Public Notice Information
Water: 401 Certification
0
Nebraska Game And Parks Commission
Fort Robinson State Park
Chadron

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Water Quality Certification
September 26, 2018
October 27, 2018

REQUEST FOR COMMENTS: WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION


NOTICE OF INTENT TO CERTIFY
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
WATER QUALITY DIVISION
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA

In accordance with Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. Par. 1251 et seq.), certification that Title 117 – Nebraska Surface Water Quality Standards (Nebraska Administrative Code) will not be violated has been applied for to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) by the persons listed below for discharges requiring Federal permits or licenses.

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has applied for a Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to conduct activities in Waters of the United States. The proposed project requires an individual state Water Quality Certification (WQC) in accordance with 33 CFR 330.4(c) and 2017 Nebraska Water Quality Certification of Nationwide Permits, which states that:

None of these nationwide permits shall be applicable in waterbodies designated as State Resource Waters – Class A in Title 117 - Nebraska Surface Water Quality Standards. The basis for this prohibition is found in Nebraska Surface Water Quality Standards (Title 117), Chapter 3 §002, the Antidegradation Clause, which states, “These are surface waters, whether or not they are designated in these Standards, which constitute an outstanding State or National resource, such as waters within national or state parks, national forests or wildlife refuges, and waters of exceptional recreational or ecological significance. Waters which provide a unique habitat for federally designated endangered or threatened species and rivers designated under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act are also included. The existing quality of these surface waters shall be maintained and protected.”

The proposed project involves a variety of activities within three ponds (Cherry Creek Ponds, Grabel Ponds and Lower Ice House Pond), all located within Fort Robinson State Park, in Dawes County Nebraska. The work is proposed to improve fisheries habitat within the ponds and to provide improved access for anglers and park visitors. The work is similar for each of the ponds and includes dredging to increase water depths, and the installation of rock shoal habitat structures, brush piles, and gravel bed habitats within the ponds to improve fisheries habitat. Other improvements proposed at each of the ponds include; the installation of new access trails or improvements to existing trails, the installation of kayak ramps and the repair or replacement of pond inlet and outlet structures. In addition to the above work, the installation of several angler access pads and a fishing pier are proposed to be constructed at Grable Ponds, and a wooden boardwalk would be constructed at Cherry Creek Ponds. The proposed work would result in permanent impacts to approximately 0.23 acres of wetland and 0.29 acres of open water habitat at Cherry Creek Ponds, 0.77 acres of wetland and 0.64 acre of open water habitat at Grabel Ponds and 0.13 acres of wetland and 0.11 acres of open water habitat at Lower Ice House Pond.

In order to evaluate the impacts of this permit on the water resources of the State of Nebraska, NDEQ encourages interested citizens to submit favorable or unfavorable written comments. Comments should be limited to the scope of state WQC under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. Persons may comment upon or object to the application, by submitting written comments within 30 days after the publication date of this notice to:

CWA Section 401 Coordinator
Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
1200 N Street, Suite 400
Lincoln, NE 68509-8922

The USACE Nationwide Permit Verification letter for the proposed project and other pertinent documents can be viewed in person at NDEQ’s Lincoln office. Persons may request information about the application, or request copies of documents for inspection Monday through Friday during the hours from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. Please notify NDEQ in advance if alternate formats of documents are needed. Our switchboard phone number is 402-471-2186. TDD users please call 711 and ask the relay operator to call us at 402-471-2186.

Persons may request a public hearing. Please submit requests by writing to:

Marty Link
Water Quality Division Administrator
Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
1200 N Street, Suite 400
Lincoln, NE 68509-8922

A request for a hearing must state the nature of the issues to be raised and all arguments and actual grounds supporting such position. Such comments shall be considered prior to making a final decision regarding the request.