US Army Corps of Engineers
Walla Walla District

Public Notices

NWW-2011-00187

Published Sept. 7, 2017
Expiration date: 9/28/2017

Interested parties are hereby notified that the Walla Walla District has received an application for a Department of the Army permit for certain work in Waters of the United States, including wetlands, as described below:

 

APPLICANT: Ada County Parks and Waterways; Mr. Scott Koberg (208) 577-4575, skoberg@adaweb.net, 4049 South Eckert Road, Boise, Idaho 83716.

AGENT: Stanley Consultants, Inc.; 408 South Eagle Road, Suite 209, Eagle Idaho, Mr. Cortney Gibbs, (208) 999-3708, gibbscortney@stanleygroup.com

U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS PROJECT MANAGER: Mr. Marve Griffith, (208) 433-4470, christen.m.griffith@usace.army.mil

PURPOSE: The project purpose is to widen an existing segment of the Greenbelt pathway to improve capacity and safety.

WATERWAY: Aquatic Resources include the Penitentiary Canal, to include unnamed wetlands.

LOCATION: The proposed project would be located along the Greenbelt Pathway segment along Barber Pool, within Section(s) 3 and 4, Township 2 North, Range 3 East, and Section 33, Township 3 North, Range 3 East near latitude 43.550º N and longitude –116.096º W, in Ada County, Boise, Idaho. 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: From I-84, exit at Exit 57 toward Idaho City. Travel East on ID21 for approximately four miles to the start of the project at the Boise River Diversion Dam and Power Plant. The project continues north 1.8 miles along the Boise Greenbelt.

AUTHORITY: This permit will be issued or denied under the authority of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344). A Department of the Army permit is required for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands.

WORK: The proposed work will include the discharge of 4,310 cubic yards of earthen material within approximately 8000 linear feet of open water, and 0.3 acres of wetlands adjacent to the canal. The work will entail the excavation of the existing canal to prepare the site and the installation of a combination 36” to 42” irrigation pipe to include concrete manholes. The canal will be backfilled with reused excavated material and embankment fill. The existing pathway pavement will be milled and reused as base course material. Approximately 0.75 inch of base material will be placed along the new pathway and a new asphalt pavement will be constructed.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: All staging, stockpiling, and access routes will be upslope to the west of the project area in upland property.

CONSTRUCTION PERIOD: Applicant proposes to perform the work in 3 Phases, starting construction October 2017, and continue until April 15, 2018. The permit would authorize construction for a period of 5 years.

PROPOSED MITIGATION: The applicant proposes the following mitigation measures to avoid, minimize, and compensate for impacts to Waters of the United States from activities involving discharges of dredged or fill material. 

The applicant has entered into a purchase agreement to purchase 0.3 acres of credits from a mitigation bank (The Wetlands Group LLC) to compensate for unavoidable wetland losses. No mitigation is proposed for open water losses associated with the canal.

OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENTS AND DA PERMITS ISSUED TO APPLICANT: License Agreement between the applicant and the Bureau of Reclamation for easement access and use within their property, Dated May 16, 2012. Idaho SHPO Section 106 Determination of No Historic Properties effected dated March 29, 2017.

WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: This notice will also serve as a Public Notice that the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) is evaluating whether to certify that the discharge of dredge and/or fill material proposed for this project will not violate existing water quality standards. 

A Department of the Army permit will not be issued until water quality certification has been issued or waived by the IDEQ, as required by Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. 

If water quality certification is not issued, waived or denied within sixty (60) days of this public notice date, and an extension of this period is not requested by and granted to the IDEQ, certification will be considered waived. Additionally, within thirty (30) days of this Public Notice, any person may provide written comments to IDEQ, as request in writing that IDEQ provide them notice of their preliminary 401 Certification decision. Comments concerning Water Quality Certification for this project should be mailed to: 

Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Boise Regional Office
Boise, Idaho 83705

AQUATIC RESOURCE DESCRIPTION: The Penitentiary Canal is situated between the Boise River and E. Warm Springs Avenue in East Boise, Idaho. The canal was dug in 1908-09, beginning at the Boise River Diversion Dam and Power Plant, and generally flowing north/northwest to the Idaho Penitentiary where it originally terminated. Currently the canal is in use for approximately five miles, and is diverted to a secondary ditch which discharges into the Boise River.

This segment of the canal primarily consists of an earthen ditch cut into the slope, and is confined by the existing paved greenbelt pathway to the west, and an abrupt upland hillslope to the west. The ditch slightly varies in width but has an average of 6 feet across. The sides of the canal consist of emergent wetlands consisting of grasses and sedges, with minor segments contains scrub-shrub and forested wetlands.

ANTICIPATED IMPACTS ON AQUATIC ENVIRONMENT: The proposed project would result in the permanent fill of 0.3 acres of wetlands (0.268 PEM, 0.015 PSS, and 0.017 PFO). In addition approximately 1 acres of open water channel will be piped in a similar alignment. No reduction of irrigation flow or delivery are proposed from this project. 

OTHER AUTHORIZATIONS: Currently, we are coordinating with the Tribal Historic Preservation Offices for the Shoshone Paiute, and the Shoshone Bannock Tribes to determine if there are any tribal historic or cultural interests within the project area.  

CULTURAL RESOURCES: Consultation has been completed by the by the Bureau of Reclamation (the Lead Federal Agency) with the office of the Idaho State Historic Preservation Officer to determine if this activity will affect a site that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, or a site that may be eligible for listing on the Register. We are also coordinating with the appropriate Tribal entity or the Tribal Historic Preservation Offices for the Shoshone Paiute Tribe, to determine if there are any tribal historic or cultural interests within the project area. 

TRIBAL TREATY RIGHTS and INTERESTS: Federal agencies acknowledge the federal trust responsibility arising from treaties, statues, executive orders and the historical relations between the United States and American Indian Tribes. The federal government has a unique trust relationship with federally recognized American Indian Tribes, including the Shoshone Paiute Tribes. The Corps has a responsibility and obligation to consider and consult on potential effects to Tribal rights, uses and interests. The Corps further recognizes there may be a need for additional and on-going consultation. 

ENDANGERED SPECIES: No listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitats are known to exist in the project area. 

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996, requires all Federal agencies to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service on all actions or proposed actions, permitted, funded or undertaken by the agency that may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). No EFH species are known to use the project area.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT: Preliminary review indicates the proposed activities will not require preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement. Comments provided will be considered in preparation of an Environmental Assessment. 

EVALUATION: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact, including cumulative impacts, of the proposed activity on the public interest. This 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, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, consideration of property ownership and in general, the needs and welfare of the people. In addition, our evaluation will include application of the EPA Guidelines (40 CFR 230) as required by Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act. 

CONSIDERATION OF PUBLIC COMMENTS: The Corps of Engineers is soliciting comments from the general public; Federal, State and local agencies and officials, Tribal entities 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 and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.

PUBLIC HEARING: Any person may request in writing, within the comment period specified in this notice, that a public hearing be held to consider this proposed activity. Requests for a public hearing shall state specific reasons for holding a public hearing. A request may be denied if substantive reasons for holding a hearing are not provided or if there is otherwise no valid interest to be served.

COMMENT & REVIEW PERIOD: Interested parties are invited to provide comments on the proposed activity, which will become a part of the record and will be considered in the final decision.
Please mail all comments to:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Attn: Christen Marve Griffith
Boise Regulatory Office
720 Park Boulevard, Suite 245
Boise, Idaho 83712-7757

Or email comments to: christen.m.griffith@usace.army.mil

Comments should be received no later than September 28, 2017, as indicated on this notice, to receive consideration. 

 

Kelly J. Urbanek
Chief, Regulatory Division
Walla Walla District

If interested parties wish to view plans, drawings, and/or maps associated with the proposed project and Public Notice, please email the Project Manager with your request.


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