Comments Period: September 9, 2016– October 10, 2016
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Western Basin L&L (Marriott) project, which would result in impacts to approximately 1.38 acres of palustrine emergent wetland, adjacent to Salt Creek and the Great Salt Lake. 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: Western Basin Land and Livestock, LLC, Attn: Mr. Randy Marriott, 5238 West 2150 North, Plain City, Utah 84404
LOCATION: The approximately 2.865-acre project site is located adjacent to Salt Creek and south of Willard Bay, Latitude 41.30942°, Longitude -112.11428°, Plain City, Weber County, Utah, and can be seen on the UT-PLAIN CITY USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to level 1.38 acres of palustrine emergent wetland so the area can be flood irrigated from west to east. Currently, the wetland area intercepts the irrigation flows from the west and conveys these flows into Salt Creek. The area would be filled with approximately 5-10 feet of clean and local fill to provide a gently sloped surface. Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to provide more efficient flood irrigation practices. The applicant believes there is a need to provide better irrigation practices between the western and eastern fields. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. There are approximately 1.38 acres of palustrine emergent wetland within the project area. The wetland area is an oxbow of Salt Creek that is approximately 5-10 feet lower than the surrounding agricultural fields. The oxbow is dominated by cattail (Tyha latifolia), common spikerush (Eleochris palustris), foxtail barley (Hordeum jubatum), water smartweed (Polygonum amphibium) and hardstem bulrush (Schoenoplectus acutus). This oxbow flows south through a culvert into Salt Creek, approximately 200 feet to the south. Salt Creek is a tributary of the Great Salt Lake approximately 2 miles northwest. The area adjacent to the oxbow and north of Salt Creek is agricultural land utilized mainly for crop production.
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 purchase mitigation credits from an 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 Division of Water Quality is required for this project. The applicant has not indicated they have applied for certification. 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 October 10, 2016.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Based on the available information including the applicant's report titled “Cultural Resource Inventory for Balance Environmental Oxbow Parcel Survey, Weber County Utah”, 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.
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-2010-00417-UO must be submitted to the office listed below on or before October 10, 2016.
Hollis Jencks, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
Bountiful 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: 3 drawings