U.S. Army Corps In Reply to Application Number
of Engineers NAB-OP-RMS(WSSC – JOHN HANSON HIGHWAY)
Baltimore District 2012-61326
PN 13-60 Comment Period: October 2, 2013 to November 2, 2013
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.
The 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: Ms. Cheryl Phillips Young
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC)
14501 Sweitzer Drive
Laurel, Maryland 20707
LOCATION: The work is located in jurisdictional wetlands and unnamed tributaries that drain to Bald Hill Branch along Martin Luther King Jr. Highway (MD 704) and John Hanson Highway (US 50) from north of the intersection of MD 704 and Whitfield Chapel Road to just east of the intersection of US 50 and Lottsford Vista Road, near Mitchellville, Prince George’s County, Maryland.
WORK: To temporarily emplace approximately 2,709 square feet of 2-foot wide sandbag berms in four sections for stream diversion for construction access; to emplace approximately 44,964 square feet of marsh mats; to convert, by mechanical clearing with heavy equipment, 44,964 square feet of forested non-tidal wetland to scrub-shrub wetland; and to emplace approximately 117 cubic yards for 6 sections of stone along the toe of the bank at utility line stream crossings, all for the installation of 9,300 linear feet of 36-inch diameter water main, all temporarily impacting approximately 44,964 square feet of forested non-tidal wetland and 74,928 square feet along 669 linear feet of stream and permanently impacting approximately 60 square feet of emergent non-tidal wetland and 1,065 square feet along 277 linear feet of stream. All work will be completed in accordance with the enclosed plan(s). If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Ms. Vera Jaffe of this office at 410-962-6144 or email at Vera.B.Jaffe@usace.army.mil.
Avoidance and minimization measures were incorporated into the proposed project by minimizing the project’s design to meet the project purpose. According to the applicant, the proposed impacts cannot be avoided since avoidance would not allow the project purpose to be achieved. The proposed construction access alignment has been revised to reduce temporary wetland impacts from 62,446 square feet to 44,964 square feet. Impacts from stone toe stream bank stabilization, reduced from 2,751 to 1,065 square feet, have been minimized to the maximum extent practicable while still protecting the proposed infrastructure. No compensatory mitigation is proposed for this project since the proposed permanent impacts are for bank stabilization and protection of the proposed infrastructure.
The purpose of the project is to install a water main.
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 effect essential fish habitat (EFH).
The project site does not lie in or adjacent to EFH as described under MSFCMA. The project is unlikely to adversely affect EFH or the species of concern by alteration of spawning, nursery, forage and/or shelter habitat.
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, P.O. Box 1715, Baltimore, Maryland, 21203 within the comment period specified above.
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.
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 not affect Federal 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.
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, P.O. Box 1715, Baltimore, Maryland 21203, 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.
FOR THE DISTRICT ENGINEER:
Kathy B. Anderson
Chief, Maryland Section Southern