March 13, 2015
SUBJECT: Maintenance Dredging, The Inlet at Ocean City, Worcester County, Maryland
PUBLIC NOTICE – CENAB-OP-N-15-01
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
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 of the Ocean City Inlet, Ocean City, Maryland.
Ocean City inlet is authorized to a depth of 10 feet and width of 200 feet from that depth in the Atlantic Ocean through the inlet to the project harbor (See Map 1). Material will be removed to the project depth of 10 feet plus two feet of allowable overdepth.
One project of “The Ocean City Maryland and Vicinity Water Resources Study” is to bypass sand that the jetties at the inlet have captured or diverted from continuing to Assateague. The existing federal navigation channels at Ocean City have been identified as potential borrow sites. Areas along the Assateague shoreline were identified for placement. The project has been ongoing since 2004 with dredging and placement occurring in the spring and fall of each year.
Approximately 30,000 cubic yards of material consisting primarily of medium to coarse sand, are to be hydraulically dredged using one of the Corps’ special use hopper dredges. Dredged material from the inlet will be placed in the surf zone at existing sites currently being used as placement for sand bypassing (Map 2).
A review of data generated for preparation of the Environmental Assessment, 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 placement site has been previously used, therefore, the environmental documentation for this project is anticipated to be a Categorical Exclusion and a Record of Environmental Consideration that will be available upon request. A review of this work and previous evaluations of historical dredging and placement operations indicate that the proposed work will not adversely affect listed species or their critical habitat pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as amended. 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 also complies with the provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended, and as such, will not have any adverse affect on essential fish habitat for federally managed species.
Maintenance of the project is being coordinated with the following Federal, State and local agencies: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Department of Commerce, National Marine Fisheries Service; State of Maryland, Department of the Environment, Department of Natural Resources, and Maryland Historical Trust; and Worcester County.
The decision whether to accomplish the work proposed in the 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 the 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 and cultural values, navigation, energy needs, economics, recreation, safety, water quality, food production, and in general, the needs and welfare of the people.
Designation of the proposed placement sites 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 that 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 within 30 days of the date of this notice and must clearly set forth the interest that may be affected and the manner in which the interest may be affected by this activity. The environmental documentation for this project is anticipated to be an Environmental Assessment and a Finding of No Significant Impact or a Record of Environmental Consideration, which will be available upon request.
It is requested that you communicate the foregoing information concerning proposed work to any persons known by you to be interested and whom not being known to this office, do not receive a copy of this notice.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, will apply 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 of the 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 Mrs. Danielle Szimanski at (410) 962-6064 or Robert Blama at (410)962-6068.
Dianne B. Edwardson
Chief, Operations Division