Proposed Discharge of Sabal Trail Fill Material –U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Late on a Friday, in a USACE public notice:

Sabal Trail Project Overview The USACE has not verified the adequacy of the applicant’s avoidance and minimization statement at this time….

The USACE has not verified the adequacy of the applicant’s proposed off-site mitigation plan at this time.

After how many years has this Sabal Trail project been going on? And still no verification?

PUBLIC HEARING REQUESTS: Any person may request, in writing, within the comment period specified in this notice, that a public hearing be held to consider this application. Requests for public hearings shall state with particularity, the reasons for holding a public hearing.

How about as a reason somebody needs to examine Sabal Trail’s mitigation plans?

This Friday USACE release frequently mentions FERC’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which was released on a Friday before a long holiday weekend.

Here’s the USACE public notice:

USACE logo

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS – MOBILE DISTRICT
MONTGOMERY FIELD OFFICE
605 MAPLE STREET
BUILDING 1429, ROOM 105
MAXWELL AFB, AL 36112

September 11, 2015

CESAM-RD-N
PUBLIC NOTICE NO. SAM-2014-00655-JSC

JOINT PUBLIC NOTICE
U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS AND
STATE OF ALABAMA
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT

PROPOSED DISCHARGE OF FILL MATERIAL ASSOCIATED WITH
THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE SABAL TRAIL NATURAL GAS
PIPELINE

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: This District has received an application for a Department of the Army (DA) permit pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 United States Code 403) and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 USC 1344). This public notice is being distributed to all known interested persons to assist in developing facts on which a decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) can be based. Please communicate this information to interested parties.

APPLICANT: Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC
Attention: Mr. George McLachlan
400 Colonial Center Parkway, Suite 300
Lake Mary, Florida 32746

LOCATION: The Sabal Trail Pipeline Project, a portion of the larger Southeast Market Pipelines Project (SMP), would affect waters of the United States, including wetlands, within the States of Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. For additional information, please reference the attached general location map; and, refer to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) available on the FERC website (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search,” and enter the docket number CP15-17. Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant proposes to construct and operate approximately 515.5 miles of interstate natural gas transmission pipeline consisting of 480.9 miles of mainline pipeline in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida (Mainline); a 21.5-mile-long pipeline lateral in Florida (the CCL); and a 13.1-mile-long pipeline lateral in Florida (the HCL). Additional detail can be found within the FERC DEIS.

AVOIDANCE & MINIMIZATION: Steps taken to avoid and minimize impacts to waters of the U.S. are detailed in the FERC DEIS. The USACE has not verified the adequacy of the applicant’s avoidance and minimization statement at this time.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: Discussion related to the applicant’s proposed compensatory mitigation is found in the FERC DEIS. The USACE has not verified the adequacy of the applicant’s proposed off-site mitigation plan at this time.

LEAD FEDERAL AGENCY ROLE: The FERC is considered the lead federal agency for coordinating and conducting environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Pursuant to NEPA, the FERC is preparing an EIS for the proposed SMP. The USACE is participating as a cooperating agency in the development of the EIS; however, a separate decision document would be prepared prior to a final decision concerning issuance or denial of the requested DA permit. Comments received would be used by USACE in the preparation of any documentation, if required, pursuant to NEPA prior to a final decision concerning issuance or denial of the DA permit.

WATER QUALITY: The applicant is preparing their application for certification from the State of Alabama in accordance with Section 401(a) (1) of the Clean Water Act, and upon completion of the required advertising, a determination relative to certification will be made.

PUBLIC INTEREST REVIEW/CUMULATIVE EFFECTS: 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. 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, cultural values, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, flood plain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food production, and in general, the needs and welfare of the people. Evaluation of the probable impacts involving discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States will include the application of the Section 404(b)(1) guidelines established by the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

SOLICITATION OF COMMENTS: The USACE is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, State, and local agencies and officials; 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 USACE to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny a permit for this proposal. For accuracy and completeness of the record, all data in support of or in opposition to the proposed work should be submitted in writing setting forth sufficient detail to furnish a clear understanding of the reasons for support or opposition. 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 NEPA.

PUBLIC HEARING REQUESTS: Any person may request, in writing, within the comment period specified in this notice, that a public hearing be held to consider this application. Requests for public hearings shall state with particularity, the reasons for holding a public hearing.

HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the FERC is reviewing the proposed undertakings on properties listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. According to the FERC DEIS, Sabal Trail conducted a cultural resources survey within a 300-foot- wide corridor for the pipeline corridor, a 50-foot-wide corridor for access roads, and the footprints for all aboveground facilities and contractor yards. The FERC’s Area of Potential Effect (APE) to aboveground cultural resources was defined as the APE for direct effects plus areas where land use may change, and any locations from which the Project may be visible.

Sabal Trail surveyed 96.2 percent of the project area in Alabama between September 2013 and August 2014. Approximately 3.8 percent of the project workspace remains to be surveyed pending landowner permission. The DEIS details the findings of the conducted surveys, as well as the current status of coordination efforts between the FERC and the Alabama State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO). A copy of this notice is being sent to the Alabama SHPO.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: Throughout the DEIS, the FERC recommended additional construction practices and avoidance measures and notes that implementation of these recommendations would minimize impacts on special status species and their habitat associations (e.g., wetlands, water bodies, sand ridges). The FERC further concludes that project-related impacts on special status and state- listed species would be reduced to levels that would not threaten species population viability, or contribute to trends toward federal listings.

Pursuant to Section 7(c) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), we request information from the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Marine Fisheries Service; or, any other interested party, on whether any species listed or proposed for listing may be present in the area.

COMMENT PERIOD: All comments should be received no later than 30 days from the date of issuance of this Public Notice. Any correspondence concerning this publication should refer to this Public Notice SAM-2014-00655-JSC and should be directed to the following address:

District Engineer:
U. S. Army Engineer District, Mobile
Regulatory Division, Montgomery Field Office
Attention: James S. Cherry, II
605 Maple Street
Building. 1429, Room 105
Maxwell, AFB, AL 36112

with a copy to the : Director
Alabama Department of Environmental Management
Post Office Box 301463
Montgomery, Alabama 36130-1463

If you have any questions concerning this publication, you may contact the Project Manager via e-mail at james.s.cherry@usace.army.mil or telephone number (334) 953-2172. Please refer to the above Public Notice number. For additional information about the Mobile District’s Regulatory Program, please visit our web site at http://www.sam.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory.aspx. Also, please take a moment to complete our customer satisfaction survey located near the bottom of the webpage. Your responses are appreciated and will help us improve our services.

MOBILE DISTRICT
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Encls
Sabal Trail Project Overview

Sabal Trail Project Overview

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1 thought on “Proposed Discharge of Sabal Trail Fill Material –U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

  1. Pingback: Proposed Sabal Trail River Permits –USACE and GA-EDP | WWALS Watershed Coalition

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