The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) with members of Georgias environmental consultant community. Georgia regulators in an effort to make the valuable platform for building and strengthening relationships between the federal, state, and private organizations. The main focus was to review requirements for wetland delineations under the Regional Supplements to the 1987 Wetland Delineation Manual. The Regional Supplements have been developed and released incrementally over the last six years and provide updates to the 1987 manual. The Regional Supplements are part of a nationwide effort to address regional wetland characteristics procedures. The supplements are intended to bring the USACE region The methodology presented in the Regional Supplements supersedes the 1987 manual where differences occur. The Regional Supplements applicable to Georgia include the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Supplement and the Eastern Mountains and Piedmont Supplement. The Corps of Engineers hosted two practicals in Georgias Piedmont and Coastal regions to highlight the two Regional Supplements that apply to the state. Consultant Field Workshops Highlight Regional Supplements to Wetland DelineationsBy William Rutlin and Adam White USACE Regulatory Specialists In This Issue:Forestry Field Day.................................4 Farm Pond Exemptions.........................6 Boat and Outdoor Show........................7 New Employees.......................................8 Nationwide Permits................................10 Glades Reservoir Scoping Meetings......11 (Continued on next page) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District Regulatory Division Spring 2012 Edition
Clean Water Act News is an authorized newsletter of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah Districts Regulatory Division. It is published in accordance with provisions of Army Regulation 360-1, under supervision Regulatory Division. Contact: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District 100 W. Oglethorpe Ave. Savannah, GA 31401 Regulatory Division Chief: Russ Kaiser, 912-652-5047 Russell.L.Kaiser@usace.army.mil Editor: Tracy Robillard, 912-652-5450 Tracy.K.Robillard@usace.army.mil Online at www.sas.usace.army.mil/regulatory 26 consultants in attendance. The USACE regulators set up three wetland delineation plots along the Alcovy River for consultants to complete Regional Supplement data sheets based on the conditions they observed. Two representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture about soil conditions at the three plot locations. followed by an afternoon classroom presentation that focused on proper application of the new hydrology and hydric soil indicators found on the Regional Supplement data forms. Regulators also discussed aspects of applying the hydrophytic vegetation indicators and stressed the importance of providing completed data sheets to the USACE with any permit applications or requests for Jurisdictional Determinations (JDs). USACE regulators demonstrated a proper delineation at one site on the Retreat Center property, followed by a class session on wetland indicators. Consultants completed Regional Supplement data forms at two wetland data points within the engaged in an open discussion with point. The USACE received favorable feedback from consultants that attended the workshops. For example, Jesse Bearden of Carter and Sloope Consulting Engineers wanted to express my thanks and to let you know how informative and professional this workshop was. The Corps project managers there displayed knowledge and professionalism in every aspect of the information presented. The USACE plans to host consultants that were not able to government organizations and permittees that may complete their own wetland delineations or rely on the consultant community to perform delineations. For more information and full downloadable versions of the Regional Supplements, visit: www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/RegulatoryProgramandPermits/reg_supp.aspx For information on wetland delineations and USACE jurisdiction, visit www.sas.usace.army.mil/regulatory/JDs.html .Field Practicals (Continued) 2
Online at www.sas.usace.army.mil/regulatory Sea Turtle Sprint and STEM Career Expo Regulatory Specialist Sherelle Reinhardt demonstrates a wetlands model at the Sea Turtle Sprint ROV Competition and STEM Career Expo, Feb. 25 at the West Broad YMCA in Savannah, Ga. The event reached out to middle and high school students to encourage career paths in STEM science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The event was and Atmospheric Administration Sanctuary. Participants got to build vehicle (ROV) and attend a career expo. The expo engaged teachers, students and parents with inspiration, information, and a plan of action toward STEM development and career opportunities. MEGAGENESIS Reaches out to Students Forrest Vanderbilt staffed an exhibit at the 6th annual Megagenesis event at Sol C. Johnson High School in Savannah, Ga., Feb. 25. The event targets middle and high school students who are interested in attending college and furthering their careers. The team led a workshop on the various aspects of a Regulatory Specialist's job, to include a description of their professions, what led them to that in science. 3
Forestry Field Day Educates Georgia Regulators on New Silviculture Guidance regulators gathered in middle Georgia to share knowledge and gain a better understanding of new Clean Water Act (CWA) guidelines during the Forestry Field Day workshop, Feb. 16. Hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Savannah Districts Regulatory Division, the workshop Exemptions under the Clean Water Act in the State of Georgia. Silviculture, or forestry, is essentially the practice of controlling the growth, composition, and health of forests for diverse needs. These new guidelines clarify exemptions for certain forestry activities that involve in a section 404 CWA waterway that may be exempt. Examples of exempt forestry activities include forest roads with minor wetland and/or stream crossings, routine timber harvesting, and mechanical site preparation in established pine plantations. Other section 404 CWA exemptions include some agriculture activities, and some temporary haul roads associated with mining activities. The USACE developed this guidance to help its customers and cooperating agencies that routinely evaluate silviculture activities and exemptions. USACE released draft guidelines with two appendices (A and B) to the public for a one year comment period in December of 2010. Since that time, USACE has worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) to develop Appendix C, which is intended to provide review a silviculture activity to determine exemptions, depending on the types of Appendix C is expected to be issued by May 2012. The Forestry Field Day workshop brought together representatives from state and federal agencies that are closely involved in silviculture issues. EPA, GFC, and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (Georgia EPD) were key coordinating agencies that helped make the workshop a success. land, said Donald Hendrix, USACE access was no small feat. Very few landowners are willing to open up their regulators. We are very appreciative of GFC and of Plum Creek Timber Company for providing a convenient property to that also demonstrated some excellent management practices. Participants got an Management Practices (BMPs) related to the silviculture exemptions. Essentially, BMPs are recommended conservation and management practices that effectively control the movement of pollutants from a land area, prevent degradation of soil and water resources, and are compatible with the planned land use. exemptions to the Clean Water Act during the Forestry 4 5
For example, the group visited a large temporary stream crossing that had been restored and observed the use of logging debris to stabilize the steep approach to the stream. The group also walked down an exempt forestry road that led into a river swamp. The road demonstrated exceptional construction techniques by using low water and rock crossings, using borrow material consisting trees to allow for daylight drying. The road was also constructed nearly management, site preparation, harvesting and planting, Hendrix said. upland source where feasible. Foundation, and The Forest Stewardship Program. Landowners can are grown and produced under circumstances that in some cases meet stricter standards than state and federal requirements. At the end of the day, participants came away with valuable knowledge and understanding of BMPs and silviculture exemptions. Learn more about exempted activities related to Section 404 of the CWA by visiting the Regulatory Division web page at: http://www.sas.usace.army.mil/regulatory/Exemptions.html 5
Corps of Engineers Answers Frequently Asked Questions on Farm PondsDid you know there are more than 4 million acres of crop lands in Georgia, according to 2007 data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture? Of these farm lands, 22 percent are irrigated. But this percentage has likely risen since 2007, considering the recent droughts and high prices for many crops grown in Georgia. The water used for irrigation primarily comes from one of two sources; its either pumped from subsurface wells or from surface storage ponds. But because of volume limits on wells and the detrimental impacts wells are having on aquifers, many farmers are turning to farm ponds to supply water for irrigation. normal farming activities may be exempt from Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The construction of irrigation ponds is considered a normal farming activity, as long as it meets certain criteria. To help the farming community determine if a proposed farm pond would be exempt, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Farm Pond Exemption Guide. terms encountered when developing a farm pond and discusses how a pond should be constructed. It covers who is eligible for a farm pond exemption and gives examples of how to develop a water budget. The guide also outlines the procedure for landowners applying for a farm pond exemption. The exemption guide was released in 2008, but after several years of use, the USACE began a review of the process to determine if the guidelines could be improved. The USACE, joint meetings throughout 2010 and 2011. The result of these meetings was a comprehensive list of the most frequently asked questions on farm pond exemptions. The USACE released the and Answers (A) in October of 2011. Currently, the USACE is developing a list of information that step in this process is to determine when a proposed pond would be considered a large pond, but once this is determined, the USACE will develop a list of the minimal information required for an exemption determination. The USACE plans to release the additional information list within the coming month. To learn more about the exempted with requirements for the USACE review of exemption requests, visit the new online tool on the Regulatory Division web page at: www.sas.usace.army.mil/regulatory/Exemptions.html USACE Regulatory Specialist6
10th Annual Savannah Boat & Outdoor Show Members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Savannah District staffed two booths at the 10th Annual Savannah Boat and Outdoor Show, March 2 4 at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center. The show attracts thousands of current and of the latest in watercraft lines, marine equipment, accessories and services. The Savannah District booths featured kids coloring books and promotional items on water safety, maps and pamphlets about the Corps Savannah River Lakes, and dock permitting information from the Regulatory Division. The event was a great way for the USACE to stream/wetland permitting. Remember, always wear your life jacket when recreating in, on or near the water. Dont leave land without it! Left: Park Ranger Roosevelt Pough of the J. Strom Thurmond Dam and Lake Project speaks with members of the public at the 10th Annual Savannah Boat and Outdoor Show. Below: USACE team members Eric Jeffcoat and Park Ranger Roosevelt Pough talk about water safety at the Savannah Boat and Outdoor Show. Background: Brian Moore and Kelly Finch of the Regulatory Division. Photos by Tracy Robillard. 6 7
Kelly Finch joined the Savannah District team in January 2012 as the coastal branch chief for the Regulatory Division. She came to Savannah from the Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District in Jacksonville, Fla., where she had served in multiple positions since 1999. She started in Jacksonvilles Regulatory Division as a project manager. In 2004, she became an outreach specialist with the Jacksonville Districts Corporate controversial regulatory issues and Everglades restoration. In 2005, she was reassigned to work as the Districts executive assistant and Congressional liaison. She returned to the Regulatory Division in 2007 as an Florida area. During this time, she was the acting enforcement section chief. She was also responsible for planning and executing Regulatory road shows from 2007 through 2010; reviewing pending mitigation bank projects; and planning various conferences, to Conference and Central Florida EIS Mining Summit for the Jacksonville District. Finch Secretary of the Army for Civil Works this past winter. Before coming to the Corps of Engineers, Finch served in the U.S. Army as an enlisted She received her commission in 1992 and After active duty, she worked with the State of Florida as an environmental specialist and joined the Army Reserves to command a medical detachment in Gainesville, Fla. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Florida Southern College and a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in environmental management from Jacksonville State University. She enjoys traveling, biking, and baseball games with her family.8 Kevin Thames became chief of the special projects section within the Piedmont Branch in December of 2011. In his previous assignment, he worked for Army (Installations, Energy and Environment), southeast region in Atlanta, where he reviewed and coordinated with installations to determine potential effects of these actions on the Army training mission. In 2009, Thames joined the Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM), Southeast Region, headquartered at Fort McPherson, Ga. There, he worked with Army installations across the southeast on such things as obtaining Section 404 permits for construction of armor training facilities at Fort Benning; conservation of habitat; and review/approval of installation environmental program funding. From 1997 to 2009, he worked in private industry as a consultant on natural resource issues focused on the Corps Regulatory program, particularly Section 404 projects. Of that time, from 1999 to 2009, Kevin was customer service to a variety of clients. From 1995 to 1997, he served as a regulatory project manager for the Savannah District at Thames began his career in regulatory programs at the Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 in Atlanta in 1991. While there, he served as wetlands regulatory section project manager for Georgia until 1995. Thames holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Georgia State University, and a Master of Science in applied biology from Georgia Tech. He playing the guitar. Meet Your New Regulatory Team Members
Nikita Ferguson joined the Savannah District in January 2012 as Albany, Ga., where she is currently working toward a bachelors degree in biological science. Ferguson completed an associates degree in biological science from Darton College in 2011. She plans to transfer to the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in Tifton, Ga., this fall to continue work on her bachelors degree. As she continues to balance her education with her work, she is eager to learn the ins and outs of what the Regulatory Division does to protect the nations aquatic resources through the Clean Water Act. A native of Zanesville, Ohio, Ferguson moved to south Georgia at a very young age with her family, where she spent most of her life growing up in Sylvester. Along the way, she developed a passion for wildlife. In 2011, she started volunteering at Chehaw Wild Animal Park in Albany and cheetahs, and red wolves, she learned the importance of government agencies and other interest groups that work to protect threatened and endangered species. 9Philip Shannin came to the Savannah District in February of 2012 as the new Piedmont Branch permits section chief. Shannin has more than 16 years of experience working in the Corps of Engineers Regulatory program. Corps San Francisco District, where he developed a specialty in wetland mitigation banking and took on the role of the interagency review team chair for mitigation bank proposals. Additionally, in 2010 he worked on a developmental assignment for the Baltimore District and functional assessments. Shannin completed a Bachelor of Science in biology at Florida State University and a masters his free time, he enjoys spending time with family in Atlanta, working out, and singing in choral groups.Lisa Lovvorn joined the Savannah District in March 2012 as a regulatory specialist in the Coastal Branch. Before her assignment in Savannah, she was a project manager with the Jacksonville Districts Regulatory Division, where she had worked since 2008. Before joining the Corps of Engineers, Lovvorn worked as the Environmental Management System (EMS) coordinator at Fort Benning, Ga., where she was responsible for the daily operation of the EMS and interacted closely with other environmental program managers to ensure implementation Management. Her previous positions include: biologist aide for the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, where her duties included water quality testing and conducting environmental Anniston Army Depot, where she implemented energy savings and recycling efforts to reduce waste and generate revenue for employee functions. Lovvorn holds a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in environmental science management from Jacksonville State University; a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alabama at Birmingham; and an Associate of Science from Central Alabama Community College. She enjoys traveling, playing billiards and watching sports with her family.
Justin Hammonds (pictured left) of the Piedmont Branch presents at a workshop about the new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for calculating compensatory mitigation credits for the State of Georgia. The purpose of the new SOP is to bring the Savannah Districts mitigation conditions and functions of a given aquatic resource and assigning an associated score. Once an existing condition score is determined, the quantity of mitigation credits owed for an impact or generated by restoration activities may be calculated. further ensure appropriate functional replacement for aquatic resource impacts. To this end, the District has incorporated new resource category Presently, the Savannah District uses a generic credit system (i.e. wetland credits and stream credits). The new resource category types The new SOP has not yet been released to the public, but the District plans to issue a public notice advertising the new SOP in coming months. In the meantime, the Savannah District held two workshops in February and March of 2012 in the Piedmont and coastal regions to speak with consultants about the upcoming revised compensatory mitigation SOP model. Corps Revises Compensatory Mitigation SOP10On February 21, 2012, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as of March 19, 2012, and will expire on March 18, 2017. In April 2011, Richard Morgan, Sarah Wise, Brian Moore and Mary Dills of the Savannah District began the process of Conditions (RCs). RCs ensure that activities authorized by effects on the aquatic environment. During their development, the Savannah District hosted several meetings with both federal and state agencies to discuss regional issues relating to the aquatic environment. Comments from those meetings, along with issues District 2012 Regional Conditions. To solicit comments on its proposed regional conditions, the In addition, Savannah District hosted several meetings with stakeholders to discuss concerns regarding the practicability and future implementation of the proposed RCs. In March 2012, the as long as those activities satisfy the terms and conditions of the Corps Reissues Nationwide Permits, Develops Regional ConditionsBy Sarah Wise USACE Regulatory Specialist
10 11 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Savannah District hosted a series of public scoping meetings to gather feedback from citizens, stakeholders, and state and local governments and agencies on the proposed Glades Reservoir project. The meetings were held March 20, 21 and 22 in Oakwood, Ga., Auburn, Ala., and Eastpoint, Fla. The USACE is evaluating a permit application submitted by Hall County, Ga., for the construction and operation of pipelines and facilities. The reservoir is proposed to be located in Hall County on Flat Creek, a tributary to the Chattahoochee River upstream of Lake Sidney Lanier. The USACE is working with contractor AECOM to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the proposed project in order to make an informed permit to identify key issues and concerns to help the USACE narrow the scope of the EIS. The EIS will analyze social, economic and environmental impacts of the proposed project, including downstream effects, water quality and quantity, impacts to wetlands, endangered species, cultural resources, alternatives, and more. The public will have an opportunity to comment on the draft EIS and Policy Act process. For more information, visit www.gladesreservoir.com Corps Hosts Public Scoping Meetings for Proposed Glades Reservoir EIS
Legend Albany Field Office Piedmont Branch Coastal Branch Offices Contact Us12 Savannah District Oce and Coastal Branch Oce Attn: CESAS-RD or CESAS-RD-C 100 W. Oglethorpe Ave. Savannah, GA 31401 Phone: 800-448-2402 OR 912-652-5050 Albany Field Oce 1104 N. Westover Blvd. Unit 9 Albany, GA 31707 Phone: 229-430-8566/8567 Piedmont Branch Oce Attn: CESAS-RD-P 1590 Adamson Parkway, Suite 200 Morrow, GA 30260 Phone: 678-422-2735/2720 Lanier Field Oce Attn: CESAS-RD-P PO Box 528 Buford, GA 30515 Phone: 770-904-2365/2509/6570 Understanding Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act Coming up in the next issue of Clean Water Act News: Properties throughout the nation, and for other purposes. David Crampton of the Savannah District Regulatory Division will author this informational series of articles.