Published Sept. 6, 2017
Expiration date: 10/6/2017

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

Cape Harbor Holdings, LLC
c/o James R. Gunn
P.O. Box 650
Gloucester, Virginia 23061

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK:  The project is located in Cape Charles Harbor, a tributary to the Chesapeake Bay, in Cape Charles, Virginia.

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE:  The applicant proposes to construct a new marine terminal and boat yard on a former seafood and grain offloading facility in Cape Charles Harbor. The project purpose is to service boats traveling along the Eastern Shore of Virginia with a new marine terminal facility. The proposed construction includes 484 linear feet of rip rap revetment, 100 linear feet of sheet pile wall, 315 linear feet of rip rap sill, a 100-foot by 68-foot marginal wharf, eight 18-pile timber dolphins, 235 linear feet of living shoreline with an armor stone sill and marsh plantings, a 130-foot by 10-foot floating dock, a 600-ton marine travel lift (with 2 piers each 200 feet long, 313 linear feet of sheet pile bulkhead, and a 50-foot by 15-foot open-pile platform), a 215-foot by 10-foot marginal floating dock with three 60-foot by 8-foot finger piers for staging at the travel lift, and 1.52 acres of mechanical dredging. The 18,000 cubic yard of dredged material will be placed on uplands, dewatered, and used as fill within landward portions of the project.

Impacted wetlands include 0.86 acres of non-tidal wetlands (0.02 acres of palustrine emergent wetlands, 0.56 acres of palustrine unconsolidated bottom wetlands, and 0.28 acres of palustrine forested wetlands), and 2000 square feet (0.04 acres) of tidal wetlands. The applicant tried to design the land-based buildings and attendant features around the non-tidal wetlands, but was unable to avoid them because it would have hindered traffic movement in upland areas. If there are available wetland credits, the applicant will compensate for the non-tidal impacts by purchasing credits from a wetland mitigation bank or an in-lieu-fee fund. Otherwise, they may construct permittee-responsible mitigation. The 2000 square feet of tidal mitigation will be compensated for through the construction of a living shoreline which will result in the creation of 2,150 square feet of tidal marsh.

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 Northampton County 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 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 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) 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) are likely to be adversely affected.  Since there may be an effect to listed/proposed/candidate species and/or designated/proposed critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the Official Species List and Species Conclusion Table is attached for review and comment by Fish and Wildlife Service. 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:  

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: or

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 life stages of 16 species including red hake (Urophycis chuss), windowpane flounder (Scopthalmus aquosus), Atlantic sea herring (Clupea harengus), bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), Atlantic butterfish (Peprilus triacanthus) summer flounder (Paralicthys dentatus), scup (Stenotomus chrysops), black sea bass (Centropristus striata), king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla), Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus), cobia (Rachycentron canadum), red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), dusky shark (Charcharinus obscurus), sandbar shark (Charcharinus plumbeus), sand tiger shark (Odontaspis taurus), and Atlantic sharpnose shark (Rhizopriondon terraenovae). The habitat which this project would affect consists of subaqueous harbor bottom and sparsely vegetated intertidal wetlands. The proposed project is described in Proposed Work and Purpose, above. This project is located within a harbor with commercial boat traffic, but this proposed project may affect EFH through increased temporary turbidity and through noise impacts associated with pile driving. 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 and the absence of vegetated wetlands, submerged aquatic vegetation, and anadromous fish spawning habitat. 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, or by regular mail, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN:  George Janek, CENAO-WR-R), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia  23510-1011, and should be received by the close of business on October 6, 2017.

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

George Janek at 757-201-7135 or by email at