Interested parties are hereby notified that an application has been received for a Department of the Army permit for certain work in waters of the United States as described below and shown on the attached drawings.
APPLICANT: Department of Public Works, A.S.G.; Maintenance and Operations Building, DPW; Tafuna Village, American Samoa 96799
LOCATION: Shoreline areas at Aua, Tutuila, American Samoa (Latitude 14 degrees 18' 12 " South; Longitude 170 degrees 40' 2" W).
PROPOSED WORK: Construct 2,190 linear feet of new shoreline protection structures along Route 001 at the Village of Aua. The four project reaches include potentially critical to critical sections of shoreline identified in the 2006 Shoreline Inventory Update III prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District (USACE) (Reaches A, D). Project implementation would be implemented in phases as restricted by availability of funds. The first two sections described below are considered most critical due to proximity of the main road to the shoreline and would be completed first, with the balance scheduled as soon as additional funding is secured.
As shown in the attached drawings, the first section extends from the existing Fautasi boat house and runs approximately 550 linear feet (LF) east, and the second section begins at the west side outlet of the existing bridge and extends approximately 150 feet west. For both, the crest elevation of the proposed structure is 9.0 feet above mean sea level (MSL). As shown in the typical section, the primary structure would be composed of a single-layer armor stone revetment placed on top of underlayer stone. The underlayer rocks would be wrapped with geotextile fabric to prevent fine material from migrating to the ocean. The project would include the construction of cement (or concrete) rubble masonry (CRM) tie back structures and retaining walls at the beginning and end of each section. The design also includes a retaining wall to conceal the revetment crest from the road since the proposed revetment crest is higher than the road.
The estimated total volume of excavation in waters of the United States (WOUS) for the entire proposed project (2,190 linear feet) is 2,650 cubic yards and the estimated total volume of fill (including armor rock, under layer, and geotextile) is 7,166 cubic yards.
The project scope also includes installation of access stairways, 18-in. diameter pipe culvert drainage outlets, and relief weep-hole drains on the retaining walls and shallow drainage channel/swales to convey road and overland runoff to designated outlets. Pipe inlets will have catch basins with gratings, sumps and a filtration device in order to properly collect trash/debris, silts/cinders and grease/oil before discharging to the pipe culverts and eventually to the ocean.
PURPOSE: The purpose is to prevent further shore erosion and scouring on the banks due to wave action.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The proposed work consists of a planned total of 2,150 linear feet of shoreline protection at the Village of Aua. The first two sections, described above, are considered most critical due to proximity of the main road to the shoreline and would be completed first, with the balance scheduled as soon as additional funding is secured.
MITIGATION: The existing shoreline bank has experienced continuing erosion and scour due to wave action, which the project is intended to mitigate. The project is expected to have a positive effect on the adjacent marine habitats by controlling shoreline erosion. Normal best management practices (BMPs) would be included to control sediments during construction. No compensatory mitigation is proposed.
WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: The American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency issued Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217) Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the project on March 24, 2011.
COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT ACT CERTIFICATION: Section 307(c)(3) of the Coastal Zone, Management Act of 1972, as amended by 16 U.S.C. 1456(c)(3), requires the applicant to certify that the described activity affecting land or water uses in the Coastal Zone complies with the American Samoa Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program. The American Samoa Coastal Management Program issued its Federal Consistency Certification for the project on July 23, 2011.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The American Samoa Historic Preservation Office concurred via letter dated April 11, 2011 with the applicant's determination (on behalf of the Federal Highways Administration, FHWA) of "no effect" to historic properties because the area in question has been previously disturbed and has been filled, and because there is no evidence of historic properties within the Area of Potential Effect (APE).
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA) requires federal agencies to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and/or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) pursuant to Section 7 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).
As the federal funding agency for the project, the FHWA has completed Section 7 coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, concluding in USFWS concurrence, via letter dated December 19, 2011, with a determination that the shoreline protection may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect, the hawksbill turtle and green turtle based on incorporation of certain conservation measures. The measures would be incorporated in the DA permit if issued.
The Corps has assessed potential impacts to Federally-listed and proposed marine species under National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) jurisdiction. The NMFS ESA marine species that occur or have potential to occur within the project area include the threatened green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the endangered hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), which may occur in coastal waters in or near the project area for foraging and/or loafing, but not for nesting or haul-out since there are no suitable sandy beach areas within the project reach. No other species protected under the ESA is known to occur in the project area. Noise due to excavation, placement of stones, and other construction activities may result in avoidance of the project area by sea turtles, but this effect would be temporary. The project would not include any pile driving.
Based on the proposed work and the listed species expected to be present in or near the proposed action area, the Corps has determined that the project "may affect but is not likely to adversely affect" the green sea turtle and hawksbill sea turtle, and that the proposed action will have no effect on any other NMFS ESA-listed marine species or any designated critical habitat. In accordance with informal consultation procedures under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Corps requests NMFS concurrence with this determination.
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. et seq. and associated federal regulations found at 50 CFR 600 Subpart K.
The project sites are within areas of ongoing erosion and scour due to wave action. Because the project is designed to stop ongoing erosion, it is expected to reduce movement of silt and sediments onto the adjacent seaward reef areas and thus have a long-term beneficial effect on EFH.
The FHWA as funding agency has contacted the NMFS to initiate EFH coordination for this project.
SPECIAL AREA DESIGNATION: None.
AUTHORITY: This permit application will be reviewed under the following authorities:
(*) Perform work in or affecting navigable waters of the United States – Section 10, Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403).
(*) Discharge dredged or fill material into waters of the United States – Section 404, Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344). The Corps’ public interest review will consider the guidelines set forth under Section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act (40 CFR 230).
() Transport dredged material for the purpose of dumping it into ocean waters - Section 103 Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (33 U.S.C. 1413). The Corps’ public interest review will consider the criteria established under authority of Section 102(a) of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, as amended (40 CFR Parts 220 to 229), as appropriate.
EVALUATION: The decision whether to issue a 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 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, including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historic properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership, and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, State, and local agencies and officials; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this activity. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny a permit for the work. 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 activity.
COMMENT AND REVIEW PERIOD: Conventional mail or e-mail comments on this public notice will be accepted and made part of the record and will be considered in determining whether it would be in the public interest to authorize this proposal. In order to be accepted, e-mail comments must originate from the author’s e-mail account and must include on the subject line of the e-mail message the project name and reference number as shown below. All e-mail comments should be sent to Peter.C.Galloway@usace.army.mil. Conventional mailed comments should be sent to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Branch, Building 230, Fort Shafter, HI 96858-5440. Both conventional mail and e-mail comments must include the project name and reference number, as shown below, and the commenter’s name, address, and telephone number. All comments whether conventional mail or e-mail must reach this office no later than the expiration date of this public notice to ensure consideration. Include the following name and reference number: Aua Shore Protection Project, POH-2011-00103. Please contact Peter Galloway at (808) 438-8416 if further information is desired concerning this notice.
PUBLIC HEARING: Any person may request, in writing, within the comment period specified in this notice, that a public hearing be held to consider this application. Requests for public hearings shall state clearly and concisely, the reasons and rationale for holding a public hearing.
Project Drawings (5) are attached to this Public Notice.