Search

LRH 2015-00592-GBR; LRP 2015-798; NAO 2015-0898

Huntington District
Published Dec. 12, 2021
Expiration date: 1/11/2023

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:  On March 29, 2021, the United States (U.S.) Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Huntington, Pittsburgh, and Norfolk Districts (collectively the Districts) issued joint Public Notices LRH-2015-00592-GBR, LRP-2015-798, and NAO-2015-0898 announcing the application for a Department of the Army (DA) Permit under the provisions of Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (Section 10) and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (Section 404) for the proposed discharge of dredged and/or fill material into waters of the U.S. and work in and under navigable waters of the U.S. This Public Notice can be found at the following link: https://www.lrh.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Public-Notices/Article/2553962/lrh-2015-592-gbr/ Subsequently, on September 30, 2021 the Corps issued a Public Notice announcing virtual public hearings, which were held on November 1, 2021 and November 4, 2021, and the opening of a written comment period which closed on November 19, 2021. As part of the Corps’ permit evaluation process, the applicant has provided supplemental information, as discussed below, and 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 supplemental information provided by the applicant.

APPLICANT:       Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC

   2200 Energy Drive                

   Canonsburg, Pennsylvania 15317

 

LOCATION: The project location remains unchanged from the March 29, 2021 Public Notice.

DESCRIPTION OF THE SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION:  The applicant has provided supplemental information which overall reduces impacts. The provided information also includes a detailed stream and wetland restoration plan, a voluntary proposal to provide additional compensatory mitigation for longer-term temporary impacts to waters of the U.S., a cumulative effects assessment, minor corrections, and refinements to the amount of discharges of dredged and/or fill material into waters of the U.S. necessitated by the proposed project to further avoid and minimize effects to waters of the U.S. As a result, the Corps is providing notice to the public of this supplemental information and refinements. The application, as well as this supplemental information may be accessed on the applicant’s webpage at https://www.mountainvalleypipeline.info/news-info/ by selecting “IP Applications” from the menu on the right-hand side of the page[1]. Overall, since the March 29, 2021 Public Notice, the proposed impacts associated with this project have been reduced by 2,484 linear feet and 0.432 acre of wetlands in accordance with the supplemental information provided by the applicant. The applicant’s revised information requests a DA permit from the Districts for the permanent discharge of dredged and/or fill material into 1,339 linear feet of streams (increased by 141 linear feet) and 0.485 acre of wetlands (no change), the temporary discharge of dredged and/or fill material into 35,707 linear feet of streams (reduced by 2,625 linear feet) and 13.44 acres of wetlands (reduced by 0.43 acre), the temporary discharge of dredged and/or fill material resulting in the permanent conversion of 3.7 acres of forested and scrub-shrub wetlands to emergent wetlands and work in navigable waters of the U.S., as described in Tables 1-5 of the DA permit application, associated with construction of the MVP Project within the three Districts’ regulatory boundaries. Plans of the proposal may be viewed within the DA permit application (see application Figures 1, 3 and 4, Attachment H, and Attachment J).   

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION AND ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS:  The applicant updated its alternatives analysis by providing information on access roads, riffle and pool complexes, streams crossed more than once, and elevated timber mat crossings. Since the March 29, 2021 Public Notice, the applicant has reviewed their project proposal and has provided minor revisions to the proposed project describing an overall reduction in the proposed temporary discharges of dredged and/or fill material into 2,625 linear feet of streams and 0.4 acre of wetlands. The applicant has provided a restoration plan for the restoration of the temporary impacts to waters of the U.S. in a document titled Comprehensive Stream and Wetland Monitoring, Restoration and Mitigation Framework (Mitigation Framework). This restoration plan is not considered required compensatory mitigation. Reference the text of the March 29, 2021 Public Notice for additional details.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION PLAN (CMP):  To compensate for the permanent discharge of dredged and/or fill material into 1,276 linear feet (0.251 acre) of streams, 0.4458 acre of wetlands, and the permanent conversion of 1.7503 acres of wetlands in West Virginia, based on calculations using the West Virginia Stream and Wetland Valuation Metric Version 2.1, and a 1:1 credit ratio, as applicable, the applicant proposes to purchase 759 stream credits and 2.1961 wetland credits from approved mitigation banks. To compensate for the permanent discharge of dredged and/or fill material into 63 linear feet of streams and 0.0392 acres of wetlands, and the permanent conversion of 1.9462 acres of wetlands in Virginia, based on calculations using the Unified Stream Methodology and a 1:1 credit ratio, as applicable, the applicant proposes to purchase 60 stream credits and 1.3997 wetland credits from approved mitigation banks. The applicant’s proposed CMP is described in Section 5 and Tables 17 and 18 of the revised DA permit application as updated. The applicant’s Mitigation Framework document includes a voluntarily proposal to provide compensatory mitigation through the purchase of a projected 623.22 stream credits and 1.13 wetland credits for temporary discharges of dredged and/or fill material left in-place for a longer duration due to project delays. 

WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION (WQC):  The States of West Virginia and Virginia have both issued conditional Clean Water Act WQCs and the Section 401(a)(2) process with the USEPA has been completed.

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES AND THREATENED AND ENDANGERD SPECIES:  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the designated lead federal agency and is responsible for consultation efforts pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). A “Programmatic Agreement (PA) has been executed. The execution of the PA completed the process of compliance with Section 106 of the NHPA. Compliance with the terms of the PA, including completion of required surveys, would be a condition of any DA permit issued for the proposed project. The FERC re-initiated formal Section 7 consultation on July 29, 2022 and the conclusion of consultation is pending. The Corps cannot render a final DA permit decision until Section 7 ESA obligations are fulfilled. 

PUBLIC INTEREST REVIEW AND CUMULATIVE EFFECTS:  This application will be reviewed in accordance with 33 CFR Parts 320-332, the Regulatory Program of the Corps, and other pertinent laws, regulations, and executive orders. Our evaluation will also follow the guidelines published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act (40 CFR Part 230).  Reference the text of the March 29, 2021 Public Notice for additional details.

SOLICITATION OF COMMENTS AND CLOSE OF COMMENT PERIOD:  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 supplemental information provided by the applicant. Reference the text of the March 29, 2021 Public Notice for additional details.  The Corps will only consider comments pursuant to the scope of the supplemental information. All comments pertaining to this Public Notice must be provided via e-mail to CELRP-MVP@usace.army.mil or to the following address: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District, ATTN:  CELRH-RDE, Public Notice:  LRH-2015-00592-GBR, LRP-2015-798, NAO-2015-0898, 502 Eighth Street, Huntington, West Virginia 25701-2070. If you have any questions concerning this Public Notice, please contact Mr. Adam Fannin of the at (304) 399-5610.

[1] In the event the applicant’s webpage is not accessible, the public may contact Mr. Adam Fannin at (304) 399-5610 to schedule an appointment to view the information or obtain a copy under the Freedom of Information Act.