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Public Notice: Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Area Flood Risk Management, Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment for project modifications

Posted: 8/27/2018

Expiration date: 9/27/2018

Click on the links at the right under "Attachments" to view and download the draft supplemental report and appendices. 

1. Project Proponent. St. Paul District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 180 Fifth Street East, Suite 700, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101‒1678.

2. Project Authority. The Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Area Flood Risk Management Project (Project) was authorized by Section 7002(2) of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA 2014), Public Law 113-121, citing the Report of the Chief of Engineers dated December 19, 2011.  The Chief’s Report is based upon the Final Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement, Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Area Flood Risk Management Project, dated July 2011. Previous modifications to the Project were analyzed in a Supplemental Environmental Assessment dated September 2013 (2013 SEA).

3. Project Location.  The area affected by project construction is located in Cass County, North Dakota and Clay County, Minnesota, as shown in Figure 1 of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment dated August 2018.

4. Summary of the Proposed Project. 

a.  The Project is described as the Locally Preferred Plan in the Final Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) dated July 2011; a Record of Decision was signed on April 3, 2012. Modifications to the Project were analyzed in the 2013 SEA dated September 2013; a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was signed on September 19, 2013.

b.  The subject of this Public Notice is the Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment and Draft Clean Water Act Section 404(b)(1) Evaluation Supplement that have been prepared to discuss several proposed modifications to the Project. The proposed modifications identified since the 2013 SEA focus on changes to the alignment of the Southern Embankment and the passage of more flow through town (stage of 37’). The Project with the proposed modifications is referred to as “Plan B.” The Supplemental Environmental Assessment will also update additional information that has become available since the 2013 SEA.

c.  The proposed fill activities would include: partially filling the abandoned channels on the Wild Rice and Red rivers; constructing a temporary bypass channel and placing culverts in Wolverton Creek; placing fill into wetlands for embankments and structures.

5. Construction Schedule. Construction of the Project was halted due to a preliminary injunction in September 2017. Construction is expected to last approximately eight and one-half years, if sufficient funding is appropriated.

6. Coordination. The proposed modifications have been coordinated with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, North Dakota Game & Fish Department, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, North Dakota State Water Commission, North Dakota Department of Health, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, North Dakota Department of Transportation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, State Historic Preservation Offices of Minnesota and North Dakota, multiple Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, and other interested parties.

7. Summary of Impacts. When compared to the proposed alternative in the 2013 SEA, Plan B would reduce adverse effects to fish passage, geomorphology, aquatic habitat, and wetlands; would have minor adverse effects to upland habitat and prime and unique farmland; and would have a minor reduction in beneficial effects to public health and safety. With Plan B adverse impacts to business and home relocations and transportation would be reduced upstream of the Southern Embankment, but minor adverse effects in the benefitted area would occur from increased flow. Impacts to cultural resources have been or will be identified and mitigated for, as necessary. The modifications would not result in effects substantially different in type or magnitude from what was described in the FEIS.

8. Public Hearing Requests.  The Draft Section 404(b)(1) Evaluation Supplement is being distributed as part of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment.  Anyone may request a public hearing on the Section 404(b)(1) Evaluation Supplement. The request must be submitted in writing to the District Engineer by September 27, 2018 and must state specific reasons for holding a hearing. A request for public hearing may be denied if specific reasons for holding a hearing are not provided, the issues raised are insubstantial, or there is otherwise no valid interest to be served by a hearing. 

9. Review and Comment.  The Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment and associated attachments and appendices are available on the St. Paul District’s web page at http://www.mvp.usace.army.mil/Home/Public-Notices/. If you have any comments on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment package they must be provided by September 27, 2018. 

Interested parties are also invited to submit written facts, arguments, or objections to the proposed modifications within that time frame. These statements should clearly state the interest affected and how the proposed modifications would affect that interest. Persons submitting comments are advised that all comments received will be available for public review, to include the possibility of posting on a public website.  

Individuals are requested not to include personal privacy information, such as home addresses or home phone numbers, in their comments, unless they do not object to such information being made available to the public.  

Comments may be submitted electronically by email to CEMVP-Fargo-SEA@usace.army.mil or mailed to the address below. Questions concerning the proposed modifications should be directed to Terry Williams, Project Manager, at 651-290-5517.  Please address all correspondence on this project to District Engineer, St. Paul District, Corps of Engineers, ATTN:  Terry Williams, 180 Fifth Street East, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101‒1678.

draft supplemental environmental assessment Fargo-Moorhead diversion Fargo-Moorhead Flood Risk FMM Red River of the North RRN diversion St. Paul District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers