TO: ALL INTERESTED AGENCIES, PUBLIC GROUPS, AND CITIZENS
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Detroit District, has completed an environmental assessment (EA) and Section 404(b)(1) evaluation for placement of fill into the Waters of the United States for the purpose of conducting repairs and improvements to the USACE Duluth Vessel Yard (Vessel Yard), located at 901 Minnesota Avenue, Duluth, MN 55802. The Vessel Yard serves as an industrial ship yard for the USACE mission and operations, supported by the Duluth Area Office (DuAO) of USACE. The purpose of the proposed project is to address the poor and deteriorating condition of the piers at the Vessel Yard so that the Vessel Yard can continue to support USACE mission and operations in the region. The proposed project consists of building new mooring bit foundations and seawalls using Steel Sheet Pile up to 3 feet beyond existing the existing structures, installing new utility conduits, building new concrete caps and curbing on the piers, and installation of new light poles and fixtures on the piers.
Preliminary environmental analysis indicates that the proposed work would not result in significant adverse environmental effects, nor would it be expected to result in significant cumulative or long-term environmental effects. Adverse effects would be minor, limited primarily to short-term noise and air emission from equipment operation, and short-term increases in turbidity within the project area.
This EA may be viewed online at the following web address: https://usace.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16021coll7/id/14633 Electronic copies of this Public Notice and EA are being sent to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, City of Duluth, and other Federal agencies, State agencies, Tribes, local agencies, interested groups, and individuals.
The USACE is soliciting comments from the public in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of the proposed activity. Any person who has a concern or an interest that may be affected by the proposed project may request a public hearing or submit written comments within thirty (30) days of the date of this notice. Comments must clearly set forth what interest may be affected by the proposed activity and how the action significantly affects the quality of the human environment. Any person who has historical or cultural interests that may be affected by the proposed action may submit written comments within the comment period of this notice, clearly describing what historical or cultural interest(s) may be affected by this activity. If no comments are received by the end of the thirty (30) day review period, it will be assumed that no comments are forthcoming. Please provide all comments by email to CommentsVessel-Yard@usace.army.mil with the subject line “Duluth Vessel Yard.”
Following the comment period and a review of the comments received, the USACE Detroit District Engineer will make a final decision regarding the necessity of preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Vessel Yard repair and improvement project. Based on the preliminary conclusions of the EA and Section 404(b)(1) evaluation, it appears that preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement will not be required; therefore a preliminary Statement of Findings/Finding of No Significant Impact has been included in the EA.