SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Point Perry Commercial project, which would result in impacts to approximately 11.77-acres of waters of the United States, including wetlands, adjacent to the Great Salt Lake. 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: Roland Walker, McNeil Development Company, 1070 Riverwalk Drive, Suite 200, Idaho Falls, ID
LOCATION: The 105-acre site is located west of Interstate 15, along South Pointe Perry Drive in Sections 27 and 34, Township 9 North, Range 2 West, Salt Lake Meridian, Latitude 41.485°, Longitude -112.058°, Perry City, Box Elder County, Utah.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: McNeil Development Company proposes to complete the development of 105-acres into commercial properties. This project would impact the remaining 11.77-acres of jurisdictional waters to develop 40 separate commercial lots, construct access roads, and install associated utilities.
Project History: This project was previously authorized under a standard permit finalized on January 15, 2003; the permit was modified on June 8, 2004. The permit expired January 15, 2008. The applicant would like to complete the previously authorized project. The original permit authorized 28.6-acres of impacts to jurisdictional waters, including wetlands. Prior to the 2008 permit expiration date, approximately 8.47-acres of wetland were filled to construct an access road, the Days Inn Motel and the Pilot Travel Center Gas Station. The compensatory mitigation was restoration of 16.4-acres of wetland on the 75-acre Reese parcel has been completed. However, the land transfer of the Reece parcel to the adjacent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Refuge has not been completed. According to the applicant and consultant, the 16.4 acres of wetland restoration has met the success criteria identified in the mitigation and monitoring plan. The Corps has not yet evaluated the compensatory mitigation site and made its final determination.
Proposed Project: In the Spring of 2014, the development property was re-delineated for wetlands and waters, since the 2000 delineation had expired. Based on the new delineation report, the acreage of jurisdictional waters remaining within the site have reduced by almost half to 9.63-acres of wetlands and 6,605 linear feet of ditches. Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to develop a commercial space in the Point Perry area. The project would be comprised of 40 lots with associated utilities. There are two companies that would construct facilities at this location as identified on the project map, but the other 38 parcels would remain vacant until buyers or tenants could be identified. This commercial space would generate business- and commerce-sourced tax base revenues for the City of Perry. The applicant believes these tax revenues are critical in supporting current and future needs of Perry City roads, police and fire protection, medical services, parks and recreation, and general administration for the city.
Environmental Setting. The project area is 105 acres, including approximately 0.36 acres of fresh wet meadow, 3.08 acres fresh wet meadow, 3.9 acres marsh, 2.14 acres saline wet meadow and 6,605 linear feet of ditches. Dominant wetland vegetation identified within the site is salt grass (Distichlis spicata), bulrush (Schoenoplectus sp.), Phragmites (Phragmites australis), cattail (Typha sp.), and rush (Juncus sp.). The sporadic upland areas are dominated by weedy species mainly cheatgrasss (Bromus tectorum) and slender rye (Elymus trachycaulus), tall wheatgrass (Thinopyrum ponticum) and field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense). Soils throughout the site are saline fine-textured silt and clays. The site is relatively flat with a grade less than 1% to the west. The property is bordered by the Bear River Refuge on the west and Interstate15 to the east. Historically, the site was grazed for livestock. The Pilot Travel Center Gas Station and Days Inn Motel located within the project area were constructed under the 2003 permit.
Alternatives. The applicant has not submitted alternatives information for the current permit request. However, the applicant provided a number of alternatives that did not meet the project purpose and need under the original permit application. The previously evaluated alternatives included offsite properties that either were not available, did not meet the project purpose, or would have resulted in greater impacts to jurisdictional waters. The onsite alternatives included a smaller 40-acre project size with impact to 0.2-acre of wetland and a larger 152-acre project size that would have impacted 78 acres of waters of the United States. The Corps will evaluate these and other alternatives that may be identified through the course of this permit evaluation process.
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 already completed most of the requirements of the compensatory mitigation plan for the permit issued in 2003. The mitigation consisted of restoring 16.4-acres of wetland habitat on a 75-acre parcel located approximately ¼-mile south of the project site. The 75-acre parcel Reece property) was then be transferred to the adjacent Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Refuge. The wetland restoration site was monitored for a 5-year period and was considered successful by the applicant and consultant. However, the restoration site has not been determined successful by the Corps and the mitigation land transfer has not been completed. The Corps will verify the success of the mitigation during the course of the permit evaluation process. The applicant has stated the mitigation land transfer would be completed soon. Further, since authorization of the original project in 2003, the Corps implemented new procedures for determining appropriate compensatory mitigation ratios. The mitigation plan will be re-evaluated using the revised mitigation ratio evaluation procedures to ensure appropriate compensatory mitigation for the loss of waters resulting from the project.
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 June 22, 2014.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: The National Register of Historic Places was reviewed prior to the issuance of the January 15th, 2003 permit. No historic properties were identified within the project area or neighboring properties. Since more than 5 years have lapsed since the last Historic Properties review, the applicant will conduct an additional review and submit the findings to the Corps.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: Under the January 15 2003 permit, the only potential endangered species to occupy the site was the Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). It was determined that the site had no roosts and no known roosts were located to the south. Tthe Bald eagle was delisted on August 8, 2007The Corps will initiate consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as appropriate, if any ESA issues arise.
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 June 22, 2014.
Hollis Jencks, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Bountiful 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: 8 drawings