UNDER SECTION 404 OF THE CLEAN WATER ACT (33 USC 1344)
ACTION NUMBER SPA-2016-00224-ABQ
BANK STABILIZATION ALONG THE RIO GRANDE SOUTH OF THE US 550 BRIDGE IN BERNALILLO, SANDOVAL COUNTY, NEW MEXICO
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: 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 evaluating a permit application from private landowners to conduct a bank stabilization project, which would result in impacts to approximately 0.15 acres and/or 392 linear feet of waters of the United States and/or navigable waters of the United States (i.e. the Rio Grande). This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity 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.
LOCATION: The project site is located within and adjacent to the Rio Grande on the south side of the U.S. 550 Bridge in Bernalillo, New Mexico. Section 30, Tl3N, R4E as shown on the Bernalillo, NM 7.5 m Quadrangle; Latitude 35.3209541° N, Longitude -106559367° W, Sandoval County, New Mexico.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Changes in river morphology over the past 20 years on the Rio Grande have impacted two private properties in the Town of Bernalillo, New Mexico. High energy flows within the river are currently being directed at its western bank on the south side of the US 550 Bridge, resulting in severe erosion and potential damage to homes at this location.
The Proposed Project (Project) involves the installation of a riprap revetment with bioengineering (e.g. willow plantings). The revetment is designed so that some of the base riprap, as well as some of the 3 foot thick slope riprap, can self-launch into a scour hole, should one develop. The riprap will be angular basalt rock measuring 15 inches to 19 inches in size. The attached drawings provide additional Project details.
This alternative would address the current bank erosion issue and prevent further channel migration toward the homes. It would also not significantly alter the adjacent or downstream river ecosystem.
PROPOSED MITIGATION: Compensatory mitigation at a minimum one-for-one ratio is required for impacts to aquatic resources that exceed 0.1 acres and require pre-construction notification, unless the district engineer determines in writing that either some other form of mitigation would be more environmentally appropriate or the adverse effects of the proposed activity are minimal. For impacts to aquatic resources of 0.1 acres or less that require pre-construction notification, the district engineer may determine on a case-by-case basis that compensatory mitigation is required to ensure that the activity results in minimal adverse effects on the aquatic environment. Compensatory mitigation projects provided to offset losses of aquatic resources must comply with the applicable provisions of 33 CFR Part 332.
In the case of this Project, the impact to aquatic resources is confined to the river bank and a small portion of the adjacent channel, which is the result of accelerated erosion from vegetation removal and the location of high-energy flows. No adjacent wetlands are present in the project area. Based on available scientific data and agency consultations, the impacts to the quality of wildlife habitat at this location as a result of this project will be evaluated, as will the primary functions of the river ecosystem.
Alternatives. The applicant has provided information concerning project alternatives. Along with the no action alternative, these include the installation of stone bendway weirs, cut-and-fill activities within the river channel, and creation of a vegetated bankline. These alternatives are being evaluated in consideration of logistics, cost, and existing technology. 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.
Historic Properties: The Corps consulted district files and records, the latest version of the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), and state records to determine if there are any historic properties that may be affected by the proposed undertaking. Furthermore, the Regulatory Archaeologist conducted a project site visit. No historic properties have been identified within the project area.
Endangered Species: The Corps is currently consulting with the USFWS regarding impacts to threatened and endangered species from the proposed project; and in particular, the Rio Grande silvery minnow and/or its critical habitat, which are protected by the Endangered Species Act.
Floodplain Management: In accordance with 44 CFR part 60, the floodplain administrators of participating communities are required to review all proposed development to determine if a floodplain development permit is required and maintain records of such review.
Comments on the proposed scope of work may be submitted to:
PROJECT MANAGER: Shelly Barnes
PHONE: (505) 342-3374
MAIL: US Army Corps of Engineers, 4101 Jefferson Plaza NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109
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:
Abraham J. Franklin
Program Manager, Watershed Protection Section
Surface Water Quality Bureau
New Mexico Environment Department
P.O. Box 5469
Santa Fe, NM 87502-5469