Comment Period: August 24, 2023 – September 23, 2023
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento and San Francisco Districts, (Corps) are evaluating a proposal to establish the Montezuma Island Mitigation Bank. Development of the Proposed Bank would occur in two phases, with the first phase occurring on three adjacent parcels in Solano County, totaling approximately 109 acres. Phase 1 of the Proposed Bank is the subject of this Public Notice, and would result in establishment and enhancement of 31.38 acres of waters of the United States, including wetlands, in the Suisun Bay (HUC 18050001) watershed. The Bank property includes an additional 32 acres in Sacramento County (Montezuma/Burnett Island) (Phase 2) adjacent to Phase 1. Phase 2 is not contemplated at this time, but would be considered as a subsequent phase in the future pending the successful development of Phase 1. This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments. A copy of the Montezuma Island Mitigation Bank prospectus is available here.
AUTHORITY: This prospectus is being evaluated under 33 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 332.8.
SPONSOR: Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Attn: Matt Brown
3580 East California Ave., Bld. B
Fresno, California 93725
LOCATION: The approximately 141-acre Bank property is located southwest of the Montezuma Hills and north of the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, approximately 1 mile east of the town of Collinsville, Latitude 38.07750°, Longitude -121.83461°, Sacramento and Solano Counties, California.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The prospective Sponsor proposes to establish an approximately 109-acre mitigation bank. The project would result in the establishment and enhancement of 31.38 acres of waters of the United States, including wetlands, in the Suisun Bay (HUC 18050001) watershed. The mitigation bank proposes to offer 24.62 tidal marsh establishment credits, 3.71 alkali wetland enhancement credits, 2.39 open water establishment credits, and 3.00 sea level rise transition zone establishment credits. Credits generated at the bank would be utilized as compensatory mitigation for select PG&E projects as well as being sold to non-sponsor entities.
The proposed Service Area includes the boundaries of the legal Delta, plus several
connected rivers on the east, and the San Pablo Bay (including the Petaluma River up to Penngrove and the Napa River up to Calistoga) and Suisun Bay (including Honker Bay, Grizzly Bay, and surrounding Suisun Marsh areas) on the west. The proposed service area includes portions of Sacramento, Solano, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Joaquin, Yolo, Napa, Sonoma, and Marin counties. The attached drawings provide additional details.
Environmental Setting. There are currently approximately 13.54 acres of alkali wetlands, 0.61 acre of scrub-shrub wetlands, and 1.50 acres of brackish marsh within the Phase 1 project area. The Bank site supports a mosaic of annual grasslands intermixed with alkali wetlands on native bayland substrate, gradually sloping toward the brackish marshes on the margins of the Sacramento River. The northern portion of the Bank site is predominantly covered in nonnative annual grassland; alkali wetlands occupy topographic lows and brackish marshes occur in lower elevations of the southern border. These habitats currently present at the Bank site are remnant of the once more naturally occurring habitats associated with the central Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta and Montezuma Hills.
A Department of the Army permit may be required for restoration activities.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: The Interagency Review Team responsible for the review and approval of the proposed mitigation bank includes representatives from the Corps, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California State Water Resources Control Board, and San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Potentially National Register of Historic Places-eligible cultural resources may be affected by the proposed Bank. 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 Bank 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 and/or the National Marine Fisheries Service, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as appropriate.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The proposed Bank may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat. The Corps will initiate consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service, pursuant to Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as appropriate.
The above determinations are based on information provided by the Sponsor 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 Bank. 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 evaluation of the proposed Bank per 33 CFR Part 332.8 and in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.
SUBMITTING COMMENTS: Written comments, referencing Public Notice SPK-2023-00472 must be submitted via email to the office listed below on or before September 23, 2023.
Senior Project Manager
Special Projects Branch
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Attachments: 6 drawings