November 27, 2018
NAO-2018-01909 (UJ-4 (Cole))
FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The District Engineer received a prospectus to establish a wetland and stream compensatory mitigation site for Federal and State permits as described below:
The Nature Conservancy
Attn: Kati Rubis
530 East Main Street, Suite 800
Richmond, Virginia 23219
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The proposed Mitigation Site (Site) is four parcels on a 544 acre working farm. The Site is currently being used for grazing and pasture. The Site contains existing degraded wetlands and the Calfpasture River, in the upper James River Basin, near Deerfield, Augusta County, Virginia.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The Sponsor proposes to establish, design, construct, and operate a compensatory wetland mitigation project to be known as the UJ-4 (Cole) Site. The purpose of the mitigation project is to provide off-site compensatory mitigation for projects that result in unavoidable impacts to wetlands and other waters of the United States in the upper James River Basin.
The Sponsor plans to conduct mitigation activates on 4 sites. For the Autumn Olive wetland the Sponsor proposes to enhance 2.61 acres of wetland and restore 4.83 acres of upland buffer. For the Cowpasture wetland, the Sponsor proposes to restore 2.31 acres of wetland, enhance 0.63 acres of wetland and restore 3.89 acres of upland buffer. For the Oak-Hawthorn wetland, the Sponsor proposes to restore 10.48 acres of wetland, enhance 3.95 acres of wetland and restore 10.98 acres of upland buffer. For the Southern forested wetland, the Sponsor proposes to enhance 5.58 acres of wetland. These activities are proposed to generate approximately 19.13 non-tidal wetland credits.
The Sponsor proposed, for purposes of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act the Geographic Service Area (GSA) for the Site is defined by Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) 02080202 and adjacent HUC 02080201.
Oversight of this mitigation project would be by an existing group of federal and state agency representatives. This interagency oversight group is known as the Interagency Review Team (IRT). The Norfolk District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality chair the IRT.
The actual approval of the use of this Site for a specific project is the decision of the Corps pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or by the Department of Environmental Quality pursuant to Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia. The Corps and the Department of Environmental Quality provide no guarantee that any particular individual or general permit will be granted authorization to use this Site to compensate for unavoidable wetland impacts associated with a proposed permit. Authorization by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission may also be required for its use for specific projects.
AUTHORITY: Issuance of a public notice regarding proposed mitigation sites is required pursuant to the “Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources; Final Rule,” (Rule) as published in the April 10, 2008, Federal Register, Vol. 73, No. 70, Pages 19594-19705 (33 CFR Parts 325 and 332).
FEDERAL EVALUATION OF PROPOSAL: 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 this proposed Site. This is NOT an application for work in Waters of the United States. This is a Proposal for a mitigation project that has been presented to the Norfolk District Interagency Review Team. The Corps of Engineers in evaluating this proposal will consider any comments received. Comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, 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, and consideration of property ownership.
Preliminary review indicates that: (1) no environmental impact statement would be required; (2) after conducting the NAO ESA Project Review Process, there may be an affect to species listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and the Official Species List and Species Conclusion Table is attached for review and comment by Fish and Wildlife Service; 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.
COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this mitigation project should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers-(ATTN: Charlottesville Field Office), Mr. Vinny Pero, at the address below, and should be received by the close of business on December 27, 2018. The mitigation plan and drawings can be viewed at https://ribits.usace.army.mil/.
If you have any questions about this mitigation site, please contact:
Mr. Vinny Pero
920 Gardens Blvd., Suite103-B
Charlottesville, Virginia 22901