Public Notice


Published April 7, 2016
Expiration date: 5/6/2016

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


Issue Date: 7 April 2016

Comment Deadline: 6 May 2016

Corps Action ID Number: SAW-2010-01336

The Wilmington District, Corps of Engineers (Corps) received an application from the Town of Hope Mills seeking Department of the Army authorization to impact waters and wetlands of the US, associated with the demolition of an existing, failed dam and construction of a new, smaller spillway within the existing project footprint in Hope Mills, Cumberland 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: Town of Hope Mills

c/o Mr. John Ellis

5770 Rockfish Road

Hope Mills, North Carolina 28348

AGENT (if applicable): RJ Goldstein & Associates

c/o Mr. Gerald Pottern

1221 Corporation Parkway

Raleigh, North Carolina 27610


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)


Directions to Site: From Interstate 40, take Exit 41 onto NC-59 North (Chickenfoot Road becomes South Main Street). Proceed northwest 2.8 miles, past Lakeview Drive, and turn right into the town park located on the southwest side of the lake for access to the spillway construction and lower lake pool. The site is located on the east side of Main Street, as shown in the attached Construction Map.

Project Area (acres): ~30                             Nearest Town: Hope Mills

Nearest Waterway: Little Rockfish Creek     River Basin: Cape Fear River Basin

Latitude and Longitude: 34.973N, -78.945W

Existing Site Conditions

The original dam, constructed in the 1920s, failed in 2003 as a result of a major storm, and was replaced with the current spillway in 2008. Poor design and construction was found to be the cause of the spillway failing again in 2010. The existing spillway includes a 360 foot wide, four-pronged labyrinth structure that extends 300 feet north from the centerline of the Lakeview Road bridge, which was built on the crest of the existing dam embankment, and a 120 foot wide concrete chute that extends southward toward the downstream toe of the spillway, approximately 60 feet south of the bridge.

Since the 2010 failure, the original ~120 acre lake bed has remained mostly drained, and Little Rockfish Creek has been allowed to flow somewhat freely. The 2,500 linear feet of Little Rockfish Creek upstream of the existing structure is semi-impounded. Two pooled areas exist on the left and right sides of the spillway, separate from the main channel flow. Forested and herbaceous vegetation have established throughout the original pool area. Woody vegetation consists of black willow (Salix nigra), sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua), loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), red maple (Acer rubrum), American sycamore (Platanas occidentalis), buttonbush (Cephanlanthus occidentalis), Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) and bald cypress (Taxodium distichum). Predominant herbaceous vegetation consists of a mix of sedges, rushes, and native and exotic grasses such as trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), jewelweed (Impatiens capensis), knotweed (Polygonum spp.), and primrose (Ludwigia sp.).

Applicant’s Stated Purpose

The purpose of the project is to remove the imminent threat of failure of the Lakeview Road bridge by structurally separating the dam from Lakeview Road utilizing current North Carolina Dam Safety and North Carolina Department of Transportation design standards and replacing it with a smaller, safer dam in order to restore the lake to the normal pool elevation of 105 to 106 feet.

Project Description

The proposed project entails temporary fill of 0.23 acres of open water for cofferdam installation so that the lakebed and channel below the existing spillway can be dewatered within construction areas and the stream diverted during the four stages of demolition and new dam construction. Permanent fill will be required for the new right and left abutments (0.21 acres and 0.45 acres of open water impacts, respectively) and for the construction of the new spillway and foundation, which is needed to structurally separate the dam from Lakeview Road. The new spillway will be smaller than the existing structure, and therefore, constructed entirely within the existing footprint of the failed spillway. Once the lakebed refills, the dam will have impounded water to its historical level of 105 to 106 feet in elevation, impacting 4.72 acres of open water, 11,400 linear feet of streambed, and 23.70 acres of wetlands that have established since the 2010 spillway failure.

Avoidance and Minimization

The applicant provided the following information in support of efforts to avoid and/or minimize impacts to the aquatic environment: The proposed project footprint will be entirely within the existing footprint of the failed spillway. Because the replacement spillway will be smaller than the existing structure, no additional impacts are needed for the proposed structure. Stream and wetland impacts as a result of impounding Little Rockfish Creek are unavoidable; however, impacts will not exceed the historical limits of inundation or impact the tree canopy of forested wetlands present prior to 2003.

Compensatory Mitigation

Unusual circumstances that were beyond the control of the Town of Hope Mills prevented the Town from replacing the failed structure within the time limits allowed by the Nationwide Permit 3 conditions for replacing serviceable structures. Had the Town been able to utilize Nationwide Permit 3, mitigation would likely not have been required. Additionally, wetlands that have naturalized as a result of the lakebed having been drained since 2010 support only young, pioneer and weedy species in the herbaceous and shrub layers. Based on this information, the Corps has agreed to waive the mitigation requirement for the loss of wetlands from re-flooding the lakebed.

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 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.

The District Engineer’s final eligibility and effect determination will be based upon coordination with the SHPO 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 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 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 to,

(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 that 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, 6 May 2016. Comments should be submitted to Ms. Emily Greer, Wilmington Regulatory Field Office, 69 Darlington Avenue, Wilmington, North Carolina 28403, or at

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