Public Notices

Public Notice No. 20-40; File No. LRN-2020-00501

Published July 24, 2020
Expiration date: 8/24/2020

Public Notice No.  20-40                                              
Nashville District
Application No. LRN-2020-00501                              
Date: July 24, 2020; Expires:  August 24, 2020
Please address comments to: 
Nashville District Corps of Engineers,
Regulatory Division
3701 Bell Road,
Nashville, TN 37214-2660

SUBJECT:  This notice announces a prospectus has been submitted for the development of the Sandhill Wetland Mitigation Bank pursuant to 33 CFR 332, Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources (Federal Register: April 10, 2008, effective June 9, 2008).

BANK SPONSOR:  Resource Environmental Solutions (RES), LLC
                                Attention:  Mr. Aaron Speaks
                                103 Continental Place, Suite100 
                                Brentwood, Tennessee 37027

LOCATION:  The proposed wetland mitigation bank encompasses 91.33 acres that is situated within two adjoining tracts located three miles northeast of Eagleville in Rutherford County, Tennessee (35.74966, -86.59241).

PURPOSE:  The Sandhill Wetland Mitigation Bank is proposed to provide compensatory wetland mitigation for permitted impacts within the primary service area of the Harpeth River Watershed (HUC 05130204) ), as well as secondary service areas within the Stones (05130203) and Cheatham Lake
(05130202) within the State of Tennessee.

GENERAL INFORMATION:  Mitigation banks are defined as a site, or suite of sites, where aquatic resources (e.g., wetlands, streams, riparian areas) are restored, established, enhanced, and/or preserved for the purpose of providing compensatory mitigation for impacts authorized by Department
of the Army (DA) permits pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and/or Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.  In general, units of restored, established, enhanced or preserved wetlands or streams are expressed as “credits” which may subsequently be withdrawn to offset “debits” incurred at a permitted project site.  In this way, a permit requirement to provide compensatory mitigation can be transferred to the mitigation bank sponsor.  The operation and use of mitigation banks are governed by an approved mitigation banking instrument (MBI).  The MBI is the legal document for the establishment, operation and the use of a mitigation bank.  This bank is intended to be a private commercial bank.  The sponsor would be responsible for the successful development of the mitigation bank including monitoring and reporting requirements.

A group of federal and state regulatory and resource agency representatives known as the Interagency Review Team (IRT) would oversee the establishment and management of the bank. The IRT is chaired by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District (USACE).  The primary role of the
IRT is to facilitate the establishment of the mitigation bank through the development of a MBI.  The IRT will review the prospectus, instrument, and other appropriate documents and provide comments to the USACE.

The approval for the use of the bank for specific projects is the decision of the USACE pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and/or Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or the Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation (TDEC) pursuant to Section 401 of the CWA
and/or applicable state of Tennessee statute(s) and regulation(s).  The USACE and TDEC provide no guarantee that any particular individual or general permit would be authorized in order to use the bank for compensation.  The following is a summary of the prospectus for this project.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:  The site has historically been used for agricultural use. The Bank site currently consists of approximately 68.37 acres of drained and farmed wetlands. The site contains five (5) drainage ditches and one (1) open water feature, which currently alter the wetland hydrology within the proposed project area. In conjunction with surface ditching, subsurface drain tiles also exist and further impair the natural wetland hydrology at the site.  The overall goal of the mitigation bank is to restore, to the greatest extent possible, the ecological function of the highly degraded hydrologic resources to generate wetland compensatory mitigation credits that fully mitigate authorized losses of wetlands. The Bank will accomplish this objective through the implementation of various mitigation measures, including plugging surface ditches intermittently and breaching of subsurface drainage systems. These activities are intended to produce watershed- scale improvements of ecological services that will replace the hydraulic, physical, and biological function of wetlands within the proposed service area that are lost as a result of authorized impacts. The Bank will consist of the restoration of approximately 68.37 acres of wetlands and upland riparian buffers on portions of the remaining 91.33-acre property.

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES:  S&ME conducted an archaeological and historical resources survey on April 14-16, 2020, on 68 acres of the subject property. Based on the study, no historic structures or cultural resources were documented within the vicinity of the project area.  A review
of the Tennessee Historical Commission Web Service Database (accessed 23-30 March 2020) indicated no historical properties within the project site, nor within 0.5-mile vicinity of the project site. At this early stage in the regulatory process, no project design plans have been submitted; therefore, USACE cannot complete an effects determination for historic and cultural resources.  The Corps invites responses to this public notice from American Indian Tribes or tribal governments; Federal, State, and local agencies; historical and archeological societies; and other parties likely to have knowledge of or concerns regarding historic properties and cultural significance at or near the project area.  Upon submittal of the design plans, USACE would evaluate the design plans along with any substantive comments from this public notice to determine the potential of impacts to historic and cultural resources for Section 106 compliance.

If the Corps determines that consultation is required, the Corps would consult with the Tennessee Historic Commission (SHPO) and American Indian Tribes in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as appropriate.

ENDANGERED/THREATENED SPECIES REVIEW:  A review of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) website, http://ecos.fws.gov/ipac identified the following federally-listed species that are known to or believed to occur in Rutherford County, Tennessee:

 


The site is currently intensively managed for agricultural production. There is no proposed tree removal and no areas of native vegetation that will be disturbed as a result of the proposed mitigation /restoration activities. A copy of this notice is being furnished to USFWS for their review. After receipt of any comments, the USACE will evaluate the potential effects to proposed and/or listed species and their designated critical habitat, and initiate consultation with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, if required.

COMMENT PERIOD:  Written statements received in this office within 30 days from the date of this notice will become a part of the record and will be considered in the determination.  Any response to this notice should be directed to the Nashville District Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Division, Attention: Mr. Mark G. McIntosh at the above address or by email: mark.g.mcintosh@usace.army.mil.

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Joshua W. Frost
Chief, Technical Services Branch
Regulatory Division
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers