U.S. Army Corps In Reply to Application Number
of Engineers CENAB-OP-RMS (DELMARVA POWER & LIGHT/CHURCH
Baltimore District SUBSTATION TO STEELE SUBSTATION) 2014-00289
PN 15-72 Comment Period: October 30, 2015 to November 19, 2015
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.
This 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: Delmarva Power & Light
Ms. Annina Hazel
PO Box 9239
Newark, Delaware 19714-9239
LOCATION: In nontidal headwater wetlands adjacent to and over tributaries of: Andover Branch, Unicorn Branch, Long Marsh Ditch, Cool Spring Branch, Choptank River, Spring Branch, and Chapel Branch within the existing Right-Of-Way (ROW) of Circuit 13701 from the Church Substation near Millington to the Steele Substation near Denton, Queen Anne’s and Caroline Counties, Maryland.
WORK: To rebuild/replace an existing 25.5 mile long 138 kV transmission line entirely within the existing right of way by replacing the existing H-frame wood structures with approximately 180 steel monopole structures raised 40-55 feet in height, resulting a permanent impact to a total of 388 square feet or 0.001 acre of nontidal wetlands; replacing the conductor and optical ground wires; and utilizing construction matting which would temporarily impact approximately 130,551 square feet or 3.0 acres. The project includes to restore temporarily impacted wetlands to their original condition. There are no in stream impacts proposed. If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Mr. Rod Schwarm at 410-820-8550
PURPOSE: to improve electrical supply to meet local electricity demands.
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 to the maximum extent practicable. The majority of the project would be replacement of existing poles in close proximity to the original wooden pole position. Portions of the utility line were re-aligned within the existing right of way to reduce the number of poles within wetlands and to reduce impacts to waters of the United States. The new single-pole steel structures are proposed in close proximity to current pole locations to reduce impacts to existing wetland habitat and the existing poles would be cut at the substrate and disposed at an off-site location to reduce permanent impacts and soil disturbance within wetland areas. The applicant has proposed to remediate all temporary access impacts following completion of the work. Compensatory mitigation is not being proposed by the applicant for permanent impacts to nontidal wetlands.
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). 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 21203-1715 within the comment period specified above.
WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: 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 Business Center, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 430, Baltimore, Maryland 21230- 1708 within the comment period as specified above to receive consideration. The above
which relate to water quality certification must be received by the Wetlands and Waterways Program, Maryland Department of the Environment, Montgomery Park 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 21203-1715, 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.
I[t is requested that you communicate this information concerning the proposed work to any persons know by you to be interested and not being known to this office, who did not receiv a copy of this notice.
FOR THE DISTRICT ENGINEER:
KATHY B. ANDERSON
Chief, Maryland Section Southern