CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District is seeking public comments on 22 projects which have applied for funding through Maine’s In-Lieu Fee program, the Maine Natural Resources Conservation Program. The sponsor for the program is the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
The In-Lieu Fee program serves as an alternative form of compensation for impacts to aquatic resources authorized by the New England District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and/or the state of Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
These projects were submitted in response to a Request for Proposals (RFP) issued in July 2012. The RFP includes the criteria used to evaluate projects, the information required for a proposal, and other related information. The RFP, the current amount of funds available for release, and additional information can be found on the MNRCP website at: http://mnrcp.org/.
Any of the projects which involve restoration, enhancement, and/or creation will require Corps, state, or local permits and will be applying individually.
The Corps public notice, with more information, is available on the Corps website at: http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Regulatory/Public%20Notices/. It lists the following: summary sheet of projects and the bioregion in which they are located; funds available and the aquatic resource types which have been authorized to be impacted; and project descriptions and maps for the 22 projects.
The decision whether to approve funding for projects will be based on an evaluation of each proposed activity and how and where it will compensate for aquatic resources lost through authorizations issued under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. The decision will reflect the national concern for no net loss of aquatic resources.
The Corps is seeking comments from the public; federal, state and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other interested groups in order to determine the most appropriate projects to receive funding from the
MNRCP. Any comments received will be provided to the Review Committee which makes recommendations to the Interagency Review Committee, including the Corps of Engineers, and will be considered in the evaluation of the projects and the determination of which will receive funding. To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors.
All In-Lieu Fee agreements in New England are available for review on the Corps website at http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Regulatory/Mitigation/in-lieu.htm.
Public comments on these projects seeking funding through the Maine In-Lieu Fee Program, the Maine Natural Resources Conservation Program (file # NAE 2005-1143) should be submitted in writing no later than Nov. 28, 2012 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Ruth Ladd), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. For additional information contact Ruth Ladd at 978-318-8818 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.