[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 231 (Friday, November 30, 2012)]
[Pages 71404-71405]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-28887]



Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers

Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the 
Proposed Flood Risk Management Study for the Blanchard River Watershed 
Including Communities of Findlay and Ottawa, OH

AGENCY: Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

ACTION: Notice of Intent.


SUMMARY: Pursuant to Section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 as implemented by the Council on 
Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508) and Public 
Law 102-484 Section 2834, as amended by Public Law 104-106 Section 
2867, the Department of the Army hereby gives notice of intent to 
prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the subject Flood 
Risk Management Study. The Buffalo District of the U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers (USACE) will be the lead agency in preparing the EIS.
    The EIS will consider Federal actions associated with the proposed 
Flood Risk Management Study in the Blanchard River Watershed including 
the communities of the City of Findlay in Hancock County and the 
Village of Ottawa in Putnam County, OH. More specifically, this 
document will discuss measures to improve flood risk management, 
navigation, water quality, recreation, and fish and wildlife habitat in 
a comprehensive manner in the Blanchard River Watershed, Ohio. The 
overall goal of the study is to reduce flood risk by saving lives and 
minimizing property damage in the event of floods in Findlay and 
Ottawa, Ohio. The plan will consider a range of structural and 
nonstructural measures that may be used for flood risk management in 
the Blanchard River Watershed.

ADDRESSES: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District, CELRB-PM-PB, 
1776 Niagara Street, Buffalo, NY 14207-3199.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Project Team, telephone (419) 726-
9121, email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Blanchard River Watershed is located in 
northwestern Ohio, with its headwaters originating in central Hardin 
County. The 771-square mile Blanchard River Watershed drains into the 
Auglaize River in Putnam County, Ohio. The Blanchard River Watershed is 
characterized by alluvial flatlands prone to flooding, with significant 
flood damages occurring frequently at Findlay and Ottawa over the last 
ten years. The Blanchard River has reached or exceeded major flood 
stage 23 times since 1913. Nine of these flood events have occurred 
since 1990. For events between 1990 and 2011, five are among the top 
ten stages ever recorded; three have peaked at more than three feet 
over major flood stage; and one (an event occurring in August 2007) 
reached a peak that was only 0.04 feet less than the maximum peak stage 
ever recorded in 1913. Damages during the August 2007 event alone were 
estimated by the Northwest Ohio Flood Mitigation Partnership to be 
roughly $60 million in the Findlay area and $20 million in the Ottawa 
area. The Corps of Engineers

[[Page 71405]]

plans to address flooding issues in Findlay and Ottawa by evaluating a 
series of flood risk management measures within the vicinity of these 
two affected areas.
    Proposed Action: In accordance with 40 CFR parts 1500-1508 and 
Engineer Regulation 200-2-2, an EIS is being prepared for the Federal 
Flood Risk Management Study within the Blanchard River watershed 
including the communities of Findlay and Ottawa to ensure full and fair 
consideration of significant environmental impacts. This EIS will 
inform decision-makers and the public of reasonable alternatives to 
reduce the risk of loss of life and property damage from flooding in 
these areas and that would also avoid or minimize adverse impacts and/
or enhance the quality of the human environment. The proposed EIS will 
focus on the implementation of flood risk management measures 
associated with the Blanchard River in and within the vicinity of 
Findlay and Ottawa. The EIS will be consistent with sound engineering 
practices and will be drafted concurrently with actions to achieve 
compliance with other applicable Federal environmental compliance 
requirements, including those established by Section 404 of the Clean 
Water Act. In addition, the EIS will be consistent with State and local 
    Reasonable Alternatives: It is Corps of Engineers planning policy 
to consider practicable and relevant alternative management measures, 
including a no action alternative. While the preferred alternative has 
not yet been established, the alternative plans considered in the EIS 
will consist of an array of structural and nonstructural measures for 
both Findlay and Ottawa. Structural measures may include, but are not 
limited to, channel realignment/diversion, levees and floodwall 
creation, culvert modification, and the creation of flood storage 
areas, including wetlands, bermed containment areas, and water 
detention areas/reservoirs. Nonstructural measures may include, but not 
be limited to, elevating existing buildings, relocation or acquisition 
of flood-prone structures, wet and dry floodproofing, as well as the 
development and implementation of a flood warning system or flood 
emergency preparedness plan.
    Scoping Process: The Corps of Engineers invites affected Federal, 
State and local agencies, interested Indian Nations, and other 
concerned organizations and individuals to participate in development 
of the EIS. An initial Scoping Document was distributed in June 2008 
and the Corps of Engineers will be conducting a second round of 
scoping, and four public scoping meetings in December, 2012, which 
include: (1) 6:30 p.m. on December 10, 2012 at the Ottawa-Glandorf High 
School Auditorium, 630 Glendale Ave. Ottawa, OH; (2) 9:00 a.m. on 
December 11, 2012 at the Putnam County Educational Service Center, 124 
Putnam Parkway, Ottawa, OH; (3) 7:00 a.m. on December 11, 2012 at the 
Findlay High School Auditorium, 1200 Broad Avenue, Findlay, OH; and, 
(4) 9:00 a.m. December 12, 2012 at the Hancock County Agricultural 
Service Center, 7868 County Road 140, Findlay, OH. All written comments 
received by the Corps of Engineers during the scoping period and 
throughout the EIS process will be considered in the preparation of the 
    The Draft EIS is tentatively scheduled to be available for public 
review in December 2013. The Final EIS is tentatively scheduled to be 
available for public review in September 2014.

    Dated: November 20, 2012.
Owen J. Beaudoin,
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, District Commander.
[FR Doc. 2012-28887 Filed 11-29-12; 8:45 am]