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Ohio Utica Shale

Company seeks federal O.K. for barge facility on Ohio River

By Bob Downing Published: July 7, 2014

GreenHunter Water LLC is seeking approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build barge-unloading facilities on the Ohio River in at Portland in Meigs County in southern Ohio.

The proposed docks are part of the company's plans to ship liquid drilling wastes via barges on the Ohio River.

The Corps of Engineers is accepting public comment, but local activist groups are trying to get the public-comment period extended.

Below is the request filed with the Corps of Engineers:

Posted: 6/27/2014
Expiration date: 7/28/2014
 
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The following application has been submitted for a Department of the Army (DA) Permit under the provisions of Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899.
 
APPLICANT: John Jack
GreenHunter Water, LLC
28407 State Route 7
Marietta, Ohio 45750
 
LOCATION: As depicted on the attached Sheet 1 of 4, the proposed project would be located along the right descending bank of the Ohio River approximately 223.7 miles downstream of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 53549 Great Bend Road, in Portland, Meigs County, Ohio.
 
DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED WORK: The applicant has requested a DA permit to construct and operate a barge unloading and pipeline facility for the unloading of bulk liquids generated by hydraulic fracturing operations. The proposed facility would consist of a barge dock with a center platform and two pipe pile dolphins to accommodate two tank barges (either 195 feet x 35 feet or 300 feet x 54 feet) simultaneously (See Sheet 2 of 4). Construction of the barge dock would involve the installation of five 24 inch pilings driven to an elevation of 522 feet and extend to an elevation of 595 feet above mean sea level, and a platform measuring 20 feet long by 10 feet wide. Piping valves, pipe and a tankermans shelter would be installed on the dock. A crane capable of handling hoses connecting the dock pipe valves to the barge piping values would be installed on top of tankermans shelter. A 100 foot walkway/pipeway would be constructed and would extend from the dock to top of the river bank (See Sheet 3 of 4). Two tripod mooring dolphins, each consisting of 24 inch wall pipe pile and two supporting 14 inch wall batter piles, would be installed upstream and downstream of the barge dock for mooring of the tank barges (See Sheets 2 and 4 of 4). The purpose of the project is to unload bulk liquids (~2.5 million bbl per year) from the tank barges via a pipeline, mounted on the side of the walkway, to above ground storage tanks. The maximum riverward extension of the facility would be 165 feet from the shoreline at a normal pool elevation of 560.0 feet above msl. The overall facility would comprise approximately 600 linear feet of the shoreline at the location noted above. The plans for the proposed project are attached to this notice.
 
AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION: In evaluating a project area containing waters of the United States, consideration must be given to avoiding impacts on these sites. If waters of the United States cannot be avoided, then the impacts must be minimized. Avoidance and minimization efforts were incorporated into the proposal. The proposed project would not involve the discharge of dredged and/or fill material into waters of the United States and thus is not subject to regulation under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The applicant has also indicated no initial dredging would be required to facilitate the construction of the proposed facility. Stormwater management planning would incorporate best management practices and water pollution controls necessary to maintain compliance with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and Ohio Water Pollution Control Act.
 
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION PLAN: The applicant has indicated compensatory mitigation should not be required due to the nature of the proposed activities.
WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: A Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) may be required for this project. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to determine if a Section 401 WQC is required for the proposal.
HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES: The National Register of Historic Places
(NRHP) has been consulted and it has been determined there are no properties currently listed on the NRHP that would be indirectly or directly affected by the proposed work. The Corps has determined the proposed project would have no effect on historic properties eligible or potentially eligible for inclusion on the NRHP. A copy of this public notice will be furnished to Ohio State Historic Preservation Office for their review. Comments concerning archaeological sensitivity of the project area should be based on collected data.
THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES: The proposed project is located within the known or historic range of the endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), proposed endangered northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), endangered running buffalo clover (Trifolium stoloniferum), endangered fanshell mussel (Cyprogenia stegaria), endangered pink mucket pearly mussel (Lampsilis abrupta), endangered rayed bean mussel (Villosa fabalis), endangered sheepnose mussel (Plethobasus cpyhyus), and endangered snuffbox mussel (Epioblasma triquetra). The applicant has retained the services of a malacologist to conduct a mussel survey at the project site. Upon receipt of the mussel survey, the Corps will make a determination on the effect the proposed project may have on the above-mentioned mussel species and consult with the USFWS as required by law. No trees or vegetation would be removed to facilitate the construction of the proposed project. We have determined the proposed project would have no effect on the Indiana bat, the northern long-eared bat, or running buffalo clover. This Public Notice serves as a request for concurrence from the USFWS with the aforementioned effect determinations and for any additional information they may have on whether any listed or proposed to be listed endangered or threatened species may be present in the area which would be affected by the activity, pursuant to Section 7(c) of the Endangered Species Act of 1972 (as amended).
 
PUBLIC INTEREST REVIEW AND CUMULATIVE EFFECTS: This application will be reviewed in accordance with 33 CFR 320‑332, the Regulatory Program of the Corps, and other pertinent laws, regulations, and executive orders. The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts, including cumulative impacts, of the proposed activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both the protection and the utilization of important resources. The benefit that reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors that may be relevant to the proposal will be considered, including the cumulative effects thereof; among those factors are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historic properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.
SOLICITATION OF COMMENTS: The Corps is soliciting comments from the public, the Federal, state, and local agencies and officials, the Indian Tribes, and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity. For accuracy and completeness of the administrative record, all data in support of or in opposition to the proposed work should be submitted in writing setting forth sufficient detail to furnish a clear understanding of the reasons for support or opposition. Any person may request, in writing, within the comment period specified in the notice, that a public hearing be held to consider the application. Requests for public hearings shall state, with particularity, the reasons for holding a public hearing.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 the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity. Written statements received in this office on or before the expiration date of this Public Notice will become a part of the record and will be considered in the final determination. A permit will be granted unless its issuance is found to be contrary to the public interest.
CLOSE OF COMMENT PERIOD:All comments pertaining to this Public Notice must reach this office on or before the close of the comment period listed on page one of this Public Notice. If no comments are received by that date, it will be considered that there are no objections. Comments and requests for additional information should be submitted to:
 
United States Army Corps of Engineers
ATTN: CELRH-RD-N
Public Notice No. LRH-2013-848-OHR
502 Eighth Street
Huntington, West Virginia 25701-2070.
 
 
Please note names and addresses of those who submit comments in response to this Public Notice become part of our administrative record and, as such, are available to the public under provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. Thank you for your interest in our nation’s water resources. If you have any questions concerning this Public Notice, please contact Teresa Spagna of the North Branch at (304) 399-5210, by mail at the above address, or by email at: teresa.d.spagna@usace.army.mil.

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ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

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Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

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Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.