The District Commander has received a joint application for Federal and State permits as described below:
Mr. Dave Wright
Appalachian Power Company (AEP)
1 Riverside Plaza
Columbus, Ohio 43215
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK
The project is located in the Tinker Creek watershed, a tributary to the Roanoke River, in Botetourt County, Va.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE:
The applicant proposes to upgrade the existing Cloverdale Extra High Voltage (EHV) Transmission System. As a result of the completion of the Regional Transmission Expansion Plan (RTEP), PJM Interconnection, the regional transmission organization has determined that the upgrades are necessary for AEP to meet mandatory reliability criteria. In order to address the voltage and thermal problems, congestion and equipment obsolescence, AEP will be installing new transformers, constructing new transmission lines, constructing a new 500 kV substation (East Yard), expanding the existing West 765 kV and North 345 kV Yards, constructing four new EHV transmission lines between the existing and new yards and relocating 4 existing high voltage transmission lines. The proposed project will result in 30 linear feet of temporary stream channel impact, 3,521 linear feet of permanent stream channel impact, .21 acre of temporary wetland impact and 2.48 acres of permanent wetland impact.
In order to avoid and minimize impacts to waters of the US to the maximum extent practicable AEP considered: 1) construction of new 765 kV lines on new ROW, 2) rebuilding the existing corridor and expanding the existing ROW, 3) reviewed 4 alternative site locations to the proposed new 500 kV substation, 4) considered numerous site layouts for the proposed new 500 kV substation on the selected site, 5) will utilize 2:1 fill slopes instead of 3:1 fill slopes, 6) will use retaining walls for the southern side of the proposed substation yard, 7) will use culver headwalls/end walls were feasible, 8) shifted entrance road alignments, 8) relocated storm water management facilities outside of waters of the US, and 9) will incorporate LID measures to reduce the adverse effects the increased impervious surfaces will have on waters of the U.S.
Compensatory mitigation will occur through the purchase of 4, 031 stream compensation credits and 4.21 wetland credits from an approved compensatory mitigation bank or in-lieu fee program.
In addition to the required Department of the Army permit, the applicant must obtain a Virginia Water Protection Permit from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assuring that applicable laws and regulations pertaining to water quality are not violated. Project drawings are attached.
Permits are required pursuant to Sections 401 and 404 of the Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217) and Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia.
FEDERAL EVALUATION OF APPLICATION
The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest. The decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits which reasonably may be expected from the proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All of the proposal's relevant factors will be considered, including conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, cultural values, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, flood plain values, land use classification, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, consideration of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people. The Environmental Protection Agency's "Guidelines for Specification of Disposal Sites for Dredged or Fill Material" will also be applied (Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act).
The Corps of Engineers 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 direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of this proposed activity. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps of Engineers 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, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement 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. Anyone may request a public hearing to consider this permit application by writing to the District Commander within 30 days of the date of this notice, stating specific reasons for holding the public hearing. The District Commander will then decide if a hearing should be held.
Preliminary review indicates that: (1) no environmental impact statement will be required; (2) after conducting the NAO ESA Project Review Process, there may be an affect to listed/proposed/candidate species and/or designated/proposed critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and the Official Species List and Species Conclusion Table is attached for review and comment by Fish and Wildlife Service; and (3) no known properties eligible for inclusion or included in the National Register of Historic Places are in or near the permit area, or would likely be affected by the proposal. Additional information might change any of these findings.
Comments on this project should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN: CENAO-WR-R), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510-1096, and should be received by the close of business on March 12, 2014.
PRIVACY & CONFIDENTIALITY
Comments and information, including the identity of the submitter, submitted in response to this Public Notice may be disclosed, reproduced, and distributed at the discretion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Information that is submitted in connection with this Public Notice cannot be maintained as confidential by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Submissions should not include any information that the submitter seeks to preserve as confidential.
If you have any questions about this project or the permit process, contact
Jeanne C. Richardson, 434-384-0182 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
USFWS Official Species List