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POH-2010-00280

Posted: 3/21/2011

Expiration date: 4/21/2011


Interested parties are hereby notified that an application has been received for authorization of a Department of the Army General Permit for periodic maintenance dredging of the Hawaii Kai Marina and Entrance Channel and the disposal of suitable dredged material at Rim Island #1, authorized beach nourishment sites and the South Oahu Dredged Material Ocean Disposal Site (SODMODS) as described below and shown on attachments to this Public Notice.

APPLICANT:    Hawaii Kai Marina Community Association (HKMCA) 
                        Hawaii Kai Shopping Center
                        377 Keahole Street, Suite D-1C
                        Honolulu, HI 96825

AGENT:           Anchor QEA (Anchor) 
                        26300 La Alameda, Suite 240
                        Mission Viejo, CA 92691

APPLICABLE STATUTORY AUTHORITIES:

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344), Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403); Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (33 U.S.C. 1413); 40 CFR 220-227; and with due consideration of the public interest and potential environmental effects following the issuance of this Public Notice.

PURPOSE:

To maintain the navigable capacity of waters of the U.S. consisting of a privatelyowned marina and marina-controlled entrance channel and provide public benefit by the creation of nourished public beach areas.

DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED ACTIVITY:

The Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District, is evaluating a permit application by the Hawaii Kai Marina Community Association (HKMCA). HKMCA proposes to maintenance dredge about 87,000 cubic yards (cy) of selected areas in the Hawaii Kai Marina and entrance channel over a five-year period and dispose dredged material into the existing Rim Island #1 within the marina, as beach replenishment fill onto adjacent beaches, or as ocean disposed material at the EPA-approved South Oahu Ocean Dredge Material Disposal Site (SOODMDS). Maintenance dredging includes the entrance channel to, and under the Kalanianaole Highway Bridge which was acquired by conveyance from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Hawaii Kai Marina is surrounded by residential neighborhoods and is subject to sediment loading from storm drains and drainage canals. Mud, debris, and silt flow into the marina during rain storms. The last permit was issued in 1993, and has since expired. Dredging is required to maintain safe, navigable waterway for boaters. Unsuitable dredged material from Area HK-DU4 (about 6,000cy) would be disposed in Rim Island #1. Dredged material from Areas HK-DU1 (about 10,000cy), HK-DU2 (about 32,800cy), and HK-DU3 (about 38, 200cy) have been tested and determined to be suitable for ocean disposal. Dredged material from the entrance channel appears suitable as beach restoration/nourishment since percent grain size and percent fines limits were not exceeded. No dredged material disposal will be authorized at Rim Island #2. Maintenance dredging activities will be performed in accordance with the Contractor’s Site-Specific Best Management Practices Plan. Requests for maintenance dredging during the five-year period will require the applicant to notify the Corps, providing proposed quantities, work locations and time periods, and methods of dredging. Either mechanical or hydraulic dredging methods may be used.

This permit, if issued, would authorize the transport to, and disposal of, suitable dredged material from pre-identified dredge areas at the SOODMDS. All disposal operations will be conducted in accordance with the special management conditions and practices specified in the Site Management Plan for the South Oahu Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site and additional Special Conditions to be specified in the permit, if issued.

All work would conform to the locations shown in the attached drawings (17 sheets).

BACKGROUND:

        a. Six episodes authorized by DA permit for maintenance dredging were conducted in 1977, 1981, 1985, 1996, 1998 and 2004.

        b. In accordance with Parts 320, 322, 324, 325, 326 and 329 of Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), the District Engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu Engineer District (Corps) has determined that application for general permit (GP 2011-003) should be evaluated for issuance for five years. The specific terms and conditions under which the work will be performed shall be compliant with applicant federal laws and regulations.

        c. If issued, the general permit would authorize maintenance dredging in Hawaii Kai Marina and entrance channel and disposing of suitable material at authorized beach nourishment/restoration areas and the EPA designated SOODMDS. If the general permit is not issued, individual dredging episodes would require individual permits. This general permit, if authorized, will provide the benefits of reducing delays, duplications, paperwork, and resource demands in preparing permit applications and permit processing. Authorization is also intended to enable prompt action and efficient scheduling of these activities, resulting in cost-savings to HKMCA.

        d. All dredged material proposed for ocean disposal was subject to rigorous analysis to determine its suitability for such disposal, pursuant to the 1991 Corps and EPA Evaluation of Dredged Material Proposed for Ocean Disposal (Testing Manual) and the Regional Implementation Manual (including approved modifications). Dredged material deemed suitable for ocean disposal and approved for disposal at the EPA SOODMDS is found in the report titled Dredged Material Evaluation: Hawaii Kai Marina and Entrance Channel Maintenance Dredging…December 2010. Examination of the report can be scheduled by appointment at the office of the Hawaii Kai Marina Community Association, 377 Keahole Street, D-1C, Honolulu, Hawaii 96825.

        e. Additional reports titled Marine Biological and Water Quality Resources at Hawai`iKai Marina, Hawai`i Kai, Oahu…October 2010 andArchaeological Assessment and Section 106 Review, Hawai`I Kai Marina and Channel Maintenance Dredging, Maunalua Ahupua`a, Kona District, O`ahu, Hawai`i…December 2010 can also be scheduled for examination by appointment at the office of the Hawaii Kai Marina Community Association, 377 Keahole Street, D-1C, Honolulu, Hawaii 96825.

        f. NEED FOR A FEDERAL EIS: The Corps’ permit regulation (33 CFR 320-330) provides that general permits can be issued only for activities that are substantially similar in nature, and that cause only minimal individual or cumulative adverse environmental impact. Based on a preliminary assessment of the prior projects authorized by permit and subsequent monitoring data, the District Engineer has determined that reauthorization of this general permit complies with these criteria and that activities authorized by the permit would not result individually or cumulatively in a significant effect on the natural or human environment. Therefore, under the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4347), a Federal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will not be prepared.

IMPACTS OF ACTIVITIES IF AUTHORIZED BY PERMIT POH-2010-00280

Unavoidable impacts associated with dredging operations are an increase in turbidity in the vicinity of the dredge operations and temporary disruption to navigation. These will be mitigated to the maximum extent practicable. In addition, dredging has occurred in Hawaii Kai Marina over several decades without adverse cumulative impacts.

The effect of ocean disposal of dredged material on the marine environment has also been addressed. Prior to designating the South Oahu Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site (and other Hawaii disposal sites), EPA Region IX prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to assess the environmental impacts of ocean disposal of dredged material at these sites. The EIS for Hawaii Dredged Material Disposal Sites Designation, was published by EPA in September 1980. Additionally, a Site Management Plan (SMP) for the Hawaii Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Sites has been developed by the Corps and the EPA Region IX. The SMP took effect on April 7, 1997. Both documents are available for examination at the Regulatory Branch, Honolulu Engineer District, Building 214, Fort Shafter, Hawaii, telephone (808) 438-9258.

In summary, the EPA found that the “environmental consequences of deep-ocean disposal of dredged material are minimal.” This determination was based on review and interpretation of existing data on marine biota (including benthic organisms), the water column, socioeconomic (including commercial fisheries and recreation), and information on the effects of previous dredged material disposal activities. Examination of the 1980 EIS indicates that the conclusions remain valid. In addition, studies conducted for the development of the SMP indicates that the majority of dredged material remains where it is dumped and is not subject to significant remobilization and transport.

IMPACT ON CULTURAL RESOURCES:

Hawaii Kai Marina is a modification of Keahupua-o-Maunalua Fishpond (50-80-15[-049]). There are two other historic properties contiguous to marina waters that are eligible for listing, on the Hawaii and National Registers of Historic Places. State sites 50-80-15-[043] (habitation site in Hahaione Valley), and an unnumbered, unlocated site known as the fishtrap at the entrance to Site [-049] were recommended as likely to be eligible for nomination to the NRHP according to Criteria A and D. Provided that no ground modification takes place at the proposed beach nourishment/restoration areas., no further archaeological work was recommended. Archaeological monitoring during active dredging at the entrance channel, inspection of dredged material in spoil piles of disposed dredged material and subsequent monitoring of any locations that produce significant archaeological materials has been recommended as mitigative measures to avoid adverse impacts to historic properties. General Condition (b.) of the general permit will also require  work stoppage and notification to SHPD, OHA and other interested parties in the event that items of potential historical or archaeological significance are discovered during activities under the permit, if authorized.

This notice has been sent to the State Historic Preservation Officer, the State Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and the Aha Kiole Advisory Committee. Any comments they have on historic properties will be considered before a final decision is made on the proposed general permit.

IMPACT ON ENDANGERED SPECIES:

Issuance of this GP considered 3 stressors which have the potential to impact ESA-listed species: collision with project vessels, disturbance from human activities and equipment operation, and exposure to construction wastes and discharges. The project action areas are within 50 yards of any pier or dock and any in-water work vessels in the dredging area, within 50 yards of any delineated dredge disposal area at the shoreline in the dredging area and within 100 yards of any work vessels as they transit to and from the designated ocean disposal area. The potential action area also includes the extent of any plumes that may result from inadvertent discharges of wastes, fuels, and lubricants from project-related machinery, equipment and supplies.

The Corps has assessed potential impacts to Federally-listed species, species proposed for listing, and designated critical habitats in Hawaiian waters. Based on the work proposed to be authorized under this GP and listed species expected to be present in or near the proposed action areas, we have determined that the proposed actions may affect but is not likely to adversely affect the following species as it has been determined that the potential impacts of stressors are expected to be insignificant and discountable.

        Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas)
        Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricate)
        Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)
        Hawaiian monk seals (Monachus schauinslandi)
        Hawaiian stilt (Himantopus mexicanus knudseni)
        Hawaiian duck (Anas wyvilliana)
        Hawaiian coot(Fulica Americana alai)
        Hawaiian moorhen (Gallinula chloropus sandvicensis)
        Hawaiian hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus)
        Newell’s shearwater (Puffinus auricularis newelli)
        Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma phaeopygia sandwichensis)

Work authorized under the GP will have no effect on any other ESA-listed marine or waterbird species or their respective designated critical habitat.

        A. The Corps has further determined that the project is within the scope of the Standard Local Operating Procedures for Endangered Species in the Central and Western Pacific Region (Pac-SLOPES). As such, each project under the GP would be covered under the programmatic informal consultation completed with NOAA PRD, under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), on 7 August 2010. The following general and special conditions and Best Management Practices (BMPs) outlined in Pac-SLOPES and in accordance with the programmatic consultation will be included in the GP, if issued:

                i. Surveys shall be made prior to the start of work each day, and periodically during the day, including prior to resumption of work following any break of more than one half hour.

                ii. All in-water work will be postponed or halted when ESA-listed marine species are within 100 feet of the disposal area, and will only begin/resume after the animals have voluntarily departed the area. If ESA-listed marine species are noticed after work has already begun, that work may continue only if there is no way for the activity to adversely affect the animal(s).

                iii. When piloting vessels, vessel operators shall alter course to remain at least 100 yards from whales, and at least 50 yards from other marine mammals and sea turtles.

                iv. Reduce vessel speed to 10 knots or less when piloting vessels in the proximity of marine mammals and turtles. If practicable, reduce vessel speed to 5 knots or less when piloting vessels in areas of known or suspected turtle activity.

                v. If approached by a marine mammal or turtle, put the engine in neutral and allow the animal to pass.

                vi. Marine mammals and sea turtles should not be encircled or trapped between multiple vessels or between vessels and the shore.

                vii. Do not attempt to feed, touch, ride, or otherwise intentionally interact with any ESA-listed marine species.

                vii. The Corps requests comments and concurrence from NOAA PRD.

        B. The following special conditions and Best Management Practices (BMPs) regarding protected waterbird species will be included in the GP, if issued:

                i. Excavation, trimming, and other vegetation treatments will not be conducted in waterbird nesting habitat during the Hawaiian stilt breeding season (March 1 through July 31).

                ii. The Hawaiian duck and Hawaiian coot breed year round so the protective measures for the avoidance of nest disturbance to these species shall consist of the following practices:

                        a. a biologist familiar with waterbird biology and behaviour will conduct nest searches prior to any work being conducted in areas where endangered waterbirds have been observed,

                        b. After any subsequent delay of three or more days (during which birds may attempt nesting) nesting surveys will be repeated.

                        c. If a nest with eggs is discovered, work should cease in the vicinity for 60 days;

                        d. if a nest with chicks is discovered, work should cease for 30 days. These standard

guidelines are intended to protect chicks, and may be shortened if monitoring is conducted often enough to note when chicks have fledged (usually five to six weeks after hatching).

                        e. If a previously undiscovered nest is found after work begins, all work will immediately cease within a minimum radius of 100 feet of the nest and the office of Coastal Conservation Coordinator, USFWS, will be contacted within 24 hours of its discovery.

        C. All on-site project personnel must be apprised of the status of any listed species potentially present in the project area and the protections afforded to those species under Federal laws. Information explaining laws and regulations for listed species in Hawaii may be downloaded at http://ecos.fws.gov/tess_public/pub/stateListingAndOccurrenceIndividual.jsp?state=HI&s8fid=112761032792&s8fid=112762573902. The project POC shall ensure that protocols and observers to avoid the potential for contact or harassment with ESA species of record are followed during all periods of work.

        D. Records of observations of protected species observed in the project areas for the duration of authorized activities shall be maintained and submitted at the close of each episode or phase of work.

        E. Immediate notification to t he Marine Mammal Injury hotline (1-888-256-9840) or the Sea Turtle Stranding hotline (1-808-983-5730) for marine protected species or Coastal Conservation Coordinator, USFWS, for protected species at (808) 792-9440 shall occur if: 1) a take occurs; 2) new information reveals effects of the action have affected listed species in a manner or to an extent not previously evaluated; 3) if the action is subsequently modified and causes effects to listed species in a manner or to an extent not previously considered or evaluated; or 4) a new species is listed or critical habitat is designated that may be affected by the authorized work.

This notice has been sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service. Any comments they have on endangered or threatened species, or their designated critical habitat, will be considered before a final decision is made on the proposed general permit.

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT:

The proposed work is being evaluated for possible effects to Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1996 (MSFCMA), 16 U.S.C. § 1801 et seq. and associated federal regulations found at 50 CFR 600 Subpart K. The Honolulu District includes areas of EFH as Fishery Management Plans. We have reviewed the January 20, 1999, Western Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Environmental Assessment to locate EFH area as identified by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

No adverse impact to EFH is expected; and this notice has been sent to the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council. Any comments they have concerning EFH will be considered before a final decision is made on the permit.

OTHER GOVERNMENT AUTHORIZATIONS/CERTIFICATIONS:

A Water Quality Certification from the State of Hawaii Department of Health and a Coastal Zone Management Federal Consistency Determination from the State of Hawaii Office of Planning, Coastal Zone Management Program, will be required prior to issuance of any DA authorization.

EVALUATION FACTORS:

The decision to authorize the general permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts, including cumulative impacts, of the proposed activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefit, 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, including conservation, economics, aesthetics, 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 people.

COMMENTS AND INQUIRIES: 

Interested parties may submit in writing any comments that they have on the proposed reauthorization of the general permit. Comments should be forwarded so as to reach this District no later than 30 days from the date of this notice. Written inquiries and comments should be mailed to this District at the address indicated in the letterhead and should refer to . Please contact Farley K. Watanabe at 808-438-7701,808-438-4060 (fax), or  if further information is desired concerning this notice. Electronic comments by e-mail can be posted at . Facsimile comments can be sent to 808-438-4060.

It is Corps of Engineers policy that any objections will be forwarded to the applicant for comment or rebuttal before the objection is resolved. If the objecting party so requests, all personal information will be deleted from the forwarded letter, or the objections will be sent in paraphrased, summary form.

ADDITIONAL PUBLIC NOTICE:

Additional notice(s) will be issued if there are substantial changes in the proposed application. If the general permit is authorized, a public notice announcing the authorization will include a copy of the general permit, including final terms and conditions.

REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING: 

Any person may request, in writing, within 30 days from the date of this notice that a public hearing be held to consider the proposed general permit reauthorization. Requests for public hearing shall state clearly and concisely, the reasons and rationale for wanting to hold a public hearing.