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:
APPLICANT: Philip Lambert, Benewah County, Commissioners, 701 W College Ave, St. Maries, ID 83861, (208) 245-9152
AGENT: Vince Barthels, T-O Engineers, 1717 S. Rustle Street, Suite 201, Spokane, WA 99224, (509-319-2580; email@example.com
U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS PROJECT MANAGER: Garrett Schock, Coeur d’Alene Regulatory Field Office, 1910 Northwest Boulevard, Suite 210, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814, (208) 433-4476; Garrett.N.Schock@usace.army.mil
PURPOSE: To expand existing airport infrastructure in order to provide additional hangar space and tie-down parking for aircraft needed to accommodate current and increasing demand at the airport.
WATERWAY: Wetlands adjacent to the St. Joe River and an unnamed tributary to the St. Joe River.
LOCATION: The proposed project would be located on Airport Road off ID-3, within Section 22, Township 46 North, Range 2 West, between latitude 47.3240º N and longitude -116.5748º W, in Benewah County, near St. Maries, Idaho.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS: From the city of St. Maries, head north on ID-3 for approximately 1.6 miles and turn right onto Airport Rd.
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 approximately 5,000 cubic yards of rock and soil within 2.75 acres of palustrine emergent (PEM) wetlands, and 200 cubic yards of rock below the ordinary high water mark of and along 60 linear feet of an unnamed tributary to the St. Joe River. The project proposes 9 new hangars, an expanded apron area with 7 tie-down positions, taxiways connecting the proposed infrastructure expansion with the existing taxiway and runway, access roads, and all associated culverts, curbing, water lines, underdrain piping, lighting, asphalt paving, stormwater, and utility features. Earthwork for the infrastructure expansion will be completed using excavators, backhoes, dump trucks, skid steers, and compacting equipment. Structural fill, quarry spalls, crushed rock, and imported soil will be acquired from clean local sources.
Fill for Hangar pads and associated airport improvements
4,000 CY (Rock) / 200 CY (Native Soil)
Regrading/Fill for Stormwater Control Features
800 CY (Native Soil)
Access Road Crossing w/ 60” culvert
200 CY (Rock)
Phase 1 – Installation of the culverted crossing to allow for construction access, followed by stripping 6” of topsoil and stockpiling it for future use on site (approximately 1,000 CY removed and reutilized as fill). Gravel material will be brought in and piled for preloading (compaction) to create an appropriate base for the proposed taxi lane, apron, and road areas. Appropriate BMPs will be installed and maintained throughout construction sequencing. The site would then be partially demobilized to allow for the preload fill areas to settle and compact the underlying soils. BMPs would be left in place and continue to be monitored and maintained per IPDES permitting requirements.
Phase 2 – Remobilize when conditions allow, to complete all fill and grading activities to construct all foundations, buildings, road and taxiway surfaces, and associated stormwater features. BMPs will remain on site and be monitored and maintained until all earth disturbing activities are completed and the site is stabilized.
Staging – Staging of equipment will be located in the uplands west of the unnamed drainage ditch on airport property. Portions of the excavated native soil will be temporarily stockpiled in wetland areas. The intent is to utilize the native soils onsite to construct drainage features such grass swales and a stormwater retention pond.
CONSTRUCTION PERIOD: The Applicant proposes to start Phase 1 in Fall 2022 and work is estimated to be completed within 30 days. Phase 2 is proposed during late summer/fall 2023 and work is estimated to be completed within 60 days. However, the permit would authorize construction for a period of three years..
PROPOSED MITIGATION: The applicant proposes to offset the loss of waters of the U.S. through the purchase of mitigation credits through the Valencia Wetland Mitigation Bank.
OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENTS AND DA PERMITS ISSUED TO APPLICANT: A permit was issued in 2019 for the footings of the perimeter fence.
WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: Since the proposed project is located within the Coeur d’Alene tribal reservation boundary, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for evaluating whether the discharge of fill material violates 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 EPA, as required by Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. Comments or questions concerning Water Quality Certification for this project should be mailed to:
U.S. EPA, Region 10 – Water Division
Wetlands and Oceans Section
1200 Sixth Avenue, Mail Stop 19-C04
Seattle, WA 98101-3140
or sent to Linda E. Storm at Storm.Linda@epa.gov
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: The extent of work proposed will impact 2.75 acres of PEM depressional wetlands within a 4.95-acre delineated parcel. Plant communities observed on the subject parcel consist of assorted herbaceous plants and trees. The herbaceous layer within the parcel consists of almost exclusively of reed canary grass with some soft rush. Mullein, knapweed, and thistle can be found along the elevated edges by ditches or the taxiway and runway. Trees present along the southwest border of the parcel include cottonwood, hawthorn, and box elder.
ANTICIPATED IMPACTS ON AQUATIC ENVIRONMENT: The project would result in the permanent loss of 2.75 acres of wetlands and permanently impact 60 linear feet of stream as a result of expanding airport infrastructure and installing a culvert crossing for vehicle access.
OTHER AUTHORIZATIONS: N/A.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: Coordination with both the Tribal Historic Preservation Office for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and the Idaho State Historical Society is ongoing 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 Coeur d’Alene 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 near known critical habitat for Bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus). Coordination is currently being conducted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 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: Garrett Schock
1910 Northwest Boulevard, Suite 210
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814
Comments should be received no later than the comment due date of May 12, 2022, as indicated on this notice, to receive consideration.