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Regulatory Public Notice 23-38; LRN-2000-01400

USACE - Nashville District, Regulatory Division
Published Oct. 26, 2023
Expiration date: 10/26/2023

SUBJECT: Proposed discharge of fill material into waters of the United States to facilitate the expansion of the Cumberland River Limestone Quarry near Salem, Livingston County, Kentucky.  

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) for the discharge of fill material into waters of the United States (U.S.). Before a prmit can be issued, certification must be provided by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, pursuant to Section 401(a)(1) of the CWA, that applicable water quality standards will not be violated. The applicant must apply for the required certification.

APPLICANT: Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel Company
                       C/O Mr. Bryan Tilley
                       P.O. Box 7008
                       Pine Bluff, AR 71611
         
LOCATION: Expanding the existing footprint of the Cumberland River Quarry on a 922 acre tract near 780 Spencer Road near Salem, Livingston County, Kentucky (Latitude 37.210357, Longitude -88. 265111). The proposed project is located within the Burna Kentucky and Dycusburg, Kentucky USGS Topographic Quadrangle Maps. 

DESCRIPTION: The applicant is requesting to discharge dredged and/or fill material into 20,540 linear feet (lf) of stream (1,692 lf of perennial, 9,536 lf of intermittent, 9,312 lf of ephemeral), 4.53 acres of wetlands, and 1.26 acres of open waters.  The project is necessary to allow expansion of the existing permitted mining area. The proposed expansion will allow the facility to operate for several decades without further land-based permitting modifications.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION:  Due to the absence of available Mitigation Bank credits in the project area, the applicant proposes to compensate for the loss of streams through a combination of permittee-responsible mitigation and/or the purchase of credits from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources In-Lieu Fee Program.  Due the absence of available Mitigation Bank and In-Lieu Fee program credits, the applicant proposes to compensate for the loss of wetlands through permittee-responsible mitigation.

PURPOSE AND NEED:  The applicant stated that the purpose of the proposed project is critical to the continued operation of the PBSG Cumberland River Quarry. While this is a large expansion, it makes more sense logistically and is more practical to permit the expansion in its entirety rather than piecemeal the expansion over numerous permit modifications, alleviating multiple separately timed mitigation efforts. The proposed expansion will allow the facility to operate for several decades without further land-based permitting modifications.

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION: The proposed project site is located adjoining and within the property boundaries of the applicant’s existing quarry, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel Company’s Cumberland River Limestone Quarry. Portions of the project site and the surrounding area have been historically disturbed from past quarry and logging practices.  During the design of this project, multiple scenarios were considered. This is an expansion of an existing quarry, and the permit will maximize the land-based impacts of the operation. The applicant preferred design reduces the mine footprint from 970 +/- acres to 900 +/- acres. This resulted in the avoidance of 33% of the Ephemeral Streams, 25.3% of the Intermittent Streams and 78.3% of the Perennial Streams; and 52.7% of the wetlands.

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.

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 been conducted for the site.  The review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act is still ongoing. 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. 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 will consult with the Kentucky Heritage Counsel (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 federally listed species that are known to or believed to occur in Livingston County, Kentucky identified the following list:

Species Nomenclature

Federal Status

Mammals

Gray bat (Myotis grisescens)

 Endangered

Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis)

 Endangered

Northern Long-eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis)

Endangered

Birds

 

Whooping Crane (Grus americana)

Experimental

Clams                  

Fanshell (Cyprogenia stegaria)

Endangered

Fat Pocketbook (Potamilus capax)

Endangered

Orangefoot Pimpleback (Plethobasus cooperianus)

Endangered

Pink mucket (Lampsilis abrupta)

Endangered

Rabbitsfoot (Quadrula cylindrica)

Endangered

Ring Pink (Obavaria retusa)

Endangered

Rough Pigtoe (Pleurobema plenum)

Endangered

Spectaclecase mussel (Cumberlandia monodonta)

Endangered

Plants

 

Price’s Potato-bean (Apios priceana)

Threatened

Insects

 

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Candidate

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 Kentucky Division of Water (KDOW) 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: Mark G. McIntosh at the above address, at (615) 428-2297, or by email:  mark.g.mcintosh@usace.army.mil. 

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


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