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This notice announces an application submitted for a Department of the Army (DA) permit, subject to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act.
APPLICANT: Paducah McCracken County Riverport Authority
2000 Wayne Sullivan Drive
Paducah, Kentucky 42002
LOCATION: Left descending bank Tennessee River between Mile Markers 1.5 and 2.05, adjacent to Myers Street, Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky
PURPOSE: To update and consolidate various historical DA authorizations into a single authorization, and to add barge fleeting.
DESCRIPTION OF WORK: The Paducah McCracken County Riverport Authority (PMCRA) facility is comprised of three distinct transloading docks and fleets. These facilities
will be referred to herein as the General Cargo Dock, the Liquid Cargo Dock, and the Bulk Cargo Facility.
The General Cargo Facility is the most downstream portion of the facility and is located on the LDB of the Tennessee River Mile 1.5 to 1.6. The Liquid Cargo Dock is located at the center
of the PMCRA facility and is located on the LDB Mile 1.6 – 1.7 of the Tennessee River. The Bulk Cargo Facility is located at the most upstream portion of the PMCRA facility on the LDB from
Mile 1.85 – Mile 2.05 of the Tennessee River.
Various Department of the Army (DA) authorizations have been issued to these docks. Original authorizations and periodic modifications and maintenance permits date back to at least 1944. While general operations at these facilities remain consistent with the various authorizations some attendant features and operational specifics need to be better memorialized. This review seeks to consolidate and supersede these previous authorizations with a singular DA authorization while better specifying the operational logistics of the PMCRA facility. Though likely assumed in past authorizations, fleeting for the different docks has not been specifically authorized. This review seeks to properly evaluate and documents the three fleets. In addition, this review seeks to evaluate the proposal to install two new deadman at the Bulk Cargo Facility that will be placed above the Ordinary Highwater Mark at elevation 311.4 feet Ohio River Datum (ORD). Below outlines the specifics of the three docks under this review:
GENERAL CARGO DOCK: The General Cargo Facility operations center around a 53-ton capacity crane. The crane boom is supported by a pile foundation encapsulated within a 40' diameter sheet pile cell filled with crushed stone and capped with concrete. The facility utilizes a landward concrete loading platform where cargo is staged for transloading operations. In river, there are 4 – 20’ mooring cells. The third mooring cell also supports a 175’ conveyor. A 20’ diameter cell and the previous crane supporting 30’ cell is also present adjacent to the current authorized crane mounting cell. A search of the administrative files regarding these two cells finds no record of them being properly authorized. GIS data suggests at least two of the cells have been used in operations dating back to at least the early 2000’s. In addition, a third in-river concrete mooring platform structure, approximately 20’ x 20’, had been constructed between the crane cells and the shoreline.
Barges are moored to the mooring cells during transloading operations. The applicant is seeking approval for the fleeting of up to 15 barges at the General Cargo Dock. The fleet would be proposed to be configured 5 barges wide by 3 barges long. Maximum riverward projection of the fleet would be 245’ at Normal Pool (302’ ORD).
In addition to a wide range of general cargo consisting of palletized bags, supersacks, metal products, bagged minerals, breakbulk cargo, neo bulk cargo, equipment, and project cargo, the General Cargo Dock also works with the river industry on equipment and lifts associated with tugboats, barges, and other marine vessels. PMCRA also maintains authorization to handle dangerous cargo as defined by the 33 CFR 126 under U.S. Coast Guard regulations.
LIQUID CARGO DOCK: Originally authorized in 1944, the Liquid Cargo Facility was approved to construct 4 - 12-pile dolphins, a small dock with a catwalk and 3 liquid product lines to transfer liquid products to and from the landward tank battery. The property has transferred ownership over the years and is now under PMCRA ownership. The previously established tank battery has been removed and presently only two of the approved dolphins and the dock system exist. The original DA authorization suggests that the facility was approved to moor two barges at a time at the dock for transloading activities. PMCRA is requesting approval to fleet up to 15 barges in a configuration of 5 wide by 3 long. The maximum riverward projection of the fleet would be 247’ at Normal Pool (302’ ORD).
BULK CARGO DOCK: The Bulk Cargo Dock was initially authorized to PMCRA by DA permit 1978-00042 which authorized the construction of a barge transloading facility. The permit authorized the construction of 4- 16’ diameter cells and 2 – 30’ diameter cells. The two large cells helped to form a bulkhead and fill was placed landward of the cells creating a landward transloading platform. A conveyor/pipeline and hopper system was also authorized to be constructed on the platform. Existing conditions include the transloading platform, with the two 30’ diameter cells, a conveyor/hopper system, and two 16’ diameter cells. The permit authorized the mooring of 2 barges at a time at the dock in a 1 wide 2 long configuration with a maximum riverward projection of 60’.
Current operations utilize a mobile crane/material handler atop the transloading platform to transfer bulk commodities to and from the landward facility. PMCRA is requesting approval to fleet up to 12 barges in a configuration of 3 wide and 4 long. The maximum riverward projection of the fleet would be 115’ at Normal Pool (302’ ORD).
The PMCRA facility handles a wide array of dry and liquid commodities, containerized cargo, dry bulk, break bulk, roll-on roll-off containers, refrigerated cargo, crane barges, and construction barges with equipment.
AVOIDANCE, MINIMIZATION, and AVOIDANCE MEASURES: The applicant’s options for avoidance and minimization are limited by the circumstances of the existing facilities and the need for additional fleeting areas to support the ongoing river operations.
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 Commonwealth 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, by this notice, hereby applies for State certification from the KDMP.
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. The Endangered Species Act (ESA, 87 Stat. 884, as amended; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires federal agencies to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) pursuant to Section 7(a) 2 of the ESA on all actions that may affect a species listed (or proposed for listing) under the ESA as threatened or endangered, or any designated critical habitat. A copy of this notice is being furnished to the USFWS for their review. Per this notification, we request comments from the USFWS concerning potential impact to threatened and/or endangered species that may occur within the project area. After receipt of comments, the USACE will evaluate the potential impacts to proposed and/or listed species and their designated critical habitat and initiate consultation with USFWS, if required.
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, pre historical, 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. 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. Drawings are available on Louisville District's Internet site at https://www.lrl.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Public-Notices/. All comments regarding this proposal should be addressed to Mr. George DeLancey, CELRL-RDE at the address noted above and should refer to the Public Notice Number LRL-2022-00528-GJD.
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-2022-00528-GJD
b) Provide your physical mailing address and telephone number.
c) Send your email to: email@example.com
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.