PN 21-02 NAB-2020-60183 (DPL E. New Market to Cambridge/Utility Line Rebuild) Dorchester County

Published Jan. 15, 2021
Expiration date: 1/29/2021

                    Public Notice                    

U.S. Army Corps    In Reply to Application Number
of Engineers           NAB-2020-60183 (DPL E. New Market to Cambridge/Utility Line Rebuild)
Baltimore District                     

PN 21-02                   Comment Period: January 15, 2021 to January 29, 2021 


This District has received an application for a Department of the Army permit pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (33 USC 403) and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 USC 1344),as described below:

Delmarva Power and Light Company (DPL)
Attn: Mr. Sean Francis
401 Eagle Run Road
Newark, Delaware 19714

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The proposed project is located in Shoal Creek, Hurst Creek, Choptank River, White Hall Creek, Indian Creek, and Warwick River, entirely within the existing and maintained approximately 150-foot wide by 11.3-mile long utility line right-of-way easement (ROW), beginning at the Cambridge Substation and ending at the East New Market Substation, in Dorchester County, Maryland. (Latitude: 38.56; Longitude: -75.075)

OVERALL PROJECT PURPOSE:  Improve overall system reliability and safety along the existing electrical transmission line. 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. .  

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:  To rebuild approximately 11.3 miles of existing overhead 69 kV electrical transmission line (DPL Circuit No. 6719), entirely within the existing 150-foot wide utility ROW, by emplacing temporary construction matting for equipment access and maneuvering to upgrade and replace in-kind 7 utility poles and replace 15 existing wooden pole structures with new steel monopole structures. The project would result in permanent impacts to approximately 351 square feet (0.01 acres) of nontidal wetlands for new pole installation and  temporary matting impacts to approximately 211,723 square feet (4.86 acres) of nontidal wetlands.  The work includes approximately 218 linear feet of overhead utility line replacement work elevated a minimum of 34 feet to a maximum of 83 feet above tidal portions of Indian Creek. Existing poles planned for removal would be cut below the marsh surface elevation and hauled off-site to an upland disposal (non-wetland) site. All work is proposed in accordance with the attached plan(s).



Effect Duration

Resource Type/ Amount



Marsh Matting

Temporary Fill

Nontidal Wetlands/211,723 sq.ft

Section 404

22 Utility Pole/ Foundation Structures

Permanent Fill

Nontidal Wetlands/351 sq.ft

Section 404

Overhead Line Replacement/

Temporary Work

Tidal Open Waters/218 lf

Section 10/Tidal Crossing

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:  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 (WOTUS) to the maximum extent practicable. Except for approximately 289 square feet (sq.ft) of permanent nontidal wetland impacts necessary to replace 15 existing deteriorated wooden pole structures with new self-supporting steel monopole structures, all other impacts would be temporary in duration and would be the result of emplacing temporary construction access matting within nontidal wetland areas occurring within the existing and maintained utility 150-foot wide ROW. The work to replace utility pole structures either in-kind or with new steel monopoles would be direct embedded and located approximately 5- to 10-feet from the existing pole location along the ROW in nontidal wetlands. The existing utility pole structures would be cut below the wetland surface elevation grade and the area restored to pre-existing conditions, allowing nontidal wetland areas post-disturbance to re-establish and be self-mitigating. Out of a total of 286 structures (190 transmission, 96 distribution), 22 structures would be located within wetlands. The applicant has proposed using interlocking composite construction access matting to minimize the potential for prolonged wetland/soil compaction, rutting, and vegetation destruction to access transmission/distribution structures and to perform overall maintenance to existing cross-arm, static wire/conductor structures. Due to the linear nature of the project and the route being limited to the existing ROW, there are few options available for complete avoidance of WOTUS. Existing access roads currently used during regular ROW maintenance activities would be utilized to the greatest extent possible. Temporary construction access within wetlands was designed to be the minimum width required for construction vehicle access. No matting is proposed in tidal wetlands or waterways.   The proposed work to replace approximately 218 linear foot portion of conductor/static wire above tidal portions of Indian Creek would be temporary in duration, thus minimizing potential impacts to navigation. 

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:  The lead federal agency is responsible for Endangered Species Act coordination.  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.

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT:  The lead federal agency is responsible for Essential Fish Habitat coordination.   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), including species of concern, life cycle habitat, or Habitat Areas of Particular Concern. The project site lies in or adjacent to EFH as described under MSFCMA for managed species under the MSFCMA. The Baltimore District has made a preliminary determination that the project will not have a substantial adverse effect on EFH.  The Baltimore District has made a preliminary determination that mitigative measures are not required to minimize adverse effects on EFH at this time. This determination may be modified if additional information indicates otherwise.

HISTORIC RESOURCES:  The lead federal agency is responsible for historic resources coordination.   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 adverse 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. The lead federal agency is responsible for tribal coordination. 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.

MODIFICATION OF CIVIL WORKS PROJECTS:  33 USC 408 (SECTION 408):  All Section 408 proposals will be coordinated internally at USACE. The Section 408 decision will be issued along with the Section 404 and/or Section 10 decision.  Please see the following link for more information regarding Section 408:

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

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 (CZM) Program. By this public notice, we are requesting the State concurrence or objection to the applicant’s consistency statement.

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

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-2020-60183.

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, need to be received within the comment period as specified above in order to receive consideration.  Also, the public hearing request(s) must clearly set forth the interest which may be adversely affected by this activity and the way the interest may be adversely affected.  The public hearing request may be submitted by email or mailed to the following address:

Mr. Jason Peters
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District
Attn: Regulatory Branch, Easton Field Office
Talbottown Shopping Center
218 N. Washington Street, Suite 304
Easton, Maryland 21601

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 Mr. Jason Peters at 410-820-8550 or by email at  This public notice is issued by the Chief, Regulatory Branch.