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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 (CWA).
APPLICANT: Peabody Midwest Mining, LLC
566 Dickeyville Road
Lynnville, Indiana 47619
LOCATION: Unnamed tributary streams and associated wetlands of Pigeon Creek and Bluegrass Creek, east of Elberfeld, Warrick County, Indiana.
PURPOSE: To relocate wetlands and streams to facilitate the removal of subsurface coal materials.
DESCRIPTION OF WORK: The proposed project would result in discharges of fill and/or dredged material into “waters of the United States” on a majority of a 756.5-acre project area. The project is pending approval by Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) Permit No. S-00358.
Under this proposal the applicant is proposing to fill 37,159 linear feet of intermittent streams, 29,469 linear feet of ephemeral streams, 19.92 acres of palustrine forested (PFO) wetlands, 0.03 acres of palustrine scrub-shrub (PSS) wetlands, 0.68 acres of palustrine emergent (PEM) wetlands, 0.30 of palustrine unconsolidated bottom (PUB) wetlands, and 2.43 acres of open water. All economically recoverable coal would be removed during the excavation of the area, processed and sold. The area would be returned to approximate original contours, covered with stockpiled soil material, revegetated, and returned to an approved post-mine land use through the IDNR-SMCRA process.
The impacts would be necessary for extraction of about 8.5 million tons of coal, the construction of sediment basins and other attendant features.
AVOIDANCE, MINIMIZATION, and MITIGATION MEASURES: The applicant’s preferred alternative, has taken into consideration various mining methods to maximize the opportunities for avoidance and minimization measures while still meeting the project purpose.
ON SITE MITIGATION: The applicant proposes to create 18,580 linear feet of intermittent streams with 222.65 acres of riparian buffer. The applicant also proposes to establish 21.24 acres of PFO on site in floodplain settings.
OFF SITE MITIGATION: The applicant proposes to complete additional mitigation off site at three separate locations.
Lake Drain Mitigation Area – The Lake Drain Mitigation Area is located northeast of Richland City, Spencer County, Indiana (Lat 37.970682°, Long -87.125917°). The 148-acre site includes 112 tillable acres currently in agricultural production. At the Lake Drain Mitigation Area, the applicant proposes to restore 96.5 acres of PFO wetlands and 9.5 acres of riparian buffer. The applicant also proposes to preserve 34.6 acres of existing PFO wetlands. Plantings would be managed primarily for hard mast species. The site would be protected by deed restriction instrument.
Big Creek RR Mitigation Area 2 – The Big Creek RR Mitigation Area 2 is located west of Lynnville, Warrick County, Indiana (Lat 38.194101°, Long -87.362018°). The 11.2-acre site is currently in intense agricultural production. The applicant proposes to restore 9.6 acres of PFO and 5.76 acres of Riparian Buffer.
Keg Creek Mitigation Area – The Keg Creek Mitigation area is located west of Oakland City, Gibson County, Indiana (Lat 38.348686°, Long -87.406879°). The 24.7-acre site is currently being utilized for agricultural row crop production. The applicant proposes to restore 22.2 acres of PFO wetlands and 2.5 acres of forested riparian buffer restoration.
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 on this project until a State of Indiana Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is on file in this office or it is considered waived. This Public Notice serves as the notice for a Clean Water Act Section 401 application for water quality certification from the IDEM. IDEM will review this proposal for compliance with the applicable provisions of Section 301, 302, 303, 306 and 307 of the CWA, including the state water quality standards currently set forth at 327 IAC 2. They will consider comments regarding this proposal postmarked by the closing date of this notice. Comments to IDEM should be addressed to: IDEM, Office of Water Quality, Section 401 WQC Program, 100 N. Senate Av. Room 1255, P. O. Box 6015, Indianapolis, Indiana 46206-6015. The applicant is responsible for obtaining the certification from IDEM.
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 is within the range of the federally listed Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), the northern long-eared bat (M. septentrionalis), Longsolid (Fusconaia subrotunda), Sheepnose Mussel (Plethobasus cyphyus), Rabbitsfoot (Quadrula cylindrica), and Snuffbox mussel(Epioblasma triquetra). The project is also in the range of the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and the candidate species monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus). Further coordination regarding any Federally-listed threatened or endangered species or their critical habitats, as identified under the Endangered Species Act, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is planned.
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 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 (USEPA), 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 http://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 No. LRL-2020-00269-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-2020-00269-gjd
Example: Subject: LRL-2020-00269-gjd
b) Provide your physical mailing address and telephone number.
c) Send your email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
d) Emails must not exceed 10mb. Multiple emails may be sent as long as each email does not exceed the 10mb limit and each is labeled appropriately, as noted above. Alternately, you may contact us to arrange alternative means of electronic submittal.