Public Notice


Published Feb. 17, 2017
Expiration date: 3/17/2017

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



Issue Date: February 17, 2017

Comment Deadline: March 17, 2017

Corps Action ID Number: SAW-2010-00061

The Wilmington District, Corps of Engineers (Corps) received an application from

Mr. Jeff Richardson, Cleveland County Government, seeking Department of the Army

authorization to place fill material in 1,792 linear feet of stream and 0.062 acre of

wetlands, associated with the expansion of a tissue products manufacturing facility in

Cleveland 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

Applicant: Cleveland County Government

Mr. Jeff Richardson, County Manager

Post Office Box 1210

Shelby, North Carolina 28151

Agent: Clearwater Environmental Consultants, Inc.

Mr. R. Clement Riddle, P.W.S

224 South Grove Street, Suite F

Hendersonville, North Carolina 28792



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


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

   - 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)



Directions to Site: The Clearwater Paper Corporation expansion site is located in Shelby,

Cleveland County, North Carolina. To access the site from Asheville, take 1-26 East to

Exit 67 (US Highway 74 to Columbus/Rutherfordton/NC Highway 108). Continue onto

US Highway 74 and travel approximately 37 miles. Turn left on to Washburn Switch

Road. The proposed Clearwater Paper facility is on the east side of the railroad tracks

(and across from the existing Clearwater Paper facility). In general, the site is bordered to

the north by an unnamed tributary to Brushy Creek, to the east by Brushy Creek, to the

west by the railroad tracks, and to the south by an overhead transmission line.

Project Area: approximately 303.9 acres, including utility corridors

Nearest Town: Shelby Nearest Waterway: Brushy Creek

River Basin: Santee Latitude and Longitude: 35.3198 N, -81.6026 W

Existing Site Conditions


The proposed project site is largely undeveloped but highly impacted by historical

logging and/or farming practices. The project area also contains a warehouse which is

currently leased by Clearwater Paper Corporation. Approximately 50 acres of the site is

fallow field and another 100 acres has been clear cut. Wooded areas are limited to

corridors surrounding streams and wetlands.

Natural communities on site include mixed age loblolly pine forest, riparian forest, mixed

pine-hardwood forest, and fallow field. The loblolly pine forest represents the largest

habitat type on site and is dominated by loblolly pine stands of different age classes. This

habitat type has been substantially disturbed by clearcutting at the site. Riparian forests

are adjacent to streams and wetlands on site. This habitat type is generally disturbed and

contains numerous invasive species. Many stream banks are highly eroded with limited

vegetation on the banks. Mixed pine-hardwood forest is up-gradient from the riparian

forest. This habitat type includes younger stands of trees and is dominated by loblolly

pine (Pinus taeda). A grassed field is present on the eastern side of the site and is

surrounded by wooded areas. It appears that this field is mowed at least annually by

hunters that utilize the land. Habitats associated within the utility Right-of-Way (ROW)

corridors include the shoulders of existing North Carolina Department of Transportation

roads, residential lawns, herbaceous wetlands, and existing maintained sewer line ROWs.

These habitats are routinely managed through the use of mechanized mowing and/or bush

hogging equipment.

Applicant’s Stated Purpose


The basic project purpose of the proposed expansion is to make and convert tissue paper

into usable products for the home and commercial markets. More specifically, the overall

project purpose is to expand tissue paper making and converting capacity to meet market


Project History


A Nationwide Permit 39 was issued to the Clearwater Paper Corporation on March 18,

2010, (SAW-2010-00061) for the construction of their existing tissue converting facility

located on the west side of Washburn-Switch Road. A revised Nationwide Permit 39

verification for a secondary access road and minor after-the-fact impacts for the same

facility was issued to the Clearwater Paper Corporation on June 1, 2012, (SAW-2010-

00061). Not all impacts associated with the revised verification were completed. To date,

the following impacts have occurred at the existing Clear Water Paper facility:


An Individual Permit for a facility expansion (at the existing facility on the west side of

Washburn-Switch Road) was submitted by the Clearwater Paper Corporation on

November 3, 2014. An individual Department of the Army Permit was issued by the

Corps on June 25, 2015 (Action ID SAW-2010-00061. Impacts associated with the

Individual Permit have not been completed. The Clearwater Paper Corporation has

determined that a larger expansion is necessary and is now proposing to locate the

expansion on the other side of Washburn Switch Road, directly east of the existing

facility. The proposed facility would function in the same capacity as the existing facility.

Project Description


Cleveland County is the applicant for the current Clearwater Paper Corporation

expansion proposal due to their ownership of the project site and the substantial utility

upgrades that are required to make the project possible. The proposed project includes the

construction of approximately 2.5 million square feet of manufacturing and warehouse

space (Figure 6). Additional manufacturing space would house tissue machines which

converts raw material to "parent rolls" of tissue; converting equipment which converts

rolls into consumer products such as toilet paper, paper towels, facial tissue, and napkins;

a parent roll storage warehouse; a bale storage warehouse; and a warehouse space for

finished goods. The proposed project also includes necessary improvements to gas,

sewer, and water infrastructure.

The proposed project would result in the permanent loss of 1,578 linear feet of stream

and 0.03 acre of wetlands and temporary impacts to 214 linear feet of stream and 0.032

acre of wetlands. The proposed impacts are summarized in Tables 2 and 3 below.


Avoidance and Minimization


The applicant provided the following information in support of efforts to avoid and/or

minimize impacts to the aquatic environment:

The project as proposed avoids approximately 5,569 linear feet (78%) of stream and 4.58

acres (99%) of wetlands on the project site. Previously proposed impacts to wetlands

associate with stormwater controls have been eliminated. Additionally, the site plan

makes use of nearby infrastructure which minimizes impacts and land disturbance on site.

Compensatory Mitigation


The applicant offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable

functional loss to the aquatic environment:

The applicant proposes to purchase compensatory mitigation credits from the North

Carolina Division of Mitigation Services as detailed in Table 4 below:


The applicant is not proposing compensatory mitigation for wetland impacts at this time

due to the minimal amount of wetland impacts and the steps the applicant has taken to

avoid high quality wetlands onsite.

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 would not effect EFH or

associated fisheries managed by the South Atlantic or Mid Atlantic Fishery Management

Councils or the National Marine Fisheries Service.

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:

X - 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).

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:

X - The Corps determines that the proposed project may 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.

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 March 17, 2017 to:

NCDWR Central Office

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

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


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

North Carolina Division of Coastal Management (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).



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, March 17, 2017. Comments should be

submitted to Mr. David L. Shaeffer, Asheville Regulatory Field Office,

151 Patton Avenue, Room 208, Asheville, North Carolina 28801-5006, at (704) 510-