Comments Period: June 10, 2016– July 11, 2016
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Cache County #4 High School, which would result in impacts to approximately 1.2 acres of waters of the United States (wetlands). 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: Cache County School District, Attn: Mr. Dale Hansen, Building Administrator, 2063 North 1200 East, North Logan, Utah 84341
LOCATION: The approximately 60-acre project site is located southeast of the future intersection of 200 East and 3100 North, Latitude 41.78576°, Longitude -111.82837°, North Logan, Cache County, Utah, and can be seen on the UT-SMITHFIELD USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to construct an additional high school to meet the demands of the growing population of Cache County. The proposed high school project would include parking areas, roadways, track/field area, 3 baseball fields, 8 tennis courts, 4 soccer/football fields and any associated utilities. Also, included in this application is the extension of 3100 North and 2850 North to the west to join with 200 East. The proposed project would permanently impact 1.2 acres of palustrine emergent wetland located in the northwest portion of the site. Wetland impacts would be from the extension of 3100 North and a portion of the student parking lot. The extension of 200 East was previously authorized by the Corps in 2015. The applicant believes there is a need to construct a new high school. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. The approximately 60 acre site is bordered by housing to the east and the Eccles Ice Center to the south and a RV Park to the west. The project site is undeveloped and is pastureland dominated by row crops such as hay, winter wheat and alfalfa. There are approximately 1.2 acres of wet meadow within the project area that are sustained by groundwater and adjacent irrigation. The wet meadow is dominated by Nebraska sedge (Carex nebrascensis), beaked sedge (Carex rostrata), smooth scouring rush (Equisetum laevigatum), Artic rush (Juncus articus), redtop (Agrostis alba), foxtail barley (Hordeum jubatum) and fowl bluegrass (Poa palustris).
Alternatives. The applicant has not provided detailed 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 for wetland losses at the 40 acre Bear River Bottoms site located in Trenton, Utah. Mitigation would include the creation of 3.39 acres of wetland and the removal of 0.58 acres of invasive Phragmites. The proposed mitigation site is owned by PacifiCorp and located is approximately 9 miles northwest of the project site along the Bear River. Currently the proposed mitigation site contains approximately 15.2 acres of palustrine emergent wetland.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality is required for this project. The applicant has indicated their application for Utah 401 certification will be submitted shortly. Written comments on water quality certification should be submitted to Mr. William Damery, Utah Division of Water Quality, P.O. Box 144870, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4870, or email email@example.com, on or before July 5, 2016.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Based on the available information (including applicant's report titled “Cultural Resource Assessment for Potential Section 6(f) Replacement Parcels, Cache County Utah,” 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.
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-2016-00385-UO must be submitted to the office listed below on or before July 11, 2016.
Hollis Jencks, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, 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: 7 drawings