TO ALL INTERESTED AGENCIES, PUBLIC GROUPS, AND CITIZENS:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Detroit District, has prepared a Preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment (EA) for the installation of an electrical generator building to house new backup natural gas standby generators, associated natural gas supply, and electrical equipment components (switchgear, transformers, controls, and communications systems) for the Soo Locks complex, located in Sault Ste. Marie, Chippewa County, Michigan. The proposed building housing the generators will be located on former railroad property at the corner of Magazine Street and Portage Avenue, which is adjacent to the existing Cloverland Electric substation. The standby generators will be connected to the existing power distribution system to allow the generators to power the Soo Locks Facility, provide power to the Utility Grid, or provide a combination of power to the Soo Locks and the Utility Grid for peaking operations or emergency use as may be required and determined appropriate. The project would include the installation and relocation of the electrical feeder cables to support new generator installation and the removal of the old diesel generators, fuel storage tanks and piping. The existing outdated standby generator system cannot supply all the required electricity to the Soo Locks complex for sustained lock operations in the event of power disruption. The purpose of the proposed project is to address required electrical needs to support USACE mission and operations requirements. The proposed work will be conducted under USACE’s authority to operate and maintain the Soo Locks Federal Navigation Project. This public notice initiates a 30-day agency/public review of the proposed action.
The USACE’s preliminary environmental analysis indicates that implementing the proposed project work would not be injurious to the public interest nor constitute a major Federal action that significantly affects the quality of the human environment. No significant short term, long term, or cumulative environmental effects would result from constructing the proposed project. Adverse effects would be minor, limited primarily to short-term noise and air emission from construction equipment operation.
The EA may be viewed at the link provided below. Electronic copies of this Public Notice and EA are being sent to federal, state, and local agencies, Tribes, interested groups, and individuals. The USACE is soliciting comments from the public to consider and evaluate the impacts of the proposed activity. Any person who has a concern/interest or has historical/cultural interests that may be affected by the proposed project may submit written comments within the comment period 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. If no comments are received by the end of the thirty (30) day review period, it will be assumed that no comments are forthcoming. Because of the COVID-19 virus, please provide all comments by email to:
All comments received will be taken under consideration, as applicable.
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 project. Based on the preliminary conclusions of the EA, it appears that preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement will not be required; therefore, a preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact has been included in the EA.