Comment Period: February 4, 2021 – February 25, 2021
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to retain and discharge fill material in approximately 2‑acres of waters of the United States to resolve the Section 404 Clean Water Act violation associated with the construction of Ranch Meadows Subdivision and construction of the proposed outbuilding. 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: Arive Homes, LLC, Attn: Mr. Dean Ingram, 733 North Main Street, Spanish Fork, UT, 84660
LOCATION: The approximately 6-acre project site is located at 400 North and 650 East, Latitude 40.05974°, Longitude -111.66134°, Salem City, Utah County, Utah, and can be seen on the Spanish Fork USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: In 2016 and 2017 the applicant constructed the Ranch Meadows subdivision, a seven-lot subdivision that resulted in the filling of 1.83-acres of palustrine emergent wetland without a Section 404 permit. This unauthorized activity was the result of the construction of a cul-de-sac, detention pond, and grading of lots. In addition to retaining the wetland impacts associated with the subdivision, the applicant is proposing to fill an additional 0.17-acre for an outbuilding on Lot #4. A single-family home has been constructed on Lot #4 and is currently occupied. To provide access and a level pad for the outbuilding the remaining 0.17-acre of palustrine emergent wetland within the subdivision would be filled with 552 cubic yards of clean fill material. The outbuilding pad would be graded using a backhoe, track hoe, and dump truck. The proposed 0.17-acre of additional wetland impacts for the outbuilding and the 1.73-acres of the unauthorized wetland fill, totals 2-acres of wetland impacts for the entire subdivision.
Environmental Setting. The subdivision is comprised of 6 acres with 7 single-family home lots, a cul-de-sac, utilities, and detention pond. The site is located along 400 North and is surrounded by residential areas. Prior to the subdivision, the property had approximately 2-acres of palustrine emergent wetland. The 2016 construction of the subdivision resulted in the filling of 1.83-acres of palustrine emergent wetland. Currently, 0.17-acre of palustrine emergent wetland remain within the project and are dominated by plant species within the wet meadow such as Baltic rush (Juncus baliticus), redtop (Agrostic stolonifera), and Nebraska sedge (Carex nebrascensis). Uplands within the site are dominated by Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), Kochia (Bassia scoparia) and other invasive species. The main hydrologic component of the wetlands is groundwater and some irrigation tailwater. General flow for the site and adjacent properties is south to north. Soils within the site are classified as Chipman loam which is listed as a hydric soil.
Alternatives. The applicant has not provided detailed information concerning project alternatives. 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 offset the unauthorized activity and the proposed wetland impacts with the wetland creation, enhancement, and preservation on a 9.8 site located approximately 1.75-miles northwest of the project site.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the Utah Division of Water Quality, 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: https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title19/Chapter1/19-1-S301.html. Written comments specific to the Section 401 Water Quality Certification relative to this public notice should be submitted to Leanna Littler, Utah Division of Water Quality, P.O. Box 144870, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4870, or firstname.lastname@example.org on or before February 25, 2021.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Based on the available information (including applicant's report titled “An Archeological Inventory of the Ranch Meadows Project”), no cultural resources were identified within the project's area of potential effect. 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 project would not affect any Federally listed threatened or endangered species or their critical habitat that are protected by the Endangered Species Act. The Corps will initiate 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, as appropriate.
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-2016-00894 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before March 6, 2021.
Hollis Jencks, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
533 West 2600 South, Suite 150
Bountiful, Utah 84010
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 Hollis Jencks, (801) 295-8380 ext. 8318, Hollis.G.Jencks@usace.army.mil.
Attachments: 5 drawings