Comments Period: December 15, 2014 – December 30, 2014
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Don Pedro Reservoir Bank Stabilization project, which would result in permanent impacts to approximately 2.67 acres and temporary impacts to approximately 7.61 acres of waters of the United States in Don Pedro Reservoir, on the Tuolumne River. 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: Turlock Irrigation District, Attn: Mr. Timothy Payne, P.O. Box 949, Turlock, California 95381-0949
LOCATION: The project is located at three separate sites within Don Pedro Reservoir on the Tuolumne River, Tuolumne County, California. Site 1 is approximately 0.83 acre and is located within Section 28, Township 1 South, Range 15 East, MDB&M, Latitude 37.824123°, Longitude -120.326726°. Site 2 is approximately 7.43 acres and is located within Sections 25 and 36, Township 2 South, Range 14 East, and Section 30 and 31, Township 2 South, Range 15 East, MDB&M, Latitude 37.722526°, Longitude -120.372198°. Site 3 is approximately 7.34 acres and is located within Sections 10, 14, 23, and 26, Township 2 South, Range 14 East, MDB&M, Latitude 37.739067°, Longitude -120.398146°.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant proposes to stabilize the bank by installing landscaping fabric, gravel, and/or rock material. Access routes would use existing roads to the maximum extent possible. All fill materials placed within the erosion sites and any access routes would be left in place upon project completion. The water levels within the reservoir are currently below the work sites and the applicant proposes to start the work as soon as possible in order to complete the work while the sites are dry.
Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is bank stabilization within Don Pedro Reservoir. The applicant believes there is a need to protect the slopes from additional erosion. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. There are approximately 10.28 acres of waters within the project area. The site is characterized by a managed water storage and hydroelectric reservoir surrounded by oak and mixed conifer woodlands. The erosion sites are located below the ordinary high water mark of the reservoir and are unvegetated.
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 that the project would be beneficial and does not required compensatory mitigation.
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 this project. The applicant has indicated they have applied for certification.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Based on the available information, including the applicant's report, potentially eligible cultural resources may be affected by the proposed 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: The project would not affect any Federally-listed threatened or endangered 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, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as appropriate.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The proposed project would 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-2013-00095 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before December 30, 2014.
Zachary Simmons, 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 Zachary Simmons, 916-557-6746, Zachary.M.Simmons@usace.army.mil.
Attachment: 1 drawing