Comments Period: September 24, 2014 – October 9, 2014
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Little Country Church project, which would result in impacts to approximately 0.65 acres of waters of the United States, including wetlands, in adjacent to an unnamed tributary to Churn Creek. This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments.
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: Jeff Wilson, Little Country Church, 873 Canby Road, Redding, California 96002
LOCATION: The 7-acre site is located near Churn Creek, Section 29, Township 32 North, Range 4 West, Mount Diablo Meridian, Latitude 40.5954527229872°, Longitude -122.352589811328°, Redding, Shasta County, California, and can be seen on the CA-ENTERPRISE USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to construct a new worship center, a multi-purpose/gymnasium building, associated parking facilities, and a stormwater detention basin. The applicant believes there is a need to expand the current church facilities to meet the needs of the current parishioners as well as projected growth. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. There are approximately 0.65 acres of waters of the United States within the project area. These waters consist of 0.18 acres of fresh water emergent/riparian wetland complex, 0.35 acres of wetland meadow habitat, and 0.03 acres of ephemeral drainage. The site is characterized by gently sloping topography of ruderal grassland with a small amount of riparian vegetation. The site is located within the City of Redding and is surrounded on three sides by existing development. This development consists of residential to the East and West and the existing Little Country Church facilities to the North. The property and the property to the South have been previously disturbed during development in the area.
Alternatives. The applicant has not 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 purchase mitigation credits at the Stillwater Plains Mitigation Bank to off-set proposed impacts to waters of the U.S.
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.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Based on the available information (including applicant's report entitled An Archeological Inventory For The Little Country Church Expansion, Shasta County, California, dates February 2014) no cultural resources were identified 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 threatened vernal pool fairy shrimp (Branchinecta lynchi) and the vernal pool tadpole shrimp (Lepiduras packardi). 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-2013-00020 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before October 9, 2014.
Matthew Kelley, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
310 Hemsted Drive, Suite 310
Redding, California 96002
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 Matthew Kelley, 530-223-9534, Matthew.P.Kelley@usace.army.mil.
Attachments: 5 drawings