet of precast concrete block wall along the right stream bank; (d) excavation of stream substrate; and (e) removing selected trees within the 260 linear foot segment to allow for the construction of the concrete walls; 3.) Jermyn Borough - Located on the southeast side of the PA Route 107 and PA Route 6 (Scranton Carbondale Road) intersection, the work includes the construction of approximately 1,950 linear feet of precast concrete block walls along the left and right stream banks.  Existing conditions within this stream segment include approximately 1,325 linear feet of the stream channel being previously manipulated by the installation of a combination of gabion basket walls, concrete block walls, stone walls, bridges and culverts along the left and right stream banks.  The average width of the existing channel is approximately 20 feet; the proposed width will be approximately 22 feet along the length of the project.  In addition, existing material will be excavated within the stream channel invert along the entire 1,950 linear foot length of this stream segment.  The work also includes the replacement of five (5) bridge structures within this stream segment.  Four of the original bridge structures (located at Lincoln Avenue, Jefferson Avenue, Madison Avenue, and South Washington Avenue) are undersized and will be replaced with four, 22-foot wide by 8-foot long precast V-bottom box culvert with depressed inverts and alternating baffles.  The fifth bridge structure, on Johnson Court, is currently washed out and a new 22-foot wide by 8-foot long precast V-bottom concrete box culvert with depressed inverts and alternating baffles will be constructed at the same location.  Also, proposed within this stream segment are three (3) sections of embedded concrete V-shaped grade controls to match the V-shaped bottom of the proposed box culverts for the purpose of concentrating low flows in the middle of the stream to enhance movement of aquatic life and keep normal flow away from the toes of the concrete side walls.  Existing trees will be removed along the entire length of this stream segment to protect the stability and integrity of the concrete walls.  Lastly, a short earthen levee will be constructed in the uplands, adjacent to the downstream limits of the project, near River Street. 

The work is proposed in accordance with the enclosed plans.

LEAD FEDERAL AGENCY:  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as the lead federal agency, is responsible for all coordination pursuant to applicable federal authorities. 

APPLICANT’S PROPOSED AVOIDANCE, MINIMIZATION, AND COMPENSATORY MITIGATION:  Steps were taken to ensure avoidance and minimization of impacts to waters of the United States to the maximum extent possible.  The applicant has avoided using a trapezoidal channel within the stream and will leave the stream invert in its natural state, except at the culvert locations.  At the culvert replacement locations, the applicant has proposed alternating baffles along the invert that will allow passive sediment build-up along the culvert invert.  In addition, approximately 0.72 acre of compensatory mitigation is being proposed by the applicant for impacts to the 2,588 linear feet of stream.  A restored channel and floodplain riparian zone is being proposed at the Rush Brook and Lackawanna River confluence, located just downstream of the flood protection project impact area.  This will entail removing mining overburden located along the left bank of Rush Brook from its confluence with the Lackawanna River upstream approximately 400 linear feet.  This valley bottom will then be re-graded to form an alluvial fan system.  Based on utilizing the Pennsylvania Function Based Aquatic Resource Compensation Protocol (draft version), the applicant is providing sufficient functional compensation to offset project impacts.

CORPS EVALUATION REQUIREMENTS:  This project will be evaluated pursuant to Corps Regulatory Program Regulations (33 CFR Parts 320-332).  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 impact of this project will also include application of the Clean Water Act Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

ENDANGERED SPECIES:  A preliminary review of this application indicates that the proposed work will have no effect federally-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.

HISTORIC RESOURCES:  Pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966 and applicable guidance, the Corps has reviewed the latest published version of the National Register of Historic Places and initially determined that no registered properties listed as eligible for inclusion, therein, are located at the site of the proposed work.  The Corps has made the preliminary determination that the proposed project would have no effect on historic properties.  The Corps final eligibility and effect determination will be based on coordination with the State Historic Preservation Office as appropriate and required, and with full consideration given to the proposed undertaking’s potential direct and indirect effects on historic properties within the Corps’ identified permit area.

TRIBAL RESOURCES:  Section 106 of the NHPA also requires federal agencies to consult with federally-recognized American Indian tribes that attach religious and cultural significance to historic properties that may be affected by the agency’s undertaking.  Corps Tribal Consultation Policy mandates an open, timely, meaningful, collaborative, and effective deliberative communication process that emphasizes trust, respect, and shared responsibility.  The policy further emphasizes that, to the extent practicable and permitted by law, consultation works toward mutual consensus and begins at the earliest planning stages, before decisions are made and actions taken.  The Corps final eligibility and effect determination will be based on coordination with interested tribes, in accordance with the Corps current tribal standard operating procedures as appropriate and required, and with full consideration given to the proposed undertaking’s potential direct and indirect effects on tribal resources.

WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION:  The applicant is required to obtain a water quality certification in accordance with Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.   

SUBMISSION OF COMMENTS:  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 and are subject to release to the public through the Freedom of Information Act.  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 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District within the comment period specified above through postal mail at the address below or electronic submission to the project manager email address below. Written comments should reference the Application Number NAB-2008-01999-P13.

PUBLIC HEARING REQUESTS:  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 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.   The public hearing request may be submitted by electronic mail or mailed to the following address:

Amy Elliott
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District
Regulatory Branch
State College Field Office
1631 South Atherton Street
State College, PA  16801

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

General information regarding the Corps’ permitting process can be found on our website at  This public notice has been prepared in accordance with Corps implementing regulations at 33 CFR 325.3.  If you have any questions concerning this specific project, or would like to request a paper copy of this public notice, please contact Mrs. Amy Elliott, at 814-235-0573.  This public notice is issued by the Chief, Regulatory Branch.