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Public Notices

Under the Corps' Regulatory Program, a public notice is the primary method for advising all interested parties of a proposed activity for which a permit is sought. Soliciting comments and information necessary to evaluate the probable impacts on the public interest. Public notices are also published to inform the public about new or proposed regulations, policies, guidance or permit procedures.

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SPK-2016-00030, Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Centennial Reservoir

Published Feb. 10, 2017
Expiration date: 4/10/2017

Comments Period: February 10, 2017 – April 10, 2017

SUBJECT: Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting for the proposed Centennial Reservoir. This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments.

On February 10, 2017, a NOI was published in the Federal Register (Vol. 82, No. 27, page 10347), which may be found at:

APPLICANT: Nevada Irrigation District, 1036 West Main Street, Grass Valley, California 95945

LOCATION: The approximately 2,200-acre site is located on the Bear River, downstream of Rollins Reservoir and upstream of Combie Reservoir, west of the Town of Colfax, Placer and Nevada Counties, California.

PROPOSED ACTION: On April 25, 2016, Nevada Irrigation District (NID) submitted a permit application to discharge dredged and/or fill material into waters of the US (WOUS) under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the construction of Centennial Reservoir. According to the permit application, the applicant is proposing to construct a new 110,000 acre-foot reservoir on the Bear River. The proposed action would include the construction of a new dam and associated facilities. The anticipated water depth at the dam would be approximately 255 feet and the height of the dam would be approximately 275 feet. The proposed action would also include recreational amenities and associated infrastructure. Approximately 2,200 acres of land would be affected through inundation and construction activities related to the project, which includes over 6 miles of river channel. The Proposed Action would permanently impact approximately 0.97 acre of WOUS for the construction of the dam and would permanently inundate approximately 190 acres of WOUS. The construction of Centennial Reservoir would also require rerouting of Dog Bar Road along with other smaller roadways. The attached drawings provide additional project details.


    Scoping Meetings: Two public scoping meetings will be held to present an overview of the Proposed Action and the Draft EIS process, and to afford all interested parties with an opportunity to provide comments. The first meeting will be held on March 1, 2017, from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the Holiday Inn Auburn Hotel, 120 Grass Valley Highway, Auburn, CA 95603. The second public scoping meeting will be held on March 2, 2017, from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm at Gold Miners Inn/Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 121 Bank Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945.

    Environmental Setting.

     The following is a summary of the approximate quantity of potential Waters of the U.S. (acres) at the project site.


Acreage Delineated



Perennial Marsh


Riparian Wetland


Seasonal Marsh


Seasonal Wetland


Seasonal Wetland Swale


Seasonal Wetland Swale (A)




Other Waters

Bear River




Ephemeral Drainage


Ephemeral Drainage (A)


Intermittent Drainage


Intermittent Drainage (A)


Perennial Creek


Perennial Creek (A)




Pond (A)





    Alternatives. A number of water supply operation alternatives, as well as alternative dam sites and types have been/are being considered. Additional alternatives include but may not be limited to: (1) alternative storage sites within NID's service area (including expansion of existing storage reservoirs); and (2) water supply operations alternatives to improve the efficiency of existing water supply and conveyance infrastructure which may include but are not be limited to the lining of existing water supply canals and rehabilitating aged infrastructure. The specific alternatives to be evaluated within the Draft EIS have not yet been developed, but will, at a minimum, include the No Action Alternative and the Proposed Action Alternative. The Corps intends to utilize the scoping process to obtain additional information regarding potential alternatives, along with avoidance and minimization measures. Other alternatives may develop during the development of the EIS. All reasonable project alternatives, in particular those which may be less damaging to the aquatic environment, will be considered.

    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 has not developed a mitigation plan for the proposed action.

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 is required for this project. The applicant has not indicated they have applied for certification.

HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Potentially eligible cultural resources may be affected by the proposed project. 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 action 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, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as appropriate.

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 Corps’ public involvement program includes several opportunities to provide verbal and written comments on the proposed project through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. Affected Federal, state, and local agencies, Native American tribes, and other interested organizations and parties are invited to participate. Potentially significant issues to be analyzed in depth in the EIS include loss of waters of the United States (including wetlands), and impacts related to water supply, water quality, utilities and public services, traffic and navigation, fish, vegetation, wildlife, land use and agriculture, recreation, visual resources, air quality, climate change, and socioeconomics. The project’s impact on the public interest will include application of the CWA Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR Part 230). Comments will also be used to determine the effect of the proposed activity on the public interest.

SUBMITTING COMMENTS: Written comments, referencing Public Notice SPK-2016-00030 should be submitted to the office listed below on or before April 10, 2017, but may be submitted at any time prior to publication of the Draft EIS.

Kara Hellige, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
1325 J Street, Room 1350
Sacramento, California 958142922

The Corps is particularly interested in receiving comments related to alternatives to the proposed project, the proposal's probable impacts on the affected aquatic environment, and the secondary and cumulative effects. Please note that all comment letters received are subject to release to the public through the Freedom of Information Act and will be addressed within the Draft EIS. If you have questions or need additional information please contact the applicant or the Corps' project manager Kara Hellige, (970) 259-1604,

Attachments: 3 drawings