• Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Rural Development

Fort Fairfield Utilities District: Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment

Agency: Rural Utilities Service, USDA

Action: Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment

Summary: Notice is hereby given that the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), as required by the National Environmental Policy Act, is issuing an environmental assessment (EA) in connection with possible impacts related to a project proposed by Fort Fairfield Utilities District (FFUD), of Fort Fairfield, Maine. The proposal is for construction of a new Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) and upgrades of Riverside Pump Station and Puddledock Pump Station. FFUD has submitted an application to RUS for funding of the proposal.

For Further Information Contact: Darrin Dyer, Area Director, RUS, 1423 Broadway Suite 3, Bangor, ME 04401-2468, (207) 573-5440, Darrin.dyer@usda.gov.

Supplementary Information: FFUD proposes to construct a new WWTF located across the Aroostook River from the existing WWTF on N. Caribou Road in Fort Fairfield, ME. Riverside Pump Station, located on Aroostook Valley Trail behind Boondocks Grille and Puddledock Pump Station, located at the intersection of Fort Hill Street and Main Street are also proposed to undergo upgrades including new pumps and grinders, new electrical and controls, new HVAC, new structures and wet wells, and ancillary equipment required to convey wastewater from the collection system to the WWTF.

Wright-Pierce, an environmental consultant, prepared an environmental assessment for RUS that describes the project, assesses the proposed project's environmental impacts, and summarizes as applicable any mitigation measures used to minimize environmental effects. FFUD intends to seek financial assistance from USDA, RUS for construction of the WWTF Replacement and Pump Stations Upgrade. If implemented, a portion of the upgrade will take place within the 100-year floodplain. The 100-year floodplain includes areas of land that have a 1% probability of flood occurrence in a given year. The portion of the project within the 100-year floodplain includes sections of the influent and effluent pipes to the WWTF, as well as the Puddledock Pump Station. The proposed project will impact approximately 0.16 acres of floodplain and includes the WWTF influent and effluent pipes and Puddledock Pump Station wet well and valve pit. In accordance with Executive Order 11988, Floodplain Management and USDA Departmental Regulation 9500-3, Land Use Policy, the purpose of this notice is to inform the public of this proposed conversion or effect and request comments concerning the proposal, alternative sites or actions that would avoid these impacts, and methods that could be used to minimize these impacts. RUS has conducted an independent evaluation of the environmental assessment and believes that it accurately assesses the impacts of the proposed project. No significant impacts are expected as a result of the construction of the project.

The environmental documentation regarding this proposal is available for review at the Fort Fairfield Utilities District (100 High Street, Fort Fairfield, ME). Other agencies involved in this proposal are: Clean Water State Revolving Fund, Community Development Block Grant Public Infrastructure, Northern Border Regional Commission, United States Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, Maine DEP Infrastructure Planning and Construction, and Fort Fairfield Utilities District.

Questions and comments should be sent to RUS at the address provided. RUS will accept questions and comments on the environmental assessment for 14 days from the date of publication of this notice.

Any final action by RUS related to the proposed project will be subject to, and contingent upon, compliance with all relevant Federal environmental laws and regulations and completion of environmental review procedures as prescribed by 7 CFR Part 1970, Environmental Policies and Procedures.

A general location map of the proposal is shown below.

Dated: September 12, 13, 14, 2019
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PostedSeptember 12, 2019

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