The project will replace the existing lift station, inspect all of the sanitary sewer collection lines, and install riprap on the dikes of the wastewater treatment ponds.  The lift station needs to be replaced due to condition and operating inefficiency.  The town selected to replace the lift station with a dry pit lift station.  The town is also experiencing inflow and infiltration problems and needs to televise the collection system to determine the source of inflow and infiltration. The wastewater treatment ponds are in need of riprap due to significant erosion.
The project will occur in the Section 15, T105N, R61W.  The total estimated project cost is $776,250.
Listed below are the reasons for granting a categorical exclusion:
1. The actions are solely directed toward minor rehabilitation of existing facilities, functional replacement of equipment, or towards the construction of a new ancillary facility adjacent or appurtenant to existing facilities;
2. The actions do not affect the degree of treatment or capacity of the existing facility;
3. No comments requiring mitigative action were received from the South Dakota Historical Society, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, United States Department of Interior, United States Army Corps of Engineers, Natural Resource Conservation Service, or through the public participation process.
The city received a $775,000 Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan with $275,000 in principal forgiveness for the sanitary project.  The loan has a 3.25 percent interest rate and 30-year term and will be repaid with wastewater surcharge revenues. Letcher currently charges a $25.10 per user monthly flat rate for wastewater.  Monthly operation and maintenance costs are approximately $13.00 per user.  The town will need a $23.00 per user surcharge to pay the debt coverage.  It is expected that a wastewater fee of $36.00 per month per user will be sufficient to cover operation and maintenance and the surcharge.
The proposed action did not result in any serious local objections at the public hearings nor does it meet any of the criteria for not granting a categorical exclusion as specified in Section 6.505(c) (i) through (iii) of 40 CFR Part 6, Subpart E.
The projects will have no adverse direct effects on plant life or wildlife.  No other environmentally sensitive issues have been identified in the planning of this project.  Minor noise and air pollution problems will occur during construction, but these will be only temporary in nature.  The project area will not affect any archaeological or historic resources.  In the event of an archaeological or historic resource being unearthed during construction, the immediate stoppage of work would be required by the contract specifications.
The review process did not indicate that significant environmental impacts would result from the proposed projects.  Consequently, a preliminary decision not to prepare an EIS has been made.  This action is taken, on the basis, of a careful review of the engineering report, environmental information documents, correspondence with responsible governmental agencies, and other supporting data, which are on file at the Division of Financial and Technical Assistance, Water Resources Assistance Program, DENR, Pierre, South Dakota, and are available for public scrutiny at City Hall in Letcher, South Dakota.
Comments supporting or disagreeing with this decision may be submitted for consideration by DENR after publication of the Categorical Exclusion Determination.  After evaluating the comments received, DENR will make a final decision.
James Feeney

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