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H.Doc.105-174 CHARLESTON HARBOR, SOUTH CAROLINA ...


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105th Congress, 2d Session  - - - - - - - - - - House Document 105-173


 
    LOWER SAVANNAH RIVER, GEORGIA AND SOUTH CAROLINA ENVIRONMENTAL 
                          RESTORATION PROJECT

                               __________

                             COMMUNICATION

                                  from

                     THE ACTING ASSISTANT SECRETARY

                             (CIVIL WORKS),

                       THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY

                              transmitting

 A REPORT ON THE AUTHORIZATION OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION PROJECT 
 FOR THE LOWER SAVANNAH RIVER, GOERGIA AND SOUTH CAROLINA, PURSUANT TO 
                    PUB. L. 104-303, SEC. 101(a)(11)


<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>


  January 27, 1998.--Referred to the Committee on Transportation and 
                Infrastructure and ordered to be printed



                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              
                                                                   Page
Letter of Transmittal............................................    xi
Comments of the Office of Management and Budget..................  xiii
Comments of the State of South Carolina..........................   xiv
Comments of the State of Georgia.................................    xv
Comments of the Department of Agriculture........................   xix
Comments of the Environmental Protection Agency..................    xx
Comments of the Department of the Interior.......................   xxi
Comments of the Department of Transportation.....................  xxii
Report of the Chief of Engineers, Department of the Army.........     1
Report of the District Engineer:
Executive Summary................................................     6
    Introduction.................................................     6
    Problem Needs................................................     6
    Environmental Restoration Alternatives.......................     8
    Evaluation and Screening of Alternatives.....................     9
Section 1--Introduction..........................................    19
    Study Purpose and Scope......................................    19
        Study Objectives.........................................    19
        Scope of Study...........................................    20
    Study Authority..............................................    20
    Study Area...................................................    21
    Federal Navigation Project...................................    25
    Study Process................................................    25
        Lower Savannah River Basin Reconnaissance Report.........    27
        Feasibility Study Cost Sharing Agreement.................    29
    Prior Studies and Reports....................................    29
        U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.............................    29
            Design Memorandum Savannah River Below Augusta 
              General Design.....................................    29
            Environmental Resource Inventory of the Savannah 
              River Basin........................................    29
            Final Environmental Statement, Operation and 
              Maintenance of Navigation Project, Savannah River 
              Below Augusta, Including the New Savannah Bluff 
              Lock and Dam.......................................    29
            Savannah River Below Augusta, Georgia, Evaluation of 
              Authorized Project.................................    29
        Lower Savannah River Environmental Reconnaissance Report.    30
    Other Pertinent Studies......................................    30
        Biological Surveys on the Savannah River in the Vicinity 
          of the Savannah River Plant (1951-1976)................    30
        U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Planning Aid Report.......    30
    Study Participants and Coordination..........................    30
    Report Contents..............................................    32
Section 2--Baseline Conditions...................................    33
    Basin Description............................................    33
    Land Use.....................................................    33
        Historical Land Use......................................    33
        Historical River Traffic.................................    33
        Current Land Use.........................................    36
        Population...............................................    37
    Geology and Soils............................................    38
        Geology..................................................    38
        Soils....................................................    38
    Physiography.................................................    39
    Climate......................................................    40
    Basin Hydrology..............................................    40
    Water Supply and Water Quality...............................    42
        Water Supply.............................................    42
        Water Quality............................................    42
    Recreation...................................................    43
    Cultural Resources...........................................    43
    Savannah National Wildlife Refuge............................    44
        Description..............................................    44
        Refuge Boundary..........................................    44
        Ecosystem Within Study Area..............................    44
        Priorities for Environmental Restoration.................    47
    Future Navigation on the Savannah River......................    47
Section 3--Problem Identification................................    51
    Future Conditions Without Environmental Restoration..........    51
    Problems, Needs, and Opportunities...........................    52
        Navigation Cuts..........................................    52
        Bends....................................................    52
        Wetlands.................................................    54
        Riverine Fish Populations................................    54
        Savannah National Wildlife Refuge........................    55
        Significance and Scarcity of Resources...................    55
    Non-Federal Concerns.........................................    57
    Goals and Objectives.........................................    59
        Federal Planning Objectives..............................    59
        Study Objectives.........................................    59
    Public Concerns..............................................    60
Section 4--Formulation of Environmental Restoration Measures.....    61
    Study Objectives.............................................    61
        Delineation of Study Area................................    61
        Environmental Restoration................................    61
        Environmental Restoration Benefits.......................    62
    Formulation Issues...........................................    62
        Separable Study Sites....................................    62
        Naximum Environmental Restoration........................    62
        Preliminary Restoration Measures.........................    63
        Navigation...............................................    63
        Environmental Restoration Benefits.......................    64
        Net Environmental Benefits...............................    64
    Constraints..................................................    64
    Components of Environmental Restoration Alternatives No 
      Action.....................................................    65
        Conditions Prior to Navigation Cuts......................    67
        Current Conditions.......................................    67
        Future Conditions........................................    68
    Cut and Bend #4 Restoration..................................    68
    Mill Creek Restoration.......................................    68
    Cut and Bend #3 Restoration..................................    68
        Restoration of Bend #3...................................    68
        Full Closure of Navigation Cut #3........................    70
        Full Closure Cut #3, Navigation Channel in Bend #3.......    70
        Full Closure Cut #3, Restoration Channel in Bend #3......    70
        Partial Closure of Navigation Cut #3.....................    71
        Partial Closure of Cut #3, Restoration Channel in Bend #3    71
        Partial Closure of Cut #3, Slackwater Channel in Bend #3.    71
        Bend #3, Modifications to Bear Creek.....................    71
        Increase Flow to Existing Mouth of Bear Creek............    71
        Relocate Mouth of Bear Creek.............................    72
    Potential Restoration Components Eliminated..................    72
    Summary of Viable Restoration Components.....................    76
    Design Criteria and Engineering..............................    78
        Dredged Material.........................................    78
        Dredged Material From Bends..............................    78
        Dredged Material From Bear Creek Relocation..............    78
        Dredged and Disposal Methods.............................    78
        In-Water Placement.......................................    79
        Jet-Spray Dredging.......................................    79
        Hydraulic Pipeline Dredging..............................    79
        Disposal of Dredged Material.............................    79
        Confined Upland Disposal Area............................    79
        Disposal Area in Navigation Cut #4.......................    80
        Full Closure Structure...................................    81
        Partial Closure Structure................................    85
        Design and Evaluation Flows..............................    85
    TABS-2 Hydraulic Model.......................................    87
        Navigation Channel in Bends..............................    88
        Design Criteria..........................................    88
        Waterways Experiment Station Navigation Study............    88
        Modifications to Mill Creek..............................    90
        Project Maintenance......................................    92
Section 5--Formulation of Preliminary Alternatives...............    93
    Definition of Terms..........................................    93
    Components of Restoration Alternatives.......................    95
        Cut and Bend #3..........................................    95
        Cut and Bend #4..........................................    95
        Mill Creek...............................................    95
    Preliminary Restoration Alternatives.........................    98
        Eliminate Relocation of Mouth of Bear Creek..............    99
    Benefit From Preliminary Alternatives........................    99
        Potential Increased Creek Flows..........................    99
        Preliminary Alternatives.................................    99
        Flow into Bear Creek.....................................    99
        Velocities in Bear Creek Approach Channel................   101
        Environmental Restoration Benefits.......................   102
        Without Project Conditions...............................   102
        Threatened and Endangered Species........................   103
        Aquatic Habitat..........................................   103
        Bottomland Hardwood......................................   104
        Habitat Unit Incremental Analysis........................   104
        Economic Analysis........................................   104
    Environmental Impacts of Restoration Alternatives............   105
        Loss of Aquatic Habitat Units............................   105
        Loss of Bottomland Hardwood Due to Project Construction..   105
    Environmental Values With and Without Restoration............   107
    Net Environmental Benefits...................................   107
    Monitoring Plan..............................................   110
        Monitoring Requirements..................................   110
        Monitoring Plan..........................................   110
        Cost of Monitoring Plan..................................   110
    Real Estate Requirements.....................................   111
    Environmental Assessment.....................................   111
    Cost of Preliminary Alternatives.............................   111
        Construction Costs.......................................   111
        Dredging.................................................   111
        Dredged Material Disposal Area...........................   112
        Closure Structures.......................................   114
        Bear Creek Approach Channel..............................   114
        Preconstruction Engineering and Design...................   114
        Supervision and Administration...........................   114
        Land and Damages.........................................   114
        Cultural Resources Investigations........................   115
        Total Project First Costs................................   115
        Operation and Maintenance Costs..........................   115
        Monitoring Cost..........................................   115
        Total Project Costs......................................   116
    Benefits and Costs of Preliminary Alternatives...............   118
Section 6--Selection of Intermediate Alternatives................   120
    Summary of Preliminary Restoration Alternatives..............   120
    Screening of Preliminary Alternatives........................   120
        Alternative #1...........................................   123
        Alternative #2...........................................   123
        Alternative #18..........................................   123
        Alternative #22..........................................   123
        Alternative #32..........................................   124
        Alternative #24..........................................   124
        Alternative #36..........................................   125
        Alternative #16..........................................   125
    Selection of Intermediate Restoration Alternatives...........   126
    Description of Intermediate Restoration Alternatives.........   127
    Benefits and Costs of Intermediate Alternatives..............   129
Section 7--Evaluation of Intermediate Alternatives...............   130
    Introduction.................................................   130
    Intermediate Restoration Alternatives........................   130
    Dredging and Disposal........................................   133
    Incremental Benefits and Costs...............................   133
    Increased Flows in Creeks....................................   135
    Future Operation and Maintenance.............................   137
    Overall Environmental Restoration............................   137
    Screening of Intermediate Alternatives.......................   137
        Preliminary Screening of Intermediate Alternatives.......   138
        Coordination.............................................   139
        City of Savannah.........................................   139
        U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service...........................   142
        Conclusions..............................................   142
    Final Restoration Alternatives...............................   143
    Total Project Cost of Final Restoration Alternatives.........   143
        Impacts of Final Restoration Alternatives................   144
        Public Review on Final Restoration Alternatives..........   144
    Recommended Environmental Restoration Plan...................   144
Section 8--Final Restoration Plans...............................   145
    Introduction.................................................   145
    Recommended Environmental Restoration Plan...................   147
        Description of Recommended Restoration Plan..............   147
        Cut and Bend #3..........................................   147
        Large Diversion Structure................................   147
        Realign Mouth of Bear Creek..............................   147
        Narrow Approach Channel..................................   147
        Plug Bend #3.............................................   147
        Bank Stablization........................................   148
        Flows into Bear Creek....................................   148
        Cut and Bend #4..........................................   148
        Mill Creek...............................................   148
    Dredging and Disposal of Dredged Material....................   149
    Benefits From Recommended Restoration Plan...................   149
        Average Annual Habitat Units.............................   149
        Bottomland Hardwood......................................   149
        Net Environmental Restoration Benefits...................   149
    Environmental Impacts........................................   150
        No Action Alternative....................................   150
        Environmental Impacts of the Recommended Restoration Plan   150
        Endangered Species.......................................   151
        Water Quality............................................   151
        Suspended Solids In Disposal Area Weir Effluent..........   151
        Water Quantity...........................................   151
        Other Water Quality Parameters...........................   151
        Air Quality..............................................   151
        Sediment Quality.........................................   151
        Sediment Analysis........................................   151
        Fishery Resources........................................   151
        Benthic Resources........................................   152
        Vegetation and Wildlife..................................   152
        Wetlands.................................................   152
        Cultural Resources.......................................   152
        Savannah National Wildlife Refuge........................   152
        Recreation...............................................   152
        Secondary Impacts........................................   152
        Cumulative Impacts.......................................   152
    Real Estate Requirements.....................................   153
        Scope....................................................   153
        Real Estate Requirements.................................   153
        Mill Creek Restoration...................................   154
        Cut and Bend #3..........................................   154
        Bear Creek...............................................   154

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