Public Notice


Published Feb. 24, 2017
Expiration date: 3/26/2017

Issue Date: February 24, 2017
Comment Deadline: March 27, 2017
Corps Action ID Number: SAW-2017-00266

The Wilmington District, Corps of Engineers (Corps) has received an application from
The City of Wilmington seeking Department of the Army authorization to place fill
material within waters of the U.S. for the purpose of conducting a stream restoration and
floodplain management project along Clear Run Branch, in the City of Wilmington, New
Hanover 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: City of Wilmington
Attn: Mr. Sterling Cheatham, City Manager
Post Office Box 1810
Wilmington, North Carolina 28402

AGENT (if applicable): Moffatt & Nichol
Attn: Mr. Jason Doll
4700 Falls of Neuse Road, Suite 300
Raleigh, North Carolina 27609

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
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: From downtown Wilmington proceed east on Market Street, south on
College Road, left on Oriole Drive and then right on College Acres Drive. The upstream
section of the project area begins near College Acres Drive between Clear Run Drive and
Carleton Drive.
Project Area (acres): approximately 27 acres Nearest Town:Wilmington
Nearest Waterway: Clear Run Branch River Basin: White Oak
Latitude and Longitude: 34.232N, -77.866W

Existing Site Conditions
The project area begins approximately 200 feet upstream of the intersection of College
Acres Drive and Clear Run Drive and runs downstream along Clear Run Branch to the
project terminus near the intersection of Teal Street and Rill Road. The area upstream of
the project area is comprised of dense commercial development that has been subject to
substantial flooding along College Avenue and New Center Drive. Clear Run Branch
drains into Bradley Creek, which flows into the Atlantic Intercostal Waterway (AIWW).
The project area has been divided into four reaches consisting of the Headwater Reach,
Upper Reach, Middle Reach and Lower Reach.
The Headwater Reach consists of the area approximately 200 feet upstream of the
intersection of College Acres Drive and Clear Run Branch to approximately 250 feet
below the intersection. This reach receives flow from the commercial area across
College Drive and is laterally constrained by adjacent residential development and an
existing sewer line.
The Upper Reach of the project area consists of the approximately 2,000 feet of stream
downstream of the Headwater Reach and extends to just upstream of Myna Circle. This
section of stream is bordered on the north by residential development and is a severely
incised and unstable reach of Clear Run Branch that is unable to access the floodplain.
The Middle Reach consists of 1,000 to 1,500 feet beginning just upstream of Myna Circle
and continuing downstream. This section of Clear Run Branch becomes reconnected to
its floodplain. The Middle Reach contains sections of spoil piles adjacent to the stream
The Lower Reach consists of the remaining 3,000 to 3,500 feet to the project terminus
near the footbridge at Teal Street. The channel is moderately stable and is connected to
an expansive floodplain.

Applicant’s Stated Purpose
The applicant states “The overall purpose and need of the project is to design and install a
stable stream channel that can safely accommodate high flows from upstream
development and alleviate flooding along the channel. The project intends to address a
number of factors through implementation. First, the stream channel is very unstable and
actively eroding. This both contributes sediment to downstream reaches of Bradley
Creek and the erosion also threatens adjacent property and existing structures. Second,
flooding is common at this location in the upper watershed notably along College Avenue
and New Center Drive. A separate project is underway to enlarge the stormwater pipes in
this area to carry more stormwater to alleviate the flooding but the channel in this reach
will need to be designed to accommodate these higher flows. Third, road flooding
presently occurs at College Acres Drive and Mallard Drive during large storms. This
project will address this flooding by providing larger culverts under these roads.”

Project Description
The project proposes to design and install a stable stream channel that can safely
accommodate high flows from upstream development and alleviate flooding along the
channel. The project proposes to culvert approximately 410 feet of stream channel,
restore and enhance approximately 2,000 feet of stream channel and to restore 0.16 acres
of Riverine Swamp Forest in order to address streambank instability and stream incision
issues as well as localized flooding at two neighborhood roads.
Due to lateral constraints, specifically adjacent residences and an existing sewer line, and
the presence of an unstable channel, the section of the system from approximately 200
feet upstream of College Acres Drive and approximately 210 feet downstream would be
culverted. This culverted section would transition into a confined channel utilizing block
wall or gabion structures to contain high energy flow leaving the culvert which would be
followed by a section of boulder step pools to further reduce stream energy.
Activities within the upper reach would consist of the installation of step-pool sequencing
using rock structures that will allow for energy dissipation from energy gradients coming
from upstream. Downstream sections within the upper reach, which contain lower stream
bed slopes will utilize woody structure to control hydraulic energy and to maintain a
stable channel.
Within the middle reach several existing spoil piles deposited along the riparian corridor
have restricted stream access to the floodplain. The project proposes to remove these
spoil piles and to construct a new floodplain bench along portions of the stream.
Disturbed areas will be revegetated with native vegetation.
Activities in the Lower Reach will consist of the replacement of an existing culvert at
Mallard Drive. An increased culvert will allow for greater capacity and reduce flood risk
in the area upstream of the existing culvert. Additional invasive vegetation control and
plantings with native vegetation will also occur.

Avoidance and Minimization
The applicant states in the permit application that the project will be self-mitigating since
the loss of 410 feet of low quality stream will be offset by approximately 2,000 linear feet
of a stable channel that has restored access to its floodplain and approximately 500 feet of
enhanced channel with increased floodplain capacity and restored wetland hydrology in
approximately 0.16 acres or riparian wetlands that will be accomplished through the
removal of relic spoil piles and replanting.
The applicant has also evaluated additional alternatives as required under Section
404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act to ensure that the proposed project is the least
environmentally damaging practicable alternative including the use of upstream
stormwater detention areas and the use of spot stabilization throughout the channel.

Compensatory Mitigation
The project proposes the permanent loss of waters of the U.S. associated with the
installation of 410 feet of culvert. The applicant states that as the remainder of the
project consists of the restoration and enhancement of 2,000 feet of stream channel and
the restoration of approximately 0.16 acres of wetlands the project will be self-mitigating
and they are therefore not proposing any additional compensatory mitigation.

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:
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.
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.
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 will conduct
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.

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 26, 2017:
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):

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).

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 26, 2017. Comments should be
submitted to Kyle Dahl, Wilmington Regulatory Field Office, 69 Darlington Avenue,
Wilmington, North Carolina 28403 , at (910) 251-4469.