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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.

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Posted: 2/29/2012

Expiration date: 3/29/2012


Comments Period: February 28, 2012 – March 29, 2012

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps)
US Environmental Protection Agency

SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Durango-La Plata County Airport Water Source Supply System Infiltration Gallery Expansion Plan project, which would result in direct impacts to approximately 0.085 acres of waters of the United States, including wetlands, in or adjacent to the Florida River. This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments. This notice may also be viewed at the Corps web site at

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: Ron Dent, Durango-La Plata County Airport, 1000 Airport Road, Durango, Colorado 81303-7715,

LOCATION: The site is located on the Florida River within Section 30 of Township 34 North and Range 8 West, New Mexico Principal Meridian, Latitude 37.157°, Longitude -107.76°, La Plata County, Colorado, and can be seen on the CO-Loma Linda USGS Topographic Quadrangle.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to construct an infiltration gallery along with associated infrastructure within the Florida River. Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to provide additional water supply at a rate of 6.75 gallons per minute to the Durango-La Plata County Airport to meet their water demands. The applicant has water rights for the construction of the infiltration gallery and the structure is within 200 feet of the decreed location. The attached drawings provide additional project details.

The proposed infiltration gallery will consist of approximately 30 linear feet of slotted pipe (Infiltration Pipe) buried roughly 3 to 5 feet below an existing riffle in the streambed of the Florida River. The Infiltration Pipe will lay perpendicular to river flow and will be connected to cleanout pipes at each end. Perforated airlines will be placed parallel and adjacent to the slotted pipe. A buried 4” intake pipe (Intake Pipe), connected to the Infiltration Pipe at the northeast bank of the river, will direct flow underground to the existing infiltration gallery pump vault located approximately 140 feet to the northeast. Installation of the Intake Pipe will occur within a 50’ construction disturbance corridor. From the pump vault, the infiltration gallery pumps to the lower pump house. In order to connect the Intake Pipe to the existing infiltration gallery, the piping would cross the adjacent wetland area. The project will temporarily impact 0.07 acres in the Florida River and 0.015 acres of jurisdictional wetlands.


Environmental Setting. The proposed project is located within and adjacent to the Florida River. The project area is predominantly pastureland used for grazing livestock west of the Airport within the exterior boundaries of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation in Colorado. The project area contains 0.059 acre Palustrine Emergent Wetland.

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.

OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the US Environmental Protection Agency is required for this project. The applicant has indicated they have applied for certification.

Written comments concerning possible impacts to water quality should be addressed to the
following agency, along with a copy of the comments provided to the Corps of Engineers: 

US Environmental Protection Agency, Attn: Toney Ott, 1595 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80202-1129

HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Based on an initial record search, no previous records were found 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 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 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-2012-00170-DC must be submitted to the office listed below on or before March 29, 2012.

Kara Hellige, Project Manager, US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, 1970 E. 3rd Ave, #109
Durango, Colorado 81301, Email:

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,

Attachments: 4 drawings