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Public Notices

Under the Corps' Regulatory Program, a public notice is the primary method for advising all interested parties of a proposed activity for which a permit is sought. Soliciting comments and information necessary to evaluate the probable impacts on the public interest. Public notices are also published to inform the public about new or proposed regulations, policies, guidance or permit procedures.

Public Notices published by the Sacramento District under the Regulatory Program are posted on this page. Once a public notice is available on-line, an email notification is sent to individuals on the appropriate mailing list.

Comments are due by the expiration date of the public notice.  Only comments submitted by email or in hard copy format through a delivery service, such as the U.S. Postal Service, can be accepted.   Comments must be submitted to the address listed in the public notice.

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SPK-2022-00501, Public Notice of Permit Application for the proposed Brasil Channel Relocation Project, Merced County, CA.

Published Feb. 6, 2024
Expiration date: 3/7/2024

Comment Period: February 7, 2024 – March 7, 2024

SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application for the discharge fill material into approximately 1.2 acres of waters of the United States to construct the Brasil Channel Relocation 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 into waters of the United States.

APPLICANT:     Antonio Brasil Dairy
                           Attn: Mr. Antonio Brasil
                           15373 Flanagan Road
                           Dos Palos, California  93620-9536.

LOCATION: The approximately 115.0-acre project site is located in Section 20, Township 10 South, Range 12 East, MDB&M, Latitude 37.04242°, Longitude ‑120.68403°, east of the City of Los Banos, Merced County, California, and can be seen on the Delta Ranch USGS Topographic Quadrangle.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to level the existing agricultural fields and fill the existing drainage that is in the middle of the field. The drainage is 1.2 acres. The applicant proposes to move the drainage to the edge of the parcel to make the site easier and more efficient for farming. The relocated channel has already been constructed at the southern edge of the parcel. The drainage that is proposed to be filled is maintained and only contains herbaceous wetland vegetation primarily consisting of narrow leafed cattails (Typha angustifolia). The agricultural fields are used to grow oats and corn for silage for dairy feed. Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to make farming of the site more efficient and easier with the drainage removed from the center of the farm field and relocated to the edge of the property. The applicant believes there is a need to construct this project. The attached drawings provide additional project details.


Environmental Setting. There are approximately 1.20 acres of intermittent riverine streambed with associated herbaceous wetlands within this maintained drainage canal on-site. The site is currently farmed in oats and silage for dairy feed, and the surrounding area is also all in agriculture.

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 created a channel on his property that he would like to count as mitigation for this project. The applicant is proposing to mitigate for the project at a 1:1 ratio of in-kind and on-site mitigation.

OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the Regional Water Quality Control Board is required for this project. The applicant has indicated that they have contacted the Regional Water Quality Control Board but have not applied for certification.

HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Potentially eligible cultural resources may be affected by the proposed project. 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. Potential impacts to listed species including the giant garter snake (Thamnophis gigas) are of concern for this project. 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 project would not adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) as defined in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. 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 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-2022-00501 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before March 7, 2024.

Ms. Kathy Norton, Sr. Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
1325 J Street, Room 1827
Sacramento, California  95814-2922

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, the applicant’s consultant, Halstead & Associates at, or the Corps' project manager Ms. Kathy Norton, (916) 557-5260,

Attachments: 12 drawings/figures