SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the KUC, SR-201/202 Intersection Realignment project, which would result in impacts to approximately 3.41-acres of waters of the United States, including wetlands, in or adjacent to . This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments.
AUTHORITY: This application is being evaluated by the Corps under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the discharge of dredged or fill material in waters of the United States and by the State of Utah for 401 water quality certification.
APPLICANT: Mason Palmer
UDOT Region 2
2010 South 2760 West
Salt Lake City, Utah 84104
LOCATION: The 18.2-acre site is located at the intersection of SR-201 and SR-202, Section 15, Township 1 South, Range 3 West, Salt Lake Meridian, Latitude 40.73083°, Longitude -112.16946°, Salt Lake County, Utah, and can be seen on the UT-Farnsworth Peak USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to realign a section of SR-201/202 for increased traffic safety. Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to improve safety at the SR-201/202 intersection. UDOT proposes to reconstruct the southern portion of SR-202 from Mile Post (MP) 0.0 to MP 0.7 on a new alignment and construct a new intersection at SR-202 with SR-201. The new SR-202 alignment would be located to the west of the existing alignment. Construction on SR-201 would approximately occur between MP 2.3 and MP 3.5. The total project length would be approximately 1.8 miles. The project would include: new roadway construction (0.7 miles); construction of a new culvert crossing of the existing canal and other drainage system improvements; relocation/modification of existing utilities; and barrier placement. The proposed intersection construction would include: installation of new signals and installation of new detection systems. The existing SR-201/SR-202 intersection would be removed and the abandoned portion of the existing SR-202 alignment will be terminated at a new cul-de-sac configuration. The project would also include: re-grading of existing unpaved shoulders, modification/relocation of existing utilities; installation of new pavement markings, delineators and roadway signage; and obliteration of limited portions of the abandoned SR-201 alignment. The applicant believes there is a need to realign the SR-201/202 Intersection. In order to complete this project the applicant has proposed to impact saline playa (0.04-acres), saline wet meadow (0.46-acres), open water (0.07-acres) and palustrine emergent wetland (2.84-acres). The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. The project area is 18.2 acres, including approximately 14.2 acres of jurisdictional waters of the United States. Jurisdictional waters with the project alignment are comprised of 10.92 acres of palustrine emergent wetlands, 2.35 acres of saline wet meadow, 0.93-acre of saline playa and 1,183 linear feet of canal/ditches. Vegetation identified with the saline playa is mainly red swampfire (Salicornia rubra) and western seepweed (Sueada occidentalis). This vegetation makes up less than 5% of the saline playa area. The saline wet meadow is mainly comprised of saltgrass (Distichlis spicata), with other common species that include bulrush (Scirpus microcarpus), inkweed (Sueada occidentalis) and pickleweed (Salicornia rubra). The sporadic upland areas are dominated weedy species mainly cheatgrasss (Bromus tectorum) and bedstraw (Galium aparine). Most of the previously disturbed areas, especially along the canals and ditches, are vegetated mainly with Phragmites (Phragmites australis). Soils throughout the site are saline fine textured silt and clays. The site is relatively flat with a grade less than 1%. The Smelter Canal flows east to a Kennecott pump station and the remaining wetlands and ditches flow to the north. Historic mining activities have prevented the project wetlands and waters from draining directly into the Great Salt Lake.
Alternatives. UDOT explored a number of alternatives that were eliminated due to not meeting the project purpose or because wetland impacts were greater the proposed project. Alternatives explored during the development process were installation of a traffic signal near the existing SR-201/SR-202 Intersection, aligning the new SR-202 segment along a nearby abandoned railroad grade, and a straight roadway alignment. 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 deduct advance mitigation credit from the Galena Mitigation Site or purchase credits from a Corps-approved wetland mitigation bank.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: A 401 Water Quality Certification from the Utah Division of Water Quality is required for Corps' issuance of a standard individual permit for the proposed project. This requirement comes from the authority of Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act, (33 U.S.C. Subsection 1341) and is consistent with the Utah Water Quality Act, Title 19, Chapter 5, Utah Code Ann. 1953, as amended and Utah Administrative Code R317-15. A person who wishes to challenge a Permit Order may only raise an issue or argument during an adjudicatory proceeding that was raised during the public comment period and was 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: http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE19/htm/19_01_030105.htm. Any comments specific to 401 Water Quality Certification relative to this public notice should be submitted to Mr. Bill Damery, Utah Division of Water Quality, P.O. Box 144870, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4870, or email@example.com by February 21, 2014.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: UDOT is preparing a Class III Cultural Resource Inventory for the 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: UDOT has not provided information concerning endangered species but the agency is currently preparing a biological opinion for the project. 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 will 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-2013-00631-UO must be submitted to the office listed below on or before February 21, 2014.
Hollis Jencks, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Utah Regulatory Office
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, extension 18, Hollis.G.Jencks@usace.army.mil.
Attachments: 11 drawings