Comments Period: July 30, 2014 – August 15, 2014
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to undertake the Vortex Marine Construction Harbor Maintenance and Dredging project, which would affect approximately 3.62-acres of navigable waters of the United States, in the San Joaquin River. This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments.
AUTHORITY: This application is being evaluated under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 for structures and work in 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: Blaise Fettig, Marterm Holdings LLC, P.O. Box 1575, Antioch, California 94509
LOCATION: The 7.15-acre site is located at the San Joaquin Yacht Harbor, 3307 Wilbur Avenue, Section 16, Township 2 North, Range 2 East, Mount Diablo Meridian, Latitude 38.018825°, Longitude -121.755754°, Antioch, Contra Costa County, California, and can be seen on the CA-ANTIOCH NORTH USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to 1) remove all wrecked, abandoned or disabled vessels and manmade obstructions to navigation within the harbor and harbor entrance, 2) remove all existing covered and uncovered floating docks, 3) stabilize and reconstruct harbor bulkhead, 4) reconstruct, widen and stabilize the harbor entrance, and 5) maintenance dredge harbor entrance and harbor. Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to reconstruct an existing marine harbor and dredge the harbor entrance and harbor. All boats, floating docks, and creosote pilings removed as part of the project would be appropriately disposed of, and all eligible materials would be recycled. The areal size of the marina would remain the same, which is approximately 250-feet x 500-feet. Approximately 4,050-square feet of fill, primarily concrete rubble and 39-square feet of timber piles (totaling 4,089-square feet of material) would be removed at the harbor entrance which would result in the loss of one cottonwood tree. Approximately 41,130-square feet of berth roofs, 10,320-square feet of floating docks, and 212-square feet of timber piles (totaling 51,662-square feet of material) would be removed from within the harbor. Approximately 1,885-linear feet of sheet pile bulkhead would be installed around the reconfigured harbor entrance and harbor with a vibratory hammer utilizing noise reduction practices. Approximately 0.04-acres of the harbor would be backfilled behind the new sheetpile bulkhead with dredged material. Approximately 2,000 square feet of the failed south-west corner would be excavated and reconstructed. Approximately 39,230 cubic yards of material would be excavated from within the harbor to restore a navigable depth of -10 MLLW. A silt curtain would be utilized during the harbor entrance construction activities and a silt curtain or cofferdam would be installed across the harbor entrance to minimize turbidity and sedimentation impacts to the river water column. The dredged material would be isolated and stockpiled using best management practices to minimize return flow. All vessels, floating docks, timber and creosote pilings, concrete rubble and excavated soils would be isolated, tested and disposed of appropriately. The applicant believes there is a need to reconstruct the marine harbor and dredge to navigational depths to relocate an established marine construction and dredging business. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. There are approximately 3.62-acres of navigable waters of the U.S. within the man-made harbor and entrance. The harbor was constructed in the early 1940’s from uplands (confirmed with historical imagery) and utilized as a marina for recreational vessels. The harbor entrance and harbor contain an estimated 4,499-cubic yards and 34-731-cubic yards of sedimentation, respectively.
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 proposed to use Best Management Practices to minimize effluent.
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 they have applied for certification.
Local Approvals: The applicant has applied to and been advised by Contra Costa County, Department of Conservation and Development, Community Development Division that the proposed land use meets the intent and purpose of the Heavy Industrial zoning district and the granting of a land use permit would not be required prior to establishing the marine construction and dredging business.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Based on the available information (including applicant's statement dated June 26, 2014, no cultural resources were identified within the project's area of potential effect.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The proposed activity may affect Federally-listed endangered or threatened species or their critical habitat that are protected by the Endangered Species Act. . The Corps will initiate consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as appropriate.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The proposed project may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat. 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-2014-00500 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before August 15, 2014.
Ramon Aberasturi, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
1325 J Street, Room 1480
Sacramento, California 95814
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 Ramon Aberasturi, 916-557-6865, Ramon.Aberasturi@usace.army.mil.
Attachments: 1. Overall location drawing
2. Project location drawing
3. Antioch aerial photograph
4. Adjacent industrial sites aerial photograph
5. Project site drawing