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Town of Alna seeks Corps permit to place fill material to modify existing Head Tide Dam in Alna

Published June 18, 2019

CONCORD, Mass. – The town of Alna is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the U.S. in conjunction with the plan to modify the existing Head Tide Dam in Alna, Maine.


The town of Alna proposes to place temporary and permanent fill material below the ordinary high water mark of the Sheepscot River in Alna in order to modify the existing Head Tide Dam. The dam currently prevents safe, timely, and effective upstream and downstream passage for federally endangered Atlantic salmon and other sea run fish.


The right abutment of the dam will be modified to remove concrete and ledge to attract more flow and in turn, reduce velocity to improve fish passage. The modifications also are intended to extend the life of the dam by reducing high flow pressure on the spillway and by addressing a section of the dam that is in a higher state of deterioration.


Approximately 2,900 square feet of river bed will be temporarily impacted (temporary access and cofferdams). Approximately 340 cubic yards of concrete and ledge will be removed and disposed of at an upland location. The removed right abutment will then be replaced with an overlook with an 18-inch thick concrete wall and steel grate top.


In-water construction at the site will impact Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for Atlantic salmon. This habitat consists of river bed composed of ledge, cobbles and boulders interspersed with smaller stones, silt, sand and gravel. The Corps has made the preliminary determination that the site-specific adverse effect on EFH will not be substantial. Any consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding EFH conservation recommendations will be concluded prior to the final permit decision.


The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact of the proposed activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits which may reasonably accrue from the proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered, including the cumulative effects.


The Corps is soliciting comments from the public; federal, state, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity.



Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and other public interest factors. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.


The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps in compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in U.S. waters, including wetlands. The public notice, with more specifics on the work proposed by the town of Alna, can be viewed on the Corps website at https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/PublicNotices/.


Public comments on this work proposed by the town of Alna (file # NAE-2017-00078) should be forwarded no later than July 8, 2019 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division, Maine Project Office (ATTN: Jay Clement), 442 Civic Center Drive, Suite 350, Augusta, Maine, 04330. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Jay Clement at 207-623-8367, ext. 1 or by email to: jay.l.clement@usace.army.mil.

Tim Dugan

Release no. 19-057