Email From USACOE
Just wanted to provide you with a quick update and my anticipated path forward, before your board meeting tonight.
To date: we have completed reviewing the alternatives analysis and coordinated it with management in Seattle. We have preliminarily determined it is sufficient. I have also completed reviewing the mitigation plan submitted on August 5th and coordinated it with our Sr. Scientist in Seattle. We have preliminarily determined it is sufficient. Clarifications and/or additional information on the AA & mitigation may be required as we work through the decision document. I have started drafting the decision document. As you know, this is a lengthy process because of the amount of information we need to compile, evaluate, and analyze. I estimate completing the draft next week. Once the draft is complete I will send it for review by management in Seattle. Then I will need to address any comments resulting from their review. We received the 401 Water Quality Certification on August 20th.
As for our anticipated decision, we have to be very cautious to keep things factual and not be pre-decisional. As such I can offer the following: I have completed a preliminary review of this project for consistency with our program requirements and do not see any major conflicts at this time that would preclude permit issuance. We have preliminarily worked through the AA, compensatory mitigation, and other program requirements successfully. I anticipate recommending the permit be issued with special conditions. However, the decision process is not complete. As you know, I cannot give you a final decision until the process is complete.
I would also like to reiterate that we are extremely busy right now. This project is on the top end of my list and I will continue to push our permit decision forward as quickly as possible. Your continued patience is greatly appreciated.
Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks.
Peter D. Olmstead
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Seattle District, Regulatory Branch
Southwest Washington Field Office
2108 Grand Boulevard
Vancouver, Washington 98661