Public Notice


Published Nov. 25, 2014
Expiration date: 12/26/2014

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

Issue Date: November 25, 2014

Comment Deadline: December 26, 2014

Corps Action ID Number: SAW-2014-00838

The Wilmington District, Corps of Engineers (Corps) received an application from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) seeking Department of the Army authorization for the construction of a new Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) and associated structures and parking for the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) in Mecklenburg 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


Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Courtney Nolan, AJW-2E11D

Terminal Engineering Center

1701 Columbia Avenue

College Park, Georgia 30337


URS Corporation

Mr. Chris Petterson

6000 Fairview Road, Suite 200

Charlotte, North Carolina 28210


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)

   - 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)


The project is located on the southern portion of the CLT site, located northwest of the intersection of West Boulevard with Billy Graham Parkway, in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina (N 35.204046, W -80.946237). The project area is adjacent to unnamed tributaries of Coffey Creek. 

Project Area (acres): 10.5                         Nearest Town: Charlotte

Nearest Waterway: Coffey Creek              River Basin: 03050103

Latitude and Longitude: 35.203758 N, -80.944415 W

Existing Site Conditions

The topography of the ATCT project study area is characterized as gently sloping with steeper areas occurring along drainage ways. Elevations range from a high of 700 feet to a low of 650 feet along tributaries. Land use in the study area is characterized by commercial landscapes, particularly the Charlotte Airport facility. Outside of the airport property, the land is mostly vacant wooded land or commercial. The project study alternatives are located within the Catawba (Hydrologic Unit 03050103) River Basin. Streams in the project area are tributaries to Coffey Creek. Other streams within the airport property drain into Toggart Creek and Tier Creek (the land on the northwester portion of the airport property including tributaries to Tier Creek, occur in the Catawba River Basin with Hydrologic Unit 03050101). Aquatic communities in the study area include both intermittent and perennial piedmont streams. One jurisdictional wetland adjacent to tributaries of Coffey Creek occurs within the study area.

Applicant’s Stated Purpose

The purpose of this project is to replace the existing ATCT facility that no longer provides adequate coverage of airfield traffic control needs. The existing ATCT structure has been in service for over 30 years and does not have sufficient height or ground position to provide required lines of sight across the airfield, particularly with the recent addition of the third parallel runway at CLT in 2010. Although a newly-sited ATCT would likely support a conceptual forth 10,000 ft parallel runway included in the current airport master plan, the current need for the proposed ATCT is independent of any future runway expansion.

Proper positioning of the ATCT to provide adequate depth perception, lines of sight, and visibility of all areas on the airfield is vital for airport traffic control personnel to safely and efficiently manage aircraft movements. In addition to addressing these emerging visual flight safety needs, the new ATCT would include provisions for updated digital flight control components including the TRACON facility. The proposed ATCT would also improve operation conditions within the control cab including enhanced equipment layout, operating space and controller station visibility and ergonomics.

Project Description

The proposed project involves the construction of a 370 foot high ATCT, a Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) building, a 239 space parking lot and access driveway, two stormwater BMP detention ponds and sewer lines to service facility. The proposed project would result in impact to 709 linear foot of intermittent stream channel and 0.007 acres of wetlands due to grading to facilitate the buildings and parking areas.

It should be noted that the ATCT project is considered to be a single and complete project with activities that have occurred on the greater Charlotte Airport property. The Corps has issued CLT two Nationwide Permits #39 (Action IDs 2000-31354 and 2003-30940) and three IPs (Action IDs 2006-32521, 2008-03090 and 2010-00837) for activities on the Charlotte Airport Property. There have also been a total of three permit modifications issued to CLT, two for the permit issued under Action ID 2006-32521 and one for the permit issued under Action ID 2008-03090. The total impact authorized under all of these permits is 25,444 linear feet of stream, 4.183 acres of wetlands, and 7.55 acres of open water. The table below details the permits issued for the Charlotte Airport Property.

Summary of past Charlotte Airport permitted actions


Type of







Total Impacts


To Date:

Description of



NWP 39


296 lf stream

296 lf stream

Runway 23 Safety



NWP 39


269 lf stream

565 lf stream

National Guard







Replaced with

AID below





16,312 lf streams

0.432 ac wetlands

4.631 ac open waters

16,877 lf streams

0.432 ac wetlands

4.631 ac open waters

New parallel

runway, runway extension, road relocations



5,247 lf stream

0.716 ac wetland

2.89 ac open water

22,124 lf stream

1.148 ac wetlands

7.552 ac open water

Additional impacts

associated with the new parallel

runway, runway extension, road




*110 lf of stream

Total authorized after modification

**21,559 lf stream

1.148 ac wetlands

7.552 ac open water

22,124 lf stream

1.148 ac wetlands

7.552 ac open water

construct part of

the West

Boulevard re- alignment





2,395 lf stream

3.035 ac wetlands

24,519 of stream

4.4183 ac wetlands

7.552 ac open water


improvements for the Little Rock

Road entrance and

modification to proposed parking

areas. (Parking




776 lf

Total authorized after modification

3,171 lf stream

3.035 ac wetland

25,295 lf

4.4183 ac wetlands

7.552 ac open water








149 lf stream

25,444 lf stream

4.4183 ac wetlands

7.552 ac open water

Construction of

Taxiway D

Total Impacts for all cumulative activities on Charlotte Airport Property




25,444 lf stream

4.183 ac wetlands

7.552 ac open waters


* Total impacts did not change with the final modification due to the fact that CDIA agreed to apply these new impacts toward the 21,559 lf total since they were unsure if all the proposed impacts would be completed in the near future.

**The actual 4/26/2010 permit authorized 22,559 lf of stream channel. This is a typo and the actual impacts should have been 21,559 lf.

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 footprint has been limited to the greatest extent practicable. Stormwater detention ponds were designed to avoid stream impacts.

Compensatory Mitigation

The applicant offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:

At this time the applicant has proposed no compensatory mitigation be performed to off-set impacts to intermittent streams. The applicant has requested that compensatory mitigation be waived for the project on the basis that the intermittent streams proposed for impact originate from stormwater runoff, drain a small watershed area (approximately 14 acres) and the streams have low habitat. The applicant further cites as justification to waive mitigation their conclusion that the groundwater connection to the streambed is primarily a result of bank erosion and channel incision and that the stream substrate contains mostly an aggregation of silt and sand.

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. 

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: 

X - 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 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.

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 December 26, 2014 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):  


   - 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. 

X - 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, December 26, 2014. Comments should be submitted to Crystal Amschler, Asheville Regulatory Field Office, 151 Patton Avenue, Room 208, Asheville, North Carolina 28801-5006, at (828) 271-7980 ext 231.

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