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 in the attached documents:
- PN_NWW-2019-551_Compensatory Mitigation.pdf
APPLICANT: Teton County Public Works, Mr. Darryl Johnson, 150 Courthouse Drive, Room 117, Driggs, Idaho 83422.
AGENT: Mr. Kent Werlin, Biota Research and Consulting, Inc., PO Box 8578, Jackson, Wyoming 83002, (307) 733-4216.
U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS PROJECT MANAGER: Mr. James Joyner, 900 N. Skyline Drive, Suite A, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402, (209) 522-1676, firstname.lastname@example.org.
PURPOSE: Improve road safety and structural integrity on N4000W.
WATERWAY: Bear Creek and other unnamed streams and adjacent wetlands (project site); Teton River and adjacent wetlands (Mitigation Site).
LOCATION: The proposed project would be located in the right-of-way along a 3.3 mile segment of N4000W, from Bates Road on the southern end, to W3250N on the northern end. The project area includes segments of Bear Creek and six (6) other unnamed streams and adjacent wetlands. The project is located within Section(s) 17-20, 29 and 30, Township 5 North, Range 45 East, near latitude 43.746624º N and longitude
–111.181364º W, in Teton County, near Driggs, Idaho.
The compensatory mitigation site would be located north of Bates Road at the Teton River at Teton County’s Bates boat ramp parcel. The site is located within Section 30, Township 5 North, Range 45 East, near latitude 43.7244977º N and longitude
–111.186003º W, in Teton County, near Driggs, Idaho.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS: Site is accessed from Driggs, Idaho by traveling west on Bates Road for approximately 3.5 miles. The southern end of the project site is located at the intersection of Bates Road and N4000W.
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: Discharge of approximately 1801 cubic yards of rock, geotextile fabric, corrugated metal pipe (CMP) culverts and dirt fill below the ordinary high water mark of Bear Creek, six (6) unnamed streams and their adjacent wetlands along 3.3 miles of N4000W associated with re-surfacing and widening of the road to improve safety and structural integrity of the road way. This would result in the loss of 0.98 acres of wetlands and 0.02 acres of other waters (streams). Proposed work includes the following elements:
- Installation of Mirafi RS380i fabric or approved equal at the top of the existing road, extending to a 27 foot width or six (6) inches in from the edge of two (2) inch minus sub base;
- Type “A” pit-run will be installed on top of fabric and used to construct road shoulder;
- Shoulders will have a 4:1 slope and will be topped with a minimum of four (4) inches of topsoil;
- Four inches of two (2) inch minus sub-base material will be installed on top of the type “A” pit-run material, and then the road will be topped with four (4) inches of ¾-inch crushed aggregate for the wearing surface; and
- Road reconstruction work will raise the road and out slope the shoulders resulting in a widening to 24 feet (10-foot lanes and 2-foot shoulders with 4% out-sloped grade on either side of the centerline).
- Seven (7) existing culverts will be replaced in-kind in the same locations, but would be longer to accommodate the widened road.
Work at the compensatory mitigation site would involve two (2) treatment regimes. Treatment #1 would occur in and along the Teton River and would involve the establishment of an inset floodplain bench constructed to narrow the existing overly-widened river channel cross section. Large woody debris, willow fascines, clump transplants, willow pole cuttings and herbaceous vegetation mats would be integrated into the treatment to create habitat and stabilize eroding banks. This treatment would result in the establishment of 0.32 acres of scrub-shrub wetlands. Treatment #2 would occur in uplands adjacent to the Teton River and would involve excavation of surface soil layers to connect treatment area #2 with the water table. This would provide hydrology for a created wetland. Salvaged topsoil and sod would be installed on top of the area. Willow clumps and dormant willow pole cuttings would be installed. This treatment would result in the establishment of 0.66 acres of scrub-shrub wetlands. Please refer to the Compensatory Mitigation Plan for more information.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Wetlands and open waters outside the permitted areas will have silt fence installed at the upslope edge to reduce sedimentation. Construction in and around watercourses will occur during low flows and outside of the cutthroat trout spawning window. Culvert removal and replacement would occur in the same day in order to minimize water quality impacts associated with in-stream work.
CONSTRUCTION PERIOD: Applicant proposes to construct in two (2) or more phases. Phase I would be constructed from summer to late fall 2020 and Phase II in summer to later fall of 2021. A third phase may be required in 2022 due to budgetary constraints. The permit would authorize construction for a period of three (3) 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.
Mitigation as generally described above would be in accordance with the attached, “Compensatory Wetland Mitigation Plan N4000W Road Reconstruction Project Teton County, Idaho”, dated May 24, 2020, prepared by Biota Research and Consulting, Inc.
OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENTS AND DA PERMITS ISSUED TO APPLICANT: None
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 and/or 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, Eastern Idaho Regional Office, 900 N Skyline Drive, Suite B, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402.
AQUATIC RESOURCE DESCRIPTION: Bear Creek, unnamed streams and wetlands in the project area were identified as part of a routine wetland delineation. Streams on-site are proximate and tributary to the Teton River in the Upper Teton River watershed. Streams in the project area form from springs as the result of a sizeable shallow groundwater basin fed by snowmelt. Snowmelt flows downslope to the valley bottom as irrigation water and/or runoff/flow from higher elevation streams. Wetlands in the project area are classified as Palustrine scrub-shrub and Palustrine emergent wetlands. Common wetland plant species as documented on wetland delineation data forms include: Salix lutea (Yellow Willow), Salix boothii (Booth’s Willow), Carex nebrascensis (Nebraska Sedge), Carex utriculata (Northwest Territory Sedge), Carex vesicaria (Lesser Bladder Sedge), Typha angustifolia (Narrowleaf Cattail), Calamagrositis canadensis (Bluejoint), Juncus balticus (Baltic Rush), Phalaris arundinacea (Reed Canary Grass) and Glyceria striata (Fowl Manna Grass).
ANTICIPATED IMPACTS ON AQUATIC ENVIRONMENT: Impacts to aquatic resources will occur via the discharge of pit run, ¾-inch crushed aggregate, geotextile fabric, CMP culverts and soil. Based on the planned limits of disturbance for the proposed road reconstruction work provided by Teton County, the project will impact 0.98 acres of wetlands (0.28 acres of emergent wetland and 0.70 acres of scrub/shrub wetlands) and 0.02 acres of non-wetland Waters of the U.S. These impacts were analyzed in conjunction with the functional assessment results and used to propose mitigation (see attached plan).
OTHER AUTHORIZATIONS: A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Construction General Permit may be required under Section 402 of the Clean Water Act.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: Coordination is currently being conducted 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-Bannock Tribes, 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-Bannock 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: The project is within the known or historic range of Ute Ladies’-tresses (Spiranthes diluvialis), which is currently listed as Threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and North American Wolverine (Gulo gulo luscus), which is proposed to be listed as Threatened by the USFWS. Coordination is currently being conducted with the USFWS to determine if the activity will have any effect on species designated as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act, or their critical habitat, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (87 Stat. 844).
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). Designated EFH does not occur in the project area. Preliminarily, we have determined the described activity would have no effect on EFH.
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
Walla Walla District
James M. Joyner
Idaho Falls Regulatory Office
900 N Skyline Drive, Suite A
Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402-1700
Comments should be received no later than the comment due date of July 12, 2020, as indicated on this notice, to receive consideration.