PN16-28 (MD DNR/Smoot Bay) 2015-61463 - Prince George's County

Published May 3, 2016
Expiration date: 6/3/2016

                                        Public Notice                                        

U.S. Army Corps             In Reply to Application Number                        

of Engineers                   CENAB-OP-RMS (MD DNR-SMOOT BAY )2015-61463                   

 Baltimore District                                


  PN 16-28                        Comment Period: May 3, 2016 to June 3, 2016




The Baltimore District has received an application for a Department of the Army (DA) permit pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344), as described below:


APPLICANT:   Joseph W. Love

                       MD DNR Inland Fisheries

                       580 Taylor Avenue, B-2

                       Annapolis, Maryland 21401


LOCATION:  In the Smoot Bay area of the Potomac River, just south of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge at the National Harbor in Prince George’s County, Maryland.


WORK:  The applicant proposes to emplace 80 concrete reef balls within a total 1.4 acre area and to emplace anchored tree limbs and woody debris within a total 0.92-acre area in an approximately 440-foot by 385-foot by 275-foot triangular shaped area (0.84 acre area) to extend a maximum of 257 feet channelward of the approximate mean high water (MHW) shoreline identified as Project Area 1 and an approximately 100-foot wide by 200-foot long (0.56 acre area) to extend a maximum of 257 feet channelward of the approximate MHW shoreline identified as Project Area 2.  The reef balls weighing approximately 200 pounds are not proposed to be anchored to the substrate. The woody debris and tree limbs would be anchored to concrete blocks or to concrete poured into cardboard forms.


All work is to be completed in accordance with the proposed plan(s).  If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Mr. Steve Harman of this office at (410) 962-6082 or via email at (Note: If you wish to receive a copy of the full set of plans, please contact Mr. Steve Harman, Regulatory Project Manager at the contact information listed above, or Ms. Melody Quinn at 410-962-4500 to make arrangements for obtaining a copy).


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 by replacing an existing boat ramp within the waterway. Compensatory mitigation is not being proposed by the applicant for impacts to open water (inter-tidal and sub-tidal) habitat.






The purpose of the project is to improve survival of young rockfish and recruitment in the upper tidal freshwaters of the Potomac River.


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 the MSFCMA.


The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact 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 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 including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, 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, 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, 10 S. Howard Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, within the comment period as specified above to receive consideration.


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, 1800 Washington Blvd. Suite 430, Baltimore, Maryland 21230 within the comment period as specified above to receive consideration.  The 401 certifying agency has a statutory limit of one year to make its decision. 




The applicant has certified in this application that the proposed activity complies with and will be conducted in a manner consistent with the Maryland Coastal Zone Program.  This certification statement is available for inspection in the District Office; however, public comments relating to consistency must be received by the Coastal Zone Division, Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Blvd. Suite 430, Baltimore, Maryland 21230, within the comment period as specified above.  It should be noted that CZ Division has a statutory limit of 6 months in which to make its consistency determination.


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 listed 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 requested permit.


The evaluation of the impact of the work described above 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 District Engineer must receive the request, which must be in writing, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, 10 S. Howard Street, Baltimore,

Maryland 21201, within the comment period as specified as above to receive consideration.  Comments must clearly set forth the interest which may be adversely affected by this activity relative to the proposed work and the manner in which the interest may be adversely affected.  The previously authorized and completed activities are not being evaluated as new work Activities that were previously authorized and not constructed that have valid DA authorization are not considered new work since the DA permit for those activities does not expire until September 30, 2015 and those activities would be superseded, if a new permit is issued.  No decision has been made as to whether or not a permit will be issued.


It is requested that you communicate the foregoing 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.







                                                                      Kathy B. Anderson

                                                                      Chief, Maryland Section Southern