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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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SPK-2006-00228 - Proposal to issue Regional General Permit (RGP)

Published March 27, 2014
Expiration date: 4/28/2014


SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is proposing to issue Regional General Permit (RGP) X to the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) for Phase I of its Small Erosion Repair Program (SERP). The proposed RGP is intended to be used to streamline the application and permitting process for SERP projects proposed by DWR, that require a Department of Army (DA) Permit prior to work in or the discharge of dredged or fill materials into waters of the U.S.

AUTHORITY: This application is being evaluated under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 for structures or work in or affecting navigable waters of the United States and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the discharge of dredged or fill material in waters of the United States.

APPLICANT: Department of Water Resources
    Attn: Mr. Jon Ericson
    3310 El Camino Avenue
    Sacramento, California 95821

LOCATION: The Phase 1 SERP coverage area includes approximately 300 miles of levees on portions of the Sacramento River and its tributaries. The Phase 1 SERP coverage area includes all or portions of the following waterways: Butte Creek; portions of Cache Creek; Cherokee Canal; Colusa Bypass; Colusa Main Drain (northern portion only); portions of the Feather River; portions of Putah Creek; Sacramento Bypass; portions of the Sacramento River; Sutter Bypass; Tisdale Bypass; Wadsworth Canal; Willow Slough Bypass; portions of Yolo Bypass; East and West Interceptor Canals.

DESCRIPTION OF AUTHORIZED ACTIVITIES: This RGP authorizes the discharge of up to a maximum of 72,000 cubic yards (5 year total) of soil filled riprap, to repair a maximum of 15 sites each year over 5 years. Each SERP site would involve a maximum of 0.5 acre (and\or 1,000 linear feet) of disturbance below the ordinary high water mark or mean high water mark (OHWM/MHWM) for repair of small erosion sites along portions of the Sacramento River Flood Control Project. No project site would exceed 0.5 acres of disturbance or would extend for more than 1,000 linear feet. SERP is a collaborative interagency effort to develop a streamlined regulatory review and authorization process that will facilitate implementation of annual repairs of small erosion sites on levees within the SRFCP area. SRFCP area contains approximately 900 to 1,000 miles of levees. For the initial 5-year SERP effort, the coverage area is a subset of the SRFCP and represents approximately 300 miles of levees maintained by DWR.

Specifically, this permit authorizes the DWR to implement the SERP (as described in the Small Erosion Repair Program Manual over a 5-year period along the SRFCP in accordance with the conservation-based design standards identified in the Small Erosion Repair Program Manual, provided the activity meets all of the following criteria:

1. Activities at each SERP site shall not result in impacts to more than 1,000 linear feet and/or 0.5-acre below the jurisdictional limits of waters of the U.S.

2. No site shall take more than two weeks of active (continuous) construction, not including revegetation unless this criterion is waived in writing by the district engineer.

3. No material shall be placed in excess of the minimum needed for erosion protection.

4. The activity shall not involve discharges of dredged or fill material into special aquatic sites, unless this criterion is waived in writing by the district engineer.

5. No fill material shall be placed in any location, or in any manner, that impairs surface water flow into or out of any water of the United States;

6. The activity shall not be a stream channelization activity.


Purpose of the Proposed RGP: SERP is a collaborative interagency effort to develop a streamlined regulatory review and authorization process that will facilitate implementation of annual repairs of small erosion repair sites on levees within the SRFCP area. Phase I of SERP would represent approximately 300 miles of levees maintained by DWR. Currently, small erosion repair projects require issuance of permits on a project-by-project basis which may result in long-term project delays. Delayed repairs may leave the eroded areas susceptible to further damage, loss of riparian vegetation, and pose a potential public safety hazard. In order to streamline the application and permitting process for these activities and to allow DWR greater flexibility in planning the necessary erosion repairs, the Corps of Engineers proposes to issue Regional General Permit #9.

OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board is required for activities covered under this RGP. DWR has indicated they have applied for certification.

HISTORIC PROPERTIES: The Corps will determine if the activities proposed for authorization under this RGP would affect cultural resources listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places and 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. Therefore, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued a programmatic Biological Opinion for Phase I of the SERP program on (FWS#: 08ESMF00-2013-F-0450, dated September 24, 2013; NMFS#: 2013/9493, dated October 29, 2013). 

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The proposed project may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat. NMFS provided conservation recommendations within its programmatic Biological Opinion to address effects to EFH.

EVALUATION FACTORS: The decision whether to issue the proposed RGP 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 RGP. 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-2006-00228 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before April 28, 2014.

Krystel Bell, Senior Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
1325 J Street, Room 1350, 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 or the Corps' project manager Krystel Bell, 916-557-7745,

Attachments: Draft Proposed RGP and 1 drawing