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USACE Seeks Comments for White River Dredging

Posted on February 10, 2023

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers seeks public comments on a proposed dredging operation for Galloway Sand and Gravel Company in Batesville.

The proposed project will encompass five miles of the White River from mile 300.2 to 307.9, just upstream of the Highway 167 Bridge to immediately downstream of Lock and Dam No. 2, near Batesville. Also there will be dredging at the mouth of Polk Bayou, on the left descending bank of the White River at mile 300.7. The project purpose is to provide sand and gravel for commercial use.

Sand and gravel will be removed from the White River by a floating dredge, and the material will be transported by barge to the company’s plant in Batesville. Material is removed from the mouth of Polk Bayou by dragline during low flows of the White River, usually in late summer and early fall, and is temporarily stockpiled on the bank below the ordinary high water mark, then is loaded on a truck and taken to the Batesville plant. After the material is classified, it is sold for commercial purposes. Dredging operations have been permitted in these reaches since 1991.

The Little Rock Regulatory Division does not typically require compensatory mitigation for Standard Permits specific to Section 10 activities, such as dredging. Due to these established standard operating procedures and the minor impacts of the project, no compensatory mitigation would be required if the authorization is extended.

The gravel company will get a Clean Water Act Section 401 certification from the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment, Division of Environmental Quality. The scope of a CWA Section 401 certification is limited to assuring that a discharge from a federally licensed or permitted activity will comply with water quality requirements. The Corps will notify the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator when it has received the certification.

The EPA is responsible for determining if the discharge may affect water quality in a neighboring jurisdiction. Additionally, a Corps staff archeologist will evaluate the proposal for compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and a preliminary determination is that the proposed activity will not affect listed Endangered Species or their critical habitat.

A copy of the notice is being furnished to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and appropriate state agencies and constitutes a request to those agencies for information on whether any listed or proposed-to-be-listed endangered or threatened species may be present in the area which would be affected by the proposed activity.

Any interested party is invited to submit comments or objections relative to the proposed work. Substantive comments, both favorable and unfavorable, will be accepted and made a part of the record and will receive full consideration in determining whether this work would be in the public interest. The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact, 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 the cumulative effects 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.

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.

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, with in particular, the reasons for holding a public hearing. The District Engineer will determine if the issues raised are substantial and whether a hearing is needed for making a decision.

The Application Number is: 1991-00147-19 and comments are due: March 3, 2023. Comments should be sent to: Regulator, John Bridgeman, telephone number: (501) 340-1387, mailing address: Little Rock District Corps Engineers, Regulatory Division, PO Box 867, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203-0867, email address:


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