The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Savannah District has revised and re-issued a permit that will reduce environmental impacts and increase recreational docks in coastal Georgia. Administered by Savannahs Regulatory Division, the permit years. we have available at that time to examine cumulative impacts of single-family docks, said manager. Our goal is to minimize impacts to Georgias marshlands while balancing the needs for human development. the overall maximum length percent. The permit also restricts monorail The changes were developed in coordination with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Resources Division (CRD), which is responsible for issuing dock permits under its real estate revocable license program. CRD determined these restrictions were necessary to reduce impacts to marshlands, said Kelly Finch, acting chief of the Regulatory Division. Corps revises recreational dock permitsBy Tracy Robillard USACE Public Affairs Specialist In This Issue:National Regulatory Conference...........2 Workshop teaches HGM Method..........3 National Historic Preservation Act.........4 Savannah Ocean Exchange.....................6 CoastFest.................................................7 Georgia Environmental Conference.........7 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District Regulatory Division Fall 2012 Edition Continued on next page
Clean Water Act News is an authorized newsletter of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, 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 (Acting): Kelly Finch 912-652-5503, Kelly.C.Finch@usace.army.mil Editor: Tracy Robillard, 912-652-5450 Tracy.K.Robillard@usace.army.mil Online at www.sas.usace.army.mil/regulatory2 applicant to get a recreational dock permit through CRD while the Rivers and Harbors Act. Under this authority, USACE must ensure that recreational docks do not impair navigation through the nations waters. Applicants seeking a recreational dock permit that does not meet the apply for an individual permit from apply for a separate permit from CRD. This process generally takes more time. Finch said. It synchronizes efforts between the state and federal permitting levels, and it makes the process faster and easier for the applicant. The Regulatory Division released the draft permit proposal on April period. Then, in accordance with Act, it completed an Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate potential impacts to the environment. The EA includes a cumulative impacts report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hollings Marine Laboratory, located in Charleston, S.C. The report addresses an array salt marsh and brackish marsh According to the report, recreational docks in Georgias 11 of the states coastal marshlands. The permit authorizes minor repairs, routine maintenance, and upkeep of a recreational renovations, or additions to the existing structure should be reported to the Regulatory Division before starting construction. For more For more information on the http://1.usa.gov/TZcmCM View the USACE Decision Document, which includes the NOAA cumulative impacts analysis, at: http://bit.ly/RdNR97 Continued from Front Page Katie Freas, Sherelle Reinhardt, and Brian Moore of the Regulatory Division attended the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) National Regulatory Conference, Aug. 6 9 in Sacramento. The annual conference provides the USACE regulatory community an opportunity to share information and lessons learned, while addressing updates on policy changes and national priorities. Other topics included the Environmental Impact Statement process, the Endangered Species Act, and photo.USACE National Regulatory Conference
This September, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Savannah District and the U.S. Army Engineers Research and Development Center (ERDC) co-sponsored a training seminar on how to assess wetland ecosystems using the hydrogeomorphic (HGM) method. Essentially, the HGM method helps scientists assess a wetlands capacity to perform various funtions. Service. To asses the functional capacity of wetlands, an assessment team visits wetland sites in a range of conditions (from relatively pristine to highly degraded sites) in the same geographic region and HGM sub-class. At each site, the team collects ecological data on the wetlands physical, chemical, and biological attributes. These data indicate the range of ecosystem conditions, functions, and responses to disturbances within the wetland sub-class. Then, the wetland types exhibiting the highest function are used as a reference standard to gage other wetlands in the same geographic area. and repeatability. The method is widely used throughout the professional environmental community to assess wetland ecosystems. The Regulatory Division is exploring ways to use the HGM material into U.S. waters. The Regulatory Division is developing a incorporate elements of the HGM method to assess wetlands. The HGM method provides useful data that can be used when considering alternatives, minimizing impacts, assessing Online at www.sas.usace.army.mil/regulatory Workshop teaches HGM method to evaluate wetland ecological functionsHGM team members take measurements within a vegetation plot to determine plant community structure. An HGM trainee takes measurements of a stream channel alteration. USACE photos. A team member assesses soil organic matter content during HGM training. By Mark McIntosh Biologist/Regulatory Specialist3
When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) evaluates a stream or wetland permit application, we must follow Section historic properties that might be affected determinations. If there are historical coordination between many entities and stakeholders to ensure the appropriate protection or preservation of those resources. Heres a description of the involved parties and their roles. The Federal Agency All federal agencies are responsible for ensuring compliance with Section process and must notify the other involved assume the lead role. The other agencies may use the leads coordination and consultation processes and documents compliance. For example, if a Federal Highway Act permits (administered by USACE), the Regulatory Division would normally assume FHWA to be the lead federal agency, because it has experience in would then simply review their Section rules, USACE would likely assume the lead role. The Permit Applicant The applicant is the individual, public, or a USACE permit. The Savannah District Regulatory Division oversees permitting and Sanctuaries Act. If any of these permitting actions are on a historic property, the applicant is also included in any regulatory consultation or agreements as part process.4 5 National Historic Preservation Act Section 106: Who participates in the process? Story Series: Part 2 of 3 (To be continued in following issue of Clean Water Act News) By David Crampton USACE Regulatory Specialist and principal investigator with Southeastern Archaeological Services, examines a piece of German-made pottery from the early 1700s at the historic Cowpens site in Chatham County, Ga. The Regulatory Division worked closely on the excavation as part of the process to permit construction of a container berth for the Georgia Ports Authority.
5The State Historic to oversee the historic preservation must be given an opportunity to comment on the federal agencies determinations Normally, the person appointed as divisio ice is housed. commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, which contains the states executive of the Department of Archives head of the historic preservation division of that department. The Tribal Historic Preservation Indian tribes. Not all federally-recognized tribes with historic preservation programs designate a representative as their tribes historic preservation authority. tribal property and may consult, at their discretion, on historic preservation issues that involve properties of cultural or or off tribally-owned land. For example, if the USACE is evaluating a permit on the Ocmulgee River that may affect the Ocmulgee National Monument property, we would need to ask the Creek Indian tribe for their participation because it may affect the surrounding Ocmulgee The Keeper of the National Register program is administered by the Secretary Service. The executive in charge of the of the registry. When an agency formally or ineligibility for a historic property, the keeper of the National Register makes that determination. In the case of disagreements between agencies, determination, if the disagreeing parties cannot reach an agreement. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation This is the independent federal agency that disseminates regulations for the protection of historic properties, sets historic preservation policy for all agencies, and oversees the implementation of the Continued on page 6 Pictured: Eight wine bottles from the early-to-mid-18th century, found during the 2004 excavation of a cellar believed to be that of the original John and Mary Musgrove house/trading post, known as the Cowpens. The Musgroves established the Cowpens in 1732, a year before the founding of the colony of Georgia. These items were excavated as part of the National Historic Preservation Act process to permit construction of Container Berth 8 at the Georgia Ports Authority in Chatham County, Ga. The Regulatory Division was heavily involved in this archaeological data recovery excavation, from reviewing the original survey reports and testing reports, making determinations of eligibility and effect, coordinating and consulting (SHPO), drafting the Memorandum of Agreement for performing the work, and reviewing and approving the research design in consultation with the SHPO. The site produced a wealth of information, which will recovery mitigation report.
6 Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, one appointed state governor, one appointed mayor, and activities of the council are handled by a full-time professional staff. The council reviews determinations of adverse effect (by statute) and may be signatory to any Memorandum of Agreement. Such once they are signed. The Public A key component of the Historic is public participation and input. In this instance, the public includes any individuals, American Indian tribes, special interest corporate groups, such as local historical societies. As with all permitting decisions, the public can historic properties by way of a USACE public notice. Theres also the option to comment on the historic property itself In either case, the Corps strives to be transparent in our processes. Gathering information from the public helps us make the most informed and well-balanced permitting decisions.National Historic Preservation ActContinued from Page 5American Idol star Ruben Studdard visits Ocean ExchangeThe Regulatory Division staffed an exhibit for "Festival de interactive wetland model and handouts about the regulatory permitting program. This year's event featured a free concert by American Idol star Ruben Studdard, who also stopped by to see the Corps' exhibit. Each year, the Ocean Exchange brings together representatives from industry, academia, and the wetland model to a group of Chatham County high school students.USACE photos by Tracy Robillard. Read more on Section 106 in the next edition
6 CoastFest 2012The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers attendance this year, the festival environment in a family-friendly day of fun and education. Members of the Corps Regulatory Division presented an interactive wetlands model and handed out information about USACE permitting programs. CoastFest is hosted by and located at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Brunswick, Ga. USACE photo. 7th Annual Georgia Environmental ConferenceThe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District participated in the 7th Annual Georgia Environmental Conference in downtown members of federal, state and local governments, as well as business and industry leaders, attorneys, consultants, engineers, developers, and others who have a strong interest in Georgias environmental programs. Savannah District Commander Col. Jeff Hall (pictured above left) served as the keynote speaker for the event along with Gwen Keyes Fleming, Region Additionally, representatives from the district moderated two sessions on the Savannah Harbor Expansion The Regulatory Division also staffed an exhibitors booth (pictured left) throughout the conference with handouts, displays and other promotional items about the regulatory program. USACE photos by George Jumara. 7
Legend Albany Field Office Piedmont Branch Coastal Branch Offices Contact Us Savannah District Oce and Coastal Branch Oce Attn: Regulatory Chief, Coastal Branch 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: Regulatory Chief, Piedmont Branch 1590 Adamson Parkway, Suite 200 Morrow, GA 30260 Phone: 678-422-2735/2720 Lanier Field Oce PO Box 528 Buford, GA 30515 NEW Phone: 678-804-5226/5228 Sending us mail?To ensure we receive and respond to mail in a timely manner, of Regulatory Chief, Coastal Branch or Regulatory Chief, professional. See complete mailing addresses on the map below for Attn: Regulatory Chief, Coastal Branch Attn: Regulatory Chief, Piedmont Branch