FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The District Commander has received a joint application for Federal and State permits as described below:
FAM Construction, LLC
Pablo Molla Ruiz
3877 Fairfax Ridge Road, Suite 300C
Fairfax, VA 22030
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The project known as the Interstate 66 (I-66) Main Corridor Improvements Project is located on 22.5 miles of I-66 corridor, from the interchange of US Route 29 to the I-495 interchange. The proposed project crosses 10 named streams and many unnamed smaller tributaries, all of which are tributaries to the Potomac River, in Prince William and Fairfax Counties, Virginia.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The I-66 Main Corridor Improvements Project is part of the overall Transform 66 P3 Project (also referred to as the “Transform 66 Outside the Beltway” project). The applicant proposes to extend the I-66 corridor approximately 22.5 miles from the interchange of US Route 29 (Lee Highway) in Gainesville, Prince William County, to the I-495 interchange in Fairfax County. The proposed project includes two express lanes alongside three general purpose lanes in each direction, corridor-wide bike and pedestrian improvements, and interchange improvements to enhance safety and reduce congestion, including auxiliary lanes between interchanges.The Project will be developed compatible with future guideway transit in the median from I-495 to just west of State Route (SR) 28. The work also includes complete pavement reconstruction, widening and retrofit of existing structures, the construction of multiple new bridges over I-66, and the enhancement of numerous interchanges. Additionally, the I-66 Main Corridor Improvements will include the construction of new stormwater management (SWM) ponds and the retrofit of existing SWM ponds to manage the additional volume of stormwater run-off generated by implementing these improvements.
Avoidance and minimization effort already taken included:
• Minimizing the number of SWM facilities and locating the SWM facilities outside of jurisdictional areas where possible
• Avoiding and minimizing impacts from SWM outfalls and utilization of level spreaders to help maintain wetland hydrology
• Strategic use of retaining walls, road barriers, mechanically stabilized earth walls, and guard rails to reduce fill slopes
• Retrofitting/rehabilitating existing culverts to maintain connectivity and hydrologic function, and to avoid culvert replacements and the associated impacts
• Location and design of new culverts to minimize impacts
• Where possible, bridge piers have been designed to avoid stream and wetland systems
• Use existing culverts and their current drainage pathway geometry to the maximum extent practicable
• Minimizing construction access and easements impacts
• Reducing number and magnitude of permanent and temporary impacts by shifting construction easement limits and/or cut/fill limits
• Use of mats and geo-fabric materials in lieu of temporary fills
Wetland compensation is proposed for 1.33 acres of permanent impacts to palustrine forested wetlands, 1.34 acres of permanent impacts to palustrine scrub shrub wetlands, 2.24 acres of permanent impacts to palustrine emergent wetlands, and 0.82 acre of impacts from conversion of forested wetlands to emergent wetlands. The total wetland compensation proposed for the project is 7.74 wetland credits, of which 6.24 credits are attributable to impacts in the Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan watershed and 1.50 credits are attributable to impacts in the Middle Potomac Catoctin watershed.
Stream compensation is proposed for permanent impacts to 8,852 linear feet of streams, of which 7,263 linear feet are within the Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan watershed and 1,595 linear feet are within the Middle Potomac Catoctin watershed. Based on the Unified Stream Methodology, a total of 8,725 stream credits are proposed for permanent stream impact compensation, of which 7,050 are within the Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan watershed and 1,675 are within the Middle Potomac Catoctin watershed. No mitigation is proposed for temporary stream impacts.
The applicant is proposing permitee responsible mitigation to meet the mitigation requirements for the I-66 Main Corridor Improvements Project. The applicant is proposing to meet the mitigation requirements for impacts to wetlands at the Keaton site and streams at the Wancopin PRM site. The applicant feels this approach is more feasible and ecologically preferable to purchasing credits from a mitigation bank or the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund.
In addition to the required Department of the Army permit, the applicant must obtain a Virginia Water Protection Permit from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assuring that applicable laws and regulations pertaining to water quality are not violated and a permit from the Prince William and Fairfax County Wetlands Boards. Project drawings are attached.
AUTHORITY: Permits are required pursuant to 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) all required coordination under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1544, 87 Stat. 884, as amended) has already been completed by the lead Federal Agency (Federal Highways Administration) and no further coordination is required; and (3) all required consultation under the National Historic Preservation Act has already been completed by the lead Federal Agency (Federal Highway Administration) and no further coordination is required. 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). The applicant has already obtained a Coastal Zone Consistency Certification for this project.
COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be in writing and can be sent by either email to Lee.Fuerst@usace.army.mil, or by regular mail, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN: CENAO-WRR-C), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510-1011, and should be received by the close of business on September 4, 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 Ms. Lee Fuerst at Lee.Fuerst@usace.army.mil or 757-201-7832.