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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-2012-00286 In-Lieu Fee Project Proposal for Funding from the Sacramento District California In-Lieu Fee Program

Published March 23, 2018
Expiration date: 4/23/2018

Comments Period: March 23, 2018 – April 23, 2018

SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District (Corps) is soliciting comments regarding three In-lieu Fee Project (ILF Project) proposals, requesting funding from the Sacramento District California In-Lieu Fee Program (ILF Program). The Sponsor for this ILF Program is the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). This ILF Program services 37 counties and approximately 65,000 square miles. The NFWF ILF Program was established in October 2014 and was approved by the Corps, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the California State Water Resources Control Board, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board (each an “Agency” and collectively the “Agencies”).

Each of the three proposed ILF Projects would consist of the purchase of mitigation bank credits, sufficient to fulfill existing Advanced Credit sales within the Cache/Putah; Cosumnes/ Mokelumne; and San Joaquin Aquatic Resource Service Areas.

The ILF Project proposals were submitted in accordance with the Project Development Process of the approved ILF Program Instrument (Instrument), which includes a provision that requires the Sponsor to determine whether there is a mitigation bank in the Service Area with applicable available credits. If there is an approved mitigation bank within a Service Area, then the Instrument requires evaluation of the purchase of mitigation bank credits, along with other potential alternative ILF Project options, based on the Project Evaluation Criteria.

After multiple Requests for Proposals and other outreach efforts, the Sponsor has not been able to identify any suitable potential ILF Project sites within any of these three Aquatic Resource Service Areas, other than the purchase of mitigation bank credits. Therefore, in accordance with the terms of the Instrument, the Sponsor is proposing to fulfill its Advanced Credit sales in each of these three Aquatic Service Areas by implementing an ILF Project consisting of the purchase mitigation bank credits.

The ILF Project for the Cache/Putah Aquatic Resource Service Area would consist of the purchase of 0.63 salmonid/floodplain riparian credit from the Bullock Bend Mitigation Bank. A copy of the Sponsor’s Sacramento District California In-Lieu Fee Project Consolidated Initial Project Prospectus/Project Development Plan (IPP/PDP) is available online at the following location: https://ribits.usace.army.mil/ribits_apex/RIBITS2.PACK_PUBLIC.DB_DOC?P_HOW=attachment&P_SESSION=16540495175881&P_DOC_ID=53848.

The ILF Project for the Cosumnes/Mokelumne Aquatic Resource Service Area would consist of the purchase of 0.17 floodplain mosaic credit from the Cosumnes Floodplain Mitigation Bank. A copy of the Sponsor’s Sacramento District California In-Lieu Fee Project Consolidated Initial Project Prospectus/Project Development Plan (IPP/PDP) is available online at the following location: https://ribits.usace.army.mil/ribits_apex/RIBITS2.PACK_PUBLIC.DB_DOC?P_HOW=attachment&P_SESSION=16540495175881&P_DOC_ID=53849.

The ILF Project for the San Joaquin Aquatic Resource Service Area would consist of the purchase of 3.08 seasonal wetland credits from the Grasslands Mitigation Bank. A copy of the Sponsor’s Sacramento District California In-Lieu Fee Project Consolidated Initial Project Prospectus/Project Development Plan (IPP/PDP) is available online at the following location: https://ribits.usace.army.mil/ribits_apex/RIBITS2.PACK_PUBLIC.DB_DOC?P_HOW=attachment&P_SESSION=16540495175881&P_DOC_ID=53850.

This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments.

The decision whether to approve funding for projects will be based on an evaluation of each proposed activity considering and how and where it will compensate for aquatic resources lost through authorizations issued under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. The benefit which may reasonably accrue from each proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments and/or its appropriateness, considering the ecological needs of the watershed in which it’s located.

AUTHORITY: These ILF Initial Project Prospectus/Project Development Plans are being evaluated under 33 CFR Part 332.8 and under the terms of the approved ILF Program Instrument.

APPLICANT: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Attn: Mr. Christopher Gurney, 90 New Montgomery Street, Suite 1010, San Francisco, California 94105

LOCATION:

The approximately 116-acre Bullock Bend Mitigation Bank is located approximately 11 miles north of the unincorporated area of Knights Landing, immediately adjacent to the Sacramento River, Latitude 38.9133°, Longitude -121.8111°, Yolo County, California, and can be seen on the Kirkville USGS Topographic Quadrangle.

The approximately 493-acre Cosumnes River Mitigation Bank is located on the Cosumnes River, in Section 15, Township 5 North, Range 5 East, Mount Diablo Base and Meridian, Latitude 38.251°, Longitude -121.0.421°, Sacramento County, California, and can be seen on the Bruceville and Thornton USGS Topographic Quadrangles.

The approximately 281-acre Grasslands Mitigation Bank is located in the San Joaquin Valley of California, approximately 5.5 miles northwest of the City of Los Banos, within the Grasslands Ecological Area and adjacent to the Volta Wildlife Area, Latitude 37.133°, Longitude -120.0.067°, Merced County, California, and can be seen on the Volta and Ingomar USGS Topographic Quadrangles.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:

The ILF Project for the Cache/Putah Aquatic Resource Service Area would consist of the purchase of 0.63 salmonid/floodplain riparian credit from the Bullock Bend Mitigation Bank. Information regarding the Bullock Bend Mitigation Bank, including the approved Mitigation Banking Instrument, is available in the Regulatory In-lieu Fee and Bank Information Tracking System (RIBITS) at the following location: https://ribits.usace.army.mil/ribits_apex/f?p=107:10:16540495175881::NO::P10_BANK_ID:3265.

The ILF Project for the Cosumnes/Mokelumne Aquatic Resource Service Area would consist of the purchase of 0.17 floodplain mosaic credit from the Cosumnes Floodplain Mitigation Bank. Information regarding the Cosumnes Floodplain Mitigation Bank, including the approved Mitigation Banking Instrument, is available in the Regulatory In-lieu Fee and Bank Information Tracking System (RIBITS) at the following location: https://ribits.usace.army.mil/ribits_apex/f?p=107:10:16540495175881::NO::P10_BANK_ID:4732.

The ILF Project for the San Joaquin Aquatic Resource Service Area would consist of the purchase of 3.08 seasonal wetland credits from the Grasslands Mitigation Bank. Information regarding the Grasslands Mitigation Bank, including the approved Mitigation Banking Instrument, is available in the Regulatory In-lieu Fee and Bank Information Tracking System (RIBITS) at the following location: https://ribits.usace.army.mil/ribits_apex/f?p=107:10:16540495175881::NO::P10_BANK_ID:1686.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Environmental Setting. The environmental setting for each proposed ILF Project site is described in the approved Mitigation Banking Instrument (MBI) for the Mitigation Bank from which credits are proposed to be purchased, which is accessible via the RIBITS website link provided above.

A Department of the Army permit may be required or may have been previously approved for restoration activities at one or more of the mitigation banks that are proposed to provide credits for these ILF Projects.

OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: The Inter-agency Review Team responsible for the review and approval of the proposed mitigation bank include representatives from the Corps, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the California State Water Resources Control Board, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board.

HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Based on the available information, these ILF Projects do not have potential to affect any historic properties. Consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act is not necessary for ILF Projects consisting solely of mitigation bank credit purchases.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: Based on the available information, these ILF Projects will not affect any Federally-listed threatened or endangered species or their critical habitat that are protected by the Endangered Species Act. Consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or the National Marine Fisheries Service, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, is not required for ILF Projects consisting solely of mitigation bank credit purchases.

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: Based on the available information, these ILF Projects will not adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) as defined in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service, pursuant to Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, is not required for ILF Projects consisting solely of mitigation bank credit purchases.

The above determinations are based on information provided by the applicant and our preliminary review.

EVALUATION FACTORS: 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 assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and other public interest factors. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.

SUBMITTING COMMENTS: Written comments, referencing Public Notice SPK-2012-00286 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before April 23, 2018.

Matt Wilson, Senior Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
533 West 2600 South, Suite 150
Bountiful, Utah 84010-7744
Telephone: 801-295-8380 x8311
Email: Matthew.S.Wilson@usace.army.mil

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 Matt Wilson, (801) 295-8380, Matthew.S.Wilson@usace.army.mil.