PN 21-06 NAB-2020-61392 (BGE Bush River Crossing/Utility Line) Harford

Published Feb. 19, 2021
Expiration date: 3/20/2021

                    Public Notice                    

U.S. Army Corps             In Reply to Application Number
of Engineers                    NAB-2020-61392 (BGE Bush River Crossing/Utility Line)

Baltimore District          
PN 21-06                           Comment Period: February 19, 2021 to March 20, 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:

APPLICANT:  Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE)
                         Attn: Mr. Greg Kappler
                         1699 Leadenhall Street
                         Baltimore, Maryland 21230

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The proposed project is located over and near the shores of Bush River, within the existing and maintained approximately 130-foot wide utility line right-of-way easement (ROW) and proposed easements, beginning at the northeast terminus near the shores of Bush River in Perryman, Harford County, Maryland and ending at the southeast terminus located near the shores of Bush River in Edgewood, Harford County, Maryland. (Latitude: 39.435544; Longitude: -76.242324)

OVERALL PROJECT PURPOSE:  To replace the existing BGE 115 kV aerial electrical transmission line crossing of the Bush River to improve overall system reliability and safety.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:  To rebuild approximately 1.3 miles of existing overhead 115 kV electrical transmission line within the existing 130-foot wide utility ROW and proposed easements, by emplacing temporary construction matting for equipment access and maneuvering to upgrade and replace three double circuit steel lattice poles (one on each shore and one located in Bush River) and four single circuit wood H-frames (two on each side of the river), with nine galvanized steel monopole structures. The project would result in permanent impacts to approximately 7,516 square feet (0.17 acres) of nontidal wetlands for new pole installation and permanent access roads, permanent impacts to approximately 900 square feet (0.02 acres) of tidal wetlands for pole installation in Bush River, temporary matting impacts to approximately 105,730 square feet (2.43 acres) of nontidal wetlands and 12,406 square feet (0.28 acres) of tidal wetlands, and approximately 3,715 linear feet of overhead line replacement work above tidal portions of Bush River. Existing poles planned for removal, would be cut below the marsh surface elevation and then hauled off-site to an upland disposal (non-wetland) site. All work is to be completed in accordance with the attached plan(s).



Effect Duration

Resource Type/ Amount(sq.ft/lf)


Construction Matting

Temporary Fill

Nontidal Wetlands/ 105,730 sq. ft.

Section 404

8 Utility Pole/ Foundation Structures

Permanent Fill

Nontidal Wetlands/519 sq. ft.

Section 404

Access Roads

Permanent Fill

Nontidal wetlands/6,997 sq. ft.

Section 404

1 Utility Pole/ Foundation 

Permanent Fill

Tidal Wetlands/900 sq. ft.

Section 10/Section 404

Construction Matting

Temporary Fill

Tidal Wetlands/12,406 sq. ft.

Section 404

Overhead Line Replacement/

Temporary Work

Tidal Open Waters/3,715 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 7,516 square feet of permanent nontidal wetland and 900 square feet of tidal wetland impacts necessary to replace existing deteriorated pole structures with new self-supporting steel monopole structures and access roads to new structures, all other impacts are temporary in duration. 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. The proposed construction work to replace approximately 3,715 linear feet of conductor/static wire above tidal portions of Bush River is temporary in duration. The existing utility pole structures would be cut below the wetland ground surface and the area restored to pre-existing conditions, allowing nontidal wetland areas post-disturbance to re-establish and be self-mitigating. In order to compensate for permanent impacts to nontidal wetlands, BGE has an agreement with Ecotone, Inc. and plans to purchase 17,424 square feet (0.4 acre) of available credits from the Peige Mitigation Bank, Baltimore County, Maryland, which is located within the Gunpowder-Patapsco Watershed (HUC 8-Digit 02060003). The project is located in the primary service area of the Peige Mitigation Bank.

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-2020-61392.

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:

Mrs. April E. Sparkman
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District
Attn: Regulatory Branch
2 Hopkins Plaza
Baltimore, MD 21201

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. April E. Sparkman at 410-962-0148 or by email at  This public notice is issued by the Chief, Regulatory Branch.