Comments Period: June 1, 2015 – June 15, 2015
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Elko Regional Athletic Complex project, which would result in impacts to approximately 3.20 acres of waters of the United States, including wetlands, in or adjacent to Humboldt 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: City of Elko, Department of Engineering, Attn: Jeremy Draper, P.E., 1755 College Avenue, Elko, Nevada 89801
LOCATION: The 81-acre site is located in uplands and wetlands adjacent to the Humboldt River, Section 22, Township 34 North, Range 55 East, Mount Diablo Meridian, Latitude 40.82145°, Longitude -115.77172°, Elko, Elko County, Nevada, and can be seen on the NV-ELKO WEST USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to place up to 5,162 cubic yards of fill material in 3.20 acres of constructed mitigation wetlands to construct the Elko Regional Athletic Complex (RAC). The proposed 81-acre RAC site would include a 51-acre municipal regional athletic complex and 30 acres of open space. The RAC will have six baseball diamonds, two soccer fields, two parking areas, warm up areas, open space, a playground, a picnic area, a recreational nature trail, and a utility corridor. The 30 acres of open space, include the existing wetlands and proposed compensatory wetlands mitigation area, are proposed to be a conservation area. Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to satisfy the need for additional athletic space in Elko, Nevada, particularly space for competitive play baseball fields. The applicant states there is a need for additional athletic space in Elko, particularly space for competitive play baseball fields; a city park and recreational area for city residents; nature trail and conservation area for the purpose of outreach and education for Humboldt River ecosystems. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. There are approximately 6.95 acres of emergent wetlands within the project area, 3.2 acres of which is a compensatory wetland mitigation site for a previously authorized project. The 81-acre site consists of an abandoned floodplain on the north side of the project that contains a wetland-upland mosaic adjacent to the Humboldt River and a xeric shrub zone on the south side. Unique to the Property is a geothermal spring (Hot Hole) on the west side of the Property.
Alternatives. The applicant has provided information concerning project alternatives, which includes the following: Humboldt River (Applicant Preferred), North 5th Street (Alternative 1), 8 Mile Creek (Alternative 2), and Kittridge Canyon (Alternative 3). Alternatives 1, 2, 3 and the Applicant Preferred are depicted on figure D-4 included with this Public Notice. 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 establish 4.80 acres of wetlands on site in the conservation area, additionally trees and shrubs will be planted to enhance uplands within the larger conservation area.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Water Quality Planning (NDEP) is required for this project. The NDEP will review the project to determine if the proposed work will comply with applicable water quality standards. Projects are usually certified for construction activities that may discharge diffuse (nonpoint) sources of pollutants and where best management practices would be required to prevent erosion, control sediment and protect water quality. Written comments on water quality certification should be submitted to Ms. Jean Stone, Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Water Quality Planning, 901 South Stewart Street, Suite 4001, Carson City, Nevada 89701-5249, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, on or before June 30, 2015.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Based on the available information (including applicant's report titled Class III Cultural Resources Inventory for the Elko Sports Complex Project) 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.
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.
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-2013-00923 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before June 15, 2015.
Kristine Hansen, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
Reno Regulatory Field Office
300 Booth Street, Room 3050
Reno, Nevada 89509
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.
Attachments: 3 drawings