Notice of Explanation of Project Located in a Floodplain/Wetland-A02ME8S

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 A02ME8S: Installation of fiber conduit via directional boring beneath wetlands crossing Maul Ridge Road in Bedford, Lawrence County, Indiana. The boring and conduit route will travel beneath the wetland, which travels through culverts beneath the roadway in this area. The proposed length of boring beneath the wetland will total approximately 3,050 feet. The improvements must be located in the wetland because it was determined that directional boring beneath the wetland would result in the least amount of disturbance to these resources. Installation of an aerial route in these locations was considered; however, it was determined that an aerial route would require extensive tree trimming and clearing to install, resulting in greater impacts to the area. 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, and restoration of surface features will avoid impacts to the wetland. 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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