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SPA-2017-00211-SCO

Posted: 7/13/2017

Expiration date: 8/11/2017


PERMIT APPLICATION UNDER SECTION 404 OF THE CLEAN WATER ACT (33 USC 1344)

Summary: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District hereby requests public comment on the following project before the above comment due date. The application is for a Department of the Army permit to place dredged/fill material into waters of the U.S. associated with the construction of five grade control structures and the installation of riprap bank stabilization along approximately 1,900 linear feet of Sand Creek downstream of East Platte Avenue in Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado. Details of the proposed project are provided below.

Applicant: City of Colorado Springs, 30 S. Nevada Ave, Ste. 401, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Agent: Mary Powell, CORVUS Environmental Consulting LLC, 809 Harrison St., Denver, CO 80206

Project Location: The project is located along Sand Creek from the East Platte Avenue Bridge downstream to the confluence of West Fork Sand Creek. The approximate coordinates of the project beginning and end are 38.8390º, -104.7282º and 38.8325º, -104.7328º.

Project Description: The Sand Creek Stabilization and Erosion Control Project would involve raising the channel grade and overbank elevations to pre-degradation elevations by construction of five grouted sloping boulder grade control structures, installation of riprap bank stabilization along both stream banks within the approximately 1,900-foot stream reach, and extension and improvement of existing stormwater outfalls along the reach. The project would result in the permanent loss of 0.28 acre of wetlands and 1.02 acres of other waters of the U.S. within the Mainstem of Sand Creek.

Purpose and Need: The applicant’s stated purpose and need is to (1) repair and stabilize the degraded reach of Sand Creek downstream of East Platte Avenue and (2) improve water quality by reducing the volumes of sediment conveyed from the site to Fountain Creek.

Mitigation: In compliance with the South Pacific Division compensatory mitigation requirements and guidelines, the project includes on-site and in-kind compensatory mitigation at a minimum 1:1 ratio, including construction of approximately 1.04 acres of wetland benches. Because the reestablished streambed and adjacent wetlands will be in the same general location and of the same type as those impacted, aquatic functions and values will be the same or better than those of the permanently impacted resources.

Plans and Data: Drawings showing the location of the work site and other data are enclosed with this notice. Additional information may be obtained from the applicant, or from the Southern Colorado Regulatory Office at:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Southern Colorado Regulatory Office
ATTN: Joshua G. Carpenter
200 South Santa Fe Avenue, Suite 301
Pueblo, Colorado 81003-4270
Phone: (719) 543-6914
E-mail: joshua.g.carpenter@usace.army.mil

Statement of Findings: The Corps consulted district files and records, the latest version of the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), and state records of NRHP-eligible and potentially eligible historic properties to determine if there are any historic properties that may be affected by the proposed undertaking. Based on this initial information, the Corps has made a preliminary determination that the proposed project will not affect any historic properties that meet the criteria for inclusion in the NRHP.

The Corps has reviewed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's latest published version of Federally-listed endangered and threatened species located in El Paso County, Colorado to determine if any listed species or their critical habitat may occur in the proposed project area. The Corps has made a preliminary determination that the proposed project will not affect any Federally-listed endangered or threatened species or their critical habitat that are protected by the Endangered Species Act.

The applicant is required to obtain water quality certification, under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Section 401 requires that any applicant for an individual Section 404 permit provide proof of water quality certification to the Corps of Engineers prior to permit issuance.

In accordance with environmental procedures and documentation required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, an environmental assessment will be prepared for this project. Upon completion, the assessment may be seen at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District Office, at the address given above.

Comments: Any comments concerning this project should be received by the District Engineer no later than August 12, 2017. Comments received after the end of the Public Notice comment period will not be considered. However, more time may be given if a request, with a valid reason, is received prior to the suspense date. The Corps of Engineers 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 of Engineers 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 the other public interest factors listed below. 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.

The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact, including cumulative impacts, of the proposed 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 proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. The evaluation of the impact of this activity will include application of the guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, EPA, under authority of Section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act. All factors relevant to the proposal and the cumulative effects will be considered; among these are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historic properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shore erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership, and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.

If the District Engineer determines that the project complies with the 404(b) (1) guidelines, he will grant the permit unless issuance would be contrary to the public interest.