This notice announces an application submitted for a Department of the Army (DA) Permit, subject to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
Morehead Farm, LLC
100 Lake Park Drive
Morehead, KY 40351
Redwing Ecological Services, Inc.
1139 South Fourth Street
Louisville, KY 40208
LOCATION: Unnamed tributaries of Fox Hollow, Bull Fork, and Pint Lick Branch, adjacent wetlands, and open water ponds, on a 130-acre site, located northeast of the intersection of KY 801 and Bluebank-Ramey School Road in Morehead, Rowan County, Kentucky.
Latitude: 38.209729° N
Longitude: 83.550851° W
7.5 Minute Quad: Farmers, Kentucky
PURPOSE: To construct a controlled environment agriculture facility (hydroponic greenhouse) and associated infrastructure as part of an economic initiative in the Appalachian region of Kentucky.
DESCRIPTION OF WORK: The applicant proposes the construction of two hydroponic greenhouse buildings totaling 60 acres, a central processing area, a water retention system, office space, parking, stormwater management, and associated utility infrastructure. The project would result in impacts to 840 linear feet (0.065 acre) of intermittent streams, 1,185 linear feet (0.063 acre) of ephemeral streams, 0.654 acre of wetlands, and 1.102 acres of open water ponds. Total impacts for the proposed project would be 1.88 acres of “Waters of the United States (U.S.).”
AVOIDANCE, MINIMIZATION, AND MITIGATION MEASURES: The applicant has indicated that they can avoid 715 linear feet of intermittent stream, 790 linear feet of ephemeral stream, and 0.037 acre of emergent wetland and still construct the proposed project. To compensate for the unavoidable impacts to 0.654 acre of emergent wetlands and 840 linear feet intermittent streams, the applicant proposes to purchase credits from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Stream and Wetland Restoration In-Lieu Fee Program. The ephemeral and open water pond impacts would be mitigated through the installation of an on-site stormwater management system.
It is noted that this proposed mitigation plan is open to comment and subject to change. The Corps will make a determination of appropriate mitigation, upon review of all submitted information.
REVIEW PROCEDURES: A DA Permit cannot be issued if any legally required Federal, State, or local authorization or certification is denied. A DA permit, if otherwise warranted, will not be issued until a State of Kentucky Water Quality Certification or waiver is on file at this office. In order to comply with Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, the applicant must apply for State certification from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Division of Water (KDOW).
Copies of this notice are sent to the appropriate Federal and State Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Their views and comments are solicited in accordance with the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act of 1956. Based on available information, the proposed activity will not destroy or endanger any Federally-listed threatened or endangered species or their critical habitats, as identified under the Endangered Species Act, and therefore, initiation of formal consultation procedures with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is not planned at this time.
Any person may request, in writing, within the comment period specified in this notice, that a public hearing be held to consider this application. A request for a public hearing must state the specific interest which might be damaged by issuance of the DA Permit.
The National Register of Historic Places has been examined, and it has been determined that there are no properties currently listed on the Register which would be directly affected by the proposed work. If we are made aware, as a result of comments received in response to this notice, or by other means, of specific archaeological, scientific, prehistorical, or historical sites or structures which might be affected by the proposed work, the District Engineer will immediately take the appropriate action necessary pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 - Public Law 89-665 as amended (including Public Law 96-515).
The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact of the proposed activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetic values, general environmental concerns, historic values, fish and wildlife values, flood damage prevention, land use, navigation, recreation, water supply, water quality, energy needs, safety, food production, and in general, the needs and welfare of the public. In addition, the evaluation of the impact of the activity on the public interest will include application of the guidelines (40 CFR Part 230) promulgated by the Administrator, United States Environmental Protection Agency, under authority of Section 404(b) of the CWA.
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 impacts of this proposed activity. It is presumed that all interested parties and agencies will wish to respond; therefore, a lack of response will be interpreted as meaning that there is no objection to the proposed project. 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.
Written statements received in this office on or before the closing date will become a part of the official record and will be considered in the determination on this permit request. Any objections which are received during this period will be forwarded to the applicant for possible resolution before the determination is made whether to issue or deny the requested DA Permit. A permit will be granted unless its issuance is found to be contrary to the public interest.
Information pertaining to this application is available for public examination during normal business hours upon prior request. This public notice and drawings are available for viewing by clicking on the "LRL-2019-328 Public Notice" link located below in the left hand corner of this page.All comments regarding this proposal should be addressed to Ms. Sarah Atherton, CELRL-RDS at the address noted above and should refer to the Public Notice Number LRL-2019-328-sea.
If you desire to submit your comments by email, you must comply with the following:
a) In the subject line of your email, type in ONLY the Public Notice ID No. LRL-2019-328-sea.
b) Provide your physical mailing address and telephone number.
c) Send your email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
d) If you are sending attachments greater than 1 Mb in size with your email, you must send a hard copy (CD or paper) to the Corps’ physical address as well.