Public Notice No. 24-03; LRN-2022-00541

Nashville District
Published Feb. 2, 2024
Expiration date: 3/2/2024

SUBJECT:  This notice announces a prospectus has been submitted for the development of the Watts Creek Mitigation Bank pursuant to 33 CFR 332, Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources (Federal Register: April 10, 2008, effective June 9, 2008).

Stream Mitigation Development, LLC
5741 Rivoli Dr
Macon, Ga 31210          

LOCATION: The proposed Watts Creek Mitigation Bank (WCMB) comprises approximately 55 acres located in Meigs County, Tennessee (Figure 1). This site is located within the Southern Limestone/Dolomite Valleys and Low Rolling Hills Level IV Ecoregion (67f).

PURPOSE:  The WCMB proposes to provide compensatory stream and wetland mitigation for permitted impacts within the primary geographic service area of the Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga River (HUC-8: 06020001) and the secondary service areas of Hiwassee River (HUC-8:06020002) and Ocoee River (HUC-8: 06020003).The service areas will be limited to those areas in the state of Tennessee within the same ecoregion (67f) as the proposed mitigation bank.

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restored, established, enhanced or preserved wetlands or streams are expressed as “credits” which may subsequently be withdrawn to offset “debits” incurred at a permitted project site.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 a mitigation bank are governed by an approved mitigation banking instrument (MBI). The MBI is the legal document for the establishment, operation and 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) would oversee the execution and management of the project.  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 mitigation site through the development of an MBI. The IRT will review the prospectus, instrument, and other appropriate documents and provide comments to USACE. 

Approval of 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 Environment and Conservation (TDEC) pursuant to Section 401 of the CWA and/or applicable State of Tennessee statute(s) and regulation(s).   

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: WCMB proposes to re-establish, restore, and preserve 16,578 linear feet of perennial and intermittent stream and improve the in-stream habitat (see Table 1 below for proposed credit generation and mitigation approaches). The project will also enhance 12.48 acres of palustrine emergent wetland (see Table 2). The project will restore Watts Creek, unnamed tributaries, and the associated wetlands which were historically channelized and moved from their historic floodplain for farming operations.

Table 1.  Proposed Stream Mitigation Approaches for WCMB

Reach ID Proposed Stream Length (ft) Riparian Buffer Width (ft) Mitigation Category Riparian Buffer Treatment Category
WC-DS 1,613 Proposed stream channels will have 50-foot buffers on each side. Priority 1 Restoration is proposed. All riparian zones will contain re-established or preserved bottomland hardwood habitat.
WC-MID 1,943
WC-US 2,188
UT2 228
UT3 233
UT4-DS 467
UT4-DAM 51
UT4-POND 380
UT4-US 1,185
UT5-DS 852
UT5-DAM 213
UT5-POND 781
UT5-US 547
UT6 358
UT7-DS 295
UT7-US 628
UT9 379
UT10 411
UT11 267 Preservation is proposed.
UT12 1,712
UT14 634
UT15 198
UT16 1,015
TOTAL 16,578  


Table 2: Proposed Wetland mitigation approaches for WCMB

Area Current Condition Desired Condition
Map ID Classification Acres Treatment Type Classification Credit Ratio Credits
WTL-A1 PEM1Bb/f 0.72 Enhancement PFO 4:1 0.18
WTL-A2 PEM1Bb/f 1.51 Enhancement PFO 4:1 0.38
WTL-A3 PEM1Bb/f 5.35 Enhancement PFO 4:1 1.34
WTL-A4 PEM1Bb/f 1.04 Enhancement PFO 4:1 0.26
WTL-A5 PEM1Eb/f 3.85 Enhancement PFO 4:1 0.96
  Total 12.48     Total 3.12



The project prospectus can be viewed at:  Information in the mitigation plan would serve as the basis for deriving and releasing credits for the mitigation bank.

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES:  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. USACE 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 USACE determines that consultation is required, USACE will 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/THREATENED SPECIES REVIEW:  A review of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) website, identified the following federally-listed species that are known to or believed to occur in the vicinity of the proposed project (Table 3):

Table 3.  Potential Endangered and Threatened Species in the Proposed Project


Common Name/ Scientific Name

Federal Status


Gray bat /Myotis grisescens



Tricolored bat / Perimyotis subflavus

Proposed Endangered


Northern Long-eared bat / Myotis septentrionalis



Dromedary pearlymussel/ Dromus dromas



Fanshell/ Cyprogenia stegaria



Orangefoot pimpleback/ Plethobasus cooperianus



Pink Mucket/ Lampsilis abrupta



Rough pigtoe/ Pleurobema plenum



Monarch butterfly/ Danaus plexippus



A copy of this notice is being furnished to USFWS for their review. After receipt of any comments, 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.

SOLICITATION OF COMMENTS: 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 also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.

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.

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 by February 29, 2024 (30 days) 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: Mr. Brent Sewell at the above address or by email: