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Notice: Notice and Opportunity to Comment on Requests for Consistency - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


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January 15, 2014

January 15, 2014 17:00PM

Coastal Coordination Council



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 December 4, 2013 through January 13, 2014.  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 January 15, 2014.  The public comment period for this project will close at 5:00 p.m. on February 14, 2014.

FEDERAL AGENCY ACTIVITIES:

Applicant:  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (non-federal sponsor is the Brownsville Navigation District)

Location:   The Brazos Island Harbor (BIH) Channel Improvement project site is located at the Brownsville Ship Channel in Cameron County, Texas. The project can be located on the U.S.G.S. quadrangle maps titled: Port Isabel, Laguna Vista, Palmito Hill, and East Brownsville, Texas.

LATITUDE & LONGITUDE (NAD 83):

Latitude: 26.00745° North; Longitude: 97.27346° West

Project Description:  The applicant proposes to conduct the (BIH) Channel Improvement project that would extend the Brownsville Ship Channel Entrance Channel 3/4 of a mile farther into the Gulf of Mexico. The Entrance and Jetty Channels from Station –17+000 to 0+000 would be deepened to a depth of 54 feet MLLW.  From Station 0+000 to 84+200, the Main Channel would be deepened to a depth of 52 feet MLLW. From Station 84+200 to 86+000, the existing channel is 42 feet deep and no deepening is proposed. The channel would be maintained at the existing depth of 36 feet MLLW from Station 86+000 to the end of the Turning Basin at 89+500, as ships will have been light-loaded or unloaded before entering. No channel widening is proposed and channel side slopes would remain the same as the existing project – 1 foot vertical over 6 feet horizontal in the Entrance and Jetty Channels; 1 foot vertical over 3 feet horizontal from station 0+000 to 35+000 and 1 foot vertical over 2½ feet horizontal from station 35+000 through 89+500 in the Main Channel.  No improvements are proposed for the existing jetties. If the project is authorized, it is estimated that the 29-month long construction period could be finished and the project completed by 2021. The least cost dredging disposal alternative includes the beneficial use of maintenance material from the Entrance and Jetty Channels, and the first 11,000 feet of the Main Channel for placement into the nearshore Feeder Berm off of South Padre Island. No environmental mitigation would be required as the plan would cause only negligible environmental impacts.

Additional details of the project can be obtained from the Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment available online at: http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/BusinessWithUs/PlanningEnvironmentalBranch/DocumentsforPublicReview.aspx

CMP Project No: 14-1310-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 Mr. Ray Newby, P.O. Box 12873, Austin, Texas 78711-2873, or via email at federal.consistency@glo.texas.gov.  Comments should be sent to Mr. Newby at the above address or by email.


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Links to Additional Resources

Contacts

Kate Zultner
Consistency Review Specialist
Kate Zultner