Chicago District Header Image


Home > Missions > Regulatory > Public Notices

Public Notices by Year

Bookmark and Share Email Print


Posted: 10/25/2017

Expiration date: 12/1/2017






U.S. Army

Corps of Engineers

Chicago District



Public Notice/Application Number: LRC-2014-927


Comment Period BEGINS:  October 26, 2017

Comment Period Expires:  December 1, 2017



U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

                                             Illinois Environmental Protection Agency



Park District of Highland Park

636 Ridge Road

Highland Park, Illinois 60035


Proposed Action

Proposal for ten years of maintenance dredging in Lake Michigan at the Park Avenue Boat Ramp and adjacent in-lake disposal of up to 1,800 yd3 of dredged material per year (see attached drawings).  A detailed description of this proposal is provided on page 2 of this notice.


Location of Proposed Action 

Park Avenue Boat Ramp on Lake Michigan in Central Park at 31 Park Avenue in the Lake Michigan Watershed of the City of Highland Park, Lake County, Illinois (NW Quarter of Sec. 24, Twp.43N, Rng. 12E; 42.19019, -87.78688).


Interested parties are hereby notified that an application has been received for a Department of the Army permit for the activity described herein and as shown on the attached drawings. You are invited to provide your comments by December 1, 2017 (comment period extended to accommodate the Thanksgiving holiday) on the proposed work, which will become part of the record and will be considered in the decision.  A permit will be issued or denied under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403) and Section 404 Action of the Clean Water Act of 1972(33 U.S.C. 1344).


Written comments shall be mailed to:


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Chicago District, Regulatory Branch

Attn: LRC-2014-927, Michael Murphy

231 South LaSalle Street, Suite 1500

Chicago, Illinois  60604-1437


Electronic comments may be sent to:


It should be noted that ALL comments received by this office (via hard copy or electronic) will only be accepted with the full name and address, and email address, if available, of the individual commenting, and must be received by the close of the public notice period.



Project Description


Applicant proposes to annually dredge up to 1,800 yd3 of sand from the existing Park Avenue boat ramp and surrounding area of Lake Michigan to facilitate boating operations over the next ten (10) years (2018 to 2027).  The material to be dredged will be disposed of in Lake Michigan approximately 350 feet south of the dredge location (see attached drawings).


The project will maintain a six foot working depth in the boat ramp and its approaches.  The applicant considers this depth to be the minimum necessary to continue the current level of operations.  The proposed dredging will remove the minimum amount of material necessary to facilitate operations, with the total amount not to exceed 1,800 yd3 per year.  The material to be dredged is sand and is similar in composition to the material currently present in the disposal site.  No material will be placed in water less than four feet deep.  Applicant will comply with all testing and disposal standards required by federal, state or local regulations.  Past testing of material in the area has found only clean sand which has been approved for in-lake disposal.


This action is a follow-up proposal to the one-time Letter of Permission authorization that was issued by the Chicago District to facilitate site operations for the 2017 boating season.  The earlier authorization did not authorize any in-lake disposal and was issued only for 2017.


This application is being reviewed under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act of 1972.  Water quality certification under Sec. 401 of the Clean Water Act will be required since the project.


Please see the attachments for more information.




Avoidance & Minimization

The applicant has stated that the proposed project is the minimum size necessary to facilitate annual operations at the boat ramp. 



The applicant has stated that there will be no adverse impacts associated with the dredging and disposal of this material and has not proposed compensatory mitigation for unavoidable impacts to Waters of the United States.


The Corps has not verified the adequacy of this mitigation proposal at this time and will make the final determination on whether the proposed mitigation is appropriate and practicable in accordance with 33 CFR Part 332.


Regulatory Authority
This proposed action will be reviewed according to the provisions of Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act of 1972.



This application will be reviewed according to the provisions of Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act of 1972 due to work in and placement of fill into Lake Michigan, a traditionally navigable water of the United States.


Evaluation Factors

The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest.  That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources.  The benefit which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. 


All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered including the cumulative effects thereof;  among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historic properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.  In addition, if the proposed activity involves the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, the evaluation of the impact on the public interest will include application of Section 404(b)(1) guidelines (40 CFR 230) promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


The Corps of Engineers is also soliciting comments from the public, Federal, state and local agencies, Indian tribes, and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the potential impacts of the proposed activity.  Once this office completes a review of the comments received, it will be determined whether to issue, modify, condition, or deny a permit for this proposal.


To prepare this decision, comments are taken into consideration to assess impacts on the public interest factors listed above, as well as endangered species, historic properties, water quality, and general environmental effects.  Comments will be used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.  A determination concerning the need for a public hearing will also be based on the comments received.



Preliminary Evaluation of Selected Factors


Water Quality:

The applicant has applied to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) for water quality certification, or waiver thereof, for the proposed activity in accordance with Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.  Certification or waiver indicates that the IEPA believes the activity will not violate applicable water quality standards.  The review by the IEPA is conducted in accordance with the Illinois water quality standards under 35 Illinois Administrative Code Subtitle C by providing an antidegradation assessment, which includes an evaluation of alternatives to any proposed increase in pollutant loading that may result from this activity.


The "Fact Sheet" containing the antidegradation assessment for this proposed project may be found on the IEPA's web site, at  In the event that the IEPA is unable to publish the "Fact Sheet" corresponding to the timeframe of this Joint Public Notice, a separate public notice and "Fact Sheet" will be published by the IEPA at the web site identified above.  You may also obtain a copy of the "Fact Sheet" by contacting the IEPA at the address or telephone number shown below.


Written comments concerning possible impacts to water quality should be addressed to the following agency, along with a copy of the comments provided to the Corps of Engineers:


Illinois Environmental Protection Agency

Bureau of Water

Watershed Management Section

1021 N. Grand Avenue East

P.O. Box 19276

Springfield, Illinois  62794-9276


If you have any questions please contact the IEPA at (217) 782-3362.



Department of Natural Resources:

The applicant has applied to the Illinois Department of Natural, Office of Water Resources (IDNR-OWR) for a permit pursuant to the State of Illinois Rivers, Lake and Streams Act (615 ILCS 5).  Comments concerning the IDNR-OWR permit should be addressed to the following agency, along with a copy of the comments provided to the Corps of Engineers:


Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Office of Water Resources

Michael A. Bilandic Building

160 N. LaSalle Street, Suite S-700

Chicago, IL 60601


If you have any questions please contact the IDNR at (312) 793-5947.



Endangered and Threatened Species:

The Corps of Engineers has determined that the proposed activity would not affect any federally-listed endangered or threatened species or critical habitat for any endangered or threatened species, pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).  Therefore, consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act does not appear to be warranted at this time.



Historic Properties/Cultural Resources:

Preliminary review indicates that the proposed activity is not likely to adversely affect any historic property which is listed, or eligible for listing, on the National Register of Historic Places.



Environmental Impact Statement  

A preliminary determination has been made that an environmental impact statement is not required for the proposed work.



Public Hearing

Any person may request in writing, within the comment period specified in this notice, that a public hearing be held to consider this application.  Requests for public hearing shall state with particularity the reasons for holding a public hearing.  A request for a hearing may be denied if substantive reasons for holding a hearing are not provided or if there is otherwise no valid interest to be served.


It should be noted that materials submitted as part of the permit application become part of the public record and are thus available to the general public under the procedures of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  Individuals may submit a written request to obtain materials under FOIA or make an appointment to view the project file at the Chicago District Corps of Engineers Office of Counsel.


Interested parties wishing to comment on the proposed activity must do so in writing no later than December 1, 2017.  It is presumed that all parties receiving this notice will wish to respond to this public notice;  therefore, a lack of response will be interpreted as meaning that there is no objection to the project as described.


This public notice is not a paid advertisement and is for public information only.  Issuance of this notice does not imply Corps of Engineers endorsement of the project as described.


If you have any questions, please contact Michael Murphy of my staff by telephone at (312) 846-5538, or email at  It should be noted that ALL comments received by this office (via hard copy or electronic) will only be accepted with the full name and address of the individual commenting.  You can also visit our website at for more information on our program.








Kathleen G. Chernich

Chief, East Section

Regulatory Branch



Mailing List

To receive Regulatory Public Notice emails, please specify for Illinois or Indiana, and Contact:

Commenting on Public Notices

To comment on a public notice, please make sure that you send it directly to the project manager whose contact information is listed within the notice (either via paper mail or electornic mail).  You must also include your full name and address, as well as the project number.  Please include your email address if you have one.  Thank you.