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Public Notices

STATEMENT OF FINDINGS 10/29/2009

TO ALL INTERESTED AGENCIES AND PUBLIC GROUPS:

As provided for by the Permanent Rules of the Texas Water Development Board (Board) 31 Texas Administrative Code §371.35 for projects to be funded through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Program and consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S. Code §4321, et seq., the Board’s Executive Administrator issues this Statement of Findings (SOF) for the following project:

City of Mount Vernon, Franklin County, Texas
DWSRF ARRA Project 62235
Total Estimated Project Cost: $2,600,000
DWSRF ARRA Funding: $2,600,000

The City of Mount Vernon (City) is proposing to use funding from a $2,600,000 DWSRF American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant for water system improvements.  The City proposes to replace approximately 50,000 feet of 4- to 12-inch water line.  The proposed improvements will replace undersized lines as well as aging lines that currently require significant maintenance to remain in service.  In addition the proposed project will update the high service pump station at the City’s water treatment plant.  This project was originally proposed for funding through the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA-RD). USDA-RD issued a Categorical Exclusion (CE) for the  proposed project on October 19, 2006.

To fulfill DWSRF program requirements for environmental review, the Board adopts the CE issued by USDA-RD on October 19, 2006 by issuing this Statement of Findings (SOF).  There have been no significant changes in the project since the CE was issued. Issuance of the SOF specifically satisfies the NEPA compliance requirements for project elements funded through the DWSRF ARRA program.

Statement of Findings
City of Mount Vernon
DWSRF-ARRA Project Number 62235
October 21, 2009

Therefore, based upon a detailed review of the proposed DWSRF ARRA project and the 2006 USDA-RD CE and associated environmental report, the proposed water system improvement project is considered to be environmentally sound with the following conditions:

Per the USDA-RD CE:
In order to avoid impacts to the Texas horned lizard (THL) (Phrynosoma cornutum), a state-listed threatened species, the following conditions shall apply:
•  All construction personnel will be instructed to avoid killing, injuring, or otherwise harming or disturbing the THL;
•  Trenches that remain open for more than two daylight hours will be inspected for the presence of the THL prior to backfilling;
•  Any THL discovered in an open trench shall be removed and relocated safely away from the construction area.  State listed species may only be handled by persons with a scientific collection permit obtained through Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD);
•  Any THL relocations shall be reported to Board environmental review staff and the TPWD Wildlife Division immediately;
Standard emergency condition for endangered species; and, Standard emergency condition for cultural resources.

Comments regarding this determination may be submitted to the Director, Project Engineering and Review Division, Texas Water Development Board, Austin, Texas 78711.
(City of MV 13-1tc 09)