Announcing Public Hearing for I-69:

I-69 Public Hearings
Friday, July 13th, 2012
4 PM, 5 PM and 6 PM

Bloomington City Hall
401 N. Morton St.
Bloomington, IN 47404

I-69 Public Hearings on Stream Crossings (These are 3 consecutive hearing on the same day, in the same room,but with different times.)

The 4 p.m. hearing (Application #: FW-26746) will address the west bank of Indian Creek in Greene County (Application #: FW-26746), downstream of the Carter Road crossing. The permit seeks to regrade the stream channel and stabilize it with rip-rap.

At the 5 p.m. hearing will be on Indian Creek in Monroe County (Application #: FW-26747), northwest of the Graves and Breeden roads intersection. The permit seeks to regrade the stream channel, and temporary stream crossings will be constructed during the project.

At 6 p.m., the topic is Beech Creek in Greene County (Application #: FW-26748) where it crosses Ind. 43. The permit seeks to regrade the stream and stabilize it with rip-rap and excavate four drainage swale channels in the floodplain.

We understand that this is an inconvenient time for people to attend a hearing. Please come and stand with us to protect our communities.

Talking points:

The permits should be denied! Please be sure to state this even if your comments make it obvious. And when you sign in be sure to check the box that states you are opposed. If you don’t check the box they consider you as having no opinion.

A. The permit application is incomplete.

Page S-72 of the I-69 Section 4 FEIS indicates that during construction: “Procedures to reduce the impacts to karst will be implemented in accordance with INDOT’s Standard Specifications and the 1993 Karst MOU between INDOT, IDNR, IDEM and USFWS.”
1. The permit application materials should include special drainage structures to contain highway runoff or spills from draining into karst features that are present at the site. These karst protection features are required by the Interagency Karst MOU and were specified in the FEIS and Karst Report for Section 4 of I-69.

2. INDOT’s FEIS indicates that specific locations and structures for Best Management Practices will be determined during final design. (page S-57-58). These features should be included as part of the design for all I-69 bridges .

3. The Karst MOU states that hazardous material traps will be constructed at storm water outfalls and other locations that will protect karst features from spill contamination. These features must be demonstrated in the permit application materials.

4. Full information on the location and design of the Best Management Practices to be utilized to protect karst, must be included in the permit application.

5. Specific procedures to be applied for bridge crossings should be included in the design plans and be made part of the permit conditions. No permit should be approved without prior review of the karst protection design features that will be implemented. It is not acceptable for the applicant to simply state that it will follow the MOU.

6. These stream crossings are in extremely sensitive karst areas. It is not clear that the impacts of these stream crossings are understood. Who will be held responsible if these streams are seriously contaminated or if the karst in this area is negatively impacted?

7. INDOT has warned the public that there will be “Heavy Blasting” in this areas in order to level the ridges and fill in the hollows. For example, the ridge that Harmony Rd. runs on will have to be blasted down 80 feet for the width of the highway. The consequences of this blasting will be severe damage to wildlife and human structures. Blasting impacts should be addressed in the permit application.

B. Mitigation Plans are incomplete or nonexistent.

1. Indian Creek is one of the cleanest streams in Indiana. This work will unavoidably contaminate this stream and affect the wildlife within it.

2. I-69 will adversely affect fish and wildlife resources. There is a high concentration of karst features affected by the bridges over the creeks, which provide habitat for karst-dependent species. Construction of the bridges over or adjacent to these karst resources will destroy or disturb these habitats. Moreover, without specific Best Management Practices or other measures to keep highway runoff or spills from entering the karst system, modeling indicates that these pollutants will exceed Indiana’s water quality standards, with harm to fish and wildlife as a result(Table 3 and Table 4, Survey of Karst Features, Section 4 FEIS) . In spite of these adverse impacts, there is no mitigation for impacts to karst habitats provided for in any of the permit materials or mitigation plans.

3. Karst dependent species affected by the project include the Indiana bat, and eleven other species of cave fauna listed as endangered, threatened, or on IDNR’s watch list.

4. If the impacts to karst resources will not be, or can not be, sufficiently mitigated, then by definition (312 IAC 10-2-39) the project will have “unreasonable detrimental effects upon fish, wildlife, or botanical resources”.

C. Cumulative impacts of project

1. The Section 4 FEIS reports that the cumulative impacts to karst resources from construction of the I-69 roadway, bridges, and stream channel modifications that comprise the entire Section 4 project, will be substantial and adverse. Moreover, karst features destroyed, or karst functions lost, cannot be replaced. Up to 108 karst features in the Section 4 right-of-way will be destroyed or disturbed, a total of 448 karst features within the Section 4 corridor may be affected, and another 1,017 features are hydrologically connected to those features in the corridor.

The environmental and social damage from I-69 in Section 4 of I-69 would be widespread, destructive and completely unnecessary. And there is no way the damage can be “mitigated”. The permits should be denied.

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