July 17, 2013

UPDATE: Army Corps seeks public comment on
emergency nourishment at S-curves

By IRENE NOLAN


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking public comment on the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s request that the Corps authorize emergency beach nourishment at the S-curves in northern Rodanthe.

The public comment period opened on July 1 and will close at 5 p.m. on July 30.

DOT is seeking the Army Corps authorization to put 1.7 million cubic yards of dredged sand on the beach at the S-curves and northern Rodanthe to widen the beach and protect Highway 12 from ocean overwash in storms. The sand would be placed along 2.13 miles of beach from 1.5 miles north of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge border into the Mirlo Beach community to just north of the Rodanthe pier.

The public notice of the request says that the sand would come from either Wimble Shoals, just offshore of Rodanthe, or the Oregon Inlet area.

 The Corps says the beach nourishment is expected to provide three-year, short-term protection of the highway – until DOT bridges the hot-spot area.  Two options are currently being considered – one is about a two-mile bridge to the west out into the sound and the other is an elevated bridge over the area.

The project, the notice says, will begin no earlier than September and will take 60 to 90 days to complete, with crews working 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Corps is seeking comment on the permit from the public and federal, state, and local agencies.

“Any comments received will be considered by the Corps of Engineers to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny a permit for this proposal,” according to the public notice. “To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects and the other public interest factors listed above.

“Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) and/or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.”

The notice also says that any person may request in writing, within the comment period, that a public hearing be held to consider the application.

“Requests for public hearings shall state, with particularity, the reasons for holding a public hearing,” the notice says. “Requests for a public hearing shall be granted, unless the District Engineer determines that the issues raised are insubstantial or there is otherwise no valid interest to be served by a hearing.”

Comments must be mailed – not faxed or e-mailed – to Mr. Bill Biddlecome, Washington Regulatory Field Office, 2407 West Fifth Street, Washington, North Carolina 27889. Comments must be received by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

To read the entire public notice, included project description and charts and maps, go to
http://www.saw.usace.army.mil/Portals/59/docs/regulatory/publicnotices/2013/SAW-2013-01129-PN.pdf

Click here for a sample letter to support the emergency nourishment provided by the Dare County Citizen’s Action Committee to Replace the Bonner Bridge Now.



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