Programmatic Agreement for UMRR, HREP, NESP programs

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published Nov. 15, 2023
Expiration date: 1/1/2024

1. Project Proponent. St. Paul District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), 332 Minnesota Street, Suite E1500, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101, in partnership with Rock Island District, USACE, 1500 Rock Island Drive, Rock Island, Illinois 61201 and St. Louis District, USACE, 1222 Spruce Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63103.

2. Project Authority. USACE implements projects under the Upper Mississippi River Restoration (UMRR) Program to rehabilitate and enhance habitat of the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS). USACE also implements the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP) to increase the capacity and improve the reliability of the inland navigation system while restoring, protecting, and enhancing the environment. USACE is authorized to carry out UMRR pursuant to Section 1103 of the WRDA of 1986 (P.L. 99-662), as amended, and NESP pursuant to Title VIII of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2007 (P.L. 110-114).

3. Project Location. In general, the area of interest for the UMRR and NESP includes the UMRS as defined in Public Law 99-662, which includes both the Mississippi River from its confluence with the Ohio River near Cairo, Illinois to Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock in Minneapolis-St. Paul and the Illinois River from its confluence with the Mississippi River at Grafton, Illinois to the Brandon Road Lock and Dam, Joliet, Illinois and river reaches having commercial navigation channels on the Minnesota River, Minnesota; Black River, Wisconsin; Saint Croix River, Minnesota and Wisconsin; Illinois River and Waterway, Illinois; and Kaskaskia River, Illinois and associated floodplains. The area of interest includes a 5-mile buffer on either side of the navigation centerline, to accommodate potential undertakings covered by the Programs, auditory and visual effects, and any other potential effects.

4. Summary of the Proposed Project. The USACE has determined due to the nature of the UMRR and NESP, their generally shared multi-state geographic region and similar authorized purposes and undertakings, that a combined Programmatic Agreement is needed to clarify review procedures, improve consistency, consultation, and accountability in fulfilling its responsibilities to comply with Section 106 of the NHPA pursuant to 36 CFR § 800.14. With this Programmatic Agreement, the USACE may defer the identification of the Area of Potential Effect, final identification and evaluation of historic properties, assessment of effects, and resolution of adverse effects, if any, until after completing the final USACE decision document
and requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the UMRR and NESP but before the implementation of physical construction of a project under each program.

5. Review and Comment. If you have any comments on the Programmatic Agreement, they should be provided before the expiration date of this notice. 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. Questions or comments on the Programmatic Agreement can be directed to Vanessa Alberto at (651) 290-5388 or at vanessa.j.alberto@usace.army.mil. Please address all formal written correspondence on this project to District Commander, St. Paul
District, Corps of Engineers, ATTN: Regional Planning and Environment Division North, 332 Minnesota Street, Suite E1500, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101.