Notice for Explanation of Project Located in Floodplain/Wetland – Project A02RNEG

Jun 25, 2024

Indiana Bell Telephone Co., Inc. d/b/a AT&T Indiana is proposing to expend federal funds in an area that is a US Fish and Wildlife Service National Wetlands Inventory mapped wetland and a FEMA mapped floodplain. The subject funds are Next Level Connections (NLC) Grant funds administered by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

AT&T Indiana is proposing to undertake the following activities for Project A02RNEG:
Installation of fiber conduit via directional boring beneath wetlands and floodplains crossing S Morgantown Road, E Gayle Drive, S Gayle Drive, and E Poynter Drive in Morgantown, Morgan County, Indiana. The boring and conduit route will travel beneath the wetland and floodplain, which travels through culverts beneath the roadway in this area. The proposed length of boring beneath the wetland and floodplain will total approximately 820 feet.

The improvements must be located in the floodplain and wetland because it was determined that directional boring beneath the floodplain and wetland would result in the least amount of disturbance to these resources. Installation of an aerial route in these locations was considered; however, the installation of new utility poles and potential tree trimming and clearing efforts would have been more impactful than the proposed boring activities. An alternative route was considered but not undertaken as the coverage objectives of the project would require wetland crossings even if the route was altered. No action was considered; however, this would have defeated the objective of the project to expand broadband connectivity to this area.

In order to mitigate potential impacts, no bore pits will be excavated within 50′ of the wetlands, soils will either be restored in the bore pit areas or disposed of off-site as appropriate. Best management practice (e.g. silt fencing, wattles, erosion controls, etc.) shall be employed during construction to ensure stormwater runoff does not carry construction-related debris into the wetland features. As described above, all boring and conduit installation will occur beneath the wetland features to avoid impacts to the wetland, and restoration of surface features will avoid impacts to the floodplain.

By publication of this notice, AT&T Indiana is inviting any final written comments prior to undertaking the proposed action. All comments should be addressed to AT&T Indiana, Attn.: Mr. Jeff Oldenburg, 435 South 9th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53214 or email jeff.oldenburg@att.com, not later than July 27, 2024.

Name of the Applicant’s CEO: Bill Soards
Title of Certifying Officer: President
Name of Applicant: Indiana Bell Telephone Co., Inc. d/b/a AT&T Indiana

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