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LRH-2012-113; LRP-2012-1750

Huntington District
Published May 5, 2023
Expiration date: 6/5/2023

This Public Notice is distributed on behalf of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Huntington and Pittsburgh Districts and is required pursuant to the “Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources; Final Rule,” (2008 Mitigation Rule) as published in the April 10, 2008, Federal Register, Vol. 73, No. 70, Pages 19594-19705 (33 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] Parts 332).

SPONSOR:    Stream+Wetlands Foundation

          In-Lieu Fee (ILF) Mitigation Program

          123 South Broad Street, Suite 238

          Lancaster, Ohio 43130

IN-LIEU FEE PROGRAM:  An in lieu fee (ILF) program involves the restoration, establishment, enhancement, and/or preservation of aquatic resources through funds paid to a governmental or non-profit natural resources management entity to satisfy compensatory mitigation requirements associated with Department of the Army (DA) permits.  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 in-lieu fee program are governed by an ILF program instrument.

INTERAGENCY REVIEW TEAM:  As indicated in the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) regulations (33 CFR 332.8(b)), the district engineers have established an Interagency Review Team (IRT) to review documentation for, and advise the district engineer(s) on, the establishment and management of mitigation banks and in-lieu fee (ILF) programs. The Corps, Huntington District (Regulatory Division) is the lead district for the State of Ohio and chairs the Ohio IRT on all statewide or multiple District proposals.  The Ohio IRT is presently comprised of the Corps (Buffalo, Huntington, and Pittsburgh Districts), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA).

NOTICE:  Interested parties are hereby notified that a request to modify the Sponsor’s approved ILF program instrument has been received pursuant to procedures outlined at 33 CFR 332.8(g). The Stream+Wetlands Foundation ILF Program provides compensatory mitigation for unavoidable adverse impacts to waters of the United States and State Waters that result from activities authorized under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344), the Ohio Revised Code (ORRC Chapter 611 – Isolated Wetlands) and/or Ohio Administrative Code (OAC 3745-1) and/or Sections 9 or 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (33 U.S.C. §§ 401, 403). The purpose of this public notice is to solicit comments from the public regarding the proposed modification of the previously approved ILF program instrument.

This is not an application for work in federally regulated waters; however, separate authorizations pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 may be required for the implementation of compensatory mitigation sites that are proposed in conjunction with the ILF Program Instrument. Such sites would be advertised under separate public notices and evaluated individually.  

PURPOSE: The Sponsor has submitted a request to modify, consolidate, and revise their existing approved ILF program instruments (LRH-2013-00112-Wetlands, LRH-2014-00999-Streams, LRP-2012-1750-Wetlands, and LRP-2014-01129-Streams). The proposal to combine the four separate instruments into is intended to improve overall operations and project implementation by aligning objectives, instrument language, and facilitate sites involving wetland and stream mitigation as well as a watershed approach. The consolidated instrument also includes general revisions to reflect present day compensatory mitigation standards, practices and concepts, the inclusion of updated watershed and project data, and the modernization of operations based on current practices as well as additional process improvements. The proposed modification is intended to update operations while continuing to meet compensatory mitigation requirements associated with permits issued under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act  (33 U.S.C. 1344), the Ohio Revised Code (ORRC Chapter 611 – Isolated Wetlands) and/or Ohio Administrative Code (OAC 3745-1) and/or Sections 9 or 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (33 U.S.C. §§ 401, 403). The ILF program instrument details the terms and conditions governing the operational aspects of the ILF program and must comply with any applicable federal regulations regarding compensatory mitigation.

A complete copy of the proposed revised instrument is available electronically on the Huntington and Pittsburgh Corps Districts' web sites under the public notices section and can also be provided in conjunction with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request. The web addresses for each District are listed below.

NATIONAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION ACT: The proposed modification of the ILF program instrument will have no direct effect on historic properties.  Any project sites proposed in conjunction with this instrument will be individually evaluated with respect to historic and cultural resources.

ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT: The proposed modification of the ILF program instrument will have no direct effect on endangered species.  Any project sites proposed in conjunction with this instrument will be individually evaluated with respect to threatened and endangered species.

SOLICITATION OF COMMENTS:  The Corps 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 proposed project.  For accuracy and completeness of the administrative record, all data in support of or in opposition to the proposed work should be submitted in writing setting forth sufficient detail to furnish a clear understanding of the reasons for support or opposition.  Any comments received will be fully considered by the Corps as part of its evaluation and determination regarding the proposed revised instrument. 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. Any comments received are considered 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. Requests for a public hearing shall state, with particularity, the reason for holding a public hearing.  The District Engineer will determine if the issues raised are substantial and whether a hearing is needed for making a decision.  This notice is promulgated in accordance with Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, parts 320-332.  Any interested party desiring to comment  may do so by submitting their comments in writing as long as they are received no later than the expiration date of this notice.

CLOSE OF COMMENT PERIOD:  All comments pertaining to this Public Notice must be received on or before the close of the comment period listed on page one (1) of this Public Notice.  If no comments are received by that date, it will be considered that there are no objections.  Comments should be submitted electronically by email at wes.barnett@usace.army.mil.  If you do not have internet access, comments may be submitted through the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to the following address:

United States Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District

ATTN:  CELRH-RDE (Wes Barnett)

Public Notice: LRH-2013-00112 and LRP-2012-01750

502 Eighth Street

Huntington, West Virginia 25701-2070

Copies should only be provided through the USPS when electronic transmission is not possible.  To be considered in our evaluation, comments submitted through the USPS should have a postmark dated on, or prior to, the close of the comment period listed on page one (1) of this Public Notice.

Please note names, addresses, and comments submitted in response to this Public Notice become part of our administrative record and, as such, may be available to the public under provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.  Thank you for your interest in our nation’s aquatic resources.  If you have any questions concerning this Public Notice, please contact Mr. Wes Barnett at the above address, by telephone at (304) 399-6905, or by email at wes.barnett@usace.army.mil