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: County of Kaua‘i, Department of Public Works, 4444 Rice Street, Mo‘ikeha Building, Suite 275, Līhu‘e, Hawai‘i 96766-1340
AGENT: Warren E. Bucher, Ph.D, P.E., Oceanit, 828 Fort Street Mall, Suite 600, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96813
LOCATION: Seawall at the Pono Kai Resort, Kapa‘a Beach Park, Kapa‘a, Kaua‘i (TMK 4-5-007:001, 009), 22.071824° 19” N latitude and 159.317467° W longitude (Attachment 1).
WORK: The applicant proposes to replace the existing Pono Kai rock seawall with a sheet pile seawall and rock toe. In addition, the applicant proposes to place previously dredged sand from the Waika‘ea Canal on the beach seaward of the existing seawall for the purpose of beach nourishment.
PURPOSE: To replace and protect the Pono Kai seawall, which supports a portion of an adjoining public bike/pedestrian path and to rebuild the eroding beach that fronts the seawall.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The shoreline at the project site incurred substantial damage by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, although the beach has been eroding on average about 1.6 feet per year since 1950. A rock seawall fronting the Pono Kai Resort was re-constructed in 1993 after Hurricane Iniki caused significant shoreline damage. Today, the seawall is threatened from the wave action and sand washing through the seawall, resulting in sink holes and structural instability. The damaged seawall is a safety hazard that threatens the public’s safe use of the bike and pedestrian path located just mauka of the collapsing seawall. To prevent further erosion and collapse, the applicant proposes to demolish the existing rock seawall and replace it with a sheet pile wall with a rock toe. The new seawall would extend from the Waika‘ea Canal jetty northward for a distance of approximately 725 linear feet (Attachment 2). In addition, the applicant proposes to place approximately 3,000 cubic yards (cy) of stockpiled beach sand previously dredged from the Waika‘ea Canal below the high tide line (which in Hawai‘i may be approximated by reference to the mean higher high water mark) on the eroding beach fronting the seawall (Attachment 3). According to the applicant’s documents, the dredged sand meets state standards for grain size (Attachment 4). The sand would be transported by truck to the site and placed via front loader or excavator on the beach. Construction of the new sheet pile seawall and restoration of the beach is estimated to take approximately three months.
The applicant evaluated several alternatives to the proposed action, including repairing the existing wall, a drilled shaft retaining wall, reinforced concrete wall with a cut-off, reinforced concrete wall supported by micro-piles, a cement rubble masonry wall, and a rock revetment.
MITIGATION: Several alternatives to avoid and minimize impacts to waters of the United States were considered by the applicant, including options that would employ different construction methodologies and materials. The applicant’s preferred alternative to demolish and replace the existing rock seawall with a new sheet pile wall and buried rock toe would impact approximately 0.19-acre of unvegetated beach shoreline, but is not expected to result in additional permanent losses of aquatic resources relative to the existing structural footprint of the eroding/damaged rock seawall. The rock from the existing wall would be removed by an excavator or other construction equipment and relocated approximately 10 feet inland to the toe/face of the proposed new sheet pile seawall (Oceanit, 2010). The placement of the previously dredged and stockpiled sand for beach nourishment would result in approximately 0.5-acre of temporary disturbance to the beachfront at Kapa‘a Beach Park. In the long-term, the placement of approximately 3,000 cy of sand would provide for a wider beach and restore sand that has been washed into Waika‘ea Canal by continuing erosion. Avoidance and minimization measures include the applicant’s proposed water quality and endangered species best management practices (BMPs), which would entail the implementation of numerous measures to prevent discharges of pollutants and to reduce the potential for turbidity within the nearshore marine waters during construction. Details regarding the proposed BMPs are contained in the draft document entitled: “Pono Kai Seawall Repair Site Specific Best Management Practices Plan”, dated November 2010 (Attachment 5).
Based on the aforementioned, the applicant has indicated that the proposed work would not result in any significant or long-term adverse impacts to aquatic resources functions and services, including special aquatic sites (e.g., wetlands, coral reefs), and therefore, compensatory mitigation is not warranted.
WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: A permit for the described work will not be issued until a certification or waiver of certification as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217), has been received from the State of Hawai‘i, Department of Health.
COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT ACT CERTIFICATION: Section 307(c)(3) of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (Public Law 92-583), 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 State’s Coastal Zone Management Program. A permit will not be issued until the Office of State Planning, Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism has concurred with the applicant’s certification.
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.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps has determined that the proposed work has no potential to cause effect to any historic property listed, or eligible for listing, in the National Register of Historic Places because the Hawai‘i and National Register of Historic Places do not list any historic properties within or in the vicinity of the area of potential effect (APE) for the project. The nearest known historic site is located to the south of the APE at the Waika‘ea Railroad Bridge. However, this bridge crossing and its foundation is not within the proposed project’s APE and will not be affected, directly or indirectly, by the proposed construction of the sheet pile seawall and beach nourishment project.
The Corps requests consultation with Native Hawaiian organizations and individuals to gather information regarding historic properties as well as the ethnographic and historic uses in the proposed permit area.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires federal agencies to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and/or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on all actions that may affect a species listed (or proposed for listing) as threatened or endangered or any designated critical habitat.
Biological studies conducted in 2008 within the project area document that no threatened or endangered species were observed (Oceanit, 2008). However, during biological studies performed in 2002 for the Kapa‘a to Kealia Bike and Pedestrian Path project (which encompassed the proposed Pono Kai Seawall project area), two avian species listed as endangered were observed in the general project vicinity: the Dark-Rumped Petrel and the Common Moorhen. In addition, the endangered Hoary Bat was seen on both nights of the 2002 survey. The Hawaiian green sea turtle is known to forage on reef flats but was not observed during the 2008 surveys. The Hawaiian monk seal could also utilize the beach, but this species was not observed during the surveys. While there is a potential for the Hawaiian green sea turtle and/or Hawaiian monk seal to occasionally utilize the beach and nearby reef flats, no adverse impacts are expected due to the applicant’s proposed BMPs. Specifically, should Hawaiian green sea turtles or Hawaiian monk seals be detected in the area all work would immediately stop and would not resume until the species voluntarily vacates the project area. Based on the results of the 2008 surveys, the nature of the proposed work and the applicant’s proposed BMPs, the Corps has determined this project may affect, but would not likely adversely affect federally listed species or species proposed for listing under the ESA. In accordance with the requirements set forth in Section 7 of the ESA, the Corps requests written concurrence from USFWS and NFMS on 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. § 1801 et seq. and associated federal regulations found at 50 C.F.R. 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 NMFS. In accordance with the requirements of the MSFCMA, the Corps has determined that the proposal would not adversely affect EFH and requests written concurrence from NFMS on this determination.
AUTHORITY: This permit application will be reviewed under the following authorities:
(X) Perform work in or affecting navigable waters of the United States – Section 10 Rivers and Harbors Act 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403).
(X) 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 of 1969. 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 permit applicant’s name and the Corps reference number as shown below. All e-mail comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Conventional mail comments should be sent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Branch, Building 230, Ft. Shafter, HI 96858-5440. Both conventional mail and e-mail comments must include the permit applicant’s name and reference number, as shown below, and the commenter’s name, address, and phone number. All comments, whether by conventional mail or e-mail, must reach this office no later than the expiration date of this public notice to ensure consideration. Please include the following Corps reference number: POH-2007-00261.
Comments on the described work, with the reference number, should reach this office no later than the expiration date of this Public Notice to become part of the record and be considered in the decision. Please contact Ms. Susan A. Meyer at (808) 438-2137 if further information is desired concerning this notice. This public notice is issued by the Chief, Regulatory Branch.
Oceanit, 2010. “Final Environmental Assessment for Pono Kai Shore Protection” prepared by
Oceanit for Department of Public Works, County of Kauai, April 2010.
Oceanit, 2008. “Terrestrial and Aquatic Assessment for Pono Kai Sea Wall” prepared by
Oceanit for Department of Public Works, County of Kauai, June 2008.