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NAO-08-2069

Posted: 5/23/2018

Expiration date: 6/22/2018


 May 23, 2018
CENAO-WR-R
NAO-08-2069 

PUBLIC NOTICE
The District Commander has received a permit application for work described below: 

APPLICANT
Commanding Officer
Joint Base Langley-Eustis
Attn: Benjamin Blackmore, Antiterrorism Program Manager
125 Mabry Avenue
Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia 23665 

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK:  The project is located in within the James River, Skiffes Creek, the Warwick River, and their tributaries surrounding Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Newport News, Virginia.

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: JBLE-Eustis contains a military port berthing numerous Army Vessels and conducts exercises to include small craft testing and live fire training activities. The proposed amendment is necessary to protect the public from hazards associated with training and mission operations, and to protect government assets, missions, and the base population in general. The applicant proposes to modify the existing restricted area to establish new restricted areas and danger zones in the Navigation Regulations, (33 C.F.R. §334.280), as follows:

334.280 James River, Skiffes Creek and Warwick River surrounding Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia; restricted areas and danger zones.

(a) The areas.  The datum for the coordinates for the restricted areas and danger zones described in this section is NAD-83.

(1)  Army Training and Small Craft Testing Area (restricted area). Beginning on the shore at latitude 37°09′54″ N, longitude 76°36′25″ W; thence westerly to latitude 37°09′53″ N, longitude 76°36′59″ W; thence westerly to latitude 37°09′50″ N, longitude 76°37′45″ W; thence southerly to latitude 37°09′00″ N, longitude 76°38′05″ W; thence southerly to latitude 37°08′22″ N, longitude 76°37′55″ W; thence due east to the shore at latitude 37°08′22″ N, longitude 76°37′20″ W; thence northerly following the shoreline to the point of beginning.

(2) 3rd Port Facility (restricted area). An area surrounding the 3rd Port facility, Fort Eustis, beginning at a point on the shore line at latitude 37°09′54″ N, longitude 76°36′25″ W; thence northerly, following the shoreline to latitude 37°10'29" N, longitude 76°36'06" W; thence westerly to latitude 37°10'33" N, longitude 76°36'20" W; thence following the shoreline to latitude 37°10'13 " N, longitude 76°36'42" W; thence southerly to latitude 37°09'53" N, longitude 76°36'59" W; thence to the point of beginning.

(3) Warwick River and any tributaries, creeks, estuaries, tidal areas, to include Butlers Gut and Jail Creek (restricted area). All navigable waters of the United States as defined in 33 CFR part 329 within the boundaries of Fort Eustis, westerly of a line connecting the following coordinates: Commencing from the shoreline at latitude 37º09’47” N, longitude 76º33’52” W; thence following the meanders of the installation boundary along the westerly mean low waterline of Warwick River, thence to a point on the installation boundary at latitude 37º04’35” N, longitude 76º33’19” W.

(4) James River and any tributaries, creeks, estuaries, tidal areas, to include Nells Creek, Locust Neck Creek, Dudleys Creek, Morrisons Creek, Morleys Gut, Blows Creek, and Milstead Creek (restricted area). Navigable waters of the United States as defined at 33 CFR part 329 within the boundaries of Fort Eustis, north/north-easterly of a line connecting the following coordinates: Commencing from the shoreline at latitude 37º04’35” N, longitude 76º33’19” W; thence following the meanders of the installation boundary along the northeasterly mean low waterline of the James River, thence to a point on the installation boundary at latitude 37º10’03” N, longitude 76º36’26” W at a point at the mouth of Skiffes Creek.

(5) Skiffes Creek and any tributaries, creeks, estuaries, tidal areas, to include Baileys Creek (restricted area). All navigable waters of the United States as defined at 33 CFR part 329 within the boundaries of Fort Eustis, easterly of a line connecting the following coordinates: Commencing from a point on the installation boundary at latitude 37º10’03” N, longitude 76º36’26” W; thence following the meanders of the installation boundary along the northeasterly mean low waterline of Skiffes Creek, thence to a point at latitude 37º10’30” N, longitude 76º36’07” W within Skiffes Creek at the centerline of an unnamed tributary off Skiffes Creek; thence, with the centerline meanders of the said centerline of the unnamed tributary following the meanders of the installation boundary; thence to a point on the installation boundary at latitude 37º10’36” N, longitude 76º36’02” W.

(6) Danger Zone Warwick River. Navigable waters of the United States as defined at 33 CFR part 329 that encroach upon the boundaries of the Danger Zone of Fort Eustis, westerly of a line connecting the following coordinates: Commencing from the installation boundary at latitude 37º06’44” N, longitude 76º34’04” W; thence to a point at latitude 37º06’44” N, longitude 76º34’02” W; thence to a point at latitude 37º06’35” N, longitude 76º33’56” W; thence to a point at latitude 37º06’28” N, longitude 76º33’57” W; thence to a point at latitude 37º06’15” N, longitude 76º33’30” W; thence to a point at latitude 37º05’43” N, longitude 76º33’13” W; thence to a point at latitude 37º05’33” N, longitude 76º33’17” W; thence to a point at latitude 37º05’13” N, longitude 76º32’53” W; thence to a point at latitude 37º05’03” N, longitude 76º33’09” W; thence following the meanders of the installation boundary along the southwesterly mean low waterline of Warwick River, thence to a point at latitude 37º04’52” N, longitude 76º33’13” W; thence to a point at latitude 37º04’49” N, longitude 76º33’11” W; thence to a point at latitude 37º04’43” N, longitude 76º33’28” W; thence following the meanders of the installation boundary along the southwesterly mean low waterline of Warwick River, thence to a point at latitude 37º04’35” N, longitude 76º33’19” W. 

(7) Danger Zone James River. Navigable waters of the United States as defined at 33 CFR part 329 that encroach upon the boundaries of the Danger Zone of Fort Eustis, north/north-easterly of a line connecting the following coordinates: Commencing from the installation boundary at latitude 37º04’35” N, longitude 76º33’19” W; thence following the meanders of the installation boundary along the easterly mean low waterline of James River to a point at latitude 37º04’39” N, longitude 76º33’39” W; thence to a point at latitude 37º04’33” N, longitude 76º34’15” W; thence to a point at latitude 37º04’52” N, longitude 76º34’19” W; thence to a point at latitude 37º04’52” N, longitude 76º34’18” W; thence to a point at latitude 37º04’60” N, longitude 76º34’20” W; thence to a point at latitude 37º05’19” N, longitude 76º34’51” W; thence to a point at latitude 37º05’53” N, longitude 76º35’00” W; thence to a point at latitude 37º06’03” N, longitude 76º35’08” W; thence following the meanders of the installation boundary along the easterly mean low waterline of James River, thence to a point at latitude 37º06’40” N, longitude 76º35’52” W; thence to a point at latitude 37º06’35” N, longitude 76º36’19” W; thence to a point on the installation boundary at latitude 37º06’50” N, longitude 76º36’21” W.

(b) The regulations. 

(1) For the restricted areas defined in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section:

(i) All vessels will contact the 3rd Port Harbor Master on marine channel 12 or 68 prior to entering or transiting these restricted areas.

(ii) The passage of fishing vessels to or from authorized traps, or the transit of commercial vessels, will be coordinated with the 3rd Port Harbor Master on marine channel 12 or 68.

(iii)  The harvesting and cultivation of oyster beds or the setting of fish traps within these restricted areas will be allowed provided the commercial fisherman coordinate access to these areas with the 3rd Port Harbor Master on marine channel 12 or 68.

(iv) The Commander, Joint Base Langley-Eustis will, to the extent possible, give public notice from time to time through local news media and the Coast Guard's Local Notice to Mariners of the schedule of intended Department of Defense use of the restricted areas.  

(2) For the restricted areas defined in paragraphs (a)(3), (a)(4), and (a)(5) of this section:

(i)  Entry into these areas is for official government purposes only, or as authorized by the Commander, Joint Base Langley-Eustis.

(ii) Entry will be coordinated and conducted in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the Commander, Joint Base Langley-Eustis.

(3) For the danger zones defined in paragraphs (a)(6) and (a)(7) of this section;

(i)  Persons, vessels or other craft shall not enter or remain in the danger zone when firing is or will soon be in progress unless authorized to do so by the enforcing agency.

(ii)  Advance notice of the schedule of small arms firing will be provided via the Joint Base Langley-Eustis webpage.

(iii)  All projectiles will be fired to land within the impact area on the Fort Eustis peninsula. Neither the Department of the Army nor the Department of the Air Force will be responsible for damages by such projectiles to nets, traps, buoys, pots, fishpounds, stakes, or other equipment which may be located within these danger zones.

(c) Enforcement.  The regulations of this section shall be enforced by the Commander, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, and such agencies as the commander may designate.

AUTHORITY:  Section 7 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1917 (40 Stat. 266; 33 U.S.C. 1) and Chapter XIX of the Army Appropriations Act of 1919 (40 Stat. 892; 33 U.S.C. 3).

FEDERAL EVALUATION OF APPLICATION:  The decision whether to create the danger zone will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest.  The decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources.  The benefits which reasonably may be expected from the proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments.  All of the proposal's relevant factors will be considered, including conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, cultural values, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, flood plain values, land use classification, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, consideration of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.

The Corps of Engineers is soliciting comments from the public; federal, state, and local agencies and officials; indian tribes; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of this proposed activity.  Any comments received will be considered by the Corps of Engineers to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny a permit for this proposal.  To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above.  Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.  Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.  Anyone may request a public hearing to consider this permit application by writing to the District Commander within 30 days of the date of this notice, stating specific reasons for holding the public hearing.  The District Commander will then decide if a hearing should be held.

Preliminary review indicates that:  (l) no environmental impact statement will be required; (2) after conducting the NAO ESA Project Review Process, no listed/proposed/candidate species and/or designated/proposed critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1544, 87 Stat. 884), as amended) will be affected.  Based on this no effect determination, no further coordination with the Fish and Wildlife Service is required; and (3) there are known properties eligible for inclusion or included in the National Register of Historic Places are in or near the permit area, however they are not likely be affected by the proposal.  Additional information might change any of these findings. 

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-267), requires all Federal agencies to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service on all actions, or proposed actions, permitted, funded, or undertaken by the agency, that may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). The James River contains Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for the juvenile and adult life stages of eleven species including windowpane flounder (Scopthalmus aquosus), bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), Atlantic butterfish (Peprilus triancanthus), summer flounder (Paralicthys dentatus), black sea bass (Centropristus striata), king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla), Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus), cobia (Rachycentron canadum), red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), dusky shark (Charcharinus obscurus), and sandbar shark (Charcharinus plumbeus).  The habitat which this project would affect consists of intertidal areas and open water.  The proposed project is described in PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE, above.  Our assessment of the project leads us to a preliminary determination that it will not have a substantial adverse effect on EFH and therefore expanded EFH consultation is not required.  Our rationale for this preliminary determination is based on the minimal direct impacts associated with the establishment of restricted areas and danger zones.  Based on comments from the National Marine Fisheries Service in response to this public notice, further EFH consultation may be necessary.

COMMENT PERIOD:  Comments on this project should be in writing and can be sent by either email to nicole.l.woodward@usace.army.mil, or by regular mail, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN:  CENAO-WR-R), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia  23510-1011, and should be received by the close of business on June 22, 2018.

PRIVACY & CONFIDENTIALITY:  Comments and information, including the identity of the submitter, submitted in response to this Public Notice may be disclosed, reproduced, and distributed at the discretion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Information that is submitted in connection with this Public Notice cannot be maintained as confidential by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Submissions should not include any information that the submitter seeks to preserve as confidential.

If you have any questions about this project or the permit process, contact Nicole Woodward at 757-201-7122.

 

Attachment: Drawings

 

Danger Zone Fort Eustis James River Langley Newport News Restricted Area Skiffes Creek Warwick River