US Army Corps of Engineers
Albuquerque District Website

SPECIAL PUBLIC NOTICE - REGIONAL GENERAL PERMIT NM RGP- 17 - 02

Published Oct. 30, 2017
Expiration date: 11/30/2017

DATE: 10/03/2017

JOINT PUBLIC NOTICE

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District

   New Mexico EnvironmeNtal Department, Surface Water Quality Bureau

The Albuquerque District has posted a public notice to our internet home page as well as a copy of the Regional General Permit 17-02:  http://www.spa.usace.army.mil/Missions/RegulatoryProgramandPermits.aspx.

SUMMARY OF PROPOSED ACTION:  Interested parties are hereby notified that, in accordance with 33 CFR 322.2(f), 323.2(h), and 325.2(e)(2), the Albuquerque District  of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is proposing to reissue regional general permit (RGP)17-02 (previously RGP 12- 02), Bureau of Reclamation, Rio Grande, Elephant Butte Reach, Channel Maintenance. The purpose of this public notice is to inform interested parties of the availability of the draft RGP and to solicit comments. 

AUTHORITY: Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the discharge of dredged or fill material in waters of the U.S. State water quality certification is provided under authority of 20.6.2 NMAC. 

AREA OF COVERAGE: The project site is located in or adjacent to the Rio Grande, Mescal Arroyo, Cuchillo Negro Creek, Arroyo Hondo, Palomas Creek and other Rio Grande tributaries within the reach between the Elephant Butte Dam channel, Section 27, Tl3S, R4W, Latitude 33.15386° N, Longitude -107.19256° W to the Interstate 25 Bridge south of Caballo Dam, Section 31, T16S, R4W, Latitude 32.87941° N, Longitude -107.29695° W, Sierra County, New Mexico.

Within the State of New Mexico. 

SCOPE OF ACTIVITIES: The applicant proposes to annually remove up to approximately 60,000 cubic yards (cy) of sediment and other debris from the Rio Grande near the following tributaries: Mescal Arroyo, Cuchillo Negro Creek, Arroyo Hondo, Palomas Arroyo, Red Canyon, Ralph Edwards Park, Carrie Tingley Hill, and several unnamed smaller arroyos between the Elephant Butte Dam channel from the base to the headwaters of Caballo Reservoir and below Caballo Dam to the Interstate 25 bridge. Removal of additional quantities of sediment and debris may be approved by USACE under this permit in the event of heavy monsoon rainfalls and debris flows.

Additional quantity removals would be subject to prior approval by the USACE. Sediments would be removed during periods of low flow or when irrigation season flows cease from Elephant Butte Dam. Equipment used for sediment removal includes excavators, scrapers and bulldozers. Existing upland spoil areas would be used as disposal sites. 

Two existing grade control structures, located south of Cuchillo Negro Creek, will be maintained. An estimated 50 cubic yards (cy) of rock rip rap would be used annually to maintain these structures. Equipment used for maintenance of existing bank protection structures includes front end loaders, bulldozers and excavators. 

A maximum of 1000 cy of rock rip rap would be used annually to maintain existing bank stabilization or to construct additional new bank protection for private properties along the reach. This work  would primarily occur between the Rio Grande Bridge below Elephant Butte Dam to Williamsburg where there is a patchwork of private properties with a mix of existing rip rap bank stabilization and unprotected areas. The work in these areas would occur as needed based on response to erosion caused by activities adjacent to the river, runoff and monsoonal rains. Additional quantities may be placed under this permit subject to prior approval of the Corps for the purposes of bank protection within the Rio Grande and side tributaries and arroyos as appropriate to maintain channel capacity and alignments. Work on existing bank stabilization areas will be repaired at 2 cy/linear foot. New bank stabilization sites will be constructed at 3 cy/linear foot. 

During periods of non-release from the Elephant Butte Dam, a temporary rock dike would be installed in the vicinity of the local bath houses. The approximate dimensions of the temporary dike would be 140 feet long, 5 to 8 feet high, 10 feet wide at the top, and 102 feet wide at the bottom. The front side slope would be 1.5:1 with a back slope of 10:1 (approximately 3000 cy of rock).  The temporary dike volume would be placed and removed every year. The dike would be placed by front end loaders and dozers, and then removed upon resumption of irrigation flow. 

Comments on the draft RGP may be submitted to:

PROJECT MANAGER: Justin Riggs

PHONE: (575) 268-8612

EMAIL: Justin.C.Riggs@usace.army.mil 

MAIL: US Army Corps of Engineers, 505 S. Main St., Suite 142, Las Cruces, NM 88001

WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: In accordance with Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, certification of  compliance with state water quality standards is required for any discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the U.S. under Section 404 of the Clean  Water Act. This notice serves to notify the public that the New Mexico Environment Department Surface Water Quality Bureau (SWQB) will consider issuing certification under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. The purpose of such certification is to reasonably ensure that the permitted activities will be conducted in a manner compliant with applicable New Mexico water quality standards. SWQB will accept and consider written comments regarding state water quality certification during the public comment period. Comments  may be submitted electronically or by hard copy to: 

Christopher M. Canavan

New Mexico Field Offices Team Leader Watershed Protection Section

Surface Water Quality Bureau

New Mexico Environment Department 301 Entrada del Sol

Las Cruces, New Mexico 88001 (575) 915-1172

E-Mail: chris.canavan@state.nm.us