Comments Period: April 22, 2016 – May 23, 2016
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application for a programmatic maintenance dredging project, which would result in approximately 369,300 cubic yards of sediment removal, and would occur over the course of 5 years within waters of the United States. This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments.
AUTHORITY: This application is being evaluated under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 for structures or work in or affecting navigable waters of the United States and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the discharge of dredged or fill material in waters of the United States.
APPLICANT: Port of Stockton, , Attn: Mr. Jason Cashman, 2201 West Washington Street, Stockton, California 95203
LOCATION: The proposed project site is located within the Stockton Deep Water Ship Channel (DWSC), Latitude 37.961889°, Longitude -121.364539°, San Joaquin County, California, and can be seen on the CA-STOCKTON WEST USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing maintenance dredging at Docks 2 through 20, with placement at the Roberts Island and/or Rough and Ready Island, Dredged Material Placement Site’s (DMPS). According to the applicant, the proposed project would involve removal of sediment and debris from the dredge areas to a nominal depth of -35 feet Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) at Docks 2 through 11 and 14 through 20 and -40 feet MLLW at Docks 12 and 13, with an additional 2 feet of overdepth in all areas (approximately 1,788,600 square feet or 41 acres). Dredging would occur within dock extents identified by the project plans. The Port estimates a maximum removal of 396,300 cubic yards over the course of a 5-year period.
Environmental Setting. The Port is located in the of Stockton, San Joaquin County, approximately 75 miles east of San Francisco and 40 miles southeast of Sacramento. The Port is bisected by the San Joaquin River and divided into two areas along the Stockton DWSC: the East Complex and the West Complex (Rough and Ready Island).
Alternatives. The applicant has not provided information concerning project alternatives at this time. 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.
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: 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 endangered or threatened species or their critical habitat. The Corps will initiate consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as appropriate.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The Corps will initiate consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service, pursuant to Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as appropriate.
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-2016-00220 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before May 23, 2016.
Chandra Jenkins, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
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 Chandra Jenkins, 916-557-6652, Chandra.L.Jenkins@usace.army.mil.
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