Public Notice: Water Quality Certification for the Yakama Simcoe Creek West White Swan Nation Restoration Project

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Publication date

Summary

On March 31, 2022, the EPA received an application from the Yakama Nation for a water quality certification under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act for the Simcoe Creek West White Swan Restoration Project ( Seattle District Corps of Engineer project #NWS-2022-0260, applied for under National Permit 27 for Aquatic Habitat Restoration, Enhancement and Establishment Activities).

Section 401(a)(1) of the Clean Water Act requires applicants for federal permits and licenses that may cause discharges into United States waters to obtain certification that the discharge will comply with applicable provisions of the Clean Water Act. Water Act. Where no state agency or tribe has the authority to issue such certification, the EPA is the certifying authority.

In this case, the Yakama Nation does not have the authority to provide certification under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. Therefore, EPA makes the certification decision for releases that may result from the proposed project.

The EPA is seeking comments on its water quality certification under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act for the proposed project.

As the certifying authority, EPA must decide whether:

  1. Grant certification as proposed.
  2. Grant certification with 401 conditions.
  3. Refuse certification.
  4. Withdraw certification.

Project description

The proposed Simcoe Creek West White Swan Restoration Project is located within the Yakama Reservation Closed Area, near the town of White Swan, Washington at latitude 46.3816 and longitude -120.7722.

The project includes reconnecting historic oxbow side channels to increase the quantity and quality of available salmonid and lamprey rearing habitat, and rerouting hydrologic flows to increase floodplain flow and connectivity in the scope of the project.

In-water works activities include the installation of 19 large man-made woody debris structures to provide aquatic habitat and support the complexity of stream channels (immediately and over time) and the placement of gravels and cobbles in sills to increase hydraulic roughness and routing. In addition, the project includes the construction of a 43.5 foot bridge beside the existing westernmost box culvert on the main stem of Simcoe Creek and the excavation of 0.35 acre of floodplain to reduce the slope of the bank and connect to the floodplain.

The applicant proposes to revegetate areas disturbed by construction activities and select riparian areas with native plant species. The project will not add additional wetlands, but is intended to increase the length of the side channel stream to 2,411 feet to improve fish habitat and fish passage conditions from Simcoe Creek to W. White Swan Rd.

As part of the Simcoe Creek restoration work, the proposed project involves placing 5 cubic yards of permanent fill material in 170 square feet of wetland, excavating 330 cubic yards of bank and channel over 16,050 square feet of of water and placing 640 cubic yards of streambed gravel and cobbles on 19,520 square feet of watercourse, including the placement of 120 meters of large woody debris on 7,350 square feet of watercourse. ‘water.

Construction work on the project is expected to take place between August and November 2022.

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