OMAHA, Neb. – A draft environmental assessment for the modification of 73 existing dike structures along the Missouri River is currently available for public review. The draft EA evaluates the environmental impacts of modifying the structures to create the physical conditions necessary to maximize the amount of shallow water habitat at each of the notched dikes.
The proposed work would occur along six bends between Missouri River miles 609.0 and 561.0, specifically at Manawa Bend and Upper Plattsmouth Bend located in Sarpy and Cass Counties, Neb. and Pin Hook Bend, Upper Copeland, Nebraska Bend, and Rock Bluff Bend located in Fremont and Mills Counties, Iowa. Modifications to the existing notched dikes would include, but not be limited to, extending dikes, raising degraded dikes, filling in portions of notches, and excavating notches further into the river bank.
The overall purpose of the proposed modifications is to create the shallow water habitat necessary to comply with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2003 Amended Biological Opinion on the Operation of the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System, Operation of the Missouri River Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project, and Operation of the Kansas River System. Compliance with the BiOp allows the Corps to continue its operations along the Missouri River System, which generate an estimated $1.8 billion in average annual benefits.
This draft EA is consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR 1500-1508), the Corps’ regulations for implementing NEPA (33 CFR 325 and Engineering Regulation 200-2-2) and other applicable environmental laws and regulations.
The public is encouraged to provide comments on the draft environmental assessment, which is available for viewing at http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Planning/EnvironmentalPlanning/DraftDocuments.aspx. Comments can be mailed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District; CENWO-PM-AC; ATTN: Amanda Ciurej, Missouri River Structure Mod EA; 1616 Capitol Avenue; Omaha, NE 68102-4901. Comments can also be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments must be postmarked or received no later than August 26, 2014.