CENTRAL OKLAHOMA MASTER CONSERVANCY DISTRICT
PROPOSED DEL CITY RAW WATER PIPELINE IMPROVEMENTS PROJECT
DEL CITY, OKLAHOMA COUNTY, OKLAHOMA
NOVEMBER 12, 2018
Alan Plummer Associates, Inc.
414 NW 4th Street, Suite 150
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102
Table of Contents
1.1 Project Description and Background. 1
1.2 Regulatory Requirements. 2
1.4 Purpose of and Need for the Proposed Project 3
II Description of Alternatives. 5
2.2 Alternative 1 – Proposed Action. 5
2.3 Alternatives Considered but Eliminated from Further Analysis 6
III Affected Environment and Environmental Consequences. 8
3.4 Wetlands and Other Waters of the U.S., Riparian Areas, and Aquatic Habitats. 12
3.6 Wildlife and Fisheries. 16
3.7 Threatened and Endangered Species. 17
3.11.2 Environmental Justice. 21
IV Consultation and coordination. 23
4.1 Summary of Public Involvement 23
4.2 Tribal Consultation and Coordination. 23
List of Tables
Table 1: Noise Levels Associated with Outdoor Construction……………………………….. 10
Table 2: Delineated Aquatic Resources Within the Proposed Project Area……………… 13
Table 3: Oklahoma County List of Threatened, Endangered Species……………………… 18
Table 4: Employment by Industry Types in Oklahoma County……………………………… 21
List of Figures
Figure A-1:….. General Location
Figure A-2: …. USGS Topographic Map of the Project Area
Figure A-3: . 2017 Aerial Photograph
Figure A-4: . 2008 Aerial Photograph
Figure A-5: . 1975 Aerial Photograph
Figure A-6: . FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map
Figure A-7: National Hydrography Dataset
Figure A-8: National Wetlands Inventory
List of Appendices
Appendix A: … Figures
Appendix B: Site Photographs
Appendix C: Preliminary Jurisdictional Determination of Waters of the United States
Appendix D: … United States Fish and Wildlife Service Official Species List
Appendix E: Archaeological Survey Report
Appendix F: … Environmental Justice EJSCREEN Reports
Appendix G: … Comments from Reviewing Agencies and Tribes
The Del City Pipeline supplies raw water to Del City, but most of the pipeline is contained within the city limits of Oklahoma City and property associated with Tinker Air Force Base (AFB). The pipeline begins at the Del City Water Treatment Plant (WTP) located on the north side of Southeast 44th Street and travels southeast through neighborhoods for approximately 8,400 linear feet (LF) until it reaches SE 59th Street. This segment will be referred to as Line 1. The pipeline crosses SE 59th Street and trends south and east across an undeveloped property for approximately 4,300 LF before crossing South Air Depot Boulevard and entering property associated with Tinker AFB. This segment of the pipeline between SE 59th street and Tinker AFB will be referred to as Line 2. The pipeline crosses Tinker AFB for approximately 7,000 LF. The pipeline exits Tinker AFB’s eastern boundary and travels east and southeast for approximately 14,200 LF where it crosses Interstate Highway 240 (I-240) concluding at the Central Oklahoma Master Conservancy District (COMCD) Relift Pump Station (PS). The segment between Tinker AFB’s eastern boundary and the COMCD Relift PS will be referred to as Line 3. A general location map for the proposed project is provided as Figure A-1 in Appendix A. The proposed pipeline superimposed onto the U.S. Geological Survey map Choctaw and Midwest, Oklahoma quadrangles is included as Figure A-2 in Appendix A. Current and historical aerial photographs from 2017, 2008, and 1975 showing current and historic land use changes in the project vicinity are included as Figures A-3 through A-5 in Appendix A respectively.
The Del City Pipeline is an existing raw water pipeline that conveys raw water from Lake Thunderbird to the Del City Water Treatment Plant. The Central Oklahoma Master Conservancy District (COMCD) provides the cities of Del City, Midwest City, and Norman, Oklahoma with municipal and industrial water from Lake Thunderbird. COMCD proposes to rehabilitate portions of the existing Del City Pipeline and replace other portions of the Del City Pipeline. The length of the existing Del City Pipeline is approximately 33,900 linear feet (LF) of 18- to 21-inch diameter gasketed, reinforced concrete pipe (RCP). Approximately 7,000 LF of the pipeline is located within the boundary of Tinker AFB and is excluded from this project.
The Del City Pipeline lies within an easement, which is owned by the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR). A portion of the Line 2 segment of the pipeline is proposed to be realigned around the boundary of a property it currently traverses diagonally. This property, which lies between SE 59th Street and South Air Depot Boulevard, is undeveloped and currently in agricultural production (wheat and hay). The rerouting of the pipeline around the boundary of the property would avoid conflicts with future development of the property. The proposed rerouting of this segment of the pipeline would increase the length from 4,300 to approximately 4,800 linear feet and would require purchase of additional easement, which, in turn, would be transferred to the USBR and become part of the Federal Easement.
The existing Del City Pipeline was constructed in the 1960s. Initial construction of the pipeline was conducted via open cut trench installation, which required clearing of permanent and temporary easement areas along the length of the alignment. The existing pipeline is compliant with Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) regulations regarding Public Water Supply Construction Standards. However, due to a number of factors including unusual soil conditions and age of the pipeline, the pipeline has been prone to point failures and circumferential cracking. These failures have necessitated over 300 point repairs in the approximately 50 years that the pipeline has been in service. In recent years, these cracks have necessitated continuous repairs on the pipeline and provide a significant risk to COMCD and Del City’s raw water supply. The continuous repairs also place an undue strain on COMCD’s annual operational budget and dedicated man-power. Many of these point repairs continue to be in the dense residential neighborhoods built in close proximity to the pipeline, which increases the cost of the repairs and directly impacts the adjoining residents. The repairs require repeated ground disturbance including excavation to expose the damaged areas to repair the leaks, which result in periodic interruptions in water service to the City’s customers. Because of the extensive number of repairs, the pipeline continues to have high operations and maintenance (O&M) costs. On average, around five breaks occur annually and the average cost for repair for each break is approximately $6,000.00. Some repairs were made under pressure and there was no disruption of service. However, there were times (and will be times in the future) when the water was shut down, which typically lasts for 4-5 hours (based on personal communication with COMCD staff); thereby disrupting service.
The cost for the Proposed Action would be distributed based on the original percentage of the project for each City served by COMCD. COMCD and their respective Cities retain the authority to set rates with no Federal involvement. All three Cities would participate in the costs for the Proposed Action and each City’s rate payers would absorb the costs through water rate adjustments. However, the cost of the proposed action would not alter the rate structure determination process. The cost of the No Action Alternative would be speculative but it is anticipated that the rate of repairs required would at least continue at the same rate and potentially may increase as the pipeline continues to age.
The proposed project would be constructed almost entirely within the existing pipeline’s easement, which is owned by the USBR. The segment referred to as Line 2 would be rerouted outside of the existing USBR easement. Because portions of the proposed project would take place within the USBR owned easement, the project must be approved by USBR, which constitutes a federal action and therefore must comply with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements. NEPA requires federal agencies to use all practicable means within their authority to protect the environment and to comply with applicable environmental laws and regulations to include but not limited to the Antiquities Act of 1906 (34 Stat. 225), Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401), Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.), Endangered Species Act of 1973 (P.L. 93-205), and National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (P.L. 89-665).
The proposed project would need to comply with Oklahoma’s State Historical Preservation Office requirements, Oklahoma Department of Transportation coordination, and applicable Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality regulations.
Local construction related ordinances and regulations such as a traffic control plan would need to be addressed as part of the proposed project.
No formal scoping notice or scoping meeting (public or cooperating agencies) has been initiated for the project. Although no project specific public notice has been issued or scoping meeting held, Alan Plummer Associates, Inc. (APAI), (engineering consultant for COMCD) and COMCD distributed letters to the owners of all parcels being surveyed along the pipeline alignment and the proposed alignment modification along the boundary of one property within the Line 2 segment. The letters informed the property owners of the nature of the project and that surveyors would be accessing the existing easement on their property. These letters instructed any community members with questions or concerns to contact APAI directly. APAI has received only limited concerns from landowners related to survey access.
The purpose of the proposed project is to address recurring pipeline operation and maintenance (O&M) activities along the portion of the Del City Pipeline between the COMCD Relift PS and the Del City WTP excluding the section of the pipeline within Tinker AFB property. COMCD provides the cities of Del City, Midwest City, and Norman, Oklahoma with municipal and industrial water from Lake Thunderbird. The City of Del City has received surface water from Lake Thunderbird since it’s completion in 1965. The existing pipeline, which conveys water from the COMCD Relift PS to the Del City WTP, has experienced numerous failures resulting in interrupted water service, loss of water supply, repeated ground disturbance, and potential contamination of source water. Over the past 50+ years, point failures and circumferential fractures in this pipeline have necessitated over 300 point repairs, which have resulted in high O&M costs over its lifetime. Many of these repairs are located within residential neighborhoods, which have been developed over or are in close proximity to the existing pipeline.
The proposed project is being engineered to have a 50-year design life. The population of Del City is projected to remain steady and recent population trends do not indicate a high likelihood of substantial future population growth. Oklahoma Department of Commerce (OKDOC) projections show that Oklahoma County will grow by 0.69% annually over the next 65 years (OKDOC). Del City is completely surrounded by other municipalities; therefore it is unlikely that much of the projected population growth in Oklahoma County will be within Del City.
COMCD and Del City have not experienced water supply capacity issues at the current 5.25 MGD WTP. Future needs are not anticipated to increase due to flat population and commercial growth projections, as well as projected increases in water efficiency. Accordingly, the current pipeline capacity should be enough for projected future capacity requirements of Del City.
The proposed project is needed in order for COMCD to be able to allocate adequate time and resources to other important infrastructure projects besides addressing Del City Pipeline failures. Rehabilitation of existing sections, replacement of an existing section, and installation of a newly routed segment could help alleviate the resources and time that COMCD currently uses on repairs to the Del City Pipeline.
II Description of Alternatives
Extensive maintenance repairs on the existing Del City pipeline have been required over its lifetime due to point failures and age of the pipeline. Many of the repairs must be made on sections of the pipeline within residential neighborhoods, which increases repair costs and impacts adjacent residents. The No Action Alternative would continue to be a burden on COMCD staff’s time and resources that could be used for other critical infrastructure projects. In addition, the breaks along the existing pipeline result in loss of water supplies needed to support the general public.
Since the Proposed Action concerns an in-service pipeline, correcting deficiencies in the existing water system in an economical manner that would be least disruptive to the residents along the pipeline alignment and the water customers was of utmost importance when considering alternatives. Much of the pipeline lies within an existing easement wide enough to use open cut installation methods to place a new pipeline adjacent to the existing pipeline without major disruption to the public or to individual landowners. In these sections, open cut installation is the most economical option and can be constructed adjacent to the existing pipeline while it remains in service.
However, portions of the existing pipeline right of way are constricted by development. For example, Line 1 of the project runs directly through two single-family residential neighborhoods and is relatively inaccessible without major disruption to the surrounding residents. It is the Engineer’s opinion that this section of the existing pipeline should be rehabilitated using some form of trenchless rehabilitation. In Frolich Meadows Estates (residential development), located north of SE 59th Street, the existing pipeline is located in an existing 20-foot wide easement running through front yards of houses on the east side of Ventura Drive. Replacement would require significant additional easement as well as replacement of half of the existing street and significant extended disruption to the residents of the neighborhood. Another example is in the Parkview neighborhood to the west of Sooner Road. The existing pipeline is in a variable width easement (20 feet to 66 feet wide) running through the backyards of approximately 50 houses.
Replacement of this section of the pipeline would also mean significant disruption to residents as well as potential damage to amenities located within the easement. Even though trenchless methods are generally more expensive than open cut construction when compared on a linear foot basis, the limited easement width and the restoration costs increase the open cut linear foot costs significantly. Further, the trenchless rehabilitation can usually be completed in several weeks whereas the open cut replacement could take months of continued disruption to the residents.
The method chosen for the Line 1 segment of the project was compressed fit HDPE Lining combined with Cured in Place Pipe (CIPP) where necessary due to bend restrictions. COMCD originally pursued rehabilitating a portion of the existing waterline with a compressed fit liner in 2012. At that time, compressed fit HDPE lining was considered unfeasible due to additional head loss imposed on the system by the diameter reduction of the liner. However, the additional head loss caused by the compressed fit liner would be counteracted by replacing the rest of the 21-inch pipeline with upsized ductile iron pipe installed via open cut. The existing 21-inch diameter pipeline is less common and more costly; therefore increasing the diameter to 24-inches is also more cost effective. With the upsized pipe diameter installed downstream of the slip-lined section, the overall head loss of the rehabilitated pipeline should actually be lower than before rehabilitation. Additionally, compressed fit HDPE liners can be installed in lengths of up to 3,000 LF between insertion pits, versus the maximum of approximately 500 LF for pressure CIPP. This should allow the contractor flexibility to place pits in locations that would be easily accessible and limit disruptions to neighborhoods.
The Line 2 segment would be rerouted to the property boundary of the same tract and outside of the existing USBR easement, which currently bisects the middle of an undeveloped tract of land that is in agricultural production. This would increase the length of the Line 2 segment from approximately 4,300 LF to approximately 4,800 LF. The routing of this section of the alignment to the edges of the property would minimize conflicts with future development of the property. Line 2 would be installed via open cut construction techniques, and all areas would be returned to pre-construction contours. This new section would require the acquisition of an additional easement from the landowner, which would then become part of the Federal (USBR) Easement.
The majority of the Line 3 segment, approximately 13,000 LF from Tinker AFB to a wooded area north of I-240, would be instilled via open cut. The remaining approximately 1,000 LF of the Line 3 segment (the area approaching I-240 to the pipeline’s terminus at the COMCD Relift PS) would be constructed via the same compressed fit HDPE Lining method used for the Line 1 segment installation.
Alternative methods considered but not selected for the trenchless replacement/rehabilitation sections of the pipeline included pipe bursting, CIPP, and traditional slip-lining. Pipe bursting was deemed impractical for this project, because steel clamps at several spots along the pipeline would have to be removed. Locating and removing these clamps would require greatly increased disruptions to residents as well as increased costs and installation times.
CIPP was deemed impractical due to the required materials and installation costs and processes. Using the CIPP method, installation length is limited to approximately 500 LF, and the proposed project has sections of up to 2,500 LF in developed residential neighborhoods. CIPP would require several pits to be placed in residential yards, resulting in increased costs and disruptions to the public.
Traditional slip-lining was considered but ultimately eliminated. Traditional slip-lining involves pulling a smaller pipe “liner” into an existing larger-diameter pipe. This method works well for large diameter pipelines, but the pipeline sizing of the existing pipeline is only 18 to 21 inches in diameter. The reduction in diameter that would result from using traditional slip-lining would reduce the flow capacity for the pipeline to unacceptable levels.
III Affected Environment and Environmental Consequences
The regional climate of Del City, Oklahoma is characterized as humid subtropical with relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. According to the National Climatic Data Center’s (NCDC) 1981-2010 climate normals for Oklahoma City Will Rogers World Airport, OK US, the region has a mean annual temperature of 61.5º Fahrenheit (F) (NCDC, 2018). The warmest months of the year are from June through August, while the coolest are from November through March. Mean daily highs and lows in winter of 51.5º F and 30.7º F, respectively (NCDC, 2018). Mean daily temperatures in summer are 91.8º F and 70.5º F, respectively (NCDC, 2018). Prevailing winds in the area are from the south/southeast.
3.1.1 No Action Alternative
Under the No Action Alternative, existing conditions would remain unchanged with recurring pipeline failures requiring periodic construction activities associated with repairs. Implementation of the No Action Alternative would result in temporary de minimis increases in air emissions associated with periodic construction activities associated with repairs for pipeline breaks. During construction of repairs, an increase in NOx, SO2, and CO exhaust emissions from construction equipment would be expected. However, exhaust emissions would abate following the conclusion of the construction. No long term exhaust emissions are anticipated from these repair activities.
Fugitive dust emissions would likely occur during repair activities. However, dust control measures (i.e., water trucks) would be employed during construction periods to minimize fugitive dust. Any increases in dust emissions would likely be considered minimal and subside following completion of repair construction. No long term dust emissions are anticipated.
The No Action Alternative would not have a long term or short term adverse effect on air quality.
3.1.2 Proposed Action
The Proposed Action would also not have a long term or short term adverse effect on air quality. During project construction, an increase in NOx, SO2, and CO exhaust emissions from construction equipment would be expected. However, exhaust emissions would abate following the conclusion of construction. No long term exhaust emissions are anticipated from the implementation of the Proposed Action.
Fugitive dust emissions would likely occur during the project construction duration. However, dust control measures (i.e., water trucks) would be employed during the construction period to minimize fugitive dust. Any increases in dust emissions would likely be considered minimal and subside following construction completion. No long term dust emissions are anticipated from implementation of the proposed project.
There is no indication that the Proposed Action would lead to expanded population growth beyond current projections. Therefore, impacts to air quality resulting from the projected population growth would not be attributable to the proposed project.
No significant short term, long term, direct, indirect, or cumulative adverse effect on air quality would be anticipated.
The existing pipeline lies within the Federal easement which is routinely maintained primarily through mowing two to four times per year. Young woody regrowth exists along the edges of stream crossings where mowing is impeded.
Construction on the water supply pipeline whether due to pipeline failures or planned activities have the potential for interruptions of water supplies to customers. Planned construction activities enable greater control over scheduling of downtimes and implementation of measures to mitigate loss of water and protection of water quality.
3.2.1 No Action Alternative
Under the No Action Alternative, existing conditions would remain unchanged. It is anticipated that with the No Action Alternative extensive maintenance repairs on the existing Del City pipeline would continue to be required due to point failures and age of the pipeline. These failures would have direct and indirect impacts to water resources due to loss of water supply and potential points of water supply contamination as well as potential interruptions in water service to the City customers.
3.2.2 Proposed Action
The proposed action involves the rehabilitation and replacement of portions of an existing pipeline which conveys raw water from Lake Thunderbird to the Del City WTP. The proposed project does not involve changes to existing water rights permits or additional demands on water resources. During construction, water supply interruptions to customers would be scheduled to minimize downtimes and customers would be notified when downtimes would occur. Coordination with Del City during construction would enable shutdown of raw water delivery through the pipeline for two to three weeks without interruption of service to customers. However, longer shut down times would need to be scheduled in late fall or winter. Therefore, no significant short term, long term, direct, indirect, or cumulative environmental consequences are anticipated for the Proposed Action that would affect water resources.
Vehicular and air traffic in the vicinity of the existing easement represent the primary sources of noise at the project site.
3.3.1 No Action Alternative
Under the No Action Alternative, existing conditions would remain unchanged. Periodic pipeline failures would require temporary construction activity for repairs which would create localized, temporary noise impacts from construction equipment/vehicles comparable to those associated with the construction of the Proposed Action, as described in Section 3.3.2. However, construction activities associated with repairs would be anticipated to increase over time as the pipeline continues to age. In addition, construction activities associated with repairs are more difficult to schedule during normal weekday daylight or business hours. Therefore, implementation of the No Action Alternative would result in comparable or increased cumulative noise impacts.
3.3.2 Proposed Action
The proposed action would comply with all federal, state, and local safety requirements. Proper construction methods and safety precautions would be taken during project construction, and a traffic control plan would be in effect if necessary. The project would result in fewer instances of water waste and/or potential contamination due to pipeline failures.
Construction and ground-disturbing activities would create localized, temporary noise impacts from construction equipment/vehicles. These vehicles and equipment can typically generate noise levels of approximately 80 to 89 dBA at approximately 50 ft (USDT FHWA, 2006). These noise levels would not be significantly higher than baseline noise levels measured from existing roadways in the immediate vicinity of the project. Subsequent impacts on noise sensitive areas (NSAs) would vary depending on the type, number, and loudness of equipment in use at any given time. Table 1 presents typical noise levels (dBA at 50 feet) that the Federal Highway Administration has estimated for the main phases of outdoor construction. With multiple items of equipment operating concurrently, noise levels would be greater than 62 dBA during daytime periods at locations within several hundred feet of an active construction site. Table 1: Noise Levels Associated with Outdoor Construction
Table 1: Noise Levels Associated with Outdoor Construction
|Construction Phase||Leq (dBA) at 50 feet from Source|
Source: USDT FHWA, 2006
The zone of high construction noise levels typically extends to distances of 400 to 800 feet from the site of heavy equipment operations. Residences within 800 feet of a construction site would experience temporary, but appreciable, noise during the construction phase. Locations more than 800 feet from construction sites seldom experience substantial levels (greater than 62 dBA) of construction noise. For NSAs closer than 5,000 feet (1,525 meters) (approximately 1 mile) to a construction site, construction noise would be audible, but distant. The overall impacts from construction noise would be minor and, due to the extended period of construction, of moderate duration.
During construction, BMPs and applicable municipal and federal regulations with respect to noise would be observed. BMPs would include the following:
- Limiting construction primarily to normal weekday daylight or business hours, specifically in areas adjacent to noise sensitive land-uses such as residential areas;
- Ensuring construction equipment mufflers are properly maintained and in good working order; and
- Coordinating with residence owners and/or tenants prior to unavoidable construction activities directly adjacent to established residential areas.
Future sources of noise would include roadway traffic comparable to existing conditions. Population density within the immediate vicinity of the proposed project is not expected to increase as a result of the project.
Access to the proposed project site would be controlled by the construction contractor according to the Traffic Control Program/Plan. This program would specify the exact precautions to be taken to control access during construction as well as traffic along existing transportation rights-of-way. Construction traffic to the construction areas outside of residential areas would be restricted to daylight hours, and public entrance would not be allowed. Trenchless technology is proposed for rehabilitation of the portions of pipeline within residential neighborhoods to minimize potential impacts to local citizens and also to protect public safety.
Implementation of the Proposed Action would result in less than significant impacts to noise. Therefore, no significant short term, long term, direct, indirect, or cumulative impacts are anticipated for the proposed action relevant to noise.
The existing pipeline lies within two adjacent hydrologic units. The 8-digit Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC) involved are 11090203 (Little Watershed) and 11100302 (Lower North Canadian Watershed). Water features along the existing and proposed alignment encountered within the Little Watershed include West Branch Hog Creek and three unnamed tributaries to Stanley Draper Lake, which is an impoundment of East Elm Creek. Water features along the existing and proposed alignment encountered within the Lower North Canadian Watershed include Crutcho Creek and two unnamed tributaries to Crutcho Creek. The existing pipeline lies within the Federal easement which is routinely maintained primarily through mowing. Young woody regrowth exists along the edges of stream crossings where mowing is impeded.
In reviewing the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) flood insurance rate map (included as Figure A-6 in Appendix A), select portions of the existing and proposed pipeline alignment encounter the following delineated flood zones: Zone A and AE (100-year floodplain delineation), Regulatory Floodway, and Zone X (500-year floodplain delineation). These include 100-year floodplains and regulatory floodplains associated with Crutcho Creek, unnamed tributaries to Crutcho Creek, East Elm Creek, and unnamed tributaries to East Elm Creek.
The National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) and National Wetland Inventory (NWI) dataset were also reviewed to identify potential aquatic resources within the investigation area. The NHD identified tributaries to Crutcho Creek and Crutcho Creek, and tributaries to Stanley Draper Lake (East Elm Creek). The NHD also identified West Branch Hog Creek. No open water areas within the investigation area were identified by the NHD dataset. The NWI dataset identified the majority of the aforementioned streams located within the investigation area. The NWI dataset classified these streams as Riverine, Intermittent, Streambed, Seasonally Flooded (R4SBC). The NWI map also identified Crutcho Creek and East Elm Creek as being a freshwater forested/shrub system (PFO1A – Palustrine, Forested, Broad-Leaved Deciduous, Temporarily Flooded). Figures A-7 and A-8 include the NHD and NWI delineated features in relation to the investigation area respectively.
In order to meet the requirements of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, a wetland and waters of the U.S. determination (wetland delineation) was conducted for the proposed project area. Available resources were used to identify potential waters of the U.S. These resources included but were not limited to U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps, aerial photographs, soil survey maps and the NHD and NWI resource maps. An on-site investigation of the project area was performed on November 14, 2017 to physically delineate waters of the U.S. The results from the on-site investigation were summarized into a Preliminary Jurisdictional Determination (PJD) report, which is included in Appendix C, and the results of the PJD are included in Table 2 below:
Table 2: Delineated Aquatic Resources Within the Proposed Project Area
|Identification||Aquatic Resource||Crossing Method||Flow Regime||Width at OHWM (Feet)||Length (Feet)||Area (Acres)|
|Stream 1||Unnamed Tributary to Crutcho Creek||Slip Line||Intermittent (Channelized)||20||50.8||0.02|
|Stream 2||Crutcho Creek||Slip Line||Intermittent with Perennial Pools||14||45.2||0.01|
|Stream 3||Unnamed Tributary to Crutcho Creek||Open Cut||Intermittent (Channelized)||18||43.3||0.02|
|Stream 4||Same Tributary as Stream 3 (2nd Crossing)||Open Cut||18||59.7||0.02|
|Stream 5||Unnamed Tributary to East Elm Creek (Stanley Draper Lake)||Open Cut||Ephemeral||3||43.6||0.003|
|Stream 6||Unnamed Tributary to East Elm Creek (Stanley Draper Lake)||Open Cut||Ephemeral||5||45.3||0.005|
|Stream 7||East Elm Creek (Impounded by Stanley Draper Lake)||Open Cut||Ephemeral||12||171.1||0.05|
|Stream 8||Unnamed Tributary to East Elm Creek (Stanley Draper Lake)||Open Cut||Ephemeral||5||53.3||0.006|
|Stream 9||Unnamed Tributary to East Elm Creek (Stanley Draper Lake)||Open Cut||Ephemeral||10||40.6||0.009|
|Forested Wetland||Forested Wetland in former location of West Branch Hog Creek||Slip Line||Forested Wetland||N/A||N/A||0.1|
3.4.1 No Action Alternative
Construction activities required for repairs to the existing pipeline would be conducted in a manner to restore pre-construction contours upon construction completion and avoid impacts to streams and wetlands to the extent practicable. The streams and wetland feature listed in Table 2 would fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The USACE authorizes the discharge of dredged or fill materials by administering individual or general permits, which include nationwide permits for routine activities. Construction activities associated with repairs should be authorized under Nationwide Permit 12 for Utility Line Activities without requiring pre-construction notification with the USACE. While some temporary impacts to aquatic resources may occur during construction activities associated with pipeline repairs, no permanent adverse impacts to the delineated aquatic resources would occur since disturbed areas would be returned to pre-construction contours after completion of construction. Therefore, the No Action Alternative would have no significant short term, long term, direct, indirect, or cumulative environmental consequences to floodplains or aquatic resources along the pipeline alignment.
3.4.2 Proposed Action
After construction of the Proposed Action, the project area would be returned to pre-construction contours. Therefore, the Proposed Action would result in no permanent impacts to floodplain elevations. Construction of the Proposed Action should be authorized under Nationwide Permit 12 for Utility Line Activities without requirement of pre-construction notification to the USACE. While some temporary impacts to aquatic resources would occur during installation of sections of the proposed pipeline, no permanent adverse impacts to the delineated aquatic resources would occur due to these sections being returned to pre-construction contours after completion of construction. Sections of the proposed project would be constructed by slip-lining the existing pipeline. In these locations, impacts to waters of the U.S. would be avoided.
In areas considered for open-trench construction techniques, the proposed project area would include clearing of all trees within the temporary or permanent easements including those within riparian areas associated with the stream crossings unless specifically noted otherwise. Woody vegetation would be allowed to recolonize the temporary easement after construction, but the permanent easement area would be routinely maintained moving forward as it is currently. Therefore, minimal short term impacts to riparian forested areas would be anticipated. Appropriate best management practices (BMPs) would be employed during construction of the proposed project to protect the aquatic resources associated with the proposed stream crossings. Therefore, minimal short-term impacts to water quality, if any, are expected during construction. Following construction, grades would be restored to pre-construction contours to the extent practicable. Therefore, no long term permanent adverse impacts to streams or wetlands are anticipated.
Implementation of the Proposed Action would result in less than significant impacts to wetlands and other waters of the U.S., riparian areas, and aquatic habitats. Therefore, no significant short term, long term, direct, indirect, or cumulative impacts are anticipated for the proposed action relevant to these aquatic resources.
The proposed project is located primarily within existing utility easement which traverses the Cross Timbers Transition and Northern Cross Timbers ecoregions. The Cross Timbers Transition ecoregion, which occupies the western half of the proposed project area, consists of rough plains that are covered by prairie grasses and eastern red cedar, scattered oaks, and elms. Terrain and vegetation are transitional between the less rugged, grass-covered plains-type ecoregions to the west and the hilly, oak savanna to the east. Since the early 19th century, both the abundance of upland trees and the number of tree species have greatly increased due, in part, to fire suppression. During the same period, natural riparian forests and wetlands have been degraded or lost due to channelization and land use changes. Today, land uses consist of a mixture of rangeland and cropland. However, most of the western half of the proposed project area lies within developed residential neighborhoods where land use is predominantly single-family homes.
The Northern Cross Timbers ecoregion, which represents the eastern half of the proposed pipeline, consists of hills, cuestas, and ridges, which are typically covered by a mosaic of oak savanna, scrubby oak forest, eastern red cedar, and native tall grass prairie. Post oak, blackjack oak, and understory grasses are typically located on porous, course-textured soils derived from sandstone. Tall grass prairie naturally occurs on fine textured soils derived from limestone or shale.
The Northern Cross Timbers ecoregion displays less variety floristically, vegetation is also sparser, and the growing season is shorter than in the Eastern Cross Timbers – a similar ecoregion located to the south and east. Today, livestock farming is the main land use; whereas cropland and rangeland is less widespread. Soils are highly erodible when disturbed and the area has rolling hill-type topography. In reviewing the available data (U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) topographic maps and aerial photography), the vegetation and habitat along the pipeline alignment has been relatively unchanged since 2008. The USGS topographic map (Choctaw and Midwest City, Oklahoma quadrangles) and aerial photographs from 2017, 2008, and 1975 are included in Appendix A as Figures A-2 through A-5 respectively.
The Federal easement which contains the existing pipeline and where the proposed new pipeline would be located is routinely maintained primarily through mowing. The easement is currently mowed two to four times per year. Young woody regrowth exists along the edges of stream crossings where mowing is impeded.
3.5.1 No Action Alternative
Construction activities associated with repairs to the existing pipeline would have localized short term temporary impacts to the vegetation and habitat. Since vegetative cover would be restored upon construction completion and the existing easement is routinely maintained, the No Action Alternative would have no significant short term, long term, direct, indirect, or cumulative environmental consequences to vegetation or habitat along the pipeline alignment.
3.5.2 Proposed Action
The Proposed Action would be constructed mostly within the existing easement paralleling the existing pipeline. The existing easement is predominately vegetated with grass which is routinely mowed. Young woody regrowth occurs along the stream channels where mowing is impeded. The section of the pipeline that is proposed to be rerouted within a new easement would skirt the border of the same field the existing easement crosses. This field is currently under agricultural production for wheat and hay. Therefore, no short term or long term change in land use, vegetation or habitat is anticipated. Implementation of the Proposed Action would result in no direct, indirect, or cumulative impacts to vegetation or habitat.
The Cross Timbers ecoregion is home to diverse flora and fauna. Historically, bison roamed the grasslands, as did prairie dogs, black-footed ferrets, burrowing owls, mountain lions and black bears. Many species have been extirpated from the cross timbers ecoregion, but populations of coyotes, bobcats, foxes, wild turkeys and white-tailed deer remain strong in the ecoregion today. The ecoregion also lies in the central flyway, one of the primary routes that migratory birds and waterfowl use to fly between breeding and wintering grounds.
The proposed project would occur in the Little Watershed and North Canadian River Watershed. The Oklahoma Conservation Commission’s Blue Thumb Water Quality Education Program conducts water quality and habitat studies on streams throughout Oklahoma, including Crutcho Creek located in the North Canadian River Watershed. A habitat assessment conducted by the Blue Thumb program on July 24, 2008, found 12 fish species in the creek—similar to the ecoregion’s reference score of 13 species (Emerson, 2012). Bug collections in Crutcho creek between 2007 and 2008 showed low population diversity in benthic macroinvertebrates, which scored similarly to reference streams in the ecoregion (Emerson, 2012). Sampling of Crutcho Creek showed low dissolved oxygen levels and high levels of nutrients, likely a sign of and a cause of algal blooms (Emerson, 2012). Since the sections of the creeks that are located within the project area are all upper reaches or headwater reaches of the creeks, it is likely that West Branch Hog Creek, East Elm Creek, and their unnamed tributaries have similar habitat conditions to Crutcho Creek. However, the ephemeral tributaries are less likely to support fish habitat, and the headwaters of Crutcho Creek and its unnamed tributaries which are all classified as intermittent would have limited habitat for fish populations. In addition, the pipeline alignment would lie mostly within existing easement area which was previously disturbed during initial construction and repairs of the existing pipeline and is routinely maintained primarily through mowing. Young woody regrowth exists along the edges of stream crossings where mowing is impeded.
3.6.1 No Action Alternative
Construction activities associated with repairs to the existing pipeline may result in minimal short term impacts to fish habitat, if the pipeline failure occurs within or adjacent to a stream crossing. However, easements and stream crossings would be required to be restored to preconstruction lines and grades and best management practices (BMPs) would be utilized to protect disturbed areas from erosion. Disturbed areas would be revegetated immediately upon construction completion to minimize long term erosion potential. Therefore, the No Action Alternative would have no significant short term, long term, direct, indirect, or cumulative environmental consequences to wildlife or fisheries resources.
3.6.2 Proposed Action
During construction of the Proposed Action, minimal short term impacts to fish habitat would result from open cut installation across the stream channels. However, stream crossings within the proposed project area would be restored to pre-construction contours so therefore, implementation of the Proposed Action would not result in long term impacts to existing fish habitat. Further, base flows within flowing streams would be allowed to by-pass during construction. Since construction of the Proposed Action would occur mostly within existing easements and paralleling the existing pipeline, implementation of the Proposed Action would have no significant short term, long term, direct, indirect, or cumulative impacts for wildlife or fish habitat.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation does not list any state-listed threatened and endangered species for Oklahoma County. According to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the following four federally listed threatened or endangered species are potentially present in Oklahoma County. An official species list from the USFWS Oklahoma Ecological Services Field Office is included in Appendix D.
3.7.1 No Action Alternative
Construction activities associated with repairs to the existing pipeline would result in localized short term disturbances to surface area within the vicinity of the pipeline failure. However, BMPs would be utilized to protect disturbed areas from erosion and the disturbed area would be minimized to the extent practicable. Disturbed areas would be revegetated immediately upon construction completion to minimize long term erosion potential. Therefore, the No Action Alternative would have no significant short term, long term, direct, indirect, or cumulative environmental consequences to threatened or endangered species.
3.7.2 Proposed Action
The Proposed Action would primarily be constructed within the existing easement within previously developed area and/or previously disturbed area. While portions of the easement pass through wooded areas associated with rangeland and cropland, these areas do not constitute preferred habitat for the federally listed species. In addition, the existing easement area is routinely maintained. Therefore, the Proposed Action would not result in impacts on federally listed threatened or endangered species (no effect on listed species).
The proposed project would be constructed primarily within an existing USBR easement which does not cross into any recreation areas, such as state parks, city parks, golf courses or sports complexes. Therefore, the Proposed Action does not result in short term, long term, direct, indirect, or cumulative impacts to recreation.
3.8.1 No Action Alternative
The No Action Alternative would have no short term, long term, direct, indirect, or cumulative environmental consequences to recreation.
3.8.2 Proposed Action
The Proposed Action would have no short term, long term, direct, indirect, or cumulative environmental consequences to recreation.
The existing pipeline easement traverses residential neighborhoods, undeveloped land currently in agricultural production, and undeveloped land along the north side of Interstate 240. There are no significant landscape features within the easement area.
3.9.1 No Action Alternative
The No Action Alternative would include periodic construction activities associated with recurring pipeline repairs. However, these construction activities would be anticipated to be of short duration and disturbed areas would be revegetated upon completion. Therefore, the No Action Alternative would have no significant short term, long term, direct, indirect, or cumulative environmental consequences on aesthetics along the pipeline alignment.
3.9.2 Proposed Action
The Proposed Action involves the rehabilitation/replacement of the existing Del City Raw Water Pipeline and would be constructed primarily within the existing easement paralleling the existing pipeline. The project would not result in any new aboveground structures. During construction of the proposed project, short term impacts to local aesthetics would result from the ground disturbance associated with the open cut trenches and pits for the portion to be installed via trenchless techniques. However, the disturbed areas would be regraded to pre-construction contours after construction completion. Therefore, the Proposed Action would not result in any long term, direct, indirect, or cumulative environmental consequences to aesthetics.
The existing easement areas was previously disturbed by the open trench cut installation of the existing pipeline as well as by periodic construction activities associated with pipeline repairs. In addition, portions of the pipeline easement traverse residential developments which also have substantially disturbed the area. An archeological survey for cultural and historical resources was conducted by AR Consultants, Inc. on September 11 and 12, 2018. During this survey, forty-one shovel tests were excavated along the pipeline route and no cultural resources were identified. Based on the results of the archaeological survey, AR Consultants, Inc. recommends that no further archeological investigations are warranted for this project. The Archeological Survey Report is included in Appendix E.
3.10.1 No Action Alternative
The No Action Alternative would include periodic construction activities associated with recurring pipeline repairs. Based on the previous disturbances along the alignment and survey results, the No Action Alternative would have no significant short term, long term, direct, indirect, or cumulative environmental consequences to cultural resources.
3.10.2 Proposed Action
The proposed project would be constructed primarily within the existing Federal easement paralleling the existing pipeline which traverses previously developed areas including developed residential neighborhoods. Therefore, the Proposed Action is not anticipated to have adverse impacts to cultural resources. Based on the previous disturbances along the alignment and survey results, the Proposed Action would have no significant short term, long term, direct, indirect, or cumulative environmental consequences to cultural resources.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the 2017 population of Oklahoma County to be 787,958 people (U.S. Census Bureau, 2017). The population of Oklahoma County is approximately 49 percent male and 51 percent female. According to the 2017 estimates, racial distributions are 70.8 percent White; 15.8 percent Black; 4.3 percent American Indian or Alaskan Native; 3.7 percent Asian; 0.1 percent Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. Estimates from 2017 showed 17.5 percent of the population as Hispanic or Latino. According to 2017 Census Bureau 5 year estimates, the average age in Oklahoma County is 34.3. Table 4 shows the percent and number of people employed in certain industry types in Oklahoma County as estimated for 2012.
Table 4: Employment by Industry Types in Oklahoma County
|Transportation and warehousing||10,035||2.55%|
|Finance and insurance||19,271||4.89%|
|Real estate and rental and leasing||6,497||1.65%|
|Professional, scientific, and technical services||41,156||10.45%|
|Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services||38,138||9.68%|
|Health care and social assistance||113,768||28.88%|
|Arts, entertainment, and recreation||8,842||2.24%|
|Accommodation and food services||39,515||10.03%|
|Other services (except public administration)||19,006||4.83%|
Additionally, 2016 estimates show that Oklahoma County had a labor force of approximately 374,642 with a 4.3 percent unemployment rate (in persons 16 years of age and older). The estimated mean household income was $48,987, and 79 percent of families had incomes in excess of $25,000 while 13 percent had incomes below $15,000.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) EJSCREEN: Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool was used to estimate the potential Environmental Justice Index. Demographics were analyzed in one and fifty square mile study areas around the proposed project location. The one square mile area corresponds to a 0.075 mile radius, and the fifty square mile are corresponds to a 2.5 mile radius. The Environmental Justice Index indicators are shown in relation to state average and percentile, and EPA region average and percentile.
The EJSCREEN Reports for the proposed project is presented in Appendix F. The proposed project has Environmental Justice Indexes ranging from the 31st percentile to the 89th percentile for EPA region 6 in a one square mile area of the proposed project. The one square mile area landed in the 48th percentile for low income population in Oklahoma. This indicates that low-income populations would not endure a disproportionate share of environmental impacts from the Proposed Action.
188.8.131.52 No Action Alternative
The No Action Alternative would have no significant short term, long term, direct, indirect, or cumulative environmental consequences to low-income populations.
184.108.40.206 Proposed Action
The Proposed Action would result in beneficial impacts to socioeconomic and no disproportionate adverse impacts to minority populations or the health and safety of children. The proposed project would result in a beneficial impact to socioeconomics by improving reliable access to the City’s water supply from Lake Thunderbird. In addition, construction of the proposed project would result in a temporary increase in construction-related spending in the local economy. Therefore, the Proposed Action would result in beneficial cumulative impacts to socioeconomics. There would be no cumulative disproportionate adverse impact to minority populations or the health and safety of children.
IV Consultation and coordination
A summary of public participation and coordination will be included in the following narratives following comments on the draft environmental assessment (EA). Coordination will include a public notice and 30-day comment period regarding environmental effects and concerns about the Proposed Action and its alternatives.
USBR will consult and coordinate with identified Tribes as part of the 30-day public review period. This section will be updated to reflect the coordination prior to the Final EA.
Alan Plummer Associates, Inc. Del City Pipeline Improvements Preliminary Engineering Report. March 2018.
Oklahoma Water Resources Board. (2018). Groundwater in Oklahoma http://owrb.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=ce511cb747d64933b4ce82287d771926
Woods, Carl E., Bourlier, Bobby G., Johnston, Allan R., Sample, Gerald A., and Rounsaville, Hayden D. (2003). The Soil Survey of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma. United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, in Cooperation with the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station and the Oklahoma Conservation Commission.
Barker, Steve (2012). 2012 Demographic State of the State Report: Oklahoma State and County Population Projections Through 2075. Oklahoma Department of Commerce. June 27, 2018.
Emerson, Erica & Lee, Vy. 2012. Volunteer Data Interpretation for Crutcho Creek: Interstate 40. Water Quality Division Blue Thumb Program, Oklahoma Conservation Commission. July 10, 2018. https://www.ok.gov/conservation/Agency_Divisions/Water_Quality_Division/WQ_Blue_Thumb/BT_Data_Interpretations/BT_Crutcho_Creek:_Interstate_40.html
Environmental Laboratory. 1987. “Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual” Technical Report Y-87-1. U.S. Army Corps of Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Folley, Patricia. 2011. Guide to Oklahoma Wildflowers. University of Iowa Press. Iowa City, Iowa.
Lichvar, R.W., D.L. Banks, W.N. Kirchner, and N.C. Melvin. (2016). The National Wetland Plant List: 2016 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2016-30: 1-17. Published 28 April 2016.
Code of Federal Regulations (annual edition). Title 40: Protection of Environment. Subpart C: Section 107 Attainment Status Designations. Friday, July 1, 2016.
Correll, Donovan S. and Marshall C. Johnston. (1996). Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas. The University of Texas at Dallas Press. Dallas, Texas.
Diggs, George M., Barney L. Lipscomb, and R.J. O’Kennon. (1999). Shinners and Mahler’s Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas. Botanical Research Institute of Texas. Fort Worth, Texas.
Environmental Protection Agency. (2017). Green Book: Criteria Nonattainment Counties for All Criteria Pollutants. Accessed June 27, 2018. https://www3.epa.gov/airquality/greenbook/ancl.html
NCDC. National Climatic Data Center 1981-2010 Climate Normals for Oklahoma County, Oklahoma. Accessed July 3, 2018. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/datatools/normals.
U.S. Census Bureau: State and County QuickFacts. Last updated July 3, 2018.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region VI, Office of Planning and Analysis. Computer Assisted Environmental Justice Index Methodology. July 1994.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Information for Planning and Conservation website accessed June 27, 2018. https://ecos.fws.gov/ipac/
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Wetlands Inventory website accessed June 27, 2018. https://www.fws.gov/wetlands/Data/Mapper.html
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 27 June 2018). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
USDA Web Soil Survey. 2017. http://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/WebSoilSurvey.aspx. Accessed June 27, 2018.
USDT, FWHA. Construction Noise Handbook: Final Report. 2006. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/noise/construction_noise/handbook/
U.S.G.S. The National Map Hydrography Viewer. June 27, 2018. http://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/WebSoilSurvey.aspx.
U.S.G.S. N.R.C.S. Land Resource Regions and Major Land Resource Areas of the United States, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Basin. 2006. https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/nrcs142p2_050898.pdf. Accessed June 27, 2018.