June 5, 2019
FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The District Commander has received a joint application for Federal and State permits as described below:
Seefried Development Services, Inc.
c/o Jim Condon
3333 Riverwood Parkway, Suite 200
Atlanta, Georgia 30339
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The project will impact nontidal wetlands that drain to Bennett Creek, a tributary to the Nansemond River and the James River within the Northgate Commerce Park at 2020 Northgate Commerce Parkway in Suffolk, Virginia.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: To meet increasing e-commerce demand, the project purpose is to construct an 820,000-square foot fulfillment center to serve the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Virginia and North Carolina Combined Statistical Area (CSA). The proposed project will result in unavoidable direct impacts to 5.84 acres of palustrine emergent (PEM) wetlands, 2.25 acres of palustrine scrub-shrub (PSS) wetlands, and 1.03 acres of palustrine forested (PFO) wetlands from the construction of the fulfillment center, truck and employee vehicle parking, drive aisles, stormwater facilities, associated grading, and storage. In addition to the 9.12 acres of primary impacts, another 0.19 acres of PSS wetlands will be secondarily impacted through fragmentation and hydrologic alteration.
Due to the fragmented wetlands, the extent of the agricultural ditches throughout the site, and the proposed size of the fulfillment center, complete avoidance of the wetlands is not practicable. Wetland impacts were minimized by reducing the size of on-site stormwater management facilities and by avoiding direct impacts to 0.19 acres of PEM wetlands. The applicant is proposing to compensate for these impacts at the standard compensation ratios: 1:1 for PEM wetlands, 1.5:1 for PSS wetlands, and 2:1 for PFO wetlands. The applicant also intends to compensate for the 0.19 acre of secondary impacts for a total compensation amount of 11.46 wetland credits, which will be purchased from a commercial wetland mitigation bank.
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 Suffolk Wetlands Board. 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) after conducting the NAO ESA Project Review Process, the Corps is applying the 4(d) rule for the Northern long-eared bat Northern long-eared which is a federally listed species bat. No designated or proposed critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1544, 87 Stat. 884) as amended, will be affected. There may be an effect to listed/proposed/candidate species and/or designated/proposed critical habitat 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.
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). We have not received a certification from the applicant prior to publication of this public notice. 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 template federal consistency certification can be found at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/EnvironmentalImpactReview/FederalConsistencyReviews.aspx#cert For more information or to obtain a list of the enforceable policies of the VCP, contact the Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Environmental Impact Review at (804) 698-4330 or e-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be in writing and can be sent by either email to email@example.com or by regular mail, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN: CENAO-WR-R, George Janek), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510-1011, and should be received by the close of business on July 5, 2019.
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:
George Janek at 757-201-7135.
Species Conclusion Table
Official Species List