Comments Period: December 22, 2016 – January 17, 2017
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to dredge approximately 945,000 cubic yards from Kellogg Creek, removing 6,100 linear feet of existing channel bank in Contra Costa County, California. The proposed project would result in direct impacts to approximately 5.5 acres of wetlands, aside from the aforementioned impacts to Kellogg Creek bank. The project also includes driving 315 piles for individual boat docks. This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments.
AUTHORITY: This application is being evaluated under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act for the undertaking dredging work in Kellogg Creek, a navigable water of the United States, and for the driving of piling into navigable waters.
APPLICANT: Pantages at Discovery Bay,
Attn: Mr. Dave Lazares,
6795 Lark Avenue,
Los Gatos, California 95032,
Tel: (408) 399-4393 or DLazares@lazarescompanies.com
AGENT: Madrone Ecological Consulting,
Attn: Karen Shaffer,
2617 K Street, Suite 175,
Sacramento, California 95816,
Tel: (916) 822-3230 or KShaffer@MadroneEco.com
LOCATION: The approximately 176-acre project site is located along the west bank of Kellogg Creek, west of Discovery Bay, Latitude 37.9111°, Longitude -121.6080°, Contra Costa County, California., and can be seen on the CA-JERSEY ISLAND USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to dredge the left bank of Kellogg Creek, removing approximately 6,100 linear feet of the existing bank. This dredge project will result in a wider section of Kellogg Creek, which will result in reducing water velocities and improving public safety as well as providing fast water access to an adjacent upland housing development (Pantages at Discovery Bay). Two separate projects will occur adjacent to the proposed dredging project within the reasonably foreseeable future: the upland housing development, and a future regional sheriff substation which will be built at the north end of Kellogg Creek. The upland housing consists of 289 lots, 105 of which are water-access lots. Each water-front lot will have a dock, each of which will require 3 piling, for a total of 315 piles to be driven as part of the project. The housing development will include a recreational trail with interpretive signage within an open space area on the north end of the property. The Sheriff substation is not completely designed at this point, but it will consist of a boat ramp, a dock, a small structure and a helicopter landing pad. The regional substation will likely require a nationwide permit in order to be constructed.
The Kellogg Creek minimum width of 300 feet, at an elevation of 3 feet, is required by Reclamation District (RD) 800 standards. The most significant widening would occur at the north end of Kellogg Creek where the existing creek width varies from 100 to 120 feet. The existing narrow opening creates a strong current, especially during tidal changes, resulting in considerable bank erosion as well as an unsafe condition and navigation hazard for boaters and swimmers. The project would provide fast water access to the adjacent upland residential development through the construction of one bay and two coves. Constructed bays and coves would be excavated to a depth of at least 10 feet below mean sea level to allow for safe boat passage at low tide, also consistent with RD 800 standards. In order to minimize the amount of in-water work undertaken, the coves and bay would be excavated first, allowed to passively fill with water, reaching equilibrium with the water surface elevation in Kellogg Creek. Then the in-water dredging of Kellogg creek would commence, including removal of the “openings” of the coves and bay. Prior to the excavation, a sheet pile wall would be driven into the earth at the extent of excavation along 9,710 linear feet of bay, coves, and Kellogg Creek. As the bay, coves and creek are excavated, a small slope of soil will be left at the base of the sheet pile wall for stabilization. A 1,292 linear foot section of Kellogg Creek will not have a sheet pile wall; instead it will be excavated with a habitat bench and revegetated with emergent and woody vegetation.
Excavation would occur in sections of approximately 1,500 to 2,000 feet, with turbidity barriers in place to minimize effects on water quality. The work will take place Between August 1 and November 30 to avoid impacts on listed fish species.
All excavated material will be used for the adjacent upland housing development; no material will need to be trucked away.
Environmental Setting. There are approximately 5.5 acres of seasonal wetlands within the project area. The site, the upland portions of which have been generally leveled and historically farmed, is dominated by annual upland grassland species and wetland plants typical of marginally saline soils.
Mitigation. The Corps requires that applicants consider and use all reasonable and practical measures to avoid and minimize impacts to aquatic resources. If the applicant is unable to avoid or minimize all impacts, the Corps may require compensatory mitigation. The applicant’s mitigation strategy consists of the components listed here:
Wetland Impact Compensation
a. Purchase of seasonal wetland credits at a Corps-approved mitigation bank with a service area that covers the project area to compensate for impacts to 5.55 acres of seasonal wetland habitat on-site; and
b. Purchase of 698 square feet of vernal pool preservation credit and 349 square feet of vernal pool creation credit at an agency-approved mitigation bank.
Bank Impact Compensation
Either the purchase of riparian and/or shaded riverine aquatic habitat at an agency-approved bank, OR
a. Creation of approximately 832 linear feet and enhancement of approximately 365 linear feet of bank habitat along Kellogg Creek, including Shaded Riverine Aquatic habitat and shallow water habitat;
b. Creation of approximately 460 linear feet and enhancement of approximately 1,967 linear feet of bank habitat around Pantages Island including Shaded Riverine Aquatic habitat and shallow water habitat;
c. Enhancement of approximately 3,467 linear feet along the East Contra Costa Irrigation District (ECCID) Dredge Cut, including Shaded Riverine Aquatic habitat and shallow water habitat, from Kellogg Creek on the east to the Heron Drive crossing over the Cut to the west; and
d. Enhancement of approximately 3,688 linear feet of off-site bank habitat along Kellogg Creek to the south of the project area, immediately north of where Kellogg Creek crosses under Highway 4, including Shaded Riverine Aquatic habitat and shallow water habitat.
Last, the project will result in the creation of approximately 51.3 acres of open water habitat on-site.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Region is required for this project. The applicant has indicated they have applied for certification.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: The Corps will initiate consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as appropriate.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The proposed activity may affect Federally-listed endangered or threatened species or their critical habitat. The Corps will initiate consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as appropriate. The Corps is awaiting detailed information from the applicant, but expects to consult with FWS on the project’s effects on listed vernal pool invertebrates and delta smelt, and with NMFS on the project’s effects on listed anadromous fish.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The proposed project may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat. The Corps will initiate consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service, pursuant to Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as appropriate.
The above determinations are based on information provided by the applicant and our preliminary review.
EVALUATION FACTORS: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts, including cumulative impacts, of the described 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 described activity, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the described activity will be considered, including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historic properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, consideration of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people. The activity's impact on the public interest will include application of the Section 404(b)(1) guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR Part 230).
The Corps 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 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 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 are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.
SUBMITTING COMMENTS: Written comments, referencing Public Notice SPK-2003-00025 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before January 15, 2016.
Peck-Leong Ha, Senior Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
1325 J Street, Room 1350
Sacramento, CA 95814
The Corps is particularly interested in receiving comments related to the proposal's probable impacts on the affected aquatic environment and the secondary and cumulative effects. Anyone may request, in writing, that a public hearing be held to consider this application. Requests shall specifically state, with particularity, the reason(s) for holding a public hearing. If the Corps determines that the information received in response to this notice is inadequate for thorough evaluation, a public hearing may be warranted. If a public hearing is warranted, interested parties will be notified of the time, date, and location. Please note that all comment letters received are subject to release to the public through the Freedom of Information Act. If you have questions or need additional information please contact the applicant or the Corps' project manager Peck-Leong Ha, (916) 557-6617, Peck.Ha@usace.army.mil.
Attachments: 3 drawings