Comments Period: September 24, 2015 – October 23, 2015
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Logan Wastewater Expansion Area project, which would result in permanent impacts to approximately 10.14 acres of wetland and 0.65 acres of canal, and temporary impacts to 2.36 acres of wetland, adjacent to the Cutler Reservoir. 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 Logan Environmental Director, Attn: Issa Hamud, P.E., 153 North 1400 West, Logan, Utah 84321
LOCATION: The approximately 30-acre project site is located on the north side of 200 North (Valley View Highway), immediately south of the existing sewage lagoons facility, in Section 36, Township 12 North, Range 1 West, Salt Lake Meridian, Latitude 41.738°, Longitude -111.890°, Logan City, Cache County, Utah.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to construct an addition to the existing wastewater treatment facility and lagoon system to meet the new Environmental Protection Agency and Utah Division of Water Quality water quality standards for water discharged from the faciity. In order to meet these new standards, Logan City must reduced their phosphorous discharge by approximately 65% and meet the ammonia discharge standards of less than 3.0 milligrams per liter during winter months and 1.5 milligrams per liter during summer months. The current facility treats approximately 14 million gallons of wastewater through a passive system that filters out solid wastes and harmful chemicals before discharging the effluent for irrigation use. This facility treats wastewater from Logan, Nibley, Providence, River Heights, North Logan and Smithfield. The proposed project would construct a three-stage Bardenpho bioreactor mechanical treatment facility in phases. The new facility would encompass approximately 30 acres and include six 1.5 million gallon bioreactor basins, six 90-foot diameter secondary clarifier basins, two 50-foot diameter solid holding tanks, odor control building, two 54-inch pipes to reroute wastewater, administration building, electrical building, a new headworks facility, access roads, parking, sidewalks, and security fencing. The geotechnical studies would require the 30-acre site to be preloaded for settling with 6 feet of material for an 18-month period prior to construction. The proposed project would permanently impact approximately 10.14 acres of wetland and 1,794 linear feet or 0.65 acres of canal, and temporary impacts to 2.36 acres of wetland. The temporary impacts would result from rerouting of the wastewater pipeline from its current input on the east side of the existing ponds to the proposed facility and would be restored to preconstruction conditions. The irrigation canal would be rerouted south of the proposed project and has been designed to pass current flows. The applicant believes there is a need to expand the wastewater treatment plant to meet Environmental Protection Agency and Utah water quality requirements. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. There are approximately 14.92 acres of palustrine emergent wetlands and 4,765 linear feet of ditches/canals within the 30-acre project area. The site is located directly south of the existing facility that was constructed in 1983. The relatively flat site has historically been grazed and hayed. The site has been flood irrigated for many years and waters within the site typically flow to the southwest. The 14.92 acres of wetland are classified as palustrine emergent and are mainly comprised of meadow foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis), Nebraska sedge (Carex nebraskensis), foxtail barley (Hordeum jubatum), saltgrass (Distichlis spicata) and reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea). Uplands within the site are mainly vegetated with Timothy (Phleum pretense), meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis), and quackgrass (Elymus repens).
Alternatives. The applicant has provided information concerning other mechanical wastewater treatment plant type 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 offset the 10.14 acres of permanent wetlands impact at a Logan City site located 0.8 miles southeast of the project site. The proposed site is located east of an existing wetland mitigation site and includes approximately 13.5 acres. The mitigation would involve the establishment of 4.82 acres of emergent wet meadow that would be sustained by groundwater and an adjacent spring. The proposed establishment would be comprised of sedges and other wetland grasses. The remaining 7.38 acres would be mitigated through the preservation of a wetland area that was unintentionally created by Logan City around 2004. This existing freshwater marsh is comprised mainly of bulrushes and cattails. The applicant has also proposed a 1.048 acre upland buffer around the south and eastern end of the mitigation site.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act is required for this project. The applicant has not indicated they have applied for certification.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Based on the available information (including applicant's report titled “Logan City Wastewater Treatment Facilities Environmental Assessment,” August 2015), 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, 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-2012-01298-UO must be submitted to the office listed below on or before October 23, 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, email Hollis.G.Jencks@usace.army.mil.
Attachments: 5 drawings