Public Notices

Listed below are the current Public Notices published by the Walla Walla District for proposed projects within the state of Idaho. The Public Notices are sorted by Effective Date and are provided in PDF format. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your PC to view these files. 

Viewing Public Notices. To view a Public Notice, left-click on the Permit Application Number (highlighted in blue). To download the file to your PC, right-click on the Permit Application Number, then select "Save Target As" from the menu.

How to Submit Comments. To submit comments via email, cut and paste the email address of the respective Project Manager's from the table below into an email and in the subject line of your email enter: Public Notice Comments for (referencing the specific project).  To submit comments in writing, send them to the respective Project Manager at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District Regulatory Division, 720 E. Park Blvd., Suite 245, Boise, ID 83712. All comments should include the permit application number and project name, your name, address, and phone number.

Public Notice: Application for Permit - NWW-2021-00618, Union Pacific Railroad - Spokane Subdivision Mile Post 86.5 - 90.08 Siding Extension Project

Walla Walla District Regulatory Division
Published Jan. 13, 2022
Expiration date: 2/14/2022

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:

Kevin Rice
Union Pacific Railroad
1400 Douglas Street, Stop 0910
Omaha, Nebraska 68179
(402) 544-2213;

Elizabeth Herbst
126 North Jefferson Street, Suite 400
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
(563) 381-7078; 

Megan Biljan
Coeur d’Alene Regulatory Field Office
1910 Northwest Boulevard, Suite 210
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814
(208) 433-4474;

PURPOSE:  To construct a new siding track parallel to an existing mainline track.

WATERWAY:  Wetlands adjacent to the Pack River and unnamed tributaries to the Pack River.

LOCATION:  The proposed project would be located between Samuels Road (NF-280) and Elmira Road, within Sections 9, 16, 21 and 28, Township 59 North, Range 1 West, between latitude 48.79601º N and longitude -116.461745º W, and latitude 48.429297º N and longitude -116.478013º W, in Bonner County, near Ponderay, Idaho.  

DRIVING DIRECTIONS:  From US Highway 2 in Ponderay, Idaho drive north for approximately 9.2 miles. Turn right (east) onto Samuels Road. Proceed east for approximately 0.75 miles to the Samuels Road crossing with Union Pacific Railroad tracks (this is the southern end of the project).

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 rock and soil fill material into 4.22 acres of wetlands adjacent to the Pack River and 608 linear feet of unnamed tributaries to the Pack River for construction of approximately 2.53 miles of new siding track. The track embankment subgrade (MP 87.00 to MP 89.53) will be widened for the siding track extension. The project also includes temporary impacts to 0.06 acres of wetlands for culvert replacements at MP 87.76, 88.22, 88.53, and 89.21. Temporary impacts will be restored to pre-construction site conditions and elevations upon completion.

Embankment widening will include the installation of trackside ditches to assist with track drainage in upland locations outside of wetlands, as well as subgrade stabilization as needed based on geotechnical evaluation. Signals, signal houses and signal mounds will also be installed along the project length. Five existing culverts will be extended or increased. The existing access road extending south from Elmira Road along the west side of the tracks will be improved for approximately 2,700 feet. The improved access road will be used for construction access and ongoing track maintenance after Project construction is complete.

  • Track Embankment:  Rock and dirt fill will be brought to the site by truck or rail to begin embankment construction. Dump trucks, excavators, and loaders will place the fill within the proposed track embankment footprint. Rock will first be placed to create the fill footprint and identify the fill boundary. After the track embankment is constructed, the track structure including sub-ballast, ballast, and rail and ties will be placed as well as associated signal equipment. Geopiers will be installed in portions of the project requiring subgrade stabilization with standing water present. Ontrack equipment will construct the geopiers in the future embankment footprint, adding stability to the soils while minimizing excavation of saturated soils. In soil stabilization locations without standing water, approximately five feet of unsuitable soils will first be excavated and replaced with rock and structural fill. Soil will then be placed to create the track embankment. The unsuitable excavated material will not be placed in waters of the United States. When culvert replacement locations are reached in track embankment construction, the culverts will be jack and bored through the existing embankment. Bore pit excavation will be required on the east side of the existing track to receive the culvert. If needed, cofferdams will be installed and the area dewatered. Following culvert installation, the cofferdams will be removed and the area allowed to restore naturally.
  • Culvert Replacements:

Location (MP)

Existing Structure

Proposed Structure

Impact Type

MP 87.01

2” diameter smooth steel pipe (SSP)

Culvert extension


MP 87.76

2.5” diameter corrugated metal pipe (CMP)

One 3” diameter SSP


MP 88.22

2” diameter CMP

One 4” diameter SSP


MP 88.53

2” diameter CMP

Two 3” diameter SSP


MP 89.21

2.5” diameter CMP

Three 4” diameter SSP



  • Vegetation Removal:  Vegetation removal will be limited to the amount necessary to allow for site access and construction. Approximately 9.2 acres of clearing and grubbing is anticipated, of which includes the 4.22 acres of proposed wetland fills. The 4.22 acres of wetlands may be grubbed prior to filling, depending on site conditions. In locations not suitable for grubbing, vegetation will be left and fill material will be placed on top, effectively incorporating the vegetation into the track embankment. The remaining 4.98 acres of clearing and grubbing will occur in uplands. Areas disturbed by construction not stabilized with rock as part of the track footprint will be reseeded upon project completion. Preconstruction nesting bird surveys will be completed prior to vegetation removal if clearing and grubbing will occur during the nesting season. Following culvert installation, the wetland area will be allowed to restore naturally. Site revegetation and stabilization will be outlined in the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) that is prepared for the Project. Approximately 4.2 acres of the project are anticipated to be reseeded.


The Sequence of construction is as follows:

  1. Biologists will perform necessary preconstruction surveys and install construction fencing around any sensitive resources, including the limits of permitted wetland impacts.
  2. The SWPPP will be implemented and maintained during the construction process by the contractor. This will include the implementation of BMPs and erosion control measures such as: installation of silt fences and fiber rolls as specified within the SWPPP. In addition, areas for vehicle storage, fueling, and other environmentally sensitive activities will be established as specified in the SWPPP.
  3. The construction contractor will establish sanitary facilities and an office trailer in an upland location.
  4. Construction equipment will be mobilized onsite.
  5. The proposed track embankment widening area will be cleared and soil and rock fill brought to the site by dump trucks to begin construction of the embankment widening. Rock and soil may be placed using excavators, loaders, scrapers, or other similar equipment.
    1. Prior to placement of fill in wetlands, the extent of the fill footprint will be verified as well as the placement of construction fencing around sensitive resources such as adjacent wetlands that will not be impacted.
    2. Material being placed in these sensitive locations will be placed in the fill footprint using the newly constructed, wider track embankment.
    3. At locations requiring soil stabilization, the stabilization approach depends on site conditions:
      1. In locations with standing water, on track equipment will place rock to form geopiers, providing stabilization to the surrounding ground. Track embankment construction will be completed as outlined above.
      2. In locations without standing water, soil will be excavated to approximately 5 feet. Excavated soil will be removed from the site for appropriate disposal.
  6. As the project embankment reaches the culvert locations, culverts will be replaced or extended.
    1. For culverts to be replaced:
      1. If needed, cofferdams will be installed surrounding the bore pit locations and the bore pit will be dewatered. Dewatering will be conducted in accordance with best management practices discussed in the SWPPP.
      2. A small quantity of material (10 cubic yards or less) of material will be excavated to create the bore pit.
      3. Pipes will be bored beneath the track embankment.
      4. Cofferdams will be removed.
    2. For culverts to be extended:
      1. If needed, cofferdams will be installed surrounding the bore pit locations and the bore pit will be dewatered. Dewatering will be conducted in accordance with best management practices discussed in the SWPPP.
      2. The longer pipe length will be added to the existing culvert.
      3. Cofferdams will be removed.
  7. Once the track embankment is expanded including the culverts, the track section will be constructed on the fill including sub-ballast, ballast, ties and rails as well as associated signal components for rail operation.

Upon completion of the track embankment construction, temporary BMPs will be removed. Temporarily disturbed areas will be returned to preconstruction conditions, including reseeding of cleared staging areas, if necessary.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  The Project will be accessed from the north and south via existing public roads including Elmira Road and NF-280 (Samuels Road). As the proposed track embankment is developed, equipment will gain access along the Project length. Additional access roads may be established on adjacent landowner properties with appropriate landowner permissions in upland areas outside of wetlands or waterbodies. Staging areas will be established on Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) property or adjacent landowner properties with appropriate permissions in upland areas outside of wetlands or waterbodies. Staging areas will include an upland location at the southeast end of the project at MP 86.50, as well as a location at the north end of the siding extension on the west side of the existing tracks at MP 89.50. Vegetation removal, grading, and graveling will be required for some staging areas. These impacts will be minimized to the extent possible, will be temporary, and staging areas will be restored to pre-construction conditions upon project completion. Materials and equipment will be staged in these areas in accordance with the SWPPP that will be prepared for the project.

CONSTRUCTION PERIOD:  Applicant proposes to start construction Late Spring 2022 and end Late 2022/Early 2023. However, the permit would authorize construction for a period of three (3) years.

PROPOSED MITIGATION:  The applicant proposes mitigation through the purchase of mitigation credits through the Valencia Wetland Mitigation Bank. 


WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION:  The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) will evaluate whether to certify that the discharge of 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. Comments or questions concerning Water Quality Certification for this project should be mailed to:

Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Coeur d’Alene Regional Office
2110 Ironwood Parkway
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814
or sent to Chantilly Higbee at 

SECTION 401 (A)(2) NEIGHBORING JURISDICTION:  Per CFR 325(b)(1)(i), this public notice serves as the (a)(2) neighboring jurisdiction notification to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

AQUATIC RESOURCE DESCRIPTION:  Approximately 11.96 acres of wetlands adjacent to Sand Creek and 808 linear feet of stream were identified in the project area. Wetlands on the site are considered palustrine forested (PFO), palustrine scrub/shrub (PSS) and palustrine emergent (PEM) under the USFWS Cowardin Classification system. Dominant herbaceous plant species within PFO identified wetlands include water birch (Betula occidentalis), shining willow (Salix lasiandra), quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides),and Saskatoon service-berry (Amelanchier alnifolia); PSS identified wetlands are dominated by Sitka willow (Salix sitchensis), gray willow (Salix bebbiana), Douglas’ meadowsweet (Spiraea douglasii), western snowberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis), red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea), black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) and sedges (Carex sp.); and PEM identified wetlands are dominated by American manna grass (Glyceria grandis), water thyme (Hydrilla verticillata), and broadleaf cattail (Typha latifolia). Streams on the site are considered intermittent (R4) and ephemeral (R6) under the USFWS Cowardin Classification system.

ANTICIPATED IMPACTS ON AQUATIC ENVIRONMENT:  The project would result in the permanent loss of 4.22 acres of wetland and permanently impact 608 linear feet of stream as a result of construction of the siding track extension, culvert extension and replacement, and road access improvements. Additionally, 0.06 acres of wetlands are anticipated to be temporarily impacted during construction associated with access for culvert replacements. 


CULTURAL RESOURCES:  The applicant has submitted a cultural resource survey and technical report for the proposed Spokane Subdivision Mile Post 86.5 - 90.08 Siding Extension Project, dated August 2021, prepared by Arcadis. Coordination is currently being conducted with the Idaho State Historic Preservation Office (ISHPO) 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 Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe of the Flathead Reservation, and Kalispel 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 Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe of the Flathead Reservation, and Kalispel Tribe. 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 Canada Lynx (Lynx canadensis), Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis), and Bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus). Coordination is currently being conducted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (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). No EFH species are known to use 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  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 or email all comments to:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Walla Walla District
Coeur d’Alene Regulatory Office
Attn: Megan Biljan
1910 Northwest Boulevard, Suite 210
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814

Comments should be received no later than the comment due date of February 14, 2022, as indicated on this notice, to receive consideration.



Stay up to date on our most recent Public Notices.

The Public Notice, drawings, and attachments will be available for you to view, download, and/or print here on our Public Notice home page.

To add or update your information to our E-Notification list, please email us with your updated information, or please fill out one or both forms below for Idaho Counties and/or Idaho Watershed Public Notice Distribution List(s) and email them to us at:


Idaho Counties PN Distribution List Form

Idaho Watershed PN Distribution List Form