SUBJECT: This notice announces a request to modify the Cumberland River Compact (CRC) In Lieu-Fee (ILF) Program Instrument to include the Saline Creek Stream Mitigation (SCSM) Project.
TO ALL CONCERNED: The application described below has been submitted for a Department of the Army (DA) Permit pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) (33 U.S.C. 1344).
APPLICANT: The Cumberland River Compact
2 Victory Lane
Nashville, TN 37213
LOCATION: The proposed SCSM project lies in the Lower Cumberland Watershed (HUC 05130205) near the town of Bumpus Mills in Stewart County, Tennessee. The proposed site is located in the Western Highland Rim Ecoregion, Level IV (71f); Latitude 36.583742°, Longitude -87.851331°
PURPOSE: The proposed project will involve the restoration of approximately 3,525 linear feet of headwater streams in the Saline Creek watershed (HUC 12 051302020406) of the Lower Cumberland HUC 8 (05130205). The SCSM In-Lieu Fee Wetland Mitigation Project would provide compensatory wetland mitigation for permitted impacts within the Lower Cumberland River Geographic Service Area in accordance with CRC’s approved ILF Instrument.
BACKGROUND: The CRC’s ILF Instrument was originally approved on March 3, 2018, by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Saline Creek Stream Mitigation Project has been submitted as a proposed addition to the ILF Instrument pursuant to 33 CFR 332, Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources (Federal Register: April 10, 2008, effective June 9, 2008). Pursuant to 33 CFR 332.8 (d), the district engineer will provide public notice (PN) of the proposed addition of an ILF program mitigation site. As such, we have issued a PN to solicit comments for the instrument modification due to the proposed addition of an ILF mitigation site.
GENERAL INFORMATION: An ILF program involves the restoration, establishment, reestablishment, enhancement, rehabilitation, and/or preservation of aquatic resources through funds paid to a governmental or non-profit natural resource entity to satisfy compensatory mitigation requirements for DA permits. Similar to a mitigation bank, an ILF program sells compensatory mitigation credits to permittees whose obligation to provide compensatory mitigation is then transferred to the ILF program sponsor. The operation and use of an ILF program are governed by an ILF program instrument.
A group of federal and state regulatory and resource agency representatives known as the lnteragency Review Team (IRT) would oversee the establishment and management of the program. The IRT is chaired by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District (USACE). The primary role of the IRT is to facilitate establishment of the ILF program through the development of an ILF instrument. The IRT also reviews ILF proposals and provides comments to the USACE.
Approval of the use of the ILF program 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 Environment and 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 proposing to use the ILF program for compensation mitigation would be authorized.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The project will involve restoring 3,525 linear feet of intermittent and perennial streams with the proper pattern, profile, and dimension, installing grade control structures/brush toe protection, and replanting a 50-foot buffer from the top of each bank with hardwood tree species. The project is projected to potentially generate 1,222 Tennessee Stream Quantification Tool (TN SQT) functional foot credits. Upon project completion, approximately 10 acres would be permanently protected by a conservation easement.
Details are contained in the Mitigation Plan dated May 21, 2021. The plan can be viewed at: http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/Media/PublicNotices.aspx. Information in the plan would serve as the basis for deriving and releasing credits for the ILF program.
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. 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 USACE 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, historical 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), supplemental EA, and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). 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: A review of the Tennessee Historical Commission Web Service Database and the National Register of Historical Places web database indicated no listings as occurring on 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 will 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 AND THREATENED SPECIES REVIEW: The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires federal agencies to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) pursuant to Section 7 of ESA on all actions that may affect a species listed under the ESA as threatened or endangered (T&E) or any designated critical habitat. A review of USFWS’s Information for Planning and Conservation (IPAC) website (http://ecos.fws.gov/ipac/) identified the following federally-listed Threatened (T) and/or Endangered (E) species that may occur or could potentially be affected by the activities in this location:
||Northern Long-Eared Bat
||Quadrula cylindrica cylindrica
||Price’s Potato Bean
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.
OTHER APPROVALS: Water Quality Certification from Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) pursuant to Section 401 (a)(1) of the CWA is required for the proposed project. Other federal, state, and/or local approvals may be required for the proposed work.
EVALUATION: After the end of the comment period, the district engineer will review all comments received and make an initial determination as to the potential of the proposed project to provide compensatory mitigation for activities authorized by DA permits. That determination will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits, 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 conservation, economics, esthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historical 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, considerations of property ownership, and in general, the needs and welfare of the people.
REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING: Any person may request a public hearing. The request must be submitted in writing to the District Engineer within the designated comment period of the notice and must state the specific reasons for requesting the public hearing.
COMMENT PERIOD: Written statements received by June 25, 2021 will become a part of the record and considered in the determination. Any response to this notice should reference File No. LRN-2021-00463, and be directed to the Regulatory Division, Attn: Ryan Evans, at the above address or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joshua W. Frost
Chief, Technical Services Branch
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers