FINAL NOTICE AND PUBLIC REVIEW OF A PROPOSED ACTIVITY IN A WETLAND NOTICE OF FINDING OF NO SIGNFICANT IMPACT AND NOTICE OF INTENT TO REQUEST RELEASE OF FUNDS
June 7, 2019
FINAL NOTICE AND PUBLIC REVIEW OF A PROPOSED
ACTIVITY IN A WETLAND
NOTICE OF FINDING OF NO SIGNFICANT IMPACT AND
NOTICE OF INTENT TO REQUEST RELEASE OF FUNDS
To: All interested Agencies [USACOE, SCDHEC], Groups and Individuals
FINAL NOTICE AND PUBLIC REVIEW OF A PROPOSED ACTIVITY IN A WETLAND: This is to give notice that Charleston County under Part 58 has conducted an evaluation as required by Executive Order 11990, in accordance with HUD regulations at 24 CFR 55.20 Subpart C Procedures for Making Determinations on Floodplain Management and Wetlands Protection. The activity is funded under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and B17-UC-45-0002 CFDA14.218. The proposed project is located in the Snowden Community in Mount Pleasant, Charleston County, SC. Mount Pleasant Waterworks (MPW) is completing phase II of a project to extend sewer within the Snowden community. The overall purpose of this project is to provide public sewer service to an area with failing or failed septic tanks. A total of 35 homes will be connected to public sewer, with 9 being LMI households. MPW is funding the portions of the project not associated with the LMI connections/septic system abandonment and CDBG funds will be utilized for these connections/septic tank abandonments. The size of the project site (linear construction) is 0.7 acres. The project will impact a PFO1A (Palustrine, Forested, Broad-leaved Deciduous, Temporarily Flooded) wetland (total of 0.2 acres) approximately 800 linear feet from the end of Isaac Street on Latroy Avenue. Approximately 0.05 acres of this wetland will be impacted.
Charleston County has considered the following alternatives and mitigation measures to be taken to minimize adverse impacts and to restore and preserve natural and beneficial values:
Alternative 1: Open cut 30 LF through a PFO1A wetland to install the gravity sewer. Most practical and cost effective as no permanent adverse effects will be caused to the wetland.
Alternative 2: Bore gravity sewer to allow for no disturbance of wetland. This is a cost prohibitive approach, and it is extremely difficult to maintain the required slope of the gravity sewer line using this construction method.
No Action: No installation of gravity sewer. Would not impact wetland directly, however, septic failures would continue to occur which would reduce the environmental quality in the area.
Alternative 1 is the preferred alternative based on the 8-step process. With this alternative, Impacts to the wetland will be during construction and will be temporary. Approximately 30 linear feet of the wetland will be open cut which will have 1,246 cubic yards of fill. Using construction measures outlined by USACOE, the impacts will be minimized. After construction the wetland will be restored to its previous state to the maximum extent possible. The construction of the gravity sewer will have an overall benefit to the community and environment. The gravity sewer will significantly reduce the number of septic failures that occur in the community which will improve the overall health of the environment, including the wetland being crossed.
All BMP’s to minimize impacts to the wetland will be used. Measures outlined by the USACOE in the Nationwide 12 permit will be implemented to ensure the impacts are minimal and the beneficial value of the wetland is preserved, which is floodwater storage and conveyance and erosion control for a portion of the project area as well as limited habitat for local flora and wildlife. Its beneficial value is primarily educational, scientific and recreational based on its location, classification and current function. In addition, all other recommendations by all agencies consulted during the environmental review will be followed. Specifically, the Nationwide 12 permit requires that the top 6 to 12 inches of the trench should normally be backfilled with topsoil from the trench. The trench cannot be constructed or backfilled in such a manner as to drain waters of the United States (e.g., backfilling with extensive gravel layers, creating a french drain effect). Any exposed slopes and stream banks must be stabilized immediately upon completion of the utility line crossing of each waterbody. In addition, during construction material resulting from trench excavation may be temporarily side cast into waters of the United States for no more than three months, provided the material is not placed in such a manner that it is dispersed by currents or other forces.
Charleston County has reevaluated the alternatives to linear construction in the wetland and has determined that it has no practicable alternative. Environmental files that document compliance with steps 3 through 6 of Executive Order 11990, are available for public inspection, review and copying upon request at the times and location delineated in the last paragraph of this notice for receipt of comments.
There are three primary purposes for this notice. First, people who may be affected by activities in wetlands and those who have an interest in the protection of the natural environment should be given an opportunity to express their concerns and provide information about these areas. Commenters are encouraged to offer alternative sites outside of the wetland, alternative methods to serve the same project purpose, and methods to minimize and mitigate impacts. Second, an adequate public notice program can be an important public educational tool. The dissemination of information and request for public comment about wetlands can facilitate and enhance Federal efforts to reduce the risks and impacts associated with the occupancy and modification of these special areas. Third, as a matter of fairness, when the Federal government determines it will participate in actions taking place in wetlands, it must inform those who may be put at greater or continued risk.
REQUEST FOR RELEASE OF FUNDS: On or about June 24, 2019 the County of Charleston will submit a request to HUD for the release of CDBG funds under Title I of the Housing & Community Development Act of 1974 (PL 93-383), as amended, to undertake a project known as Snowden Community Sewer Extension Phase II for the purpose of connecting nine (9) LMI households to public sewer being extended within the Snowden Community within Mount Pleasant, Charleston County, SC, the estimate for the overall project is approximately $964,010.00, with $94,900.00 in CDBG funds and the remainder in funds from Mount Pleasant Waterworks.
FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT: The County of Charleston has determined that the project will have no significant impact on the human environment. Therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) is not required. Additional project information is contained in the Environmental Review Record (ERR) on file at 4045 Bridge View Dr, Suite C216, North Charleston, SC 29405 and may be examined or copied weekdays 8:30 A.M to 4:30 P.M.
PUBLIC COMMENTS: Any individual, group, or agency may submit written comments on the ERR to the County of Charleston, Community Development Department at 4045 Bridge View Dr, Suite C216, North Charleston, SC 29405 Attention: Jennifer Miller, County Administrator, (RE: HUD Environmental Review), by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 843-202-6960. All comments received by June 24, 2019 will be considered by the County of Charleston prior to authorizing submission of a request for release of funds. Comments should specify which Notice they are addressing. All associated maps, permit applications and project information are also available for review on the MPW website: www.mountpleasantwaterworks.com
ENVIRONMENTAL CERTIFICATION: The County of Charleston certifies to HUD that Jennifer Miller, Certifying Officer in her capacity as County Administrator consents to accept the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts if an action is brought to enforce responsibilities in relation to the environmental review process and that these responsibilities have been satisfied. HUD’s approval of the certification satisfies its responsibilities under NEPA and related laws and authorities and allows the Mount Pleasant Waterworks to use Program funds.
OBJECTIONS TO RELEASE OF FUNDS: HUD will accept objections to its release of fund and the County of Charleston certification for a period of fifteen days following the anticipated submission date or its actual receipt of the request (whichever is later) only if they are on one of the following bases: (a) the certification was not executed by the Certifying Officer of the County of Charleston; (b) the County of Charleston has omitted a step or failed to make a decision or finding required by HUD regulations at 24 CFR part 58; (c) the grant recipient or other participants in the development process have committed funds, incurred costs or undertaken activities not authorized by 24 CFR Part 58 before approval of a release of funds by HUD; or (d) another Federal agency acting pursuant to 40 CFR Part 1504 has submitted a written finding that the project is unsatisfactory from the standpoint of environmental quality. Objections must be prepared and submitted in accordance with the required procedures (24 CFR Part 58, Sec. 58.76) and shall be addressed to HUD at Mr. Brad Evatt, CPD Field Office Director, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, Community Planning and Development Division, Columbia Field Office, Strom Thurmond Federal Building, 1835 Assembly St., 13th Floor, Columbia, SC 29201-2480. Potential objectors should contact HUD to verify the actual last day of the objection period.
Jennifer Miller, Charleston County Administrator
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