Public Notices

Public Notice 21-14; LRN-0-4032300

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Nashville District
Published April 16, 2021
Expiration date: 5/15/2021

Please Address Comments to: Nashville District Corps of Engineers, Western Regulatory Field Office
                                                     2424 Danville Road SW, Suite N, Decatur, AL 35603
                                                     Attn: William E. Sinclair

SUBJECT:  Proposed modifications to the existing barge loading facility within waters of the U.S. associated with Bennett’s Lake Quarry Barge Terminal, at Nickajack Lake, Marion County, Tennessee

TO ALL CONCERNED:  The application described below has been submitted for a Department of the Army Permit pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) for the discharge of fill material into waters of the United States.  The work also requires Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) approval under Section 26a of the Tennessee Valley Authority Act.

APPLICANT:  Buzzi Unicem USA
                         P.O. Box 4304
                         Chattanooga, TN 37405

LEAD FEDERAL AGENCY:  The USACE and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) have a Memorandum of Understanding that designates TVA as the lead Federal Agency for conducting environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other applicable federal laws and regulations (e.g., the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for proposed work that may occur on property which is under TVA custody or control.

LOCATION:  The proposed project is located on Nickajack Lake at Tennessee River Mile 433.2, Right Bank, in Marion County, Tennessee.  The project site may be found on the Sequatchie, TN 7.5 Minute USGS Quadrangle Map (Latitude 35.07950°; Longitude -85.52250°).

PROJECT HISTORY: On August 30, 1955, the USACE issued a DA permit to the General Portland Cement Company for the construction of a barge-loading dock at the same location as the currently proposed project.  The authorized structures were constructed by April 1956.  On February 17, 2009, the USACE issued a modification to the 1955 DA permit authorizing the removal of an existing wooden dolphin and construction of a towboat docking platform with steps.  On April 10, 2014, the USACE issued a modification to the 1955 DA permit authorizing the addition of a barge access walkway to the existing facilities.

DESCRIPTION:  The applicant proposes to construct five mono-pile mooring dolphins, two winch dolphins, a 30’ diameter mooring cell connected to the river bank with 24’ wide x 50 ‘ long wing walls constructed of sheet pile and stone, and walkways, and to dredge 5,600 cubic yards of material (silt and rock) from the Nickajack Lake bottom (300’ x 165’ area between 1’-4’ deep) at the existing barge terminal.  Blasting with explosives is planned within the proposed dredge area due to the presence of large rocks that are too large to be dug out.  Holes will be drilled into the large rocks that are present approximately 5’-7’ below water surface, charges placed within the drilled rocks, and then detonated.  The dredged material will be placed directly into barges and hauled upstream to two upland locations that drain to existing sediment ponds at the Signal Mountain Cement Company’s cement plant site located at 1201 Suck Creek Road in Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee.  The discharge from the sediment ponds is permitted under the NPDES program that has limits on total suspended solids.  The need for the proposed work is to improve safety, system reliability, operational logistics, and efficiency of the facility’s material transport and barge-loading system. Plans of the proposed work are attached to this notice.

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION OF IMPACTS TO WATERS OF THE U.S.:  The applicant states that the proposed work has been designed to minimize impacts to waters of the U.S., however, avoidance is impossible due to the nature of the project as a river barge terminal.  Floating booms with skirts or curtains hanging below them and encircling the active dredging activity will be utilized to contain silt and suspended solids within the dredge area.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION:  The applicant does not propose any compensatory mitigation for impacts to waters of the U.S.

PUBLIC INTEREST REVIEW/CUMULATIVE EFFECTS:  The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts including cumulative impacts of the 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 work must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments.  All factors which may be relevant to the work 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, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shore erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership, and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people. 

SOLICITATION OF COMMENTS:  The Corps of Engineers 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 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 (EA) 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.

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES:  As lead federal agency, TVA will review the process for compliance with Section 106 of the NHPA.  This Public Notice also serves to initiate public involvement requirements of Section 106 of the NHPA of 1996, as amended.  Copies of this notice are being sent to the office of the SHPO.

ENDANGERED AND THREATENED SPECIES REVIEW (Per Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act):  A review of U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Information for Planning and Conservation (IpaC) website (http://ecos.fws.gov/ipac/) on April 7, 2021 indicated the following Threatened (T) and Endangered (E) species that may occur or could potentially be affected by the activities in this location: 

Group Species Status
MAMMALS Gray bat (Myotis grisescens) Endangered
  Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) Endangered
  Northern Long-Eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis) Threatened
FISHES Snail Darter (Percina tanasi) Threatened
FRESHWATER MUSSELS Cumberland Monkeyface (Quadrula intermedia) Extirpated
  Dromedary Pearlymussel (Dromus dromas) Endangered
  Orangefoot Pimpleback (Plethobasus cooperianus Endangered
  Pink Mucket (Lampsilis abrupta) Endangered
  Rough Pigtoe (Pleurobema plenum) Endangered
  Tubercled Blossom (Epioblasma torulosa torulosa) Endangered
FRESHWATER SNAILS Anthony’s Riversnail (Athearnia anthonyi) Extirpated
FLOWERING PLANTS Large-flowered Skullcap (Scutellaria montana) Threatened
  Prices Potato-bean (Apios priceana) Threatened
  White Fringeless Orchid (Platanthera integrilabia) Threatened
  Small Whorled Pogoia (Isotria medeoloides) Threatened
  Virginia Spirea (Spirea virginiana) Threatened
FERNS AND ALLIES American Hart’s-tongue Fern (Asplenium scolopendrium var. americanum) Threatened

 

A copy of the notice is being furnished to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for their review.  This public notice serves as coordination with the USFWS pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1972 (as amended).  Per this notification, we request comments from the USFWS concerning potential impacts to threatened and/or endangered species.  After receipt of comments, the USACE will evaluate the potential effects on proposed and/or listed species and their designated critical habitat and initiate consultation with USFWS, if required.

OTHER APPROVALS:  In addition to the DA permit, other federal, state, and/or local approvals may be required for the proposed work is as follows:

  • Water Quality Certification from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) pursuant to Section 401 (a)(1) of the CWA is required for the proposed project. 
  • TVA approval is required under Section 26a of the TVA Act for all work that may occur on property that is under TVA control or custody and would be processed separately. 

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.

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 Western Regulatory Field Office, Attention:  William E. Sinclair at the above address, telephone (256) 350-5620, (256) 316-7188, or email at william.e.sinclair@usace.army.mil.

If you received this notice by mail and wish to view all of the diagrams, visit our web site at: http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/Media/PublicNotices.aspx, or contact Mr. Sinclair at the above address or telephone number, or email.

                                                                                                                                    /s/
                                                                                                                                  Timothy C. Wilder
                                                                                                                                  Chief, West Regulatory Branch
                                                                                                                                  Regulatory Division
                                                                                                                                  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Nashville District