PN OP-N-14-01: Maintenance Dredging, Wicomico River, Wicomico County, Maryland

Published April 10, 2014
Expiration date: 5/10/2014

Pursuant to Sections 313 and 404 of the Clean Water Act of 1977 (33 USC 1323 and 1344) NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT pending availability of funds the Baltimore District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposes to perform maintenance dredging of the Federal navigation channel in Wicomico River, Wicomico County, Maryland.

The proposed work consists of dredging the channel to the authorized depth of 14 feet mean lower low water (MLL W), plus 1 foot of allowable overdepth. However, due to the inaccuracies in dredging, there may be some material removed beyond the allowable overdepth.

Approximately 100,000 cubic yards (CY) of material consisting primarily of mud, silt, sand, shell, gravel, and combinations thereof, are to be dredged using a hydraulic pipeline dredge from the upper reach of the Federal channel between Upper Ferry and Salisbury and placed in an existing dike upland placement site (Map 1 ). This placement site, known as Sharps Point, was most recently used by the Baltimore District for dredged material placement during 2011. The dikes at this site may be refurbished to accommodate the dredged material.

A review of data generated for preparation of the environmental documentation, including a preliminary 404(b) (1) evaluation, indicates that no significant environmental impacts are expected and that preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement is not warranted. National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) documentation addressing the environmental issues of the dredging and placement operation is being prepared. The proposed maintenance dredging complies with and will be conducted in a manner consistent with the approved Maryland Coastal Zone Management Program. The proposed project will also comply with the Endangered Species Act and provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended, and as such, will not have any adverse affect on endangered species or essential fish habitat for federally managed species. Since the placement site has been previously used, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEP A) documentation for this project is anticipated to be a Categorical Exclusion and a Record of Environmental Consideration, which will be available upon request.

Maintenance of the project is being coordinated with the following Federal, State and local agencies: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Department oflnterior, Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Department of Commerce, National Marine Fisheries Service; Maryland Department ofNatural Resources; Maryland Department of the Environment; Maryland Historical Trust; and Wicomico County, Maryland.

The decision whether to accomplish the work proposed in this public notice will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact of the proposed work on the public interest. The decision will reflect the national concern for the protection and utilization of important resources. The benefit, which reasonably 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; among those are conservation, aesthetics, fish and wildlife values, general environmental concerns, economics, historic values, navigation, energy needs, recreation, safety, water quality, food production, and in general, the needs and welfare of the people.

Designation of the proposed placement site for dredged material associated with this Federal project shall be made through the application of guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency, in conjunction with the Secretary of the Army. If these guidelines alone prohibit the designation of the proposed placement site, any potential impairment to the maintenance of navigation including any economic impact on navigation and anchorage which would result from the failure to use the placement site will also be considered.

Any person who has an interest which may be affected by the placement of this dredged material may request a public hearing. The request must be submitted in writing to the District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, PO Box 1715, Baltimore, Maryland 21203-1715, within 30 days of the date of this notice and must clearly set forth the interest which may be affected and the manner in which the interest may be affected by this activity.

This Public Notice is application for Water Quality Certification from the State of Maryland, which is required by Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. Any comments relating to water quality concerns should also be forwarded to the Maryland Department of the Environment, Standards and Certification, Montgomery Park Business Center, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 430, Baltimore, Maryland, 21230, within 30 days ofthe date of this notice.

Since we are not aware of all persons interested in the project, we request that you provide this information to anyone whom has interest. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Robert Blama at ( 41 0) 962-6068 or