Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA.
Notice of a finding of no significant impact.
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 Rules (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 the rehabilitation of Floodwater Retarding Structure No. 6 (Wolf Run Lake Dam) in the West Fork Duck Creek Watershed, Noble County, Ohio.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Kevin Brown; State Conservationist; Natural Resources Conservation Service; 200 North High Street, Room 522, Columbus, Ohio 43215; telephone 614-255-2500.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
The environmental assessment of this federally assisted action indicates that the project will not cause significant local, regional, or national effects on the human environment. As a result of these findings, Kevin Brown, State Conservationist, has determined that the preparation and review of an environmental impact statement are not needed for this project.
The project purpose is flood prevention. The action includes the rehabilitation of one flood protection, water supply, and recreation dam. The Notice of a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) has been forwarded to the Environmental Protection Agency; 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 is on file and may be reviewed by contacting Kevin Brown.
No administrative action on implementation of the preferred alternative will be taken until 30 days after the date of this publication in the Federal Register.Start Signature
Finding of No Significant Impact for the West Fork Duck Creek Watershed; Noble County, Ohio
This undertaking is being planned and will be implemented under the authority of the emergency Watershed Protection Program (7CFR 624). This program was enacted by Section 216 of Public Law 81-516, Section 403 of Public Law 95-334 (Title IV of the Agricultural Credit Act of 1978), and Section 382 of Public Law 104-127 (Title III of the 1996 Farm Bill). This action is being planned in accordance with Section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Public Law 91-190, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). The policy and procedures of the Watershed Protection and flood Prevention Act, Public Law 83-566, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1000-1008) are also being utilized for the planning and implementation of this undertaking.
The rehabilitation of the W. Fork Duck Creek Watershed Structure 6 (Wolf Run Dam) is a federally assisted action. An environmental assessment was completed for the action and was conducted in consultation with local, state, and federal agencies, as well as other interested organizations and individuals. Data developed during the assessment is available for public review at the following location: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, 200 North High St., Rm. 522, Columbus, Ohio 43215-2478.
The sponsors preferred alternative for the rehabilitation of Wolf Run Dam would be to upgrade the dam to meet state dam safety criteria for a high hazard dam (NRCS Class C and ODNR Class I). Rehabilitation would include widening of the auxiliary spillway to increase the storage-discharge capacity of the dam to safely pass the probable maximum precipitation event without overtopping the embankment. Accumulated sediment would be removed in one 3-acre section of the upper pool area
Effect of the Preferred Alternative
This alternative would fully meet the needs and desires of the sponsors and the public, and would greatly diminish the potential for dam failure and loss of life. The requirements to upgrade the dam to satisfy high hazard criteria would be met. This alternative would also include removal of accumulated sediment that would restore sediment storage capacity, restore fish and wildlife habitat, and improve recreational opportunities. Total cost of this alternative is estimated to be $370,000.00.
The 215 acre lake is owned and operated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and is located within the Wolf Run State Park. The rehabilitated structure will continue to provide flood control protection for approximately 300 people downstream in the villages of Belle Valley and Caldwell, Ohio. Numerous homes, businesses, roads, bridges, utilities, and 400 acres of cropland are located in the valley downstream. The lake also provides vital water supply for the surrounding communities and recreational opportunities for the region. It is expected that the lake water level would be temporarily lowered only in the 3-acre area planned sediment removal area above County Road 14. This would allow removal of sediment in a de-watered state. Temporary displacement of wildlife and aquatic species may occur during construction. Some loss of fish and less mobile species may occur during construction, when the water level is lowered to remove the sediment. The water level would be lowered very slowly to minimize impacts to the wildlife and aquatic species. In the long term, use of the area by wildlife and aquatic species should return to pre-construction levels. After the project is completed, the lake would be enhanced for both recreational users and fish and wildlife.
About 13 acres would be temporarily disturbed due to the construction of this Start Printed Page 57374project. During the construction period the dam would be closed to the public. Other areas may be closed or restricted to accommodate construction activities. Park facilities may also be affected by temporary closure of roads.
The water quality use designations would remain the same. This action will have little or no effect on wetlands, rare, or threatened and endangered species, and prime or unique farmland. Air quality in the watershed will be essentially unaffected by the rehabilitation project. There will be brief, temporary increases in noise levels and pollution of air from dust and exhaust emissions, which are inherent in earth moving construction processes.
An environmental assessment was completed as part of the planning process. An inventory for cultural resources was completed as part of the environmental assessment. The Ohio Historic Preservation Office has submitted written notification, in accordance with the provisions of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended, and the Act's implementing regulations, 36CFR 800, that there is little likelihood the project will encounter significant archaeological sites or buildings. It is of their opinion that the proposed work will not affect historic properties. Concerns have been addressed from contacted tribes. If there is a significant cultural resource discovery during construction, appropriate notice will be made by NRCS to the state Historic Preservation Officer. NRCS will take action as prescribed in NRCS General Manual 420, Part 401, to protect or recover any significant cultural resource during construction.
The preferred alternative is the most practical alternative to meet the purpose and needs of this action. Three alternatives were considered: (1) No Action, (2) Decommission the Structure, and (3) Structure Rehabilitation.
Meetings were held with the project sponsors in April, May, and September of 2001, and February, April, and May 2002. On May 14, 2001, and May 13, 2002, the sponsors held public meetings. In addition, letter requests for concerns and issues were sent to federal and state agencies, and organizations. All concerns and issues were addressed in the environmental assessment.
The environmental assessment summarized above indicates that this Federal action will not cause significant local, regional, or national impacts on the human environment. Therefore, based on the above findings, I have determined that an environmental impact statement is not required for the rehabilitation of the W. Fork Duck Creek Watershed Structure 6 (Wolf Run Dam)
Dated: August 20, 2002.
State Conservationist.End Supplemental Information
[FR Doc. 02-22859 Filed 9-9-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-16-P