Tulsa District Regulatory Permits for Public Comment

PURPOSE:  The purpose of these public notices are to inform you of a proposal for work in which you might be interested and to solicit your comments and information to better enable us to make a reasonable decision on factors affecting the public interest.

SECTION 10: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is directed by Congress through Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 USC 403) to regulate all work or structures in or affecting the course, condition, or capacity of navigable waters of the United States.  The intent of this law is to protect the navigable capacity of waters important to interstate commerce.

SECTION 404: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is directed by Congress through Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 USC 1344) to regulate the discharges of dredged and fill material into all waters of the United States.  These waters include lakes, rivers, streams, mudflats, sandflats, sloughs, wet meadows, natural ponds, and wetlands adjacent to other waters.  The intent of the law is to protect these waters from the indiscriminate discharge of material capable of causing pollution and to restore and maintain their chemical, physical, and biological integrity.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa District

Regulatory Office, Chief




Published Aug. 22, 2014
Expiration date: 9/24/2014

     Interested parties are hereby notified that the District Engineer (DE) has received an application for a Department of the Army (DA) permit and water quality certification pursuant to Sections 404 and 401 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899.  The ODEQ hereby incorporates this public notice and procedure as its own public notice and procedure by reference thereto. 

    The application is to protect State Highway (SH) 10 from Illinois River erosion by restoring the right descending bank, adjacent riparian area, and river equilibrium.  

Name of Applicant: Mr. Andrew Wells

                               Estate of Clair Wells

                               1111 S. Muskogee Avenue

                               Tahlequah, OK  74464

Name of Agent:  Ms. Shanon Phillips, Director

                           Water Quality Division

                           Oklahoma Conservation Commission

                           4545 N. Lincoln Blvd., Suite 11A

                           Oklahoma City, OK  73105


Name of Agent:  Ms. Dawn Sullivan, Chief       

                           Environmental Programs Division

                           Oklahoma Department of Transportation             

                           200 NE. 21st Street                        

                           Oklahoma City, OK  73105


Location:  The proposed project is located in Section 23, Township 17 North, Range 22 East, near Tahlequah, Cherokee County, Oklahoma.  The project site can be found on the Tahlequah, Oklahoma 7.5 Minute USGS Quadrangle map at North Latitude 35.93507 and West Longitude 94.92419.  The site is located approximately one-half mile north from the SH 62 and SH 10 junction on the east side of SH 10 and stretches approximately 2,900 feet north.

Purpose:  The basic purpose of the proposed work is to provide bank stabilization and protect the eastern edge of SH 10 from erosion.  A water dependency statement determination is unnecessary since no special aquatic sites are being permanently impacted at the project site.

The overall purpose of the proposed work is restoration of the riverbank and riparian corridor, and restoration of stable river channel and river habitat, for the purpose of protecting SH 10 from continued erosion.  Discharge includes excavation and grading of the riverbed, restoration of the riverbank; and placement of rock vanes within the river for stream enhancement, and erosion control. 

Table of Impact:

Original Proposal


Impact Activity

Type of Impact


Type of Fill Material

Quantity of Material (CY) below OHWM


(AC and/or  LF)

Right Descending Bank

Placement of Fill Material

Bank Stabilization

Gray Riprap Stone (10 to 30 CU FT each) and Bedding

2,000 CY

2,900 LF

Right Descending Bank

Placement of Fill Material

Bank Restoration

River Gravel





9,000 CY


6,000 CY

0.917 Acre

Right Descending Bank

Placement of Fill Material

Rock Vanes (4) River Restoration

Gray Boulders (40 cubic feet each)

4 @ 200 = 800 CY Total

4 @ 95 LF each = 380 LF

Description of Work:  The applicant proposes to stabilize approximately 2,900 linear feet of the Illinois River channel.  Approximately 2,000 cubic yards of stone would be used to restore the eroded bank.  Approximately 9,000 cubic yards of river gravel would be removed from a point bar in the middle of the river by track hoe and placed behind the restored bankline.  Approximately 6,000 cubic yards of soil would be placed about one feet deep over the river gravel.  Four rock arm vanes sized about 95 feet long with approximately 200 cubic yards of 40 cubic foot boulders would be placed along the western bank for a total of 800 cubic yards.  Gray riprap stone and rock from local quarries would be used.  The adjacent floodplain and right descending bank riparian buffer would be enhanced through implementation of this project.  The existing channel would be realigned and reshaped to provide equilibrium for riffle-pool morphology, effective sediment transport, and improved habitats.  The right-bank floodplain bench would be planted with native riparian buffer vegetation to support long-term erosion resistance, streambank stability, habitats, and water quality.  Sod mats would be laid and sycamores would be transplanted along disturbed areas of the banks.  Seed mixes, bare root trees, and live stakes would be planted throughout the riparian and upland areas.  See the Planting Plan in the enclosed plans.

Avoidance and Minimization Information:  The applicant provided the following statement with regard to how avoidance and minimization of impacts to aquatic resources was incorporated into the project plan:

In order to achieve stream enhancement goals relative to geomorphic sustainability and aquatic habitat quality, the proposed impacts are unavoidable. The existing unstable channel must be realigned and reshaped to provide equilibrium for riffle-pool morphology, effective sediment transport, and improved habitats.  The right-bank floodplain bench planted with native riparian buffer vegetation is necessary for long-term erosion resistance, stream bank stability, habitats, and water quality.  Impacts are minimized by working within the existing stream corridor and maintaining the existing left-bank riparian forest buffer intact.


Mitigation:  The applicant believes the project is self-mitigating and offers no mitigation beyond the restoration and planting proposed in the plans.

This mitigation plan is the applicant’s proposal.  The Corps has made no determination at this time with regard to the adequacy of the proposed mitigation relative to the federal mitigation rules and guidance, including Tulsa District’s Mitigation and Monitoring Guidelines.  The Corps is accepting comments on the need for and nature of the proposed mitigation in addition to comments on the applicant’s primary proposal.  The Corps bears the final decision on the need for and extent of mitigation required if the project proposed herein is authorized.  

Other:  The applicant has received a CHEROKEE COUNTY FLOODPLAIN DEVELOPMENT PERMIT dated July 9, 2014. 

Project Setting:  The project location lies in the Ozark Highlands Ecoregion which is largely underlain by flat-lying, cherty limestone.  In the Illinois River watershed underground drainage, karst features, springs, and perennial streams are common.  Upland natural vegetation is oak–hickory and oak–hickory–pine forests and woodlands.  Livestock and poultry farming, woodland grazing, logging, recreation, and quarrying are the main land uses. 

Existing Condition:  The Illinois River is a State of Oklahoma Scenic River.  Canoeing and kayaking are common during the summer recreation season.  At the project location aggraded gravel from upstream hillslope erosion, common in the watershed, has created a wide shallow pool with a narrow thalwag on the right descending bank which has negatively impacted river habitat and increased bank erosion.