Comments Period: November 26, 2018 – December 28, 2018
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Good Fred Bridge Replacement and Road Rehabilitation project, which would result in impacts to approximately 3.69 acres of permanent impacts and 1.63 acres of temporary impacts to waters of the United States, including wetlands, in or near to Goodrich Creek. 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 of 1899 for structures or work in or affecting navigable waters of the United States and/or Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the discharge of dredged or fill material in waters of the United States.
APPLICANT: California Department of Transportation, Attn: Mr. Sean Shepard, 1657 Riverside Drive, MS 93, Redding, California 96001
LOCATION: The approximately 175-acre project site is located on Goodrich Creek and other streams and wetlands, from approximate Latitude 40.3176°, Longitude -120.9490°, to Latitude 40.3728°, Longitude -120.8250°, on State Route 36, Lassen County, California, and can be seen on the Fredonyer Pass USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to repair and rehabilitate approximately 8.5 miles of State Route 36, widen shoulders to 4 feet, overlay a 0.45-foot asphalt surface, realign and construct new pavement at three locations. The project will also replace the existing concrete box culvert Goodrich Creek Bridge with a new cast-in-place single span bridge supported by H-shape piles. Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to repair the existing road and extend the life of the highway and to improve safety and meet current required highway standards. The applicant believes there is a need to repair and rehabilitate SR 36, including replacing Goodrich Creek Bridge to bring the road up to current safety standards and design standards. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. There are approximately 6.85 acres of waters of the U.S. within the project area consisting of approximately 5.29 acres of wetlands and 1.56 acres of other waters. The site is characterized by its location where the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada meet. The 8.5 mile linear project area ranges in elevation from 5,100 feet at Goodrich Creek near the western end of the project area, up to 5,754 feet at Fredonyer Pass, down to 4,950 feet at the eastern end along West Fork of Willard Creek. The area is a mix of both public and private lands, which includes rural residences, meadows for cattle grazing, a Caltrans maintenance yard, the Fredonyer rest stop and snowmobile parking lot. The climate is characterized by hot dry summers and cold wet winters. Mean annual precipitation is approximately 33 inches of both rain and snow.
Alternatives. The applicant has provided information concerning project alternatives. 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 mitigate for permanent impacts to waters of the U.S. by purchasing credit at the National Fish and Wildlife Federation’s In-Lieu-Fee program and mitigate for temporary impacts with on-site restoration.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board is required for this project. The applicant has indicated they have applied for certification.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Based on the available information (including applicant's report titled Supplemental Historic Property Survey Report and Finding of Effect for the Fredonyer Roadway Rehabilitation Project, Lassen County, California), Caltrans determined the project would have no adverse effect on historic properties within the project's area of potential effect. The California State Preservation Officer concurred with this determination in a letter (RHWA_2018_0202_001) dated May 4, 2018.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The project would not affect any Federally-listed threatened or endangered species or their critical habitat that are protected by the Endangered Species 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-2018-00929 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before December 28, 2018.
Marc A. Fugler
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Enforcement/Special Projects Branch
1325 J Street, Room 1350
Sacramento, California 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 Marc Fugler, (916) 557-5255, Marc.A.Fugler@usace.army.mil.
Attachments: 34 drawings