FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
Proposed issuance and Reissuance/ModificationS of the Norfolk District Regional (general) Permits
The Norfolk District Regulatory Branch is proposing to issue one new Regional Permit (RP), RP-11, and reissue RP-01 with minor modifications. The Norfolk District issues Regional Permits for a category of activities in Virginia that would result in minimal environmental impacts and are not contrary to the public interest. In addition, RPs can improve regulatory consistency, enhance program efficiency, avoid duplication with other agencies, and simplify the permitting process for the regulated public. RP-01 is currently in effect, but will expire on August 14, 2018. Both permits would authorize certain types of work conducted by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and these RPs would not be available for use by any applicant other than VDOT.
The following is a brief summary of each permit:
- RP-01 - roadway and railway projects involving work, structures, and filling (both temporary and permanent); maximum impacts allowed under RP-01 will be one (1) acre of waters of the United States to include stream channel, wetlands and open waters AND 1,000 linear feet of stream bed per single and complete project;
- RP-11 – projects that qualify for the conditions and thresholds of a Nationwide Permit (NWP) but require a Pre-Construction Notification (PCN) in accordance with General Condition 18(c), i.e., because any federally listed endangered or threatened species or designated critical habitat might be affected or is in the vicinity of the activity.
By earlier Public Notice dated February 26, 2018, the Norfolk District indicated that it was not proposing to reissue RP-01. However, based on input from VDOT, the Norfolk District is considering re-issuance, with some minor modifications to the permit. The Norfolk District proposes to reissue RP-01 and issue RP-11 for five (5) years. The proposed permits and conditions in their entirety are included with this Notice.
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 approve the proposed modifications and re-issue the above mentioned RPs will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activities 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 by extending and/or modifying the RPs must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All 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 reissuance and/or modification of the RPs. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps of Engineers to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny these RPs. 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 Engineer within 30 days of the date of this notice, stating specific reasons for holding the public hearing. The District Engineer will then decide if a hearing should be held.
Preliminary review indicates that: (l) no environmental impact statement will be required; (2) no activity will be authorized by these permits that will jeopardize the continued existence of a threatened or endangered species or a species proposed for such designation, as identified under the Federal Endangered Species Act, or will destroy or adversely modify the critical habitat of such species. Projects which have an effect on any species of fish, wildlife or plant (or critical habitat) which is designated or proposed as endangered or threatened pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (P. L. 93-305) will not qualify for these permits until the required procedures have been followed; and (3) known properties eligible for inclusion or included in the National Register of Historic Places located in or near the permit area, or that would likely be affected by the proposal will be properly coordinated with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources pursuant to the provisions of 36 CFR Part 800, regulations implementing Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA), as amended, 16 U.S.C. 470f, and 33 CFR Part 325, Appendix C, Processing of Department of the Army Permits. Additional information might change any of these findings. For compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, the Corps must certify that federally licensed or permitted activities affecting Virginia's coastal zone (Tidewater) will be conducted in a manner consistent with the Virginia Coastal Resources Management Program (VCP). The Norfolk District will apply for Coastal Zone Management Act consistency via a separate request.
The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996 (Public Law 1 04-267), requires all Federal agencies to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA) on all actions, or proposed actions, permitted, funded, or undertaken by the agency, that may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). Some of Virginia's waterways contain Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for the egg, larvae, juvenile, and adult life stages for a variety of species. An EFH Assessment for each applicable RP will be provided to NOAA under separate cover for consultation. Any required permit conditions will be added as deemed necessary based upon the conclusion of the consultation.
COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be made in writing, either via U.S. Mail, addressed to the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Branch (ATTN: CENAO-WRR), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510-1011, or via email to CENAO.REG_ROD@usace.army.mil and should be received by the close of business on June 18, 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 regarding this public notice you may contact Ms. Jennifer Serafin Frye via telephone at 540-344-1498 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mr. Tucker Smith at 757-201-7653 or via email at email@example.com.