SAVANNAH, Ga. – After a one-day delay, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, published today the Draft Integrated Post Authorization Analysis Report and Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA), Fish Passage at New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam (NSBLD), and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) to evaluate proposed changes to the Fish Passage feature of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP). This SEA supplements the July 2012 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the SHEP.
This draft report discloses the Corps’ recommendation to replace the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam with a fixed weir and fish passage, known in the report as Alternative 2-6d. In addition notice is given for Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) and Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act (40 C.F.R. 230).The report can be downloaded here from this page:
The release of the report begins a 30-day comment period on Saturday, Feb. 16 where the public will have an opportunity to review the Corps’ work, modelling and analysis and provide written comments or concerns. Since the comment period begins and ends on a weekend, the comment period will remain open until the first business day after the end of the 30-day period. At the conclusion of the comment period the Corps will review and address comments received on the draft report and recommended plan.
As part of the 30-day comment period Savannah District officials plan to hold an interactive workshop in the Augusta area on March 6 where people can attend to learn more about the report through various stations staffed with experts, as well as provide comments either in writing or through dictation. A presentation summarizing the report is scheduled at 5 p.m. The location of the event will be announced once confirmed.
Comments can also be submitted in writing via U.S. mail to the Savannah District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Planning Division, ATTN: Ms. Robin Armetta (PM-P), 100 West Oglethorpe Avenue, Savannah, Georgia 31401-3604, or in writing via email at CESAS-PD@usace.army.mil. The report contains further instructions for submitting comments.
The study is scheduled for completion in June 2019 and the final decision is anticipated as early as August 2019 by the Commanding General of the Corps’ South Atlantic Division.
The Fish Passage project is an environmental mitigation feature of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, and is required mitigation in accordance with the Endangered Species Act and the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act.
For more on the Fish Passage and the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam, see our past blog posts here.
For a history of the lock and dam, check our webpage here.