Comment Period: August 3, 2020 – September 2, 2020
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application for the discharge dredged or fill material in approximately 5.51 acres of waters of the United States to construct the Yarbrough project. 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: David Stroud, Debra Russo
ASB Southport II, LLC
1107 Kentucky Street
Fairfield, California 94533
LOCATION: The approximately 705-acre project site is located between the Sacramento River Deep Water Ship Channel and the Sacramento River, in the southern portion of West Sacramento, Latitude 38.5172064155335°, Longitude -121.565207794983°, Yolo County, California, and can be seen on the Sacramento West USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to discharge dredged or fill material in approximately 5.51 acres of waters of the United States for the diversion and modification of existing drainage ditches and canals and construction of associated outfalls. The purpose of the project is to construct a series of ponds that will serve as a regional storm drainage facility for existing and future development.
Existing drainage channels that currently enter the project site from the north and east sides would be intercepted and directed into excavated ponds that would serve as
storm water facilities for existing developments as well as future development of the adjoining agricultural lands. Check structures would be installed at two locations in order to regulate flows into the site. The ponds would be excavated to a depth of approximately 10 feet. Stormwater runoff from surrounding developed areas would flow though the pond areas and would drain into the Main Drain Canal via four outfall structures.
The proposed work would be conducted in phases, with sections of ponds to be created in conjunction with development of the adjacent agricultural fields. The excavated soil would be distributed across portions of the adjoining agricultural fields.
The constructed pond edge conditions would vary based upon accessibility to open water. Types of edge conditions would include:
• Natural Edge: Designed to follow shrub edges and shall contain predominantly native riparian plantings.
• Turf Edge: Primarily consist of turf rolling down to the water edge, interspersed with wetland plantings along the lake edge.
• Limited Control Edge: May be used to stabilize portions of the lake to ensure that the lake edge does not erode or slump.
• Full Control Edge: Would be structurally sound and support surrounding architecture and landscape features.
Construction of the storm drain outfalls and associated riprap will fill a total of 996 square feet of bank habitat below the ordinary high water mark of the Main Drain Canal. A total of 162 cubic yards of rock riprap, 32 cubic yards of concrete, and 30 cubic yards of soil backfill will be placed into the ditches. There may be a temporary disturbance to an additional 1,156 square feet of the bank (0.03 acre) due to equipment and personnel access during construction; however, there would be no temporary fills in the Main Drain Canal. Any temporarily disturbed areas of the bank would be reseeded after completion of construction, if needed.
Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to construct storm drainage facilities to service existing and future development. The applicant believes there is a need for the construction of a storm drainage facility to accommodate stormwater for the developing region and provide recreational facilities along the proposed ponds. Future development that would divert stormwater into the proposed ponds would not involve the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the US, and therefore is not within the purview of this permit application. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. The project site primarily consists of roadways with their associated roadside ditches, and small portions of larger agricultural fields separated by canals, ditches, rural residences, and small roads. The site is predominantly flat, graded farmland at an elevation of approximately 5 to 10 feet above mean sea level.
A very large canal (Main Drain Canal) bisects the site, running south from the northern edge of the Study Area, then turning due west and continuing until it dead-ends at a levee, where it is pumped into the Sacramento River Deep Water Ship Channel on the other side of the levee.
The project site contains approximately 17.96 acres of aquatic features, as follows:
• Emergent wetland: 2.205 acres
• Agricultural Ditch: 13.536 acres
• Roadside ditch: 0.643 acre
• Drainage Canal: 0.743 acre
• Drainage Ditch: 0.076 acre
Alternatives. The applicant has not 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 compensate for the impacts to the drainage ditch and canals through the construction ponds.
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 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, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as appropriate.
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-2019- 00684 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before September 2, 2020
Kara Hellige, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
Durango Regulatory Office
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: 5 drawings