Public Notices

Public Notice No. 20-42; File No. LRN-2018-00306

Published July 28, 2020
Expiration date: 8/27/2020

Public Notice No. 20-42                                  
Nashville District         
Application No. LRN-2018-00306              
Date: July 28, 2020; Expires: August 27, 2020

Please address all comments to:
Nashville District Corps of Engineers,
Regulatory Division,
1301 Riverfront Parkway, Suite 206,
Chattanooga, TN 37402
Attn: Aric Payne

SUBJECT:  This notice announces a Draft Mitigation Banking Instrument (DMBI) has been submitted for the development of the Flat Creek Stream and Wetland Mitigation bank pursuant to 33 CFR 332, Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources (Federal Register: April 10, 2008, effective June 9, 2008).  The proposed project was previously advertised as PN 18-31, ending August 17, 2018.  The additional Public Notice is being provided because the project sponsor has modified the project proposal to include wetland mitigation.

BANK SPONSOR:  Cumberland Gap Mitigation Group, LLC.
                                Attention: Mr. Case Davis
                                225 W 1st North Street, Suite 204
                                Morristown, Tennessee 37814

LOCATION:  The proposed stream and wetland mitigation bank encompasses 502 acres, owned by the sponsor, and adjacent to TN-131 S.  The property is located approximately 3 miles southwest of the town of Washburn in Grainger County, Tennessee (Latitude 36.265957 °N, -83.631642 °W).  The
proposed mitigation bank would incorporate approximately 5 miles (27,234 ± linear feet) of ephemeral, intermittent and perennial stream channels along several unnamed tributaries to Flat Creek, which is a major tributary to the Holston River.

PURPOSE:  The Flat Creek Stream Mitigation Bank is proposed to provide compensatory stream and wetland mitigation for permitted impacts within the primary service area of the Holston River Watershed (HUC 06010104).  The Bank’s proposed secondary service areas include the Powell Watershed
(HUC 06010207), Watts Bar Lake Watershed (HUC 06010201), and Lower French Broad Watershed (HUC 06010107).

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 proposed project would consist of the preservation, enhancement, and  restoration of 27,234 linear feet of unnamed tributaries to Flat Creek.  In addition, this project also proposes to enhance 0.14 acres of existing wetlands and establish 5.85 acres of wetlands.  The existing streams within the proposed project area are degraded due to channelization and channel modifications, and habitat alterations.  Prior land uses include unrestricted cattle access, agricultural/farming activities, and historical logging practices.  The overall goal of the mitigation bank is to increase, preserve, and permanently protect the ecological functions and services of the streams on the site, as well as to create stable riverine wetlands that function to slow overland flow to the streams and provide a persistent water supply.  Functional lift will be monitored by assessing hydrology, hydraulics, geomorphology, physicochemical, and biological parameters.  Of the 27,234 linear feet, 9,871 linear feet would be enhanced, 10,237 linear feet would be restored, and 7,126 linear feet would be preserved.  Details are contained in the Flat Creek Stream Mitigation Bank Draft Mitigation Banking Instrument dated June 26, 2020.

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps has requested a Phase I cultural/archaeological survey for the site.  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. 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 Grainger County, Tennessee:

Species Nomenclature

Federal Status

Mammals

Gray bat (Myotis grisescens)

Endangered

Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis)

Endangered

Northern Long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis)

Threatened

Fish

Duskytail darter (Etheostoma percnurum)

Experimental, Non-Essential

Pygmy madtom (Noturus stanauli)

Experimental, Non-Essential

Snail darter (Percina tanasi)

Threatened

Spotfin chub (Erimonax monachus)

Experimental, Non-Essential

Mussels

Appalachian monkeyface (Quadrula sparsa)

Experimental, Non-Essential

Cracking pearlymussel (Hemistena lata)

Experimental, Non-Essential

Cumberland bean (pearlymussel) (Villosa trabalis)

Endangered

Cumberlandian combshell (Epioblasma brevidens)

Experimental, Non-Essential

Dromedary pearlymussel (Dromus dromas)

Endangered

Fanshell (Cyprogenia stegaria)

Experimental, Non-Essential

Finerayed pigtoe (Fusconaia cuneolus)

Experimental, Non-Essential

Orangefoot pimpleback (Plethobasus cooperianus)

Experimental, Non-Essential

Oyster mussel (Epioblasma capsaeformis)

Experimental, Non-Essential

Pink mucket (pearlymussel) (Lampsilis abrupta)

Endangered

Ring pink (mussel) (Obovaria retusa)

Experimental, Non-Essential

Rough pigtoe (Pleurobema plenum)

Experimental, Non-Essential

Sheepnose mussel (Plethobasus cyphyus)

Endangered

Shiny pigtoe (Fusconaia cor)

Experimental, Non-Essential

Spectaclecase (Cumberlandia monodonta)

Endangered

Turgid blossom (Epioblasma turgidula)

Endangered

White wartyback (Plethobasus cicatricosus)

Endangered


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. Aric J. Payne at the above address or by email: aric.j.payne@usace.army.mil.

 

/s/

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