The Maine Department of Transportation is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the United States in conjunction with installing scour protection for bridges at six locations throughout the state.
The Maine Department of Transportation proposes to place permanent and temporary stone and concrete fill material below the ordinary high water line of five waterways and in their adjacent freshwater wetlands at six locations throughout the state of Maine in order to install scour protection at existing bridges and/or to repair existing areas of scour. Projects are in Abbot, Avon, Carmel, Corinth and Island Falls.
The work is designed to address critical bridges and other structures that need immediate attention to ensure public safety and protect the economic vitality of Maine’s transportation network.
The application for the federal permit was filed by the Maine Department of Transportation with the Corps of Engineers in compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in United States waters, including wetlands.
This work may impact Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for Atlantic salmon. This habitat consists of stream and river bottom composed of silt, sand and gravel mixed with stones. Impact to this species is expected to be minimal with appropriate erosion control measures, in stream work windows, and other best management practices. Therefore, the Corps has made a preliminary determination that the site-specific adverse effect will be minimal. Further consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding EFH conservation recommendations is being conducted and will be concluded prior to the final permit decision.
Similarly, consultation will be initiated regarding the presence of salmon as they are a Federally-listed endangered species.
Press Release, December 12, 2012