May 23, 2018
The District Commander has received a permit application for work described below:
Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story
Attn: LT Blair Kuplic, JAGC, USN
2600 Tarawa Court, Suite 100
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23459-3297
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The project is located in within Fisherman's Cove and Little Creek Harbor adjacent to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Little Creek (JEBLCFS) in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: JEBLCFS is the homeport of numerous ships, small boats and special operational units. The proposed amendment is necessary to better protect vessels and personnel assigned to JEBLCFS by implementing a waterside security program. The applicant proposes to establish new restricted area in the Navigation Regulations, (33 C.F.R. §334.305), as follows:
334.305 Little Creek Harbor, Fisherman's Cove, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Little Creek, Virginia, Restricted Areas.
(a) The Little Creek Restricted Areas. The Little Creek Restricted Areas consist of two distinct areas: The Outer Harbor Restricted Area and the Inner Harbor Restricted Area. The datum for the coordinates in this section is NAD-83.
(1) The Outer Harbor Restricted Area. The waters within an area beginning at a point on shore at latitude 36º55'57.7" N, longitude 76º10'35" W; thence southwesterly to a point on the opposite shore at latitude 36º55'53" N, longitude 76º10'44" W, thence southerly to latitude 36º55'21.2" N, longitude 76º10'42" W; thence southwesterly to latitude 36º55'17.8" N, longitude 76º10'49" W; thence northwesterly to a point in Fisherman's Cove at latitude 36º55'22" N, longitude 76º11'15.5" W; thence southerly to latitude 36º55'19.2" N, longitude 76º11'16" W, thence easterly along the southern shoreline of Fisherman's Cove, to latitude 36º55'15.8" N, longitude 76º10'58.8" W; and ending at latitude 36º55-18" N, longitude 76º10'30" W; thence to the point of origin.
(2) The Inner Harbor Restricted Area. The waters within Little Creek Harbor south of a line beginning at latitude 36º55'15.8" N, longitude 76º10'58.8" W; and ending at latitude 36º55'19.3" N, longitude 76º10'29.5" W.
(b) The Regulations.
(1) All vessels intending to transit inbound/outbound of the Little Creek Restricted Areas shall notify the Little Creek Port Control of their destination and intentions.
(2) The Outer Harbor Restricted Area. All privately owned vessels properly registered and bearing identification in accordance with Federal and/or State laws and regulations, and all Government owned vessels (public vessels) may enter or exit the waters described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section at any time and transit inbound/outbound of the marked dredged channel leading to Little Creek Harbor between jetties 8 miles westward of Cape Henry Light. All vessels entering or exiting the channel must notify Little Creek Port Control using VHF-FM channel 12, stating their destination/intention. All vessels transiting inbound/outbound of the channel except as noted in paragraph (c)(2) of this section shall proceed at speeds commensurate with minimum wake unless approved by Little Creek Port Control.
(3) The Inner Harbor Restricted Area. Vessels or persons intending to transit inbound/outbound within the waters described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section shall request permission from Little Creek Port Control with the exception of those listed in paragraph (c)(2) of this section. This permission shall suffice for Outer Harbor notification. The Inner Harbor Restricted Area is restricted to those privately owned vessels or persons calling upon the commercial/private piers located within the Inner Harbor and Government owned vessels (public vessels) transiting to and from U.S. Navy or U.S. Coast Guard facilities, and authorized Department of Defense patrons of the U.S. Navy recreational marina. No other vessels or persons may enter or exit this area unless specific authorization is granted by Commanding Officer, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, and/or other persons or agencies as he/she may designate.
(4) All vessels or persons transiting inbound/outbound of the Outer and Inner Harbor restricted areas are subject to all applicable federal and state laws including laws or regulations designed to protect the naval facility, and persons or vessels assigned therein. Federal and State law enforcement officials may at any time take action to ensure compliance with their respective laws. In addition, this regulation authorizes Navy security personnel, designated by Commander, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story or persons authorized to act in his/her behalf, the authority to ascertain the identity and intent of any vessels and/or persons transiting the restricted area that indicate by way of appearance or action they are a possible threat to government assets. If a determination is made that the vessel and/or persons are a threat to government assets located within the restricted area, Navy security units may take actions as provided by law or regulation that are deemed necessary to protect government personnel and assets located within the restricted area.
(1) The regulations in this section shall be enforced by the Commanding Officer, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story and/or persons or agencies as he/she may designate.
(2) Federal and State Law enforcement vessels and personnel may enter anywhere in the restricted area at any time in the operation of their statutory missions or to enforce their respective laws.
(3) Nothing in this regulation is deemed to preempt 33 CFR 165.501.
(4) Vessels or persons calling upon the commercial/private piers located within the Inner Harbor with proper identification and clearance will be allowed entry subject to the same provisions described in paragraph (b) of this section. Commander, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story reserves the right to temporarily deny entry in emergency situations, elevated Department of Defense Force Protection conditions in the Harbor, or other safety of navigation constraints.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.