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Transcript
Environmental Assessment Form
ENCLOSURE C
Description of Aquatic Habitat
S.R. 3016, Section B02
Beaver County
Hopewell Township
Environmental Assessment Form
Enclosure C
Description of Aquatic Habitat
S.R. 3016, Section B02
8-A)
Aquatic Habitats
1.
Food Chain Production:
In general, the following process is considered the food chain production
in an aquatic environment: Primary producers (e.g. microscopic plants
and algae, zooplankton, etc.) capture sunlight and, through the process of
photosynthesis, produce oxygen for oxygen-requiring aquatic biota.
Consumers (e.g. frogs, fish, etc.) consume the primary producers and
oxygen to obtain energy. Other consumers (e.g. man, snakes, etc.) in turn
eat the consumers of the primary producers. Decomposers (e.g. aquatic
bacteria, fungi, etc.) decompose dead plants and animals and return
essential nutrients (e.g. nitrate, phosphate, etc.) back to the primary
producers for consumption. Simultaneously, respiration of producers,
consumers and decomposers result in the production of carbon dioxide in
the water column. Finally, respired carbon dioxide, together with the other
essential nutrients (e.g. nitrate, phosphate, etc.) released by the
decomposition of dead biota, regulates primary productivity. The aquatic
environment within the project area, in general, follows this food chain
production system.
2.
General Habitat:
a.
Nesting: Raccoon Creek consists of several pool and riffle areas. A
pool area is present under the proposed bridge replacement.
Nesting in these areas are not likely. The structure will be shifted
upstream slightly. This new location is a riffle area. Some nesting
may or may not take place in this area. A small unnamed tributary
flows under S.R. 3020 and into a small (< 1 acre) wetland located
within the floodplain of Raccoon Creek. Due to the size of the
stream and the fact that it is intermittent in some years, limited
conditions exist for nesting in this stream. Some nesting of
terrestrial species exists within the small wetland in the project area.
b.
Spawning: Consistent with statement (2a), spawning in the general
area is not likely and has not been documented during any field
visits to the site. Raccoon Creek and the unnamed tributary are not
stocked trout streams. Limited spawning would occur in the wetland.
c.
Rearing: Consistent with the previous two statements, rearing in
the general area is not likely and has not been documented during
any field visits to the site. Some rearing of terrestrial species exists
within the wetland area.
Page 1 of 4
Enclosure C
Beaver County
S.R. 3016, Section B02
3.
d.
Resting: Because the section of stream under the bridge is a pool
area, some resting of the aquatic habitat may take place. This area
will be reclaimed when the bridge is shifted upstream. Resting in
the unnamed tributary is unlikely. Some resting of terrestrial
species exists within the wetland.
e.
Migration: Migration within the proposed project area by either
aquatic or terrestrial habitat most likely exists to some extent. The
small wetland could serve as protective pathways for animals such
as birds, deer and small mammals to migrate between the upland
habitat and the stream habitat. This is most likely minimal due to
the limited size of the wetland area.
f.
Feeding: Limited feeding for aquatic organisms may take place in
the general area. This activity may be limited due to the close
proximity of the stream and wetland to the roadway.
g.
Escape Cover: Some escape cover exists in the general area of
the project. Some overhanging vegetation, trees and rocks and
undercut banks provide escape cover for the local aquatic habitat.
Escape cover areas within the wetlands located within the project
area consists of undergrowth of several herbaceous plant species,
the tree species present and buttressed root systems.
h.
Other: No other aquatic or terrestrial habitats were identified at the
proposed project area.
Habitat for threatened and endangered plant and animal species:
Because of the limited scope on the proposed project and the minimal
amount of right-of-way required, it is anticipated that no endangered plant
or animal exists within the project area. A Pennsylvania Natural Diversity
Inventory (PNDI) form was sent to the Pennsylvania Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP) and no hits were indicated.
PNDIs were also sent to the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), the
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) and the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service (USFWS) to verify that no threatened and endangered
species exists within the project area.
4.
Environmental Study Areas:
a.
Sanctuaries: N/A
b.
Refuges: N/A
Page 2 of 4
Enclosure C
Beaver County
S.R. 3016, Section B02
5.
8-B)
N/A
Water Quantity and Streamflow
1.
Natural drainage patterns: Raccoon Creek, a perennial stream, flows in
a generally north to northwest direction. Within the project area, the creek
would be classified as straight. The overall pattern of the stream can be
described as sinuous. The stream outlets into the Ohio River several
miles from the bridge.
The unnamed intermittent tributary outlets into a small wetland and
eventually spills over into Raccoon Creek. The unnamed tributary travels
under S.R. 3020.
8-C)
2.
Flushing Characteristics: Raccoon Creek is a flowing perennial stream
with surrounding rolling hills. Alluvial soils exist in these areas. There are
no distinguishing flushing characteristics associated with the stream within
the project area. However, it should be noted that the stream has topped
its banks several times in the past six months and therefore has been
flushed recently.
3.
Current Patterns: The current flow patterns of Raccoon Creek is in a
north to northwest direction and no evidence exists that would suggest
current pattern changes. Overall, the stream within the project area can
be described as linear, channelized, somewhat narrow (25'), medium
gradient possessing average habitat diversity.
4.
Groundwater discharge for baseflow: It is assumed that some
groundwater discharge naturally occurs in Raccoon Creek and the
unnamed tributary.
5.
Natural recharge area for ground and surface waters: Minor seeps or
springs exist within the proposed project area. One of these springs outlet
into the wetland area.
6.
Storm and floodwater storage and control: In the area of the proposed
project, Raccoon Creek may be prone to some flooding. The floodplain
areas surrounding the bridge provides some storage and control for flood
waters. The replacement wetlands will also provide equal floodwater
storage.
Water Quality
1.
Preventing pollution: No pollution prevention devices are located within
the proposed project area.
Page 3 of 4
Enclosure C
Beaver County
S.R. 3016, Section B02
8-D)
8-E)
2.
Sedimentation control and patterns: Vegetation and naturally occurring
rock deposits aid in sedimentation control. An Erosion and Sedimentation
(E&S) Control Plan will be developed for the proposed project. The Local
County Conservation District (CCD) will review and approve the plan.
3.
Salinity distribution: Raccoon Creek is assumed to be classified as a
fresh water stream with a warm water fishery classification. Brackish
water is not associated with the stream.
4.
Natural water filtration: One wetland exists within the project area. It
provides some water filtration for the unnamed tributary and Raccoon
Creek. Surface runoff from S.R. 3016 also outlets into the wetland.
Recreation
1.
Game species: N/A
2.
Non-game species: N/A
3.
Fishing: N/A
4.
Hiking: N/A
5.
Observation (plant/wildlife): N/A
6.
Other: The general area adjacent to the structure is occasionally used
recreationally by non-motorized boats (canoes and kayaks). Coordination
with users of the launch area have taken place and will continue
throughout final design and construction. If possible, provisions will be
made to accommodate users of the unofficial launch area.
Upstream and Downstream Property
Upstream and downstream from the project is mostly wooded with some
interspersed houses and businesses. A PennDOT maintenance shed and small
mall is located in two quadrants of the bridge. No water dependent or water
related activities associated with these properties were observed.
8-F)
N/A
Page 4 of 4
Environmental Assessment Form
ENCLOSURE D
Project Impacts
S.R. 3016, Section B02
Beaver County
Hopewell Township
Environmental Assessment Form
Enclosure D
Project Impacts
S.R. 3016, Section B02
9-A)
9-B)
Project Impacts
1.
National, state or local park, forest or recreation area: N/A
2.
National, wild or wilderness area: N/A
3.
National, state or local historic site: N/A
4.
National natural landmark: N/A
5.
National wildlife refuge: N/A
6.
Cultural or archaeological landmarks: N/A
7.
State Game Lands: N/A
8.
Federal, state, local or private plant or wildlife sanctuaries: N/A
9.
Prime farm lands: N/A
Environmental Impacts
1.
Aquatic Impacts:
a.
Food Chain Production: The proposed project is a complete bridge
replacement with approach work and roadway realignment. The CCD
approved Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan will minimize the
amount of silt entering the wetland, the unnamed tributary and
Raccoon Creek. Inevitably some silt will enter these systems and this,
in turn, will disrupt the benthos. In addition, the introduction of silt will
reduce light penetration and will tend to reduce photosynthesis.
Reduced photosynthesis will tend to reduce the amount of dissolved
oxygen in the water. This will ultimately have a slight impact on all
members (producers, consumers and decomposers) of the food chain.
Because of the temporary nature of the project and the implementation
of effective erosion and sedimentation control devices, negative
impacts to the food chain are expected to be temporary and minimal.
b.
General Habitat:
1.
Nesting: Aquatic and terrestrial nesting habitats will be
minimally affected by the proposed project due to the short
duration and limited area to be disturbed. Macroinvertebrate, fish
species and terrestrial species are expected to recolonize
following the completion of construction activities.
Page 1 of 5
Enclosure D
Beaver County
S.R. 3016, Section B02
2.
Spawning: Available spawning habitat within Raccoon Creek
may be temporarily impacted by the construction activities within
the stream. Spawning habitat should return to existing levels
once construction activities are completed. Implementation of a
Soil and Erosion Pollution Control Plan, approved by the local
CCD, is expected to reduce siltation entering the stream during
spawning periods.
The project will impact 0.42 acres of wetlands. These impacts
will be mitigated for on site, adjacent to the existing wetlands.
Spawning habitat to terrestrial species may be temporarily
impacted during construction activities. Temporary impacts
should return to pre-construction levels once the mitigation site
is completed and the area is re-vegetated.
3.
Rearing: See previous comments under Spawning (Section b.2).
4.
Resting: Aquatic resting habitats may be affected by the
proposed bridge replacement. Because a pool area is present
under the bridge, some aquatic habitat may use it to rest. In
addition, the benthic organisms in the area will be temporarily
disturbed due to the introduction of silt. However, because of the
temporary nature of the project, significant adverse effects on the
aquatic resting habitat are not anticipated. During construction,
the habitat will be forced from the area. In addition, some loss of
habitat may occur. However, after construction, the area will
naturally reestablish as an aquatic nesting area. Generally, the
same process will occur in the wetland area.
5.
Migration: N/A
6.
Feeding: Some aquatic feeding habitats may be minimally
disturbed with the introduction of silt loads during the
construction of the proposed project. Although erosion and
sedimentation controls will be utilized, inevitably some silt
may enter the stream; thereby, limiting the feeding habitat in
the area. However, this disturbance will be temporary and
the feeding habitat will reestablish to pre-construction levels
and therefore, no permanent impact is anticipated.
Generally, the same process will occur in the wetland area.
Page 2 of 5
Enclosure D
Beaver County
S.R. 3016, Section B02
2.
3.
7.
Escape Cover: Some escape cover is provided by bank
vegetation, trees and river rocks. After construction is completed
the areas will reestablish as escape cover areas. Impacts to
escape cover within the proposed project area will be minimal and
temporary. Escape cover in the wetland may also be temporarily
impacted during construction activities. Temporary impacts should
return to pre-construction levels once the project is complete.
8.
Other: N/A
c.
Threatened and Endangered Species: N/A
d.
Environmental Study Areas: N/A
Water Quantity and Streamflow:
a.
Natural drainage patterns: Hydraulic studies have been
calculated for the proposed project. The replacement of the bridge
with a new structure and the use of a temporary crossing will
maintain current drainage patterns.
b.
Flushing characteristics: N/A
c.
Current Patterns: N/A
d.
Groundwater discharge for baseflow: N/A
e.
Natural recharge area for ground and surface waters: N/A
f.
Storm and floodwater storage and control: Impacts to the
wetland will temporarily impact some floodwater storage areas.
However, the replacement wetland will be located adjacent to the
existing wetland and will be a 1:1 replacement. Therefore, impacts
will be temporary and floodwater storage volume will not change.
Water Quality:
a.
Preventing pollution: The proposed project will include a CCDapproved Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan and a minimal
use of petroleum-based products for equipment. All efforts to avoid
contaminants entering Raccoon Creek, the unnamed tributary and
wetland will be employed. Therefore, adverse effects to the
streams or wetland due to pollution are not anticipated.
Page 3 of 5
Enclosure D
Beaver County
S.R. 3016, Section B02
4.
5.
b.
Sedimentation control and patterns: With the proper use of erosion
control devices, sedimentation loads into Raccoon Creek, the
unnamed tributary or the wetland are expected to be minimal.
Therefore, no adverse effect to any of the systems are anticipated due
to sediment or erosion.
c.
Salinity distribution: N/A
d.
Natural water filtration: The wetlands adjacent to the project area
provide some natural water filtration. A 1:1 replacement wetland
area will ensure the same water filtration properties after
completion of the project.
Recreation:
a.
Game species: N/A
b.
Non-game species: N/A
c.
Fishing: N/A
d.
Hiking: N/A
e.
Observation Wildlife: N/A
f.
The informal canoe launch that will be temporarily impacted during
construction will be reestablished if possible. Coordination with
local officials and users of the site will continue throughout final
design and construction.
Upstream and Downstream Property:
Raccoon Creek flows in a north to northwest direction. The waterway
originates from several named and unnamed tributaries south of the
bridge replacement project. The stream outlets into the Ohio River.
Development in the immediate area both upstream and downstream is
minimal. Hydraulic studies will take into account the development patterns
and water flow will move under the bridge unrestricted due to the removal
of the pier. Due to the limited scope of the project, impacts to upstream
and downstream properties are not anticipated.
Page 4 of 5
Enclosure D
Beaver County
S.R. 3016, Section B02
6.
Other Environmental Factors:
No other environmental impacts to the aquatic habitat are anticipated.
9-C)
Impacts to adjacent land within the project area will be minimal. The only land to
be disturbed directly will be those areas associated with the bridge and roadway
realignment.
Impacts to water resources would be those associated with Raccoon Creek and
the unnamed tributary. A certain amount of aquatic life will be displaced into
another environment. Competition, predation, disease and other controlling
factors will inevitably result in the loss of some aquatic life. Intrinsic and extrinsic
controls will quickly equalize and reestablish the community. Therefore, no
significant or long term impact to water resources is anticipated due to the bridge
replacement project.
9-D)
It is anticipated that this project will not contribute to any cumulative impacts in
the area. Impacts will be temporary and it is anticipated that pre-construction
conditions will reestablish. The project has been initiated to replace the existing
bridge structure that has reached the end of its service life. No other similar
projects are anticipated in the near future. Therefore, piecemeal changes to
Raccoon Creek or the unnamed tributary are not anticipated. The present
structure will be removed and a structure will be placed slightly downstream of
the present location. The location of the old structure will be reclaimed and
restored.
9-E)
No other dams, water obstructions or encroachments will be necessary to
complete this project.
Page 5 of 5
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