CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District has prepared a Finding of No Significant Impact, and is reviewing plans under 33 U.S.C. 408 (Section 408) to allow for the construction of a 600-foot long boardwalk on the Corps-constructed flood risk management project (Haverhill Local Protection Project) by the city of Haverhill, Mass. The city of Haverhill owns and operates the Haverhill Local Protection Project (LPP).
The Corps has issued a Notice of Availability pursuant to the Council on Environmental Quality regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Corps of Engineers Procedures for Implementing NEPA. Documents are posted on the Corps website at:
www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/ProjectsTopics.aspx. Select Massachusetts and then Haverhill Local Protection Project modification.
Section 408 allows the Corps to grant permission for the alteration, occupation, or use of a Corps civil works project if it is determined that the activity will not be injurious to the public interest and will not impair the usefulness of the Federal project. A decision on a Section 408 request is a Federal action, and therefore subject to NEPA and other environmental compliance requirements.
The action that affects the Federal project involves the construction and maintenance of a 600-foot long boardwalk on the Haverhill Local Protection Project as part of the city’s 1,200-foot long riverfront public boardwalk construction for the comprehensive rehabilitation of the Haverhill waterfront. The boardwalk is a component of a State Priority Development Area for the Merrimack River Basin.
The 600-foot section will extend from the proposed Harbor Place Development to an existing boardwalk behind Haverhill Bank. The boardwalk is proposed to be 16 feet wide and will be partially constructed on the floodwall which will support the boardwalk’s southern edge and will be further supported by columns along the boardwalk’s northern edge. Once completed, this section will be part of an approximately 1,200-foot long continuous section of boardwalk located directly along the northern bank of the Merrimack River at Wall Street.
The 30-foot high concrete floodwall starts on the left bank of the Merrimack River at the Main Street Bridge and extends upstream for about 2,250 feet. The preliminary determination is that the minor modification will not adversely affect environmental resources on the affected area of the existing LPP.
Public comments on the Corps of Engineers review and environmental documents can be submitted to the Corps at the below address by Jan. 15, 2016. To request more information contact: Kirk Bargerhuff, Biologist, New England District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742; or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.