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NAO-2018-00307-arl (Hazel River)

Posted: 7/6/2018

Expiration date: 8/6/2018


FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE

The District Engineer has received a prospectus to establish a Virginia Aquatic Resource Trust Fund (VARTF) stream compensatory mitigation site for Federal and State permits as described below:

BANK SPONSOR
VARTF
Attn: Diane Frisbee
652 Peter Jefferson Parkway. Suite 190Charlottesville, VA 22911

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK:  The proposed stream mitigation site is located on approximately 28 acres of agricultural land. The site is located near Mr. Zion Church Road in Culpeper County, Virginia. The proposed bank site drains to the Hazel River which is a tributary of the Rappahannock River. 

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The bank sponsor proposes to establish, design, construct, and operate a compensatory stream mitigation to be known as the VART RP-15 Hazel River (adduci) Mitigation site. The purpose of the mitigation site is to provide off-site compensatory mitigation for projects that result in unavoidable impacts to waters of the United States in the Rappahannock River drainage basin.   

The Sponsor plans to establish this site by performing stream restoration, preservation, livestock exclusions and stream buffer restoration on approximately 28 acres of stream channel and adjacent uplands. The proposed work will be accomplished by restoring and preserving a degraded system that currently exhibits significant stream bank erosion and instability, an inappropriate and unstable pattern, and a lack of suitable habitat features and riffle-pool complexes.   

The sponsor has proposed, for purposes of Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act that the geographic service area of this mitigation bank would include the USGS Hydrologic Unit Codes 02080103 and 02080104. This proposed service area would include all or portions of the cities/counties of Albemarle, Caroline, Culpeper, Essex, Fauquier, Fredericksburg, Greene, King George, Lancaster, Madison, Middlesex, Orange, Rappahannock, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Westmoreland.    

Oversight of this mitigation bank will be by a group of federal and state agency representatives known as the Interagency Review Team (IRT). The Norfolk District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shall chair the IRT.

This mitigation site may be one of a number of practicable options available to applicants to compensate for unavoidable wetland impacts associated with permits issued under the authority of Section 404 and 401 of the Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217) in southern Virginia. 

The actual approval of the use of this mitigation site for a specific project is the decision of the Corps pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (choose correct option) and/or by the Department of Environmental Quality pursuant to Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia. The Corps and the Department of Environmental Quality provide no guarantee that any particular individual or general permit will be granted authorization to use this mitigation bank to compensate for unavoidable wetland impacts associated with a proposed permit, even though compensatory mitigation may be available. Authorization by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission may also be required for its use for specific projects. 

AUTHORITY: Issuance of a public notice regarding proposed mitigation banks is required pursuant to the “Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources; Final Rule,” (Rule) as published in the April 10, 2008, Federal Register, Vol. 73, No. 70, Pages 19594-19705 (33 CFR Parts 325 and 332). 

FEDERAL EVALUATION OF PROPOSAL: 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 this proposed mitigation site. The Corps of Engineers in evaluating this proposal will consider any comments received. Comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, 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, and consideration of property ownership.   

Preliminary review indicates that: (l) no environmental impact statement will be required; (2) coordination with the appropriate agencies will be completed to determine is the proposed work will/will not affect species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (PL 93-205); and (3) coordination with the appropriate agencies will be completed to determine is the proposed work project may/may not have an effect on properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Additional information might change any of these preliminary 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 proposed project is described above in Proposed Work and Purpose. The proposed project is not located in Essential Fish Habitat and is not likely to affect EFH.   

COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project and requests for hard copies of this public notice should be in writing and can be sent by either email to anna.r.lawston@usace.army.mil, or by regular mail, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers, Warrenton Field Office (ATTN:  Anna Lawston), PO Box 578, Amissville, Virginia 20106, and should be received by the close of business on Monday, August 6, 2018.  Copies will be forwarded to the DEQ.       

If you have any questions about this project or the permit process, contact Ms. Anna Lawston at 540-764-4459 or anna.lawston@usace.army.mil

Culpeper County Hazel River mitigation Rappahannock River