March 20, 2019
FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The district commander has received a joint application for federal and state permits as described below:
Front Row Properties LLC
c/o Michael Trunzo
P.O. Box 2108
East Hampton, NY 11937
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF PROPOSED WORK: The project is located in Wachapreague Channel, a tributary to Bradford Bay/Atlantic Ocean, at 23 Atlantic Ave., Wachapreague, Accomack County, Virginia.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The applicant’s project purpose is to renovate a prior railway facility to provide a mooring facility in Accomack County. The applicant proposes to remove all existing piers and install 1,095 linear feet of wharf/walkway access, three 4’ x 15’ finger piers, 179’ of vinyl bulkhead (two at 79’ in length, with one being low profile and one being 35’ in length) (see project drawings). Fill would occur in two areas: Zone A, impacting 2,920 square feet of intertidal mudflat landward of bulkhead 1 for staging, receiving and parking; and Zone B channel-ward of bulkhead 1 to create a tidal wetland between bulkheads 1 and 2, creating 2,555 square feet of tidal wetlands. Zone A had prior impacts of 700 square feet to intertidal mudflats for a concrete pad during the railway facility’s use and operation. Dredging would occur within a 72’ x 60’ footprint, removing 984 cubic yards the first cycle to get to a -6 MLW elevation. About 492 cubic yards of dredged material would be removed during maintenance events every three to four years. The spoil material would be disposed of at the Wachapreague disposal site, while some material may be used in Zone B. The existing building on site would be rebuilt to 20’ x 32’ on pilings, requiring utilities to be used for storage and mooring.
Impacts to waters of the U.S. are being avoided and minimized by bulk-heading so upland materials potentially generated from the former marine railway operation do not continually enter the waterway. For impacts to 2,920 square feet of intertidal mudflats, the applicant proposes to compensate by creating 2,555 square feet of tidal wetlands.
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 applicable laws and regulations pertaining to water quality are not violated and a permit from the Accomack 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 a probable-impact evaluation, 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 that 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, 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, property ownership and, in general, the people’s needs and welfare. 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 proposed activity’s direct, indirect and cumulative impacts. 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 other public-interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an environmental assessment and/or environmental impact statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. They are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and 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 this notice date, stating specific reasons for holding the public hearing. The district commander will then decide if a hearing should be held.
Preliminary review indicates: (1) no environmental impact statement will be required; (2) after conducting the NAO ESA Project Review Process, there may be an effect to Northern Long-eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis), Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus), shortnose sturgeon (Acipensur brevirostrum), green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) and Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) 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 two known properties eligible for inclusion, or included in the National Register of Historic Places, are in or near the permit area (319-5002 Wachapreague Historic District, 319-5002-07 Parker Brother’s Marine Railway), and no adverse effects are anticipated. This project was previously coordinated for Section 106 and received concurrence from VDHR for no adverse effect to historic resources on May 24, 2018.
For compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended for projects 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 and obtain concurrence from the Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Environmental Impact Review. We have not received a certification from the applicant prior to this public notice’s publication. 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 federal consistency certification template can be found at www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/EnvironmentalImpactReview/FederalConsistencyReviews.aspx#cert. For more information or to obtain a list of Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program enforceable policies, contact the Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Environmental Impact Review, at 804-698-4330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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. Wachapreague Channel contains EFH for life stages of 17 species, including Scalloped Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna lewini), Sand Tiger Shark (Carcharias taurus), Atlantic Sharpnose Shark (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae), scup (Stenotomus chrysops), red hake (Urophycis chuss), Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus), Butterfish (Peprilus triacanthus), black sea bass (Centropristis striata), windowpane flounder (Scopthalmus aquosus), dusky shark (Charcharinus obscurus), bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus), red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), Sandbar Shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus), Cobia (Rachycentron canadum), king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) and Atlantic Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus). The habitat this project would affect consists of subaqueous bottom and intertidal mudflats. The proposed project is described above in Proposed Work and Purpose. Our project assessment leads us to a preliminary determination 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/minimal increases in turbidity/changes in water temperature or salinity caused by the proposed work/absence of vegetated wetlands, submerged aquatic vegetation, and anadromous fish-spawning habitat/existing poor water quality/unsuitable substrate. Based on National Marine Fisheries Service comments in response to this public notice, further EFH consultation may be necessary.
COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be in writing. They can be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or regular mail, addressed to: Norfolk District, Army Corps of Engineers (ATTN: CENAO-WR-R), 803 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510-1011. All comments should be received by close of business April 20.
PRIVACY & CONFIDENTIALITY: Comments and information, including the submitter’s identity, submitted in response to this public notice may be disclosed, reproduced and distributed at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers discretion. Information 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 the submitter seeks to preserve as confidential.
If you have any questions about this project or the permit process, contact Sara Bahnson at 757-201-7182 or email@example.com.