Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Assessment/Environmental Impact Report for Public Review and Announcement of Public Meeting
Lead Agencies: United States Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District and Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Francisco Bay Region
Project: Maintenance Dredging of the Federal Navigation Channels in San Francisco Bay, Fiscal Years 2015 – 2024 (SCH #2013022056)
The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Water Board) have prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA)/ Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to address the potential environmental effects of the maintenance dredging of federal navigation channels in San Francisco Bay and the associated placement of dredged materials from 2015 to 2024. The USACE proposes to continue maintenance dredging of the federal navigation channels in San Francisco Bay to maintain the navigability of the channels. The Regional Water Board proposes to issue a Clean Water Act Section 401 water quality certification, and may also issue waste discharge requirements, for USACE’s continued maintenance dredging operations in San Francisco Bay.
The Draft EA/EIR evaluates in detail the potential environmental impacts of four alternatives: the No Action/No Project Alternative, the Proposed Action/Project, and two reduced hopper dredge use alternatives. The analysis will support decision making by USACE, the Regional Water Board, and other agencies regarding implementation of the proposed project, and will satisfy compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, the California Environmental Quality Act, and other pertinent laws and regulations. Additionally, for those maintenance dredging projects that involve discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, the EA/EIR is intended to serve as the Section 404(b)(1) analysis for maintenance dredging in compliance with the Clean Water Act.
Under NEPA, USACE determined that the proposed activity would not significantly affect the quality of the physical, biological, and human environment under any of the alternatives. The USACE’s Draft Finding of No Significant Impact is included with the Draft EA/EIR.
Under CEQA, the Regional Water Board determined that the No Action/ No Project Alternative and Proposed Action/Project would have significant project and cumulative impacts to delta smelt and longfin smelt from entrainment. The Regional Water Board determined that these impacts would be reduced to less than significant under the reduced hopper dredge use alternatives with minimization of hopper dredge use, implementation of the minimization measures, and compensatory mitigation proposed under these alternatives.
The lead agencies are unaware of any sites enumerated under Government Code section 65962.5 that are present as part of this project.
Draft EA/ EIR Copies: Copies of the EA/ Draft EIR are available online at http://www.spn.usace.army.mil/Missions/ProjectsandPrograms/Navigation.aspx and http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/sanfranciscobay/public_notices. Printed copies are also available for public review at the following locations during normal business hours:
- Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Francisco Region, 1515 Clay Street, Oakland, CA 94612
- Napa Main Library, 580 Coombs Street, Napa, CA 94559
- Petaluma Regional Library, 100 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma, CA 94952
- Oakland Public Library, 125 14th Street, Oakland, CA 94612
- Pittsburg Library, 80 Power Avenue, Pittsburg, CA 94565
- Redwood City Public Library, 1044 Middlefield Road, Redwood City, CA 94063
- Richmond Public Library, 325 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, CA 94804
- San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
All documents referenced in the EA/EIR are available at the Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Francisco Region, 1515 Clay Street, Oakland, CA 94612.
Comments: A 45‑day period is established for comments on this document, from December 5, 2014 to January 20, 2015. Written comments on the scope of the Draft EA/ EIR should be sent to the USACE/Regional Water Board, c/o Linda Peters, Project Manager, URS Group Inc., Post Montgomery Center, One Montgomery Street, Suite 900, San Francisco, California, 94104‑4538 or via email to email@example.com. Comments will be accepted until January 20, 2015.
Public Meeting: A public meeting will be held on January 7, 2015, at 4:00 p.m. to receive comments on the Draft EA/EIR. The meeting will be held at URS, 1333 Broadway, Suite 800, Oakland, California, 94612. The Regional Water Board anticipates a hearing regarding the 401 water quality certification and Final EIR in April 2015, subject to change depending on the comments received. Notice for that meeting will be posted on the Regional Water Board website at http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/sanfranciscobay/board_info/agenda.shtml.Tags: California, environment, policy, water