Senecaville Lake

Public Review Documents & Approved Review Plans


Regulatory Public Notice 23-46; LRN-2023-00808

USACE-Nashville District, Regulatory Division
Published Nov. 2, 2023
Expiration date: 12/2/2023

SUBJECT:  This notice announces a prospectus has been submitted for the development of the Buffalo Valley 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:  Mitigate Tennessee, LLC.
                                  Attention: Cory Mattas
                                  P.O. Box 836
                                  Hallsville, Texas 75650 

LOCATION: The Buffalo Valley Mitigation Bank (BVMB) project site involves a +/-317 acre parcel off Rock Springs Road near Buffalo Valley, Putnam County, Tennessee (Latitude 36.159113; Longitude -85.766254). The proposed bank boundary is located within the Buffalo Valley, Tennessee USGS Topographic Quadrangle. The project lies within the Caney Fork River Watershed (HUC 05130108) and Level III ecoregion 71 – Interior Plateau.

PURPOSE:  The BVMB is proposed to provide compensatory stream mitigation for permitted impacts within the primary service area of the Caney Fork River Watershed (HUC 05130108). The Bank’s proposed secondary service area includes Stones River Watershed (HUC 05130203) and Old Hickory Lake Watershed (HUC 05130201) that is within the Level III Ecoregion 71.

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restored, established, enhanced or preserved wetlands or streams are expressed as “credits” which may subsequently be withdrawn to offset “debits” incurred at a permitted project site.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) oversee the establishment and management of the bank.  The IRT is chaired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps).  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 Bank site currently consists of approximately 14,621 linear feet of unnamed tributaries to and including Bates Branch. Of the 14,621 linear feet of stream channel, 9,896 linear feet is classified as intermittent, and 4,725 linear feet is classified as ephemeral. The major stressors along the project streams are the results of agricultural use. Stressors contributing to stream impairment include livestock access to streams, historical impoundment, and lack of riparian areas. Current stream conditions show signs of channelization including sections of eroding and sloughing banks, sparse riparian canopy, and excessive sedimentation resulting in embedded substrate and loss of aquatic habitat.

The project goal is to restore, enhance and preserve self-sustaining, functional streams to mitigate for lost functions due to unavoidable off-site impacts to streams. Within the Site, the BVMB proposes to perform Priority 1 and Priority 2 Restoration, as well as Preservation on all appropriate stream channels. There are also six (6) streams in which hydrologic connections have been historically altered and disrupted due to past logging and on-going agricultural activities. The BVMB will re-establish these streams to restore connectivity to the downstream watershed. Table 1: Resource Improvement Summary shows the existing and proposed linear feet of streams on the site. The BVMB is anticipated to provide up to 7,031 stream mitigation credits from the 14,621 linear feet of stream establishment, restoration, and preservation as outlined in Table 2. Proposed Stream Mitigation Credits. 

Table 1. Resource Improvement Summary

Table 2. Proposed Stream Mitigation Credits

The plan can be viewed at:  Information in the prospectus would serve as the basis for establishing the stream mitigation banking instrument (MBI). The MBI would describe in detail the physical and legal characteristics of the bank and how the bank would be established and operated.  

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES: A search of the National Register returned no findings of historic properties currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places within the project area. A Phase I cultural/archaeological survey has not been conducted for the 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 sites of religious and cultural significance at or near the project area.  After receipt of comments from this public notice, the Corps will evaluate potential impacts and consult with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and American Indian Tribes in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as appropriate.  Copies of this public notice are being provided to the SHPO and American Indian Tribes.  This public notice serves to initiate the public involvement requirements of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended.  The Corps will continue to consult with the SHPO, American Indian Tribes, and other consulting parties in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

ENDANGERED/THREATENED SPECIES REVIEW:  A review of federally-listed species that are known to or believed to occur in Putnam County, Tennessee identified the following list:

A copy of this notice is being furnished to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) for their review. After receipt of any comments, the Corps will evaluate the potential effects to proposed and/or listed species and their designated critical habitat, and initiate consultation with the USFWS, 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. Factors 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. 

The Corps is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, State, and local agencies and officials; American Indian Tribes; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the proposed activity. All comments received will be considered by the Corps during the formulation of the initial determination of potential for the proposed activity.

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 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: Michael P. Uitvlugt at the above address, email:, or phone at: (505) 985-2497.  

                                                                                       William E. Worrall
                                                                             Chief, Technical Services Branch
                                                                               U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Chick Lock

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