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Maintenance of the North Revetment and Pier of Superior Entry of the Duluth-Superior Harbor

Posted: 5/18/2016

Expiration date:


The U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers (USACE), Detroit District, has completed an Environmental Assessment (EA) addressing the maintenance of the North Revetment and Pier of Superior Entry of the Duluth-Superior Harbor, Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The EA may be reviewed online at the following web address:  http://www.lre.usace.army.mil    Go to the category “Other Public Notices” in the lower left corner of the webpage.  A paper copy of the EA may be reviewed during normal business hours at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Duluth Office located at 525 Lake Avenue South, Suite 400, Duluth, MN 55802.  Telephone (218) 302-6632. A paper copy may be obtained by writing to the USACE address below. 

The proposed action for this project involves Steel Sheet pile (SSP) encasement of the revetment and pier on the Minnesota (north) side of the Superior Entry from Lake Superior into the harbor.  The work includes the following components:  Clear tree stumps in a 100 foot swath landward of the concrete revetment.  Place rock fill at upstream end of revetment for a temporary offloading platform to access work site.  Install a line of SSP for an anchor wall parallel to and approximately 90 feet landward from the existing concrete revetment.  Remove existing toe stone along base of revetment (approximately 1100 feet long), drive SSP within 2 feet of the existing face of the toe of the concrete revetment, backfill and cap with gravel to form an access maintenance driveway.  Tie back the SSP with the tie rods to the anchor wall SSP.  Replace toe stone in front of new SSP revetment wall. Restore existing rock access ramp at revetment.  Remove toe stone from along the pier (approximately 1189 feet long).  Install SSP along pier within 2 feet of the existing toe of the concrete wall on the channel side.  Install SSP 17 feet from north side of pier (back side from channel) and place toe stone for scour protection.  The purpose of the proposed action is to maintain navigation within the harbor entrance.  The  maintenance would prevent significant additional deterioration of the revetment and pier, thereby ensuring the continued use of the harbor entry by commercial and recreational craft. 

Environmental review of the proposed action indicates that no significant cumulative or long-term adverse environmental impacts would be expected as a result of project implementation.  The identified adverse effects would be minor, including short-term noise and air emissions from equipment operation; temporary, non-adverse turbidity from construction operations; temporary displacement of fish; and destruction of bottom-dwelling organisms within the SSP drive line and the existing concrete revetment and pier from the placement of fill materials.  Fish would return upon completion of construction and the toe stone area required for scour protection will be re-colonized by benthic organisms. 

The EA includes a Section 404(b)(1) Evaluation, pursuant to the Clean Water Act, for placement of fill material into the waters of the United States.  Any person who has an interest that may be affected by the discharge and/or disposal of fill material may request a public hearing.  To be considered, the request must be submitted in writing to the contact provided below within the comment period of this notice and must clearly set forth the interest that may be affected and the manner in which the interest may be affected by this activity.  Any comments you may have concerning the proposed project should be made within thirty (30) days from the date of this notice. If no comments are received by the end of the thirty (30) day review period, it will be assumed that you have no comment.  Please direct your comments to:

U.S. Army Engineer District, Detroit

ATTN: CELRE-PLE (Charles A. Uhlarik)

477 Michigan Ave.

Detroit, Michigan  48226-2550

The proposed project cannot be constructed unless a state water quality certification is issued or waived pursuant to Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.  In Minnesota, the MPCA reviews water quality certification requests and issues notices to the public under Minnesota Rules Part 7001.  The MPCA asked the USACE to insert language in this public notice stating that this public notice also serves as the MPCA’s notice to the public on USACE’s water quality certification request.  Pursuant to 33 CFR 337.1 Public Notice, the USACE is inserting the information contained in the following paragraph to avoid unnecessary duplication of state procedures.

This public notice serves as MPCA's notice to the public of USACE's request for a Section 401 water quality certification.  The MPCA's process to review this request shall commence upon the issuance date of this public notice unless MPCA notifies the USACE to the contrary, in writing, before the expiration date of this public notice.  The MPCA will independently process and decide whether to issue or waive a Section 401 Certification to USACE.  Any comments relative to the MPCA's issuance of a Section 401 Certification for the activity proposed in this public notice may be sent to:

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Resource Management and Assistance Division

Attn: 401 Certification

520 Lafayette Road North

St. Paul, Minnesota 55155-4194.

Copies of this Public Notice and EA are being sent to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the State of Minnesota and other Federal, tribes, state,  local agencies, interested groups, and individuals.  Following the 30 day comment period and a review of the comments received by both the MPCA and the USACE, the District Engineer (Detroit District, Corps of Engineers) will make a final decision regarding the necessity of preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed project.  Based on the conclusions of the EA, it appears that preparation of an EIS will not be required; therefore, a preliminary Statement of Findings/Finding of No Significant Impact has been included in the EA.