Subject: Public Notice for the City of Colorado Springs, Full Spectrum Detention Basin Construction Project
Project Name: Sand Creek Detention Basins No. 6 and No. 3
Summary: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application for the City of Colorado Springs to construct two full spectrum regional extended detention basins between Forest Meadows Avenue and East Woodman Road in Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado. Basin 6 would be constructed on an unnamed tributary of Sand Creek, and Basin 3 would be constructed off-channel and adjacent to the mainstem of Sand Creek. Details of the project are provided below and in the attached maps and drawings. The purpose of this public notice is to inform interested parties of the project and to solicit comments.
Applicant: City of Colorado Springs, 30 South Nevada Avenue, Suite 403, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903.
Agent: Elizabeth A. Klein, Kiowa Engineering Corp., 1604 South 21st Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80904.
Basin 6 is located along an unnamed tributary of Sand Creek in Section 5, T13S-R65W, El Paso County, Colorado. Latitude 38.94190º N, Longitude -104.69492º W
Basin 3 is located along the mainstem of Sand Creek in Section 5, T13S-R65W, El Paso County, Colorado. Latitude 38.94244º N, Longitude -104.68357º W
Background: Proposed Basins No. 6 and 3 were originally authorized to be constructed under permit No. SPA-2005-00413, but construction was never completed. The basins were partially excavated between 2008 and 2009. Concurrently, an embankment and temporary outlet structures were placed along with the two existing inlet structures and temporary pre-sediment basins. The City of Colorado Springs (City) acquired the property in January 2013.
Description of Work:
Basin 6. The City proposes to complete construction of the partially excavated extended detention basin. Additionally, based on new drainage criteria for full spectrum detention, the City proposes to increase the volume of the basin to 65 acre-feet and construct two water quality basins with three 18-24” outlet pipes each, an outlet structure to release flows at historic rates and volumes, and maintenance roads.
Basin 3. The City proposes to complete construction of the partially excavated extended detention basin. Additionally, based on new drainage criteria for full spectrum detention, the City proposes to increase the volume of the basin to 210 acre-feet, and construct appurtenant infrastructure similar to those in Basin 6 (e.g., water quality basins, intake/outfall structures, maintenance roads). Basin 3 is in early preliminary design and is currently unfunded. The City anticipates construction of Basin 3 in one-to-five years when funding becomes available.
Purpose and Need: The applicant’s stated purpose and need for the project is to provide flood protection to the citizens of Colorado Springs located along Sand Creek downstream of Woodman Road.
Mitigation: The project would result in permanent impacts to 3.03 acres of wetlands that were to be set aside as preservation in Basin 6 associated with the Forest Meadows Development. The City proposes to maximize non-maintained areas of both basin bottoms to create additional wetland habitat in order to satisfy the original mitigation requirements for the Forest Meadows Development, plus any additional impacts associated with the Sand Creek Detention Basin Nos. 6 and 3 Project. Based on a delineation of the project site, the applicant anticipates that Basins 6 and 3 will support approximately 5.7 and 8.0 acres of wetland habitat, respectively. In addition to the proposed compensatory mitigation listed above, all areas temporarily disturbed during construction and access would be revegetated using native seed mixes, as appropriate, for the areas disturbed, and all weeds and other noxious plant species would be controlled post-construction in the project area until native communities become established.
Plans and Data: Drawings showing the location of the work site and other data are enclosed with this notice. If additional information is desired, it may be obtained from the applicant, or from:
Joshua G. Carpenter
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Southern Colorado Regulatory Office
200 South Santa Fe Avenue, Suite 301
Pueblo, Colorado 81003-4270
Fax No. (719) 543-9475
Cultural Resources: The Corps has reviewed the latest published version of the National Register of Historic Places and no properties listed in the Register are present at the site of the proposed construction. Consultation with the Colorado State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has not revealed any pending nominations. This constitutes the extent of cultural resource investigations by the District Engineer. However, it is possible that presently unknown archeological, scientific, prehistoric, or historic data may be inadvertently lost or destroyed by the work accomplished under the requested permit. In the event that cultural resources are found, the permittee would be required to stop all work and the SHPO would be contacted for advice on the appropriate action to be taken.
Endangered Species: The Corps’ preliminary review indicates this project will not impact any federally listed threatened or endangered species or critical habitat.
State Water Quality Certification: The applicant has applied to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for certification that this work is in compliance with applicable State water quality standards. The applicant is responsible for obtaining all other required federal, state, and local authorizations for this work.
Evaluation Factors: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts, 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 that may be reasonably 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 EPA Administrator 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.
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 January 30, 2014. 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. 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.
Any person may request a public hearing. The request must be submitted, in writing, to the District Engineer within 21 days of the date of this notice and must clearly set forth the reasons for holding a public hearing.