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Regulatory Public Notices

As used by the Corps, the term "public notice" is an official, required government announcement of a proposed agency action, decision made or under consideration, public hearing or other activity.  Please download the attachment(s) associated with notice for the complete, formatted, public notice with tables, illustrations, maps and plans.

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Mitigation Public Notices

For all public notices pertaining to compensatory mitigation bank proposals or in-lieu fee mitigation sites developed by the North Carolina Division of Mitigation Services (NCDMS), please go to the Regulatory In-lieu Fee and Bank Information Tracking System website at https://ribits.usace.army.mil.

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SAW-2014-02202

Published Jan. 15, 2015
Expiration date: 2/16/2015

DISCLAIMER: Please download the attached PDF version of this notice for complete information, proper formatting, and inclusion of tables, figures, and images.

PUBLIC NOTICE

Issue Date: January 15, 2015

Comment Deadline: February 16, 2015

Corps Action ID Number: SAW-2014-02202

The Wilmington District, Corps of Engineers (Corps) received an application from the Town of Duck seeking Department of the Army authorization to dredge 1.061 million cubic yards of beach-quality sediments from two offshore borrow sources, and deposit the material along approximately 1.7-mile section of oceanfront shoreline, in the Town of Duck, Dare County, North Carolina.

Specific plans and location information are described below and shown on the attached plans. This Public Notice and all attached plans are also available on the Wilmington District Web Site at http://www.saw.usace.army.mil/Missions/RegulatoryPermitProgram.aspx

Applicant:

Town of Duck

Attn: Mr. Christopher Layton

1200 Duck Road

Duck, North Carolina 27949

AGENT (if applicable):

Mr. Kenneth Willson

CB&I

4038 Masonboro Loop Road

Wilmington, North Carolina 28409

Authority 

The Corps evaluates this application and decides whether to issue, conditionally issue, or deny the proposed work pursuant to applicable procedures of the following Statutory Authorities:

X - Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344)

X - Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403)

   - Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (33 U.S.C. 1413)

Location 

Directions to Site: The project begins 100 feet north of Oyster Catcher and extends 1.7 miles south to 137 Spindrift Lane, in the Town of Duck, Dare County, North Carolina. (See attached PDF file for satellite image of project location.)

Project Area (acres): 3,229 acres                     Nearest Town: Town of Duck

Nearest Waterway: Atlantic Ocean                    River Basin: Atlantic Ocean

Latitude and Longitude: 36.19728 N, -75.75638 W

Existing Site Conditions 

The Town of Duck encompasses approximately 7 miles of ocean shoreline on a barrier island located at the northern end of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The width of the berm of the island’s dune system varies considerably with location along the town’s beach and with seasonal accretion and erosion events. Along most of the project area, the winter berm is non-existent due to continuing erosion processes. Dune habitat is currently decreasing due to excessive erosion of the base or toe of the dunes by waves that travel unimpeded over eroded wet beach to directly impact dunes. 

Applicant’s Stated Purpose 

The purpose of the proposed action is to facilitate a long-term shoreline management program to sustain the eroding beach and provide support to a significant portion of the local economy and maintain local and regional tax bases. In order to accomplish this goal, the Town is proposing to maintain its oceanfront beach and dune system to a configuration that will: (1) provide a reasonable level of storm damage reduction to public and private development; (2) mitigate long-term erosion conditions that could threaten public and private development, recreational opportunities and biological resources, and; (3) maintain a healthy beach habitat that supports valuable shorebird and sea turtle nesting habitat. The project design includes advance nourishment activities to maintain the integrity of the project area for a 5 year period. The Town will regularly monitor and re-evaluate the level of storm damage reduction and erosion mitigation that the existing beach provides.

Project Description 

The proposed action will include sand placement along a 1.7-mile section of the Town’s oceanfront shoreline. Beach quality sand would be dredged using a self-contained ocean- certified hopper dredge and/or a hydraulic cutterhead pipeline dredge. Material will be obtained from two Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) borrow areas located in federal waters offshore of Dare County. Borrow Area A is located between 5.0 to 6.5 miles offshore, while Borrow Area C is located 4.1 to 5.2 miles offshore. Placement onto the beach would be accomplished via submerged pipeline with direct pump-out. Once discharged, the sand will be shaped and graded according to the design template using earth-moving equipment such as bulldozers and excavators. Further details explaining the project description are located in Section 2.2 of the Duck Environmental Assessment.

(See attached PDF file for image of project description.) 

Avoidance and Minimization 

An extensive alternatives analysis was performed and reviewed for this project. This included the evaluation of a no action alternative; a retreat and relocate alternative; and the preferred alternative. Many alternatives were identified and evaluated through the scoping and pre-application process, and further detailed descriptions of all alternatives may be reviewed in the application and associated applicant prepared Environmental Assessment.

Essential Fish Habitat 

Pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, this Public Notice initiates the Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) consultation requirements. The Corps’ initial determination is that the proposed project may affect, but not likely to adversely affect EFH or associated fisheries managed by the South Atlantic or Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Councils or the National Marine Fisheries Service. As part of the pre-application and scoping process, the applicant submitted an EFH assessment to The Nation Marine Fisheries Service for review. 

Cultural Resources 

Pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, Appendix C of 33 CFR Part 325, and the 2005 Revised Interim Guidance for Implementing Appendix C, the District Engineer consulted district files and records and the latest published version of the National Register of Historic Places and initially determines that:

   - Should historic properties, or properties eligible for inclusion in the National Register, be present within the Corps’ permit area; the proposed activity requiring the DA permit (the undertaking) is a type of activity that will have no potential to cause an effect to an historic properties.

X - No historic properties, nor properties eligible for inclusion in the National Register, are present within the Corps’ permit area; therefore, there will be no historic properties affected. The Corps subsequently requests concurrence from the SHPO (or THPO).

   - Properties ineligible for inclusion in the National Register are present within the Corps’ permit area; there will be no historic properties affected by the proposed work. The Corps subsequently requests concurrence from the SHPO (or THPO).

   - Historic properties, or properties eligible for inclusion in the National Register, are present within the Corps’ permit area; however, the undertaking will have no adverse effect on these historic properties. The Corps subsequently requests concurrence from the SHPO (or THPO).

   - Historic properties, or properties eligible for inclusion in the National Register, are present within the Corps’ permit area; moreover, the undertaking may have an adverse effect on these historic properties. The Corps subsequently initiates consultation with the SHPO (or THPO).

   - The proposed work takes place in an area known to have the potential for the presence of prehistoric and historic cultural resources; however, the area has not been formally surveyed for the presence of cultural resources. No sites eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places are known to be present in the vicinity of the proposed work. Additional work may be necessary to identify and assess any historic or prehistoric resources that may be present.

The District Engineer’s final eligibility and effect determination will be based upon coordination with the SHPO and/or THPO, as appropriate and required, and with full consideration given to the proposed undertaking’s potential direct and indirect effects on historic properties within the Corps-indentified permit area. 

Endangered Species 

Pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the Corps reviewed the project area, examined all information provided by the applicant and consulted the latest North Carolina Natural Heritage Database. Based on available information:

   - The Corps determines that the proposed project would not affect federally listed endangered or threatened species or their formally designated critical habitat.

X - The Corps determines that the proposed project may affect, not likely to adversely affect federally listed endangered or threatened species or their formally designated critical habitat. The Corps initiates consultation under Section 7 of the ESA and will not make a permit decision until the consultation process is complete.

   - The Corps is not aware of the presence of species listed as threatened or endangered or their critical habitat formally designated pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) within the project area. The Corps will make a final determination on the effects of the proposed project upon additional review of the project and completion of any necessary biological assessment and/or consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or National Marine Fisheries Service.

Further detailed descriptions of ESA issues are disclosed in Section 5.6 of the Duck Environmental Assessment.

Other Required Authorizations 

The Corps forwards this notice and all applicable application materials to the appropriate State agencies for review.

North Carolina Division of Water Resources (NCDWR):

The Corps will generally not make a final permit decision until the NCDWR issues, denies, or waives the state Certification as required by Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (PL 92-500). The receipt of the application and this public notice, combined with the appropriate application fee, at the NCDWR Central Office in Raleigh constitutes initial receipt of an application for a 401 Certification. A waiver will be deemed to occur if the NCDWR fails to act on this request for certification within sixty days of receipt of a complete application. Additional information regarding the 401 Certification may be reviewed at the NCDWR Central Office, 401 and Buffer Permitting Unit, 512 North Salisbury Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27604-2260. All persons desiring to make comments regarding the application for a 401 Certification should do so, in writing, by February 16, 2015 to:

NCDWR Central Office

Attention: Ms. Karen Higgins, 401 and Buffer Permitting Unit 

(USPS mailing address): 1617 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1617

Or,

(physical address): 512 North Salisbury Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27604

North Carolina Division of Coastal Management (NCDCM): 

 

X - The application did not include a certification that the proposed work complies with and would be conducted in a manner that is consistent with the approved North Carolina Coastal Zone Management Program. Pursuant to 33 CFR 325.2 (b)(2) the Corps cannot issue a Department of Army (DA) permit for the proposed work until the applicant submits such a certification to the Corps and the NCDCM, and the NCDCM notifies the Corps that it concurs with the applicant’s consistency certification. As the application did not include the consistency certification, the Corps will request, upon receipt,, concurrence or objection from the NCDCM.

   - Based upon all available information, the Corps determines that this application for a Department of Army (DA) permit does not involve an activity which would affect the coastal zone, which is defined by the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Act (16 U.S.C. § 1453).

Evaluation 

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 which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal 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, flood plain values (in accordance with Executive Order 11988), land use, navigation, shoreline 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. For activities involving the discharge of dredged or fill materials in waters of the United States, the evaluation of the impact of the activity on the public interest will include application of the Environmental Protection Agency’s 404(b)(1) guidelines.

Commenting Information 

The Corps of Engineers is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, State and local agencies and officials, including any consolidated State Viewpoint or written position of the Governor; 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 above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) and/or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). 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, in writing, within the comment period specified in this notice, that a public hearing be held to consider the application. Requests for public hearings shall state, with particularity, the reasons for holding a public hearing. Requests for a public hearing shall be granted, unless the District Engineer determines that the issues raised are insubstantial or there is otherwise no valid interest to be served by a hearing.

The Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District will receive written comments pertinent to the proposed work, as outlined above, until 5pm, February 16, 2015. Comments should be submitted to Josh Pelletier, Washington Regulatory Field Office, 2407 West Fifth Street , Washington, North Carolina 27889, at (910) 251-4605.

DISCLAIMER: Please download the attached PDF version of this notice for complete information, proper formatting, and inclusion of tables, figures, and images.