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Draft environmental assessment for Upper Hamburg ditch repairs available for public review

Published June 29, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. – A draft supplemental environmental assessment for repairs to a ditch at the Upper Hamburg Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Otoe County, Nebraska along Missouri River miles 556 to 552 is currently available for public review. The draft supplemental EA evaluates the environmental impacts of repairing ditch damage that occurred during the 2011 Missouri River flood.

The proposed project consists of excavating a new ditch channel where the Upper Hamburg chute eroded into the original ditch alignment. A new ditch section would bend around the chute about 200 feet west of where the chute scoured into the ditch.  Approximately 45,000 cubic yards of material would be excavated from the portion of the ditch downstream of the rerouted ditch section to facilitate drainage towards the Missouri River (i.e., clean out the ditch). As part of the ditch being rerouted, two small segments of the original ditch would be abandoned and filled in with approximately 11,000 cubic yards of the excavated material to match the surrounding elevation. The remaining 34,000 cubic yards would either be spread within a 32-acre tract of land on the Upper Hamburg WMA that is leased out for crop farming (outside of the floodway), stockpiled on the R-573 landward seepage berm, or a combination of the two. Placement of the material along the landward seepage berm would not affect levee seepage performance or other flood risk management aspects of the levee. The material would essentially be stockpiled onto the berm and would be available for use as borrow material during future flood fighting scenarios. Disposal of material onto the 32-acre parcel would raise the elevation up to 18 inches and would also have no effect on flood risk management functions of the R-573 levee.

The public is encouraged to provide comments on the draft supplemental environmental assessment, which is available for viewing at: http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Planning/ProjectReports.aspx. Comments can be mailed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District; CENWO-PM-AC; ATTN: Dave Crane, Upper Hamburg Ditch SEA; 1616 Capitol Avenue; Omaha, NE 68102-4901. Comments can also be emailed to: cenwo-planning@usace.army.mil. Comments must be postmarked or received no later than July 31, 2015.

This draft supplemental 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.

Maggie Oldham
Dave Crane

Release no. 20150629-001