Comments Period: August 24, 2018 – September 24, 2018
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Salt Lake City International Airport North Employee Screening Lot project, which would result in impacts to approximately 3.81 acres of waters of the United States, including 3.13 acres of unvegetated playa (non-wetlands) and 0.68 acre vegetated playa (wetlands), adjacent to the Great Salt Lake. This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments.
AUTHORITY: This application is being evaluated under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the discharge of dredged or fill material in waters of the United States.
APPLICANT: Salt Lake City Department of Airports (SLCDA), Attn: Mr. Kevin Robins, PO Box 14550, Salt Lake City, Utah 84122
LOCATION: The approximately 51.5-acre project site is located within the boundary of the Salt Lake City International Airport (SLCIA) and is bounded by Runway 16R/34L to the west, North 4000 West to the east, and the North Point Consolidated Canal to the north, Latitude 40.810796 °, Longitude -111.991580°, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, and can be seen on the Salt Lake City North USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to construct employee parking spaces, a screening facility, and bus service and maintenance facilities. The project would allow for employees to park their vehicles, walk to the security screening facility to be screened, and then to be shuttled aboard a bus directly to their place of employment at the Airport without leaving the secure area. According to the applicant, the proposed screening facility would also help alleviate the parking congestion on the south side of the Airport campus and would serve as the future singular location for screening all employees prior to entering the secured areas of the Airport. The proposed bus maintenance facility would be constructed to service buses responsible for transporting employees.
According to the permit application, construction would be completed in two phases, with Phase 1 consisting of the construction of three parking areas (2,535 parking stalls), the employee screening facility building, security fencing, a bus access road, supporting electrical utilities, and a lot entrance and exit location. Phase 2 would consists of the construction of the remaining parking areas (2,975 parking stalls). Project construction would be completed over a 2-year period. The project scope of work includes the following:
• Site stabilization consisting of installing geogrid and imported cobble rock and aggregate subbase material;
• Construction of a 1,746,875–square-foot (approximately 40-acre) parking lot to provide a total of 5,510 stalls for employee vehicles within 7 parking areas;
• Installation of 1,850 linear feet of Security Identification Display Area (SIDA) fencing;
• Construction of a 49,000-square-foot entrance and exit plaza onto 4000 West via 2100 North;
• Construction of a 45,693-square-foot concrete roadway for bus access between the adjacent SIDA perimeter road and the employee screening facility;
• Installation of 4,490 linear feet of standard security fencing;
• Construction of a 89,885-square-foot bus maintenance facility;
• Installation of 1,235 linear feet of 10-inch-diameter water and sewer lines;
• Installation of 3,500 linear feet of electrical conduit to support the employee screening facility; and
• Installation of associated drainage and stormwater improvements.
Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to alleviate traffic and congestion at existing parking and security screening areas by providing a secure area to screen employees that does not interfere with existing Airport operations or require additional screening inside the Airport. The applicant believes there is a need to construct an employee parking and security screening facility that provides for transportation of the employees to and from their place of employment inside the Airport in order to alleviate traffic and congestion at existing parking and security screening areas. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. There are approximately 4.20 acres of waters of the United States, including 3.35 acres of unvegetated playa and 0.85 acre of vegetated playa within the project area. The site is characterized by Alkali Flat (Black Greasewood) and Desert Salty Silt (Iodinebush) vegetation communities.
Alternatives. The applicant has provided information concerning project alternatives. The SLCDA reviewed three separate locations as potential sites for the project within the Airport boundary, including the proposed project area (Option 1) and two additional locations (Options 2 and 3). The potential for the screening facility to be located at an off-site location was also reviewed.
Option 1 is the applicant’s preferred alternative described above. The site for Option 1 is located in an area that has not been identified for future development on the current Airport Layout Plan. According to the applicant, this option would reduce traffic congestion on Terminal Drive and would not be cost prohibitive. This option causes impacts to waters of the U.S.
Option 2 would include construction of the screening facility at the southwest corner of 2100 North and 3200 West, east of Runway 16L/34R. With the exception of the bus maintenance facility, infrastructure would be similar to the proposed project scope of work. According to the applicant, Option 2 would meet the project purpose but is not the preferred alternative because the site is located adjacent to a Federal Aviation Administration radar facility and the screening facility would cause interference with radar reception. Relocation of the radar facility was considered, but would add approximately $2 million to the project cost. The applicant has stated that this alternative would be cost prohibitive. According to the applicant, the approval process to select a new location for the radar, plus decommissioning and recommissioning a new radar facility would be very time intensive. Option 2 is not anticipated to impact waters of the U.S.
Option 3 would include construction of the screening facility approximately 4,000 feet south of the proposed project area (Option 1), between Runway 16R/34L and 4000 West. Option 3 is not the applicant’s preferred alternative because the site would be located within the object free area (OFA) of proposed Taxiways Uniform and Victor identified on the current SLCIA Airport Layout Plan. The amount of parking stalls would be considerably less than in the proposed project area because the site is land constrained by the temporary field offices for the Airport Redevelopment Program contractor. Also, according to the applicant, there is not a suitable location to build the bus maintenance facility. Option 3 is not anticipated to impact waters of the US.
Off-site locations for the proposed screening facility were considered. These locations were not identified as the applicant’s preferred alternative since parking and screening off-site would require transport through unsecure areas before arriving at the Airport. According to the applicant, transport vehicles would need to be inspected and employees would need to be rescreened as they enter the secure area of the Airport.
Additional information concerning project alternatives may be available from the applicant or their agent. Other alternatives may develop during the review process for this permit application. 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 proposed to purchase credits at a Corps approved wetland mitigation bank to compensate for the loss of waters of the US.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the State of Utah is required for this project. The applicant has indicated they have applied for certification. Projects are usually certified where the project may create diffuse sources (non-point sources) of wastes which will occur only during the actual construction activity and where best management practices would be employed to minimize pollution effects. A person who wishes to challenge such certification may only raise an issue or argument during an adjudicatory proceeding that is raised during the public comment period and is supported with sufficient information or documentation to enable the Director to fully consider the substance and significance of the issue. Utah Code Ann. 19-1-301.5 can be viewed at the following URL: http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE19/htm/19_01_030105.htm. Written comments specific to the Section 401 Water Quality Certification relative to this public notice should be submitted to Ms. Jodi Gardberg, Utah Division of Water Quality, P.O. Box 144870, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4870, or email@example.com on or before September 24, 2018.
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: Based on the available information (including applicant's biological resource report for the project area, dated July 2018), the project would not affect any Federally-listed threatened or endangered species or their critical habitat that are protected by the Endangered Species Act.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The proposed project would not adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) as defined in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
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-2004-50019-must be submitted to the office listed below on or before September 24, 2018.
Kara Hellige, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
1970 E. 3rd Ave, #109
Durango, Colorado 81301
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 Kara Hellige, (970) 259-1604, Kara.A.Hellige@usace.army.mil.
Attachments: 3 drawings