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NAO-2005-04051

Posted: 7/11/2018

Expiration date: 8/9/2018


FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE

The District Commander has received a joint application for Federal and State permits as described below:

APPLICANT
City of Hampton, Department of Public Works
Attn: Brian Lewis, PE
22 Lincoln Street- 4th Floor
Hampton, Virginia 23669 

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The project is located at the Salt Ponds Inlet within the Chesapeake Bay, in Hampton, Virginia. 

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The applicant proposes to remove an existing vinyl sheet pile jetty on the southern side of the Salt Ponds Inlet, and construct a 420-foot-long stone jetty with a 12-foot-wide crest width. Sand tightening will occur along 300 linear feet of the existing stone jetty on the north side of the Salt Ponds inlet, , which includes the placement of stone extending an average of 8 feet from the existing structure.  In addition, a new 115-foot-long stone spur with a 10-foot-wide crest width will be installed at the channel-ward end of the existing north jetty. The proposed stone placement will result in a total of 0.92 acres of impact to subaqueous bottom. The purpose of the proposed infrastructure improvements is to reduce shoaling within the Salt Ponds Inlet navigation channel in order to reduce the frequency of dredging and maintain navigational safety.   

The existing Salt Ponds Inlet navigation channel will also be dredged and widened as a result of the new south jetty realignment. Dredging will occur via hydraulic or mechanical dredge methods to a maximum depth of – 9 feet mean low water (mlw), including over-dredge. The project proposes to maintenance dredge approximately 200,000 square feet of subaqueous bottom and to remove approximately 75,000 cubic yards of material, and the new dredging portion of the project proposes to dredge approximately 14,750 square feet of subaqueous bottom and remove approximately 600 cubic yards of material. All sandy dredged material will be used as beach nourishment and placed along the adjacent Salt Ponds Beach, landward of the mean high water line. 

In addition to the required Department of the Army permit, the applicant must obtain a Virginia Water Protection Permit/401 certification from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality assuring that applicable laws and regulations pertaining to water quality are not violated and a permit from the Hampton Wetlands Board.  Project drawings are attached.

AUTHORITY: Permits are required pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403), Sections 401 and 404 of the Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217) and Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia. 

FEDERAL EVALUATION OF APPLICATION: The decision whether to issue a permit 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, 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 Environmental Protection Agency's "Guidelines for Specification of Disposal Sites for Dredged or Fill Material" will also be applied (Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act).   

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) 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 not be affected. Based on this “no effect” determination, no further coordination with the Fish and Wildlife Service or NOAA PRD is required; and (3) no known properties eligible for inclusion or included in the National Register of Historic Places are in or near the permit area, or would likely be affected by the proposal. Additional information might change any of these findings.   

For compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended for projects located in Tidewater, the applicant must certify that federally licensed or permitted activities affecting Virginia's coastal uses or resources will be conducted in a manner consistent with the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program (VCP) and obtain concurrence from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Office of Environmental Impact Review (OEIR). We have not received a certification from the applicant prior to publication of this public notice.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit a consistency certification to the Office of Environmental Impact Review for concurrence or objection and proof of concurrence must be submitted to the Corps prior to final permit issuance. A template federal consistency certification can be found here:

http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/EnvironmentalImpactReview/FederalConsistencyReviews.aspx#cert 

For more information or to obtain a list of the enforceable policies of the VCP, contact the Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Environmental Impact Review at (804) 698-4330 or e-mail: bettina.sullivan@deq.virginia.gov or john.fisher@deq.virginia.gov  

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 Chesapeake Bay contains Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for the egg, larval, juvenile and adult life stages of eleven species including windowpane flounder (Scophthalmus aquosus), bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), Atlantic butterfish (Peprilus triacanthus), summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus), black sea bass (Centropristis striata), king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla), Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus), cobia (Rachycentron canadum), red drum (Sciaenops occelatus), dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus), sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus). The habitat which this project would affect consists of shallow water and intertidal areas consisting of sand substrate, including areas with prior dredgning history or containing existing hard structures. 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 expected short-term nature of the direct impacts/minimal increases in turbidity/changes in water temperature or salinity caused by the proposed work/the absence of vegetated wetlands, submerged aquatic vegetation, and anadromous fish spawning habitat/ existing poor water quality/unsuitable substrate. 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 August 9, 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 or via e-mail at

nicole.l.woodward@usace.army.mil 

 

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