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Public Notices

Department of Agriculture

Natural Resources Conservation Service

Site 14, Brush Creek Watershed, Mercer County, WV


Agency: Natural Resources Conservation Service

Action: Notice of a Finding of No Significant Impact

Summary: Pursuant to section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR Part 1500), and the Natural Resources Conservation Service Regulations (7 CFR Part 650), the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, gives notice that an environmental impact statement is not being prepared for Site 14, Brush Creek Watershed, Mercer County, WV.

For further information contact: Louis Aspey, State Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 1550 Earl Core Road, Morgantown, WV 26505 304-284-7540.

Supplementary information: The environmental assessment of this federally assisted action indicates that the project will not cause significant local, regional, or national impacts on the environment. As a result of these findings, Louis Aspey, State Conservationist, has determined that the preparation and review of an environmental impact statement is not needed for this project.

The project purpose is to rehabilitate Site 14 to address the identified safety and design deficiencies. Site 14 will be rehabilitated to maintain the present level of flood control, raw-water intake capabilities, and recreation. The planned works of improvement include constructing a new principal spillway intake riser, installing a new embankment drainage system, grading the dam crest level, installing a pipe outlet plunge pool, and installing embankment wave erosion protection. The auxiliary spillway will be modified with a new left-side dike and an extension of the existing right-side dike. Concrete cutoff walls will be installed to limit headcut erosion to permissible levels during design storm events.

The notice of finding of no significant impact (FONSI) has been forwarded to the Environmental Protection Agency and to various Federal, State, and local agencies and interested parties. A limited number of copies of the FONSI are available to fill single copy requests at the above address. Basic data developed during the environmental assessment are on file and may be reviewed by contacting Louis Aspey.

Louis Aspey Signature

 

 

 

No administrative action on implementation of the proposal will be taken until 30 days after the date of this publication.

(This activity is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under No. 10.904, Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention, and is subject to the provisions of Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials.)


 

Finding of No Significant Impact

for

Rehabilitation of the Brush Creek Site 14 Dam

Brush Creek Watershed

Mercer County, West Virginia

 

Introduction

The rehabilitation of the Brush Creek Site 14 is a federally assisted action authorized for planning under Public Law 83-566, the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act, and by the Small Watershed Rehabilitation Amendments of2000 (Section 313 of Public Law 106-472). This act authorizes the Natural Resources Conservation Service to provide technical and financial assistance to local project sponsors. Local sponsors of the Brush Creek Site 14 rehabilitation project are the Mercer County Commission, the Southern Conservation District, the Green Valley Glenwood Public Service District and the West Virginia State Conservation Committee. The cooperating agency is the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District.

An environmental assessment was undertaken in conjunction with the development of the watershed plan. This assessment was conducted in consultation with local, state and Federal agencies as well as with interested organizations and individuals. Data developed during the assessment are available for public review at the following location.

 

 

U.S Department of Agriculture

Natural Resources Conservation Service

1550 Earl Core Road, Suite 200

Morgantown, WV 26505

(304)-284-7540

 

Recommended Action

The recommended action is the rehabilitate the Brush Creek Site 14 Dam to address the identified safety and design deficiencies. Site 14 will be rehabilitated to maintain the present level of flood control, raw-water intake capabilities, and recreation. The planned works of improvement include constructing a new principal spillway intake riser, installing a new embankment drainage system, grading the dam crest level, installing a pipe outlet plunge pool, and installing embankment wave erosion protection. The auxiliary spillway (ASW) will be modified with a new left-side dike and an extension of the existing right-side dike. Concrete cutoff walls will be installed to limit headcut erosion to permissible levels during design storm events.

Effects of Recommended Action

The recommended action will rehabilitate Brush Creek Site 14 Dam so it meets current design criteria and performance standards.

The recommended action will:

•  Minimize the potential for loss of life associated with the dam.

•  Eliminate the sponsor's liability associated with operation of an outdated dam.

•  Maintain the existing level of flood protection for downstream houses, businesses, and infrastructures.

•  Maintain the present level of raw water intake capabilities.

•  Provide water-based recreation at a reduced level

•  Maintain aesthetic-based recreation at present or higher amounts

•  Protect real estate values downstream of the dam.

•  Maintain existing wildlife habitat around the dam.

•  Protect water quality.

 

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has made a "no effect" determination, therefore the project will not affect federally-listed endangered or threatened species.

No archaeological sites were identified in a Phase I field evaluation. If unanticipated cultural resources are discovered during installation of the recommended action, work will be discontinued, and procedures as outlined in GM 420 Part 201 will be implemented.

Fieldwork for the wetland determination and delineation study for the Brush Creek 14 Dam Rehabilitation Project was conducted November 5, 2013 and March 28th, 2014 throughout the area of effect. The Area of Interest (AOI) is 15.5 acres total. The study identified two wetlands and two streams within the AOL Wetland 1 is a Palustrine Open Water Wetland and contains 56.5 acres. Wetland 2 (PSS) is a Palustrine Scrub Shrub wetland located in the center of the AOI with .005 acres. Stream 1 is perennial with a well-defined bed and banks with a variety of substrate sizes. Stream 2 is intermittent with a poorly defined bed and banks and mostly consists of silt.

There will be removal of scrub-shrub along the northern edge of the ASW, but no tree removal will occur in the staging area. Water quality will be temporarily impacted during construction by increased turbidity in the water, however the current floodplain will be maintained. There will be placement of rock riprap to minimize wave erosion on the eastern edge of the reservoir, resulting in small but permanent impacts to the wetlands. There will be a temporary loss of 56.5 acres of open water during construction, and the area will be restored after the project is complete and the lake is refilled.

Fish and wildlife within the existing area will be temporarily impacted by the release of lake water. Water will be released at a controlled rate to minimize the impact on fish. After water is restored, the fish will be restocked.

Impacts to other wildlife utilizing the reservoir will vary. Mobile species, such as avifauna and semi-aquatic mammals, may relocate to other suitable habitats within the area. Less mobile species, including reptiles and amphibians, may not be as likely to relocate to other suitable habitats and consequently may suffer some mortality. All wildlife populations presently utilizing the area are expected to become re-established once the project is complete.

 

Alternatives

Several alternatives were considered, but were eliminated from the study. This includes decommissioning of the dam, raising dam embankment and widening auxiliary spillway, the

incorporation of sediment removal, and rehabilitating the dam by rising the ASW and top of

dam to maintain the existing recreation pool. Due to costs and other factors associated with

these alternatives they did not advance to a detailed study.

1. No Federal Action (Sponsor's Rehabilitation)- sponsors will forego the federal cost share and pursue design and construction with local funding.

2. Federal rehabilitation of Site 14 with roller-compacted concrete armor in auxiliary spillway.

3. Federal rehabilitation of Site 14 with articulated concrete block armor in auxiliary spillway.

4. Federal rehabilitation of Site 14 with concrete cutoff walls in auxiliary spillway.

 

Consultation and Public Participation

An environmental scoping meeting was held at Glenwood 4-H Camp Assembly Hall on May 6, 2014. Representatives from federal and state government agencies, local sponsoring organizations, potentially affected landowners, and representatives from Glenwood Park and Glenwood Public Service District were invited. The purpose of the meeting was to explain known deficiencies of Site 14 and describe the alternatives evaluated in the planning process. This meeting also provided a forum to solicit input from participants to avoid, minimize or mitigate environmental impacts that may result from the installation of rehabilitation measures.

The USFWS made a "no effect" determination regarding the potential effects of this project on federally-listed species. A cultural resources investigation was also completed and submitted to the WV Division of Culture and History.

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Huntington District was requested to be a cooperating agency in the preparation of the Environmental Assessment to ensure that sufficient analyses were conducted to secure necessary permitting.

Several questions and comments were brought up at the meeting that were discussed in full. Suggestions from the meeting were evaluated and incorporated where appropriate. Additional consultation will be conducted as alternatives are evaluated and during the review process.

Local recreational use will be disrupted during construction, but with close coordination with local recreation directors some of these site use conflicts can be alleviated.

No controversial issues were identified during the comment period.

Conclusion

Based on the environmental assessment summarized above, I find the proposed action is not a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of human environment. I have determined an environmental impact statement for the Brush Creek Watershed, Site 14 Rehabilitation Plan is not required.