Comments Period: May 7, 2015 – June 5, 2015
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to implement the Richardson Project, which would result in impacts to approximately 4.24 acres of waters of the United States, including wetlands, in or adjacent to Lee Creek and the Great Salt Lake.
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: Richardson Property 2100 LLC, Attn: Mr. Melvin Richardson, 2350 East 3700 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84109
LOCATION: The 22.65-acre site is located at 6885 West 2100 South, Section 15, Township 1 South, Range 2 West, Salt Lake Meridian, Latitude 40.72432°, Longitude -112.05506°, West Valley City, Salt Lake County, Utah, and can be seen on the UT-MAGNA USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to fill approximately 1.55 acres of saline wet meadow and 2.74 acres of playa to provide an area for the storage of construction waste material from future nearby construction projects (ex. Mountain View Corridor and ATK Facility improvements). The construction fill would be placed throughout an approximately 11.6 acre area. Fill would be distributed in 3 foot lifts, not to exceed 40 feet with 2:1 (horizontal:vertical) slopes. A maximum of 497,610 cubic yards of material could be placed within the site. The remaining 2.59 acres of upland would be comprised of an access road and equipment storage area. Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to store construction waste. The applicant believes there is a need to provide construction waste material storage for future nearby projects. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. There are approximately 8.46 acres of waters of the U.S within the 22.65 acre site. The upland areas within the site are relatively flat and have been heavily disturbed from adjacent land uses (ex. car salvage yards and concrete recycling facility) and illegal dumping of trash within the property. The upland areas are comprised mainly of noxious weeds and bare ground. The saline wet meadow (2.98 acres) is classified, as such, since it has more than 5% wetland vegetation. These areas are located on the fringe of the playa and are mainly comprised of saltgrass (Distichilis spicata) and fourwing saltbush (Atriplex tridentata). Overall, the playa (5.53 acres) is mainly devoid of vegetation and has steep slopes leading to the areas used for fill in the past, approximate 15 foot elevation change. Playa and adjacent saline wet meadow hydrology is from precipitation that mainly takes place during the spring and late part of the winter. Soils for the onsite wetlands were classified as Saltair-Playas-Lasil complex.
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 mitigate with the creation of 1.05 acres of saline wet meadow and 0.19 acres of playa onsite. The remaining 3 acres would be mitigated with the purchase of credits from Corps approved mitigation bank.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the Utah Department of Water Quality 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 titled An Archeological Resource Investigation of the Richardson Property), 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 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 and/or the National Marine Fisheries 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-1996-50498 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before June 5, 2015.
Hollis Jencks, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
Utah 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 ext. 18, Hollis.G.Jencks@usace.army.mil.
Attachments: 8 drawings