Notice: Notice and Opportunity to Comment on Requests for Consistency – Brownsville Navigation District

November 03, 2017

November 03, 2017 00:00AM

Coastal Coordination Advisory Committee



On January 10, 1997, the State of Texas received federal approval of the Coastal Management Program (CMP) (62 Federal Register pp. 1439 - 1440). Under federal law, federal agency activities and actions affecting the Texas coastal zone must be consistent with the CMP goals and policies identified in 31 TAC Chapter 501. Requests for federal consistency review were deemed administratively complete for the following project(s) during the period of October 23, 2017 to October 30, 2017.  As required by federal law, the public is given an opportunity to comment on the consistency of proposed activities in the coastal zone undertaken or authorized by federal agencies.  Pursuant to 31 TAC §§506.25, 506.32, and 506.41, the public comment period extends 30 days from the date published on the Texas General Land Office web site. The notice was published on the web site on Friday, November 3, 2017.  The public comment period for this project will close at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 5, 2017.

FEDERAL AGENCY ACTIONS:

Applicant: Brownsville Navigation District

Location: Project is located along the southern shoreline of the Brownsville Ship Channel at the end of R.L. Ostos Road within the City of Brownsville, in Cameron County, Texas.

Project Description: The applicant proposes to construct an approximately 60-acre spool base facility to be operated by Subsea 7. Construction of the facility would include dredging a 3-sided vessel slip (dredge slip) with bulkhead, installation of articulated block mat revetment for slope protection on the vessel slip approach and along the vessel slip bulkhead, and installation of one mooring structure and one breasting structure with catwalks. Construction of various ancillary structures would include the facility (office building and equipment storage), a load out area (pipe rack) for joining pipe units, an egress access road, two drainage corridors, and required security fencing. The access road and drainage corridors would extend from the proposed dock on the Brownsville Ship Channel to State Highway (SH) 4. The proposed dredge slip would be dredged within an approximate 13-acre area within the proposed project site. The entire dredge slip, including the approach, would have dimensions of approximately 1,000 feet long by 900 feet wide to accommodate 160-meter-long pipelay vessels. An approximate 450-foot by 900-foot portion of the dredge slip would be dredged below the observed high tide line (HTL). The approximate elevation of the bottom of the dredged slip would be -35 feet MLT, with an additional 2 feet allowable over depth. Approximately 654,000 cubic yards of dredge material would be hydraulically and/or mechanically excavated and removed to construct the proposed dredge slip. Side slopes of the proposed dredge slip approach would be at a 3:1 side slope. Articulated block mat revetment would be placed on lower portions of both the eastern and western slopes of the dredge slip approach. Excavated material would be placed in an authorized Dredged Material Placement Area (DMPA). The preferred placement areas would be located adjacent to the proposed project site, either DMPA 7, 5, or 5A. The bulkhead, to be constructed in uplands, would be made of steel sheet pile. Dredging of the approximately 13-acre basin would result in approximately 7.6 acres of permanent impact below Mean High Water (MHW). This impact area (7.6 acres) is comprised of the following habitats: 0.02 acres of estuarine marsh, 0.10 acre of mangrove, 2.03 acres of tidal flats, 3.43 acres of shallow open water (0.0 ft. to -6.0 ft.), and 2.05 acres of deep open water (-6.0 ft. to -47 ft.). In addition to dredging of the basin, approximately 0.02 acre (1,024 square feet) of over-water structures, including the catwalks, would be constructed within Section 10 waters (waterward of MHW). The proposed pipe rack area would measure approximately 5,000 feet long by 150 feet wide, and would extend south from the proposed bulkhead, terminating approximately 500 feet from SH 4. Base material (clay-like material) and limestone (top 2 feet) would be placed within the central and southern portions of the proposed project area to construct the facility, pipe rack, and access road, and two drainage corridors would be constructed on either side of the pipe rack and access road to allow sufficient drainage off the facility. The proposed access road would measure approximately 24 feet wide and would extend an additional 505 feet south of the pipe rack area to SH 4. The drainage corridors would measure approximately 20 feet wide and 1 mile long, extending the entire length of the project, and would drain into the roadside ditch located along SH 4. Furthermore, four reinforced concrete pipe (RCP) culverts would be installed under the proposed pipe rack and access road in order to maintain the existing hydrology within the central and southern portions of the proposed project area. The RCP culverts would be installed within one ephemeral stream, one freshwater wetland, and two drainage features, including a roadside ditch along SH 4. Construction of the proposed spool base facility, placement of articulated block mat shoreline revetment, and the pipe rack/access road would result in approximately 3.03 acres of impact to jurisdictional habitats. This impact area (3.03 acres) is comprised of the following habitats: 0.02 acre of ephemeral stream, 1.44 acres of freshwater wetlands, 1.32 acres of mudflat, 0.10 acre of tidal flat, 0.14 acre of shallow open water (< 6 feet deep), and 0.01 acre to deep open water (> 6 feet deep).

Type of Application: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) permit application #SWG-2017-00250. This application will be reviewed pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Note: The consistency review for this project may be conducted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as part of its certification under Section 401 of the CWA. 

CMP Project No: 18-1051-F1

Pursuant to §306(d)(14) of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C.A. §§1451-1464), as amended, interested parties are invited to submit comments on whether a proposed action or activity is or is not consistent with the Texas Coastal Management Program goals and policies and whether the action should be referred to the Land Commissioner for review.

Further information on the applications listed above, including a copy of the consistency certifications or consistency determinations for inspection, may be obtained from Ms. Allison Buchtien, P.O. Box 12873, Austin, Texas 78711-2873, or via email at federal.consistency@glo.texas.gov.  Comments should be sent to Ms. Buchtien at the above address or by email.


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